68

No. They cared deeply about each other as friends, but there was never anything romantic in it. Holmes was asexual. He wasn't just uninterested in women, he was uninterested in romance. All emotions, and [love] particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing ...


36

He simply got tired of writing about Holmes, and he wanted to focus on his other writing. I'm going to quote from a book called The Best of Sherlock Holmes, by Wordsworth Classics: However, even before the ink was dry on the manuscript of 'The Copper Beeches' its author had wearied of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, by the end of 1891 he had written to his ...


28

The phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson" with the same arrangement of the words, has never been expressed even once in any Sherlock Holmes story. The closest you can get, however, seems to be in the story titled "The Adventure of the Crooked Man": “I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Watson,” said he. “When your round is a short one you ...


27

The single strongest piece of evidence is surely this, from A Naval Treaty: "Thank you. I have no doubt I can get details from Forbes. The authorities are excellent at amassing facts, though they do not always use them to advantage. What a lovely thing a rose is!" [Holmes] walked past the couch to the open window, and held up the drooping stalk of a ...


25

TL;DR: a close reading of "The Final Problem" says YES, but a broader analysis would tend to reject this evidence and possibly to say NO instead. Holmes certainly considered Moriarty to be the most formidable criminal he ever encountered. From the very first time we see him speak of Moriarty, it is always in tones of awe: "Aye, there's the genius and ...


20

All the unreputable Internet sources indicate that the numbering on Baker Street in Doyle's lifetime was only up to 100. Apparently Doyle initially called the street "Upper Baker Street". One theory is that Doyle chose 221B - a non-existing address - to avoid some poor fella living there from receiving piles of mail an unwanted clients - which is the ...


20

TL;DR: Begin your Holmesian adventure with short stories from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Continue with the early novels before moving on to the later short stories. End with The Valley of Fear and then The Hound of the Baskervilles, to see Holmes (and Doyle) at his finest. The order is, for the most part, ...


16

Snopes says: Nope. Specifically: In some sense it seems a bit odd to claim that a fictional character never uttered a specific phrase, since fictional characters aren't real and therefore can't "say" anything (or, conversely, they can be made to say whatever words someone wants to put in their mouths). In this case, when we refer to the words "...


15

1. Professor Moriarty I'd like to go into Moriarty in more detail, because Worth was not the only inspiration for Moriarty. Doyle did not simply draw on Worth for inspiration. Masters of Crime states that Doyle himself only acknowledged being inspired by one criminal: Jonathan Wild, a 17th and 18th century master of the criminal underworld. In The Valley ...


13

I haven't been able to find any primary source material from Doyle on the matter, and after a decent amount of reading, it doesn't seem like anyone else has, either. However, that doesn't mean I can't give it a good shot, because we've certainly got some material to go on, especially if we consider the stories in the context of all of Doyle's stories about ...


11

It should be noted that the Sherlock Holmes stories (with exception to "His Last Bow", "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone", "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", and "The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier") are entirely narrated by Dr. Watson, who could be unaware of his friend's feelings towards him if this is an unrequited love Holmes has for Watson. ...


11

Searching for Doyle's works banned in USSR in 1929 yields nothing about The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, save for this question and one comment on LiveJournal. However, searching the Russian Wikipedia article for censorship in USSR, I found an entry about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Maracot Deep. The novel was published in USSR in 7 chapters (while it ...


10

From spending a little time teaching and studying parts of the Sherlock Holmes canon, I conjecture that there is a two-fold purpose at work here: Doyle is beginning to establish an expansive universe in which he can situate his Sherlock Holmes stories. Doyle is enticing readers to buy future issues of The Strand Magazine in which he will continue the ...


10

Doyle makes Holmes notoriously good at analyzing footprints to determine the gender, age, and in some cases, the motivation for the exact path taken by the possible culprit. Footprints have been used in a similar way in real forensive investigations as far back as the nineteenth century. The second method I can think of that Holmes makes extensive use of is ...


10

One possible case of character development is in "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" when Holmes, for the first and only time in all the canon, is shown to care for his fellow man. This may be more revealing the character that's always been hidden beneath, rather than a change in character, but from an out-of-universe point of view at least, I think it ...


