The legend of Sherlock Holmes who surpassed his creator Conan Doyle
If you love reading detective stories then Sherlock Holmes is surely not unknown to you. Conan Doyle's creation Sherlock Holmes is extremely popular throughout the world.
His stories have been immensely loved by readers of almost all countries. After more than 100 years of his creation in 1887 Sherlock's popularity is undisputed even today.
The creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took birth in Edinburgh, United Kingdom in 1859. While a student of medical science in 1876 he met with one Dr. Josef Bell in Edinburgh University.
Dr. Bell was an expert surgeon with an amazing capacity of diagnosis.
Not only this, Dr. Bell could even guess the lifestyle and profession of his patients by observing very little things.
Dr. Bell's scientific reasoning, observation and way of analysis inspired Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes.
Surprisingly, this fictional character of Sherlock Holmes has gone beyond the line of mortality and has become a legend over many decades.
A mere character of literature has exceeded the literature itself and has become a reality. Under the tremendous popularity of Sherlock Holmes, his creator himself has gone behind the screen.
This kind of example can rarely be found in any kind of literature.
You will be amazed to learn that many researches have been made on Sherlock Holmes and his associate Dr. Watson as if they were men of flesh and blood.
Holmes is so incredibly lively that even today many letters are sent to his fictional home address 221 B Baker Street, London.
There are many countries where readers have formed Sherlockian Societies. These societies have kept this super intellectual character alive till date.
The legend like stories of Sherlock Holmes were not only interpretted in different languages but also have been portrayed in dramas, films and television shows.
Till now more than 250 films, telefilms etc. have been made on Sherlock Holmes.
The scientific analysis methodology shown by Conan Doyle are followed by renowned detective agencies of Asia, Europe and even United States of America.
Holmes has brought a remarkable change in the process of police investigation in the entire world. His stories are mandatorily read in the detective trainings in countries like China.
Full name of Holmes as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is William Sherlock Scott Holmes. It's just a fictional character, but created with such unmatched artistic expertise that the character has become more popular than the creator.
Dr. Josef Bell once wrote to Doyle, "You are yourself Sherlock Holmes".
And it's true, closer scrutiny of Sherlock's personality reveals the existence of Conan Doyle in every aspects.
There are similarities in the character and lifestyle of both Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Conan Doyle and Holmes both loved to work in solitary
- Both of them loved old dressing gown
- Holmes was a chemical expert and Conan Doyle too
- We can not imagine Sherlock without a tobacco pipe in his mouth, interestingly Conan Doyle too was fond of tobacco pipe
- Both of them used to preserve every piece of related news and documents with care for future reference
- Both of them were inattentive in respect of their personal needs and goods.
- They always had a magnifying glass on their study table along with a pistol in the drawer
- Even their home address was same and the banker too
- Both Conan Doyle and Sherlock were trained boxer, both acquired the title of Knight in the year 1902
Though there were a lot of characteristic similarities between them, they differed vastly in appearance.
Sherlock was slim, tall and had a sharp face with long hair whereas Doyle was kind of tall and heavy with a round face. Another major difference was moustache, Doyle had it whereas Sherlock didn't.
If we ignore the dissimilarities of their appearances, then they become actually inseparable.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was multi talented, he had immense knowledge in many things. He could have become almost anything he wished to. It's his love towards literature and artistic mind which brought him to create those immortal creations.
Doyle was a learned Doctor but he didn't pursue that way otherwise he could have become a successful doctor.
World-class sportsman, motor racer, Scotland Yard detective, war expert or politician, Doyle was quite capable to become any of these with his enormous talent.
But, how the character of Sherlock Holmes could have come into his mind.
As I already said Doyle came to Edinburgh University as a medical student in the year 1876. And there he met with Dr. Josef Bell.
Now, this meeting is memorable because afterwards the character of Sherlock Holmes was shaped in the style of Dr. Bell.
Dr. Bell had an extraordinary capacity to diagnose diseases with precision. He was also a keen observer, from very little details he was able to deduce perfect information.
Doyle was favourite amongst the students of Dr. Bell. He liked Doyle so much that as per his wish Doyle was appointed as his outdoor patient's assistant.
This opportunity for Doyle can be called as the introducer of Sherlock Holmes. Keeping history records of patients somewhat taught him to look into the psychology of different people.
Doyle was highly attracted towards the logical analysis and deduction process of Dr. Josef Bell. We can see these traits in the hero of Doyle's crime stories in a more detailed, advanced and sophisticated manner.
But even Doyle was a favourite of Dr. Bell he was under financial crisis. He didn't quite really wanted to be an author but only out of humour he had written a few stories by this time.
And unfortunately all of his stories were returned by the Editors and the publishers. Only one of his story "My story of Sasassa Valley" was published in Chambers Journal.
He was undergoing through complete uncertainty in desperate need of a livelihood.
In the year 1981 Doyle earned his medical degree and became a certified doctor.
He could not really establish himself as a professional doctor, his nameplate failed to attract patients.
But, Conan Doyle was mentally very strong, he didn't lose hope in such an adverse situation. So, instead of repelling flies with his stethoscope Doyle then sat with his pen. He began to write stories in London Society Magazine.
Having published one of his story in "The Cornhill Magazine" his financial condition started to change. In the same year he married with a beautiful girl Miss Luis Hawkins in the month of April.
After a few days of marriage, one day Doyle was aimlessly drawing on a piece of paper and from nowhere he came up with a rough silhouette of a crime investigator.
This was Sherlock Holmes in a state of embryo. Initially he was named as Sherinford Holmes which later on permanently changed to Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle.
Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in the style of Dr. Josef Bell.
Dr. Watson the famous assistant of Sherlock Holmes was also fictional but his character originated from two real world person.
Both of the two persons were Doyle's friend, one being Dr. James Watson from South Sea and another Major Wood. Dr. Watson inherited his looks from that of Major Wood.
Right after this the journey of Sherlock Holmes began. For the first time before the readers, Sherlock Holmes appeared in the year 1887 in a novel "A Tangled Skein".
During his first appearance in 1887, Holmes was shown as 33 years old, so it's easy to deduce that his birth year was 1854.
Doyle kind of not satisfied with the title of the novel "A Tangled Skein" and hence he renamed it with "A Study in Scarlet".
This is the novel which I read after 113 years of it's first publication. And believe me it felt so fresh, so new, you must read it from start to finish.
And this was the entry of Sherlock Holmes and the beginning of a new era in the history of crime stories.
More details and analysis of Sherlock's character will be covered in part two of this article. Till then you can subscribe this web site by email to receive future articles in your mail box.
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