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.
- 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.
- The 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.