Biography of Famous Fictional Characters Sherlock Holmes Part 1

About the biography of famous fictional character Sherlock Holmes, history and information of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creation.

SHERLOCK HOLMES (b. 1853?-d. )

Not much is known of the early life of Sherlock Holmes, genius of detection, who, in his deerstalker cap and inverness coat, solved criminal cases that even Scotland Yard could not crack. Through clues in books published by his "Boswell," Dr. John H. Watson, most biographers have come to the conclusion that he was probably born in 1853. Though Holmes was related to the Vernets, Parisian artists, his ancestors were mostly country squires. He had a brother Mycroft, 7 years older than he, who, behind the scenes, ran the British Government.

Probably in 1871, Holmes went to a university (whether Cambridge or Oxford is not known). He was a loner, choosing to spend his time in solitary analytical thought, forming the theoretical bases of his extraordinary methods of detection. During this time, an incident in which a bull terrier bit him on the ankle brought about a friendship with a certain Victor Trevor, which in turn hurled Holmes into his 1st case, "The Gloria Scott," involving the decoding of a mysterious message about flypapers and hen pheasants. His success in this case suggested to him that he might devote his life to the detection and prevention of crime.

It was in 1881 that Holmes met Watson, then recuperating from a war wound. Holmes's description of Watson reveals his tremendous powers of observation: "Here is a gentleman of a medical type but with the air of a military man. Clearly an army doctor, then. He has just come from the tropics, and his face is dark, and that is not the natural tint of his skin, for his wrists are fair. He has undergone hardship and sickness, as his haggard face says clearly. His left arm has been injured. He holds it in a stiff and unnatural manner. Where in the tropics could an English army doctor have seen such hardship and got his arm wounded? Clearly in Afghanistan."

By the time he met Watson, Holmes was already in the detective business. The 2 almost immediately saw the possibilities in a relationship between them and soon set up housekeeping at 221B Baker Street.

They made a truly odd couple. Watson objected to Holmes's strange habits: keeping his cigars in a coal scuttle and his tobacco in a Persian slipper, impaling his correspondence to the mantelpiece with a jackknife, and, most serious, sniffing cocaine (3 doses a day by 1887), a habit which Watson probably weaned him from eventually.

Though Watson did set up a medical practice from time to time, he found his true vocation as general factotum and chronicler of Holmes's career in detection.

A Study in Scarlet was the 1st book Watson published. Holmes didn't think much of it, telling his friend, "Honestly, I cannot congratulate you on it. Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love story or elopement into the 5th proposition of Euclid." In spite of this bucket of cold water, Watson continued to write stories, some 60 of them, about Holmes's cases, each as "romantic" as the 1st. The cases involved a number of strange items and happenings: the worm unknown to science, the giant Sumatran rat that haunted the good ship Matilda, the Sussex vampire, the opal tiara, the singular affair of the aluminum crutch, the blue carbuncle, the speckled band, the redheaded league.

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