6 Elementary Facts About Sherlock Holmes

November 24, 2015

Some say that Batman is the world’s greatest detective but this Victorian star of stage and screen (and plenty of books too) gives the Dark Knight a run for his money.

Sherlock Holmes Facts

  • Holmes was created by English author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who once studied to become an eye doctor. While in medical school at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle served as a clerk for a lecturer named Joseph Bell who also worked as doctor. Bell was so well experienced that he could almost always figure out what was wrong with his patients within a few moments based on their clothing, stance, other observable traits. On a few occasions, Bell also lent his expertise to police investigations. Doyle based several of Holmes’ amazing deductive abilities on Bell’s when he created the character in the 1880s.
  • A Study in Scarlet from Beetons Christmas Annual 1887The first Sherlock story, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in a holiday publication called Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. It didn’t receive much attention and nowadays there’s only 11 known copies in good condition that still exist. One sold for $157,000 at an auction in 2007.
  • Sherlock never said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in any of Doyle’s stories. He does, however, say “exactly, my dear Watson” in four of them.
  • Numerous actors have portrayed the detective in stage plays, TV shows and movies over the years. The first film, titled Sherlock Holmes Baffled, was released in 1900. It’s about a minute long and features Holmes grappling with a thief who has magical powers.

  • In 1893, Doyle wanted to turn his attention to writing historical books and killed off Sherlock Holmes in The Final Problem in 1893. It concludes with Sherlock falling off a cliff beside Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. The public was outraged and hounded the author to bring him back. He finally relented in 1901 with The Hound of the Baskervilles.
  • The total number of Sherlock adventures penned by Doyle: 56 short stories and four novels.

Interested in purchasing Sherlock Holmes? Check out these beautiful editions by our sister imprint, Canterbury Classics.

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