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Liceul Teoretic Al. I.





Candidat Petrescu Anca Georgiana Clasa a XII-a D

Profesori coordonatori Pavaloiu Simona Marian Daniela


Contents 1. 3 2. The father of Sherlock 4 3. The character of Sherlock Holmes.......................................... page 6 4. Holmesian deduction............................................................... page 10 5. Influence.................................................................................. page 11 6. Legacy..................................................................................... page 12 7. 16

The ultimate in fame reaches an author and his creation when a character in his fiction is seen by readers as a real person. More than that when this assumption is made without thought or reasoning but taken for granted. The creation is so convincing, his or her character so thoroughly and deeply drawn, their ways and habits, propensities and virtues so established, their appearance so confidently described, that the reader has little doubt that this is a living human being. The first time I ever made contact with this extraordinarily character, was, and I am ashamed to confess, too late. While my parents met him in their childhood, I only let Sherlock in during my teenage years. Thinking twice, I believe that it was better this way, thus I managed to have a more profound perspective over Mr. Holmes personality and motives, despite the fact that he remains a bigger mystery than the ones he gracefully solves. Falling in love with a character strongly suggests a passionate piece of literature alongside countless thrilling stories and life lessons that one may or may not learn from. Despite our late encounter, Sherlock and me became very good friends. I was drawn by the unmistakable British sarcasm and way of perceiving life. As it has come down to the verb to see... Holmes ability of deduction and cunning skills of observation, nonetheless trained my mind to such an extent that I found myself observing objects and people that I was not aware of, until then. Disregarding the fact that I did not open a private eye office, the incursion in Sir Arthur Conan Doyles world can be rightfully compared with taking an ice-cold shower, revealing many secrets that were, until then, hidden in plain view. Even when he is utterly wrong, Holmes is right. This compensation generates from his complementary relationship with Dr. John Watson. For every flaw Holmes has, Watson is there to level the balance, proving once more that in some cases, one searches in a friend what he/she cannot find in oneself, and when that search comes to an end, the resulting bond is astonishing and undoubtedly ,unbreakable, creating the prototype of a perfect and admirable friendship.

2. The father of Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer who is most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. He is also known for writing the fictional adventures of a second character he invented, Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels. Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England but of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. Supported by wealthy uncles, Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst, at the age of nine (1868-1870). He then went on to Stonyhurst College until 1875. From 1875 to 1876, he was educated at the Jesuit school Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria. Despite attending a Jesuit school, he would later reject the Catholic religion and become an agnostic. From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His first published piece, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879. Following his studies at university, Conan Doyle was employed as a doctor on the Greenland whaler Hope of Peterhead, in 1880, and, after his graduation, as a ship's surgeon on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast, in 1881. He completed his doctorate in 1885. Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his work. His first significant piece, A Study in Scarlet, was taken by Ward Lock & Co on 20 November 1886, giving Doyle 25 for all rights to the story. The story featured the first appearance of Watson and Sherlock Holmes, partially modelled after his former university teacher Joseph Bell. A sequel to A Study in Scarlet was commissioned and The Sign of the Four appeared in February 1890, under agreement with the Ward Lock company. Doyle felt grievously exploited by

Ward Lock and he left them. Short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were published in the Strand Magazine. In 1890 Conan Doyle studied ophthalmology in Vienna, and moved to London, first living in Montague Place and then in South Norwood. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: "I think of slaying Holmes... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, "You won't! You can't! You mustn't!" Conan Doyle was married twice and fathered five children. He died of a heart attack at the age of 71, in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where he lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.

3. The character of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective , a London-based "consulting detective" whose abilities border on the fantastic, famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases. Holmes, who first appeared in publication in 1887, was featured in four novels and 56 short stories. The first novel, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in 1887 and the second, The Sign of the Four, in 1890. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with "A Scandal in Bohemia" in 1891; further series of short stories and two novels published in serial form appeared between then and 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1880 up to 1914. Doyle said that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle had worked as a clerk at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing large conclusions from the smallest observations. However, some years later Bell wrote in a letter to Conan Doyle: "you are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it." Sir Henry Littlejohn, lecturer on Forensic Medicine and Public Health at the Royal College of Surgeons, is also cited as a source for Holmes. Littlejohn served as Police Surgeon and Medical Officer of Health of Edinburgh, providing for Doyle a link between medical investigation and the detection of crime.

Sherlocks life
Explicit details about Sherlock Holmes's life outside of the adventures recorded by Dr. Watson are few and far between in Conan Doyle's original stories; nevertheless, incidental details about his early life and extended families portray a loose biographical picture of the detective.

