About the Author
Sherlock Holmes was by all accounts born on 6th January 1854, and for more than
a century his name has been known in every country of the world; and not only
his name, but his appearance too. The hawk-like features and piercing eyes; the
dressing-gown and pipe; the deerstalker cap and magnifying glass - these
details are so familiar that if he were to appear amongst us today we should
know him at once.
He is still however an enigmatic figure, as wrapped in mystery as the crimes he
tried to solve, and as in most legends, it is often difficult to separate fact
According to the published stories which first appeared in the Strand Magazine
in 1891 and which have since been translated into every language, he practised
as a consulting detective between 1881-1904, while living at 221b Baker Street
with his friend and colleague Doctor John H. Watson.
He therefore lived and worked in that nostalgic gas-lit London of the late 19th
century to which in our imagination we would all like to return.
Sherlock Holmes was "the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the
world has seen", but he was not without feelings, because he appreciated the
opera and classical music. He was however reserved towards women, because he
felt their influence a distraction to his work, so he would not allow himself
(as Watson did) to become swayed by their romantic allure.
Nevertheless, Holmes took an interest in a Miss Irene Adler, whom he always
referred to as 'the woman'. She was born in New Jersey in 1858 and outwitted
him in the case of A Scandal in Bohemia.
Dr Watson considered Holmes to be "the worst tenant in London', who 'keeps his
cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe-end of a Persian slipper,
and his letters transfixed by a jack-knife to the centre of the wooden
mantelpiece". Strange visitors, chemical experiments and late-night violin
playing also tried the patience of their landlady Mrs Hudson.
He was however the great detective's loyal companion and Holmes was aware of
his value - he said to him on one occasion: "it may be that you are not
yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light".
What are the attributes which combine to make a person a world-famous legend?
His achievements must surely be unforgettable and remarkable. He must be a
brilliant and credible character whom people can believe in. He must be ageless
in so far as dates of birth and death become irrelevant. He must enjoy
[Taken from http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/]
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