Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's celebrated Sherlock Holme's characters have captured the minds of countless admirers – young and old – over the years.
A fictional private detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning. His powers of deduction border on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard.
Holmes has lived a life beyond the printed page. Recent adaptations, brought to life on the silver screen, include:
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's portrayal in 'Sherlock'
Conan Doyle's writings live on from generation to generation. As Scott Monty – a member of the Sherlock Holmes Enthusiast Group 'Baker Street Irregulars' – puts it:
Every generation or so, some kind of cycle happens, some big book or movie begins to start the process and then others seem to follow up.
This little web site is a homage to the Sherlock Holmes' story and was created as a piece of coursework for the 'Narrative and Storytelling' module at Belfast School of Art.
Standing on the shoulders of giants we are indebted to Ethan Marcotte who kindly granted us his permission to develop his original Victor's & Villains website, designed to illustrate his seminal article outlining his thoughts on Responsive Web Design.
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Known as a 'consulting detective' in the stories, Holmes is known for a proficiency with observation, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard. Amongst other foibles, Holmes had a penchant for papier maché.
First appearing in print in 1887 in 'A Study in Scarlet', the character's popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with 'A Scandal in Bohemia' in 1891. Additional tales appeared from then until 1927, eventually totalling four novels and 56 short stories.
All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian periods, taking place between about 1880 to 1914. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes's friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, London, where many of the stories begin.
Dr John H. Watson is a medical doctor, formerly in the British Army. He was married to Mary Watson and is arguably the only friend and confidant of Sherlock Holmes.
In the debut Holmes story 'A Study in Scarlet', Watson, as the narrator, describes meeting Holmes, their subsequent sharing of rooms at 221B Baker Street, his attempts to discover the profession of his taciturn companion, Holmes's eventual taking of Watson into his confidence, and the events surrounding their first case together. Watson describes Holmes and his methods in too romantic and sentimental a manner for Holmes' taste. In time, they become close friends.
In 'The Sign of Four', John Watson met Mary Morstan, who became his wife. Mary seemed somewhat less sure of her husband, however, absentmindedly calling him 'James' in the short story 'The Man With the Twisted Lip'.
This may be a simple typographical error, though some have speculated that it is a wifely reference to Watson's unknown middle name, which could have been 'Hamish' (Scottish for 'James'). Dorothy Sayers, creator of the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, who also wrote several essays on Holmesian speculation, later publishing this theory in 'Unpopular Opinions'.
Professor James Moriarty, the arch-enemy of Sherlock Holmes, is a mathematics professor turned the world's only 'consulting criminal'. His genius is equal to, if not perhaps greater than, Holmes himself.
Moriarty is a machiavellian criminal mastermind whom Holmes describes as the 'Napoleon of crime'. Conan Doyle borrowed this phrase from a Scotland Yard inspector who was referring to Adam Worth, a real-life criminal mastermind, who is one of the individuals upon whom the character of Moriarty was based.
The character was introduced primarily as a narrative device to enable Conan Doyle to kill Sherlock Holmes, and only featured in two of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Moriarty is a genius, a philosopher and an abstract thinker, with a brain of the first order. As Holmes puts it: "He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them".
Despite only appearing in two stories, Moriarty has been proven to be the most dangerous of all criminals that Holmes encounters. In the short story 'The Adventure of the Final Problem', during a fight with Holmes above the Reichenbach Falls, Moriarty falls to his death.
Irene Adler, professionally known as 'The Woman', is a brilliant dominatrix who has an apparently romantic attraction to Sherlock Holmes.
Whilst Mycroft – Holmes' elder brother (by seven years) – is telling Sherlock about Irene, he states that she is a dominatrix who gives out 'recreational scolding' to people. She has been in the middle of two political scandals in recent years, one of them involving a famous author, in which she had an affair with both sides.
She is brought to Sherlock's attention when he and John are summoned to Buckingham Palace by Mycroft and are asked to take on a case of national importance. Irene had taken compromising images of a young female member of the British Royal family during a dominatrix session.
Even though Irene does not want money or power for the pictures, Sherlock is tasked in getting them back. She is using them, and other information for her 'protection'.
221B Baker Street is the London address of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, created by the writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
At the time the Holmes stories were published, addresses in Baker Street did not go as high as 221. In fact, number 85 was the last number of the street in 1890.
Baker Street was later extended, and in 1932 the Abbey National Building Society moved into premises at 219–229 Baker Street. For many years, Abbey National employed a
full-time secretary to answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes.
In 1990, a blue plaque signifying 221B Baker Street was installed at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, situated elsewhere on the same block, and there followed a 15-year dispute between Abbey National and the Holmes Museum for the right to receive mail addressed to 221B Baker Street
Since the closure of Abbey House in 2005, ownership of the address by the Sherlock Holmes Museum has not been challenged. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is situated within an 1815 townhouse very similar to the 221B described in the stories and is located between 237 and 241 Baker Street.
The museum displays exhibits in period rooms, wax figures and Holmes memorabilia, with the famous study overlooking Baker Street the highlight of the museum.
The description of the house can be found throughout the stories, including the 17 steps leading from the ground-floor hallway to the first-floor study. In 'A Study in Scarlet' (1887), Conan Doyle writes
We met next day as he had arranged, and inspected the rooms at No. 221B, Baker Street, of which he had spoken at our meeting. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bedrooms and a single large airy sitting room, cheerfully furnished, and illuminated by two broad windows.