An estimate of Holmes's age in the story "His Last Bow" places his birth in 1854; the story is set in August 1914 and he is described as being 60 years of age. Leslie Klinger cites the birth date as 6 January. Holmes states that he first developed his methods of deduction while an undergraduate. His earliest cases, which he pursued as an amateur, came from fellow university students. According to Holmes, it was an encounter with the father of one of his classmates that led him to take up detection as a profession, and he spent the six years following university working as a consulting detective, before financial difficulties led him to take Watson as a roommate, at which point the narrative of the stories begins. From 1881, Holmes was described as having lodgings at 221B, Baker Street, London, from where he runs his consulting detective service. Until the arrival of Dr. Watson, Holmes worked alone, only occasionally employing agents from the city's underclass, including a host of informants and a group of street children he calls "the Baker Street Irregulars". Little is said of Holmes's family. His parents were unmentioned in the stories and he merely states that his ancestors were "country squires". In "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", Holmes claims that his great-uncle was Vernet, the French artist. His brother, Mycroft, seven years his senior, is a government official who appears in three stories and is mentioned in one other story. Mycroft is described as even more gifted than Sherlock in matters of observation and deduction, but he lacks Sherlock's drive and energy, preferring to spend his time at ease in the Diogenes Club, described as "a club for the most un-clubbable men in London"

Life with Dr. Watson

Holmes shares the majority of his professional years with his close friend and chronicler Dr. Watson, who lives with Holmes for some time before his marriage in 1887, and again after his wife's death. Their residence is maintained by the landlady, Mrs. Hudson. Watson has two roles in Holmes's life. First, he gives practical assistance in the conduct of his cases; he is the detective's right7

hand man, acting variously as look-out, decoy, accomplice and messenger. Second, he is Holmes's chronicler (his "Boswell" as Holmes refers to him). Most of the Holmes stories are frame narratives, written from Watson's point of view as summaries of the detective's most interesting cases. Nevertheless, Holmes's friendship with Watson is his most significant relationship. In several stories, Holmes's fondness for Watsonoften hidden beneath his cold, intellectual exterioris revealed.


In "His Last Bow", Holmes has retired to a small farm on the Sussex Downs. The story features Holmes and Watson coming out of retirement one last time to aid the war effort. Only one other adventure, "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", which is narrated by Holmes, takes place during the detective's retirement. The details of his death are not known.

Habits and personality

Watson describes Holmes as "bohemian" in habits and lifestyle. According to Watson, Holmes is an eccentric, with no regard for contemporary standards of tidiness or good order. In The Musgrave Ritual, Watson describes Holmes thus: Although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind ... [he] keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece ... He had a horror of destroying documents.... Thus month after month his papers accumulated, until every corner of the room was stacked with bundles of manuscript which were on no account to be burned, and which could not be put away save by their owner.His chronicler does not consider Holmes's habitual use of a pipe, or his less frequent use of cigarettes and cigars, a vice. Even so, it is obvious that Watson has stricter limits than Holmes, and occasionally berated Holmes for creating a "poisonous atmosphere" of tobacco smoke. Holmes is portrayed as a patriot acting on behalf of the government in matters of national security in a number of stories. He also carries out counter-intelligence work in His Last Bow, set at the beginning of World War I. As shooting practice, the detective adorned the wall of his Baker Street lodgings with "VR" ( Victoria Regina) in bullet pocks made by his pistol. 8

Holmes has an ego that at times borders on arrogant, albeit with justification; he draws pleasure from baffling police inspectors with his superior deductions. He does not seek fame, however, and is usually content to allow the police to take public credit for his work. Heis pleased when he is recognised for having superior skills and responds to flattery, as Watson remarks, as a girl does to comments upon her beauty. Holmes's demeanour is presented as dispassionate and cold. Yet when in the midst of an adventure, Holmes can sparkle with remarkable passion. He has a flair for showmanship and will prepare elaborate traps to capture and expose a culprit, often to impress Watson or one of the Scotland Yard inspectors. He is a loner and does not strive to make friends, although he values those that he has, and none higher than Watson. He attributes his solitary ways to his particular interests and his mopey disposition.

