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Sherlock Holmes Background.

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Presentation on theme: "Sherlock Holmes Background."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sherlock Holmes Background

2 Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

3 Author Background a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.

4 Personal Life – Although he had a very poor and difficult childhood because of an alcoholic father, Conan Doyle was supported by wealthy uncles and given the best education available. Eventually, Conan Doyle attended the University of Edinburgh and studied medicine. While at university, Conan Doyle began writing short stories.

5 Author Background (continued)
Writing Life – By 1882, working as a doctor, Conan Doyle has amassed a large number of short stories, and desired to publish his work. His first significant piece, that received acclaim and several printings in various circulars, was titled A Study in Scarlet and included the first appearances of both Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson. All in all, Conan Doyle wrote 4 novels and 56 short stories that focused on the brilliant detective who lived at 221B Baker Street, London.

6 The Creation of the “Sherlock Holmes” Character
based upon Dr. Joseph Bell, one of Conan Doyle’s many professors at the University Edinburgh. Apparently, the great doctor would sit in his waiting room, and diagnose patients as they entered – even before they had spoken a word – and was very rarely wrong. he dedicated “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” to Dr. Bell, writing, “You are yourself Sherlock Holmes, and well you know it” (

7 The Creation of the “Sherlock Holmes” Character
In December of 1893, in the short story “The Final Problem”, both Holmes and his arch nemesis, Professor James Moriarty, plummet to their deaths over the Reichenbach Falls. Due to a public outcry against the death of their favorite characters, Conan Doyle brought back the Holmes character in 1901. He claimed in subsequent stories that Holmes had arranged to fake his own death to escape his many dangerous enemies.

8 Sherlock’s Characteristics –
Physical Features - 6 feet tall, muscular; sharp, angular facial features  Bad Habits - Occasionally uses addictive drugs to stimulate his brain Relationships with Women - Irene Adler is the only woman who has ever impressed Sherlock. He only seems to be attracted to women who bring him cases, and loses interest once he has solved the case.

9 Sherlock’s Characteristics –
Method of Crime-Solving – “abductive reasoning” – the process of solving crimes by looking at the data given, and creating a hypothesis based upon those clues that is the most logical explanation. Example: The lawn is wet. Therefore, it must have rained. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. Abductive reasoning can be understood as "inference to the best explanation" Hobbies – excellent swordsman, boxer, and violinist Knowledge Base – anything that applies to his work; including, but not limited to: chemistry, geology, anatomy, and British law.

10 Connection to the Victorians
Read the article provided and write a summary statement in paragraph format with citations explaining how Arthur Conan Doyle’s character and story of Sherlock Holmes connects to the time period.

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