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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

  • Date Submitted: 12/13/2010 03:16 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.2 
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied to be a doctor at the University of Edinburgh and set up a small practice at Southsea in Hampshire during his 20s. While the practice proved largely unsuccessful, the lack of patients provided him with the opportunity to create possibly the most popular character ever introduced in the history of fiction, Sherlock Holmes.
While at University, Conan Doyle had been greatly influenced by Dr. Joseph Bell, one of his professors. Bell was an expert in the use of deductive reasoning to diagnose disease. Conan Doyle was so impressed that he used these same principles when creating his famous detective.
Sherlock Holmes was introduced in A Study in Scarlet (1887), followed by A Sign of Four in 1890, but didn't really take hold of the public's imagination until Strand magazine, newly founded in 1890, published a series of short stories called "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." From that point on the public couldn't get enough of Holmes and his always reliable confidant, John H. Watson, a retired military doctor.
Residing in London at 221B Baker Street, Holmes's character and personality set him apart from all others. "Holmes, with his keen sense of observation, his lean face and hooked nose, his long legs, his deerstalker hat, his magnifying glass, and his ever-present pipe. This personality is what caught the reader's imagination." (The Literature of Crime and Detection)

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
From 1891 to 1893, Strand published stories featuring Holmes and Watson, all avidly followed by the public. When in The Final Problem (1893), Holmes and his longtime nemesis, Professor Moriarty, are killed off, the public outcry was so great, Conan Doyle was forced to bring him back to life. He continued the exploits of Holmes and Watson nine years later in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).
More novels and short stories appeared to the delight of Conan Doyle's fans until The Case-Book...


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