Knowledge and skills

In the first story, A Study in Scarlet, something of Holmes's background is given. In early 1881, he is presented as an independent student of chemistry with a variety of very curious side interests, almost all of which turn out to be single-mindedly bent towards making him superior at solving crimes. (When he appears for the first time, he is crowing with delight at having invented a new method for detecting bloodstains; in other stories he indulges in recreational home-chemistry experiments, sometimes filling the rooms with foul-smelling vapours). In A Study in Scarlet, Holmes claims he does not know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, as such information is irrelevant to his work. Directly after having heard that fact from Watson, he says he will immediately try to forget it. He says he believes that the mind has a finite capacity for information storage, and so learning useless things would merely reduce his ability to learn useful things. Dr. Watson subsequently assesses Holmes' abilities thus: knowledge of Literature, Astronomy, Botany, Geology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Sensational Literature, plays the violin well, is an expert singlestick player, boxer and swordsman, has a good practical knowledge of British law. At the very end of A Study in Scarlet itself, it is shown that Holmes knows Latin and needs no translation of Roman epigrams in the originalthough knowledge of the language would be of dubious direct utility for detective work, all university students were required to learn Latin at that time.

Holmes is also a competent cryptanalyst. He relates to Watson, "I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writing, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyse one hundred and sixty separate ciphers". Holmes's analysis of physical evidence is both scientific and precise. His methods include the use of latent prints such as footprints, hoof prints and bicycle tracks to identify actions at a crime scene (A Study in Scarlet, "The Adventure of Silver Blaze"), the use of tobacco ashes and cigarette butts to identify criminals, the comparison of typewritten letters to expose a fraud, the use of gunpowder residue to expose two murderers, bullet comparison from two crime scenes ("The Adventure of the Empty House"), analysis of small pieces of human remains to expose two murders and even an early use of fingerprints ("The Norwood Builder"). Holmes also demonstrates knowledge of psychology in several occasions. Despite the excitement of his life (or perhaps seeking to leave it behind), Holmes retired to the Sussex Downs to take up beekeeping. His search for relaxation can also be seen in his love for music, particularly Wagner ("The Adventure of the Red Circle").

4. Holmesian deduction
Holmes's primary intellectual detection method is abductive reasoning. "From a drop of water", he writes, "a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other". Holmes stories often begin with a bravura display of his talent for "deduction". It is of some interest to logicians and those interested in logic to try to analyse just what Holmes is doing when he performs his "deductions". "Holmesian deduction" appears to consist primarily of drawing inferences based on either straightforward practical principleswhich are the result of careful observation, such as Holmes's study of different kinds of cigar ashesor inference to the best explanation. One quote often heard from Holmes is "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". Deductive reasoning allows Holmes to impressively reveal a stranger's occupation, such as a Retired Sergeant of Marines in A Study in Scarlet; a former ship's carpenter turned pawnbroker in "The Red-Headed League"; and a billiard-marker and a retired artillery NCO in "The Adventure of


the Greek Interpreter". Similarly, by studying inanimate objects, Holmes can make astonishingly detailed deductions about their owners.

5. Influence

Sherlock Holmes remains a great inspiration for forensic science in literature, especially for the way his acute study of a crime scene yields small clues as to the precise sequence of events. He makes great use of trace evidence such as shoe and tire impressions, as well as fingerprints, ballistics and handwriting analysis, now known as questioned document examination. Such evidence is used to test theories conceived by the police, for example, or by the investigator himself. All of the techniques advocated by Holmes later became reality, but were generally in their infancy at the time Conan Doyle was writing. In many of his reported cases, Holmes frequently complains of the way the crime scene has been contaminated by others, especially by the police, emphasising the critical importance of maintaining its integrity, a now well-known feature of crime scene examination. Owing to the small scale of the trace evidence (such as tobacco ash, hair or fingerprints), he often uses a magnifying glass at the scene, and an optical microscope back at his lodgings in Baker Street. He uses analytical chemistry for blood residue analysis as well as toxicology examination and determination for poisons. Holmes seems to have maintained a small chemistry laboratory in his lodgings, presumably using simple wet chemical methods for detection of specific toxins, for example The Adventure of the Naval Treaty. Ballistics is used when spent bullets can be recovered, and their calibre measured and matched with a suspected murder weapon, as in The Adventure of the Empty House. Holmes was also very perceptive of the dress and attitude of his clients and suspects, noting style and state of wear of their clothes, any contamination (such as clay on boots), their state of mind and physical condition in order to infer their origin and recent history. Skin marks such as tattoos could reveal much about their history. He applied the same method to personal items such as walking sticks (famously in The Hound of the Baskervilles) or hats (in the case of The Blue Carbuncle), with small details such as medallions, wear and contamination yielding vital indicators of their absent owners. 11

In 2002, the Royal Society of Chemistry bestowed an honorary fellowship of their organisation upon Sherlock Holmes, for his use of forensic science and analytical chemistry in popular literature, making him the only (as of 2010) fictional character to be thus honoured.


