Thoughts on Sherlock (The Book)

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Articles

For my birthday last year, I received the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which came in two volumes. Since then, I have been reading them off and on for entertainment and have really enjoyed them. There are a lot of different short stories and a few longer ones in which Doyle handles more complex cases, and overall they’re really good books.

The author mainly published the stories in various newspapers and the stories were actually inspired by one of his friends from college. This friend was a bit like Sherlock in that he could deduct various things about people, and this was mainly what gave Doyle his idea for his detective. It also confirms that it definitely is possible to make simple deductions and also more complicated ones. I’ve often wondered if it’s actually possible and reading an essay by Sir Conan at the end of the Sherlock book told me that it is. In fact, Doyle even did it a couple times.

Anyway, as I was reading the parodies of Sherlock and the essays by Doyle at the end of the book, I learned that people actually thought Sherlock was a real person. Doyle received letters regarding verious problem, sometimes addressed to him and sometimes to Sherlock or Watson themselves. Doyle got lots of letters about one of his stories in which Sherlock looks at a tire track of a bicycle and quickly decides that it was going away from where he and Watson stood, not towards them. A lot of people sent letters addressed to Sherlock and Doyle alike complaining that one could ever actually deduce this, but in the essay Doyle gives sound reasoning for why it was possible.

In addition, when Doyle wrote about Sherlock retiring and keeping bees in the South Downs, he got many letters from people wondering if he would need a housekeeper, or offering to give advice about bee-keeping.

I found it quite amusing to read about some of the letters Doyle got, and how people thought Sherlock was actually real. In any case, if you have never read any of the stories about Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Doyle, I would definitely encourage you to. They’re quite good 🙂 Volume I, Volume II.

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