8

HDE's great answer is much more detailed than mine and has more reasoning for each of his reading order choices, but with that in mind, I thought I'd chime in. I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and I'd say to have a full appreciation for the literary masterpiece Doyle created, an absolute beginner to the series should start with The Adventures ...


8

It seems that Holmes's assessment of Milverton as "the worst man in London" was due less to long experience of the man than to the extreme revulsion he felt about him. It didn't take an exceptionally long study of Milverton and his methods for Holmes to get the gist of the man, and to realise that he was essentially worse, in his effects on others, than ...


8

This is the final list I've made, after sifting through The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow, The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes, and the four novels in some detail. This comprises the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes canon. It's possible I've missed something - there's quite a lot to go ...


7

Conan Doyle is giving the reader a clue as to Holmes' character. Educated readers at the time of publication would have picked up on these clues. At that time, Baker Street was an upmarket residential part of London. To the western side - so not industrial, north of the river - so more fashionable, centrally placed near to major roads and railway stations ...


7

There wasn't much development. Most of the stories are short stories, and they rely upon the relationships established for the series - Holmes as the genius, Watson as the storyteller and the person to whom Holmes explains. And occasionally Lestrade as the failing regular police, to show why Holmes is needed in the setting. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did try to ...


6

In Chapter I, we have a rough indication of the year, when Inspector MacDonald arrives (p. 4): Those were the early days at the end of the ’80’s, when Alec MacDonald was far from having attained the national fame which he has now achieved. For comparison, this falls around the time of one of Doyle's earliest works, The Sign of the Four, set in 1888. Now, ...


6

I took a look in Leslie S. Klinger's The new annotated Sherlock Holmes. This does indeed appear to be a problem that has puzzled commentators. Three suggestions are mentioned: Clay was trying to economize (suggested by Thomas L. Stix). Clay was trying to establish how superior he was to Wilson by letting him go. (suggested by Greg Darak, in "But why ...


6

Don't interpret "the tropics" with such scientific precision. You originally posted this question on the Earth Sciences site, and you seem to have been thinking of this quote with a literal (I'd even say pedantic, noting that I consider this a compliment) interpretation of the word "tropics". But in everyday English, the word isn't always used so precisely -...


5

Rand al'Thor's answer is excellent. It shows that we repeatedly see Holmes referring to Moriarty with grand language, supposedly placing him on a pedestal above all other criminals. At the same time, if we look at the backstory behind Doyle's writing of The Adventure of The Final Problem, we see cracks in the idea that Moriarty is really Holmes' arch-nemesis....


5

Let us first remember how a Sherlock Holmes story is often constructed: a client appears, talks to Sherlock, and he then moves into action and begins gathering clues. At some point, Sherlock forms a theory about the case, while everything still seems very mysterious to Watson and the reader. Perhaps Sherlock himself starts to act in a strange way. After some ...


5

Watson/Doyle does this a lot. The whole Sherlock Holmes canon is peppered both with these casual references to other cases - adventures which happened "off-stage", so to speak. More examples: I had seen little of Holmes lately. [...] From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of ...


4

He is possibly (most likely) Catholic. Let's look at some extracts: The Gloria Scott - dog bit his ankle 'as I went down to chapel' - chapel typically a catholic word in English The Crooked Man - shows knowledge of bible when he identifies the epithet David - might just know the bible but could indicate Catholicism The Boscombe Valley Mystery - tells ...


4

Let's clarify: Holmes was taking a 7% solution of cocaine, which is a stimulant. Watson is saying that Holmes would never take a narcotic, which is a depressant. At the time, cocaine was not considered any harder of a drug than alcohol; it wasn't the deadly drug we see it as now. Coca-Cola actually had the coca leaf in it originally. If you recast the first ...


4

Chenmunka's answer to this question about why Doyle chose Baker St. claims All the streets and districts of London mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories existed at the time. Many of the London street names mentioned in the Holmes stories are indeed real. But some are not. Below, I list some that seem to be fictional. Admittedly, some references to ...


3

In my own multiple (and recent) readings of the complete novels and stories of Sherlock Holmes, I see Holmes noted for a direct, rather dry style of verbal delivery. Watson, the narrator in this passage, has a more romantic cast on his interpretation of events, but also tends to stick to the facts, as he sees them. I can't rule out the possibility of "...


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