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.

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The legendary character of Sherlock Holmes, which has captivated the imagination of millions, was commemorated after the completion of the 100 years since his birth. Detective Shelock Holmes was first featured in ‘A Study In Scarlet’ which is among the most famous and cherished works of literature written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Statue of Sherlock Holmes

Statue of Sherlock Holmes

London is one of the biggest tourist resorts in the world, and among several landmarks that attract tourists from all over the world, many Holmes’ fans also visit the famous residence of the detective. Apartment 221 B in Baker Street has been turned into a museum and in the close vicinity a memorable statue of the Holmes has been erected.The statue closely resembles the illustrations of Holmes made by Sideny Pagot in the earliest published stories.

Official logo of the movie

Official logo of the movie

The legendary fictional character of Sherlock Holmes has inspired many movies and TV dramas as well. The most recent movie named ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is still under production and is expected to be released next year. In March 2007, Warner Brothers Studio decided to start this project intended to give a new life to the character of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ just as the ‘Batman’ has got recent uplift. The movie is based on the unpublished comic book of Lionel Wigram. The film is intended to emphasize on the largely ignored characteristics in the personality of Holmes.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.

The film is directed by Guy Ritchie, who has a history of directing crime-investigation movies. Joel Silver is the producer while it is co-written by Lional Wigram and Michael Johnson. Robert Downey Jr. is playing the character of Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie says that he initially felt that Downey was too old to play this role, but later he agreed to casting him. Downey wit hhis flawless accent and his focus on martial arts intends to portray the Detective immaculately.

 

Jude Law
Jude Law

Famous actor Jude Law will be playing Dr. Watson while Rachel McAdams plays ‘Irene Adler’. Other cast includes Mark Strong, Kelly Rielly and Eddie Marson. The planned locations of the movie include Freemason’s Hall and Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. The story of the movie involves Holmes and Watson trying to avert a scheme to destroy Britain.

Although, many Holmes movies have been produced in the past, but this movie set to be released to the public in 2009 is expected to revamp the character of Holmes.

‘A Study In Scarlet’ is one of the most popular novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The character of Sherlock Holmes was first featured in this novel. It is one of the four novels written by Conan Doyle that feature Holmes.

First Book Edition Cover (1888)

First Book Edition Cover (1888)

Doyle wrote this novel when he was 27 and it was first published, after much rejection, by Ward Lock and Co. in ‘Beeton’s Christmas Annual’ in 1887.  In 1888, Ward Lock and Co. published it as a novel which also contained illustrations drawn Charles Doyle, father of Conan Doyle. In 1890 an American version of ‘A Study In Scarlet’ was released by J.P. Lippincott Co. Conan Doyle only earned £25 from the publication, although, he did insist for royalty. Shortly after its publication, Doyle wrote ‘The Sign Of Four’ in 1890, another novel featuring Sherlock Holmes.

Initially this novel failed to make any mark and went unnoticed but who knew that in recent times, it was just the begginning of a series of short stories that will attract a huge fan club.

paget_holmes1The novel was initially named as ‘The Tangled Skein’ but was later renamed. Its name ‘A Study In Scarlet’ is derived from the engaging conversation between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in which the former is discussing his investigation methods. Holmes terms the murder investigation as ‘study in scarlet’, in his own words :”There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it”

It is in ‘A Study In Scarlet’ that both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson meet for the first time. Dr. Watson exhausted and injured from war in Afghanistan returns to London, but soon due to limited resources looks to share an apertment with someone. A friend of his, who knows Holmes as well, arranges a meeting between the two to settle things. In their first meeting, Holmes surprises Dr. Watson with his deductive reasoning, when he reveals several facts about Watson’s past life.

The story is divided in two parts, the first part titled ‘Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical Department’  describes events of their meeting and the crime. While the other part titled ‘The Country of the Saints’  takes the reader to the deserts of United States describing events involving the Mormon community that lead to the crime. In the last two chapters, Dr. Watson continues to describe the conclusion of the case as he saw it.

102334-004-3cf939dbSherlock Holmes mainly persued this profession just for the sake of it and not for any monetary rewards. Although, no set amount has been mentioned in any of the stories as his standard fee but he does mentions in ‘The Problem of Thor Bridge’ that his charges are fixed, when his client offers to double the fees.

