70 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Sherlock Holmes

When is Sherlock Holmes’ birthday?(January 6) How many steps are there at the entrance of the apartment at 221B Baker Street, London?(Level 17) What is the Diogenes Club?(Founded by Holmes’ brother Mycroft, conversations are forbidden in the club) What was the first sentence Holmes and Watson said when they first met?(“Hi, I can tell you’re from Afghanistan. “)

In the “Detective Conan” episode “The Sherlock Holmes Fan Murder”, the murderer made it clear that he was not there by doing “Sherlock Holmes 1000 Little Questions” all night. Well, this is indeed a game that “fu fans” will play. And because Conan Doyle’s stories often have inaccuracies, this game is a lot of fun.

Sherlock Holmes , a novel character who has been on the scene for 135 years and outlived the true detective, so far, does not seem to be dying. So, does Sherlock Holmes really have any secrets? The following 70 facts about the great detective , to which Sherlock Holmes might say: This is common sense, my dear readers!


Starting from January 1, 2023, the “Sherlock Holmes Casebook” published in 1927 will enter the public domain. Since then, all the works of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series have entered the public domain.

This means that these works are free for everyone to copy, share and recreate.


It has been more than a century since Holmes’s first film was a silent film, shown in 1900.


Sherlock Holmes is the most screened fictional character. As of 2016, Sherlock Holmes has appeared in 254 films and thousands of TV and radio plays, and more than 350 actors have played this role .

In fact, the vampire Dracula has been portrayed more times than Sherlock, but he is half human and half vampire, so it is accurate to say that Sherlock Holmes is the most photographed human character.

The third place is Hamlet. Santa Claus has appeared 814 times, but he is not on the list. We all know Santa Claus is real!


