About the Author


Sidney Edward Paget

Sidney Edward Paget

The features of Sherlock Holmes as described by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are very peculiar and extra ordinary. And the person who drew Sherlock Holmes with quite a brilliant resemblance to the described features was Sidney Paget. Sidney Edward Paget, born in London on 4th October, 1860 was a British illustrator hailing from the Victorian era.

Paget is renowned for his illustrations of the legendary character of Holmes which were published alongside the stories in the Strand Magazine. He was initially hired to illustarte Holmes in ‘the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, when they accidentlly sent the letter of commission to him rather than his younger brother, Walter Paget.

It has also been a common misconception that Sidney Paget based the looks of Sherlock Holmes upon his younger brother Walter, but Sidney outrightly dismissed this notion.  Later Sidney also made illustartions in ‘the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’. Sir Arthur especially requested Sidney Paget to illustrate Holmes in the novel, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’.

Holmes in deerstalker cap

Holmes in deerstalker cap

As the series started gaining popularity, his illustrations became larger and contained more and more details. It was Paget who first gave Holmes the gift of  a deerstalker cap and an iverness cape, which were no where mentioned in the writings of Doyle. The deerstalker cap and coat were first illustarted by him in ‘The Boscombe vally Mystery’. Paget drew the illustartaions in black and white which gave a darker and shadowy look to the  stories. All in all, Sidney Paget illustarted Sherlock Holmes in 37 short stories and 1 long novel with about 356 published drawings for the whole series.

Moriarty depicted by Paget

Moriarty depicted by Paget

All other illustartors also realized that whenever sketching Holmes, they had to follow the guidelines drawn by Paget. A complete set of Sidney Paget illustrations of Sherlock Holmes is considered to be priceless collectible item. The 10.5 x 6.75 inch original drawing of Holmes and Moriarty at the edge of Reichecbach Falls in the ‘Final Problem’, was sold for $220,800 on 16th November, 2004  in New York by Sotherby’s.

The illustrations of Sherlock Holmes made by Sidney Paget have been the most popular and accurate depictions of the great detective, and any new picture of Holmes deviating from the features made by Paget, is never accepted by Holmes’ enthusiasts.

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1157094Apart from Conan Doyle’s fiction stories that featured Sherlock Holmes, his other prominent works include:

The Lost World (1912), The Land of Mist (1926), Micah Clarke (1888), Rodney Stone (1896), The Captain of the Polestar, and other stories (1890), Beyond the City (1892), The Great Boer War (1900), Through the Magic Door (1907), The Crime of the Congo (1909), The Horror of Heights (1918), The New Revelation (1918) and The History of Spiritualism (1926).

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatus Conan Doyle was born on 22 May, 1859 in Edinburgh in Scotland. His father Charles Altamont Doyle, was an alcoholic and failed to make any remarkable achievement in life other than fathering a brilliant son.

From 1876 to 1881, Sir Arthur studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Along the way he started his hobby of writing short fictional stories. His first story was published when he was not even 20 in the Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal. After completing his studies in the University, he served as a doctor on a naval voyage to Africa.

Afterwards Sir Arthur started his independent medical practice when he arrived in Portsmouth. He got visited by very few patients and had little to do all day therefore, he resumed his hobby of writing stories. His first notable work was ‘A Study In Scarlet’ which featured detctive Sherlock Holmes for the very first time. It was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. In his time in Portsmouth he also spent time in sports playing cricket, football and golf with friends. Sir Arthur even played in 10 first class cricket matches, his highest score being 43 and also took one wicket.

House of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

House of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan Doyle had two wives and a total of five children. His first wife Louisa Hawkins suffered from tuberculosis and died. Afterwards he married Jean Elizebeth Leckie whom he had loved many years before. In 1890, he went to Vienna to complete medical studies and started practice as an opthalmologist in London in 1891. In his own biography he reveals that he received very few patients and had decided to kill Holmes in order to consentrate on his practice.

In order to end this series in ‘The Final Problem’ he depicted the events in which Holmes and his enemy Professor Moriarty both die after plunging in a waterfall. But after outcry from fans he resumed the stories and explained in ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’ how Holmes wanted to be temporarily dead in order to defeat his other enemies. Eventually, the fictional detective appeared in 56 short stories and many long novels.

During his life Conan Doyle also authored many other novels and poems. He was also believed to be an intimate friend of world renowned magician Harry Houdini and had special interest in spiritualism. Conan Doyle also spent some time in india and America and these locations also feature in some of his short stories and novels.

On 7 July, 1930 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died due to heart attack and lies buried in New Forest, Hampshire. In remembrance of this grest fiction writer a statue stands in Crowborough, East Sussex where he spent 23 years of his life.

The Strand Magazine

The Strand Magazine

The Strand Magazine was a monthly fiction magazine founded by George Newnes and remained in publication from January 1890 to March 1950. From the very beginning this magazine asumed great popularity as the early sales went to 300,000 issues. Up till 1930s its circulation had reached upto 500,000 issues. In total The Strand Magazine went upto 711 issues in the sixty years of its life span.

The stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were first published in the Strand Magazine along with illustrations by Sidney Pagot. Soon the popularity of the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes brought many fans and enthusiast readers to the magazine office in search for the next latest issue. Along with the publication of many other fictional stories, The Strand Magazine was also popular for a column named, ‘The Perplexities’ which featured puzzles and brain teasers.

With a change in format in the early 1940s, The Strand Magazine owing to increasing cost and lesser circulation, stopped its publication in 1950. But The Strand Magazine returned in 2000 to pubish works of several famous fiction writers.