It is to be remembered that the cause of the first meeting between Homles and Dr. Watson in ‘A Study In Scarlet’ was due to financial problems as both were looking for a room mate to share the rent expenses. But Dr. Watson mentions in ‘The Adventure of the Dying Detective’, that the amount Holmes paid to acquire an apartment in Baker Street, was enough to actually buy it.

Holmes throughout his career serves for many famous and influential personalities and families who alos in return rewarded him, sometimes much more than his standard fee. In ‘The Adventure of the Final Problem’ Holmes mentions that his services to the French government had earned him enough to live a comfortable life.

Dr. Watson states about Holmes in ‘The Adventure of the Black Peter’ that it was Holmes norm to refuse trivial cases from wealthy clients while he often devoted himself to cases in which he had no hopes for any reward. But he does ask his clients to recompense the cost which he had to bear during investigation in ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’, ‘The Red-headed League’ and ‘The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet’.

Despite Holmes aversion for rewards, he rather takes his old friend Dr. Watson by surprise when he ‘rubs his hands in glee’ and pats the cheque from the Duke of Holdernesses ,saying ‘I am a poor man’. But this incident can be taken as Holmes’ habit of creating ironic humor.

Among the many expensive momentos that he received from his many

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

illustrious clients a golden snuff box from the King of Bohemia, a ring from the Dutch Royal family, an emerald tie-pin from Queen Victoria and a gold soverign from Irene Adler stand out.  Holmes also received the Legion of Honor and a letter of thanks from the French premiere for catching a dangerous criminal.

Dr. Joseph Bell

Dr. Joseph Bell

The real man behind the creation of one of the history’s most celebrated fictional character, Sherlock Holmes is Dr.Joseph Bell (1837-1911). He was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. His father Benjamin Bell was also a forensic surgeon.

Dr. bell used to give extraordinary emphasis to careful observation while diagnosing a patient. Often he demonstrated remarkable deductive skills when revealed the occupation and recent activities of a person by merely looking at him.

Sir Arthur Conan doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, met Dr. joseph Bell in 1877 and served under him as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Conan Doyle got extremely impressed by the abilities of Dr. Bell and based Sherlock holmes on him. Doyle himself admitted that he had based the fictional character loosely upon Dr. Bell and the later was also aware of this inspiration.

A View of the graves of Bell Family

A View of the graves of Bell Family

Joseph Bell died on 4 October, 1911 and is buried at Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh with other family members.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is depicted to be a person of unusual, irregular and often unhealthy habits. His biographer and close friend Dr. Watson states in one of the stories that Holmes has irregular habits and often his papers, chemical equipment used to be scattered in the room. He used to place his tobacco in a persian slipper, and was a regular user of cigars, cigarettes and pipes.

Holmes often concealed the truth or bent the truth, in order to protect someone’s honor and dignity. In many stories Holmes carries out illegal actions to meet a god purpose. In ‘The Adventure of Charles Milverton Augustus’, afterlong discussion both the friends agree to break in a house to get important papers.

While working on an important case, Holmes will stop himself from eating and sleeping. Dr. Watson describes Holmes as a late riser but when on an imporatnt case, Dr. Watson often woke up to find that Holmes had left earlier. Holmes showed aversion to the female sex and often he remarked that it was due to lack of trust. In all his life Holmes admired only one lady, Irene Adler in ‘ A Scandal in Bohemia’.

The Scotland Yard often asked Holmes for assistance in certain cases and Holmes often tested their patience when he did not disclose the truth till the last moment. He used to give clues and hints to the officers in particular ‘Inspector Lestrade’, who showed dislike towards Holmes. In ‘The Adventure of The Naval treaty’, holmes remarks in amusement that out of the last 53 cases Scotland Yard had taken all the credit in 49.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

Holmes is mainly  reserved person and his ego is strong which made him seem arrogant. Holmes’ another special trait was his ability to change disguise which also helped him in many cases. Holmes is a strong patriot as well and in a few stories he also served the British Government.

On foggy days in London when no serious cases came to homes, Dr. watson explains that this was the most painful occasion to see Holmes indulging himself in drugs and torturing him self.