Although Sherlock Holmes is not the original fictional detective (he was influenced by Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin and mile Gaboriau's Monsieur Lecoq, for both of whom the character openly expressed disdain or contempt), his name has become a byword for the part. His stories also include several detective story characters, such as the loyal but less intelligent assistant, a role for which Dr Watson has become the archetype. The investigating detective became a popular genre with many authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers after the demise of Holmes, with characters such as Hercule Poirot and Lord Peter Wimsey. Forensic methods became less important than the psychology of the criminal, despite the strong growth in forensics in use by the police in the early 20th century.

6. Legacy

"Elementary, my dear Watson"

A third major reference is the oft-quoted catchphrase: "Elementary, my dear Watson", which is never actually uttered by Holmes in any of the sixty Holmes stories written by Conan Doyle. In the stories, Holmes often remarks that his logical conclusions are "elementary", in that he considers them to be simple and obvious. He also, on occasion, refers to Dr. Watson as "my dear Watson". The two fragments, however, never appear together. One of the closest examples to this phrase appears in "The Adventure of the Crooked Man", when Holmes explains a deduction: "'Excellent!' I cried. 'Elementary,' said he."


"Great Hiatus"

Holmes and Moriarty fighting over the Reichenbach Falls, by Sidney Paget.

Holmes aficionados refer to the period from 1891 to 1894the time between Holmes's disappearance and presumed death in "The Final Problem" and his reappearance in "The Adventure of the Empty House"as the "Great Hiatus". It is notable, though, that one later story ("The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge") is described as taking place in 1892. Conan Doyle wrote the first set of stories over the course of a decade. Wanting to devote more time to his historical novels, he killed off Holmes in "The Final Problem", which appeared in print in 1893. After resisting public pressure for eight years, the author wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles, which appeared in 1901, implicitly setting it before Holmes's "death" (some theorise that it actually took place after "The Return" but with Watson planting clues to an earlier date).

In 1934, the Sherlock Holmes Society, in London, and the Baker Street Irregulars, in New York were founded. Both are still active (though the Sherlock Holmes Society was dissolved in 1937 to be resuscitated only in 1951). The London-based society is one of many worldwide who arrange visits to the scenes of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, such as the Reichenbach Falls in the Swiss Alps. The two initial societies founded in 1934 were followed by many more Holmesians circles, first of all in America (where they are called "scion societies"offshootsof the Baker Street Irregulars), then in England and Denmark. Nowadays, there are Sherlockian societies in many countries, such as Australia, India and Japan.



During the 1951 Festival of Britain, Sherlock Holmes's sitting-room was reconstructed as the masterpiece of a Sherlock Holmes Exhibition, displaying a unique collection of original material. After the 1951 exhibition closed, items were transferred to the Sherlock Holmes Pub, in London, and to the Conan Doyle Collection in Lucens (Switzerland). Both exhibitions, each including its own Baker Street Sitting-Room reconstruction, are still open to the public. In 1990, the Sherlock Holmes Museum opened in Baker Street London and the following year in Meiringen, Switzerland another museum opened; naturally, they include less historical material about Conan Doyle than about Sherlock Holmes himself. The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street, London was the first Museum in the world to be dedicated to a fictional character. A private collection of Conan Doyle is also housed in the Portsmouth City Museum which has a permanent exhibit, due to his importance in the city where he lived and worked for many years.

Original stories
The original Sherlock Holmes stories consist of fifty-six short stories and four novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


A Study in Scarlet (published 1887, in Beeton's Christmas Annual) The Sign of the Four (published 1890, Lippincott's Monthly Magazine) The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialised 19011902 in The Strand) The Valley of Fear (serialised 19141915 in The Strand)

Short stories

The short stories, originally published in periodicals, were later gathered into five anthologies:


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 18911892 in The Strand) The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 18921893 in The Strand as further episodes of the Adventures) The Return of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 19031904 in The Strand) The Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes (including His Last Bow) (contains stories published 19081913 and 1917) The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 19211927)


7. Bibliography
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Lycett, Andrew (2007). The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Free Press. Barring-Gould, William S. The Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. Doyle, A. Conan (1961). The Boys' Sherlock Holmes, New & Enlarged Edition. Harper & Row. Klinger, Leslie (2005). The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. New York: W.W. Norton. Doyle, Arthur Conan (1893). The Original illustrated 'Strand' Sherlock Holmes(1989 ed.). Ware, England: Wordsworth. pp. . Internet Broadway Data Base Baker Street.