Sherlock Holmes had a tendency to show aversion towards the fair sex; his close friend and chronicler observes at many instances that Holmes seemed to deeply mistrust women, the reason being unknown. But despite this attitude, one woman left a long lasting mark on Holmes’ mind. Her name was Irene Adler, and Dr. Watson describes that Holmes often alluded to her as ‘the woman’.

A Scandal in Bohemia

A Scandal in Bohemia

Irene Adler featured in only a single short story, ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ released in 1891. In this story the King of Bohemia comes to Holmes for help to get hold of a photograph which confirms an affair between the Bohemian King and Irene Adler. Apparently Adler was also threatening to public the photo, not for monetary gains, as the King’s agents had already tried to buy the photo.

Holmes due to his extreme cunning, somehow finds the place where that photo has been hidden, but makes a foolish mistake of planning to steal the photo in future. The next day Holmes finds out that Irene Adler has left her house along with the scandaluous photo, but she states that she would not go public with the photo and later sent it to the King when she got married.

Hence Holmes faces defeat, despite the fact that the interest of his illustrious client became safe. Irene Adler is also mentioned in four other short stories, “A Case of Identity”, “the Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”, The Five Orange Pips” and “His Last Bow”.

It is during “The Five Orange Pips”, that Holmes remarks to Watson that throughout his career he had been defeated four times, three times by men and once by a woman( relating to Irene Adler). Although, “The Five Orange Pips” is set in September 1887, while “A Scandal in Bohemia” in March 1888, meaning that the woman who beat Holmes cannot possibly be Irene Adler, but fans and historians consider this to be one of the many chronological mistakes done by Sir Arthur Doyle.

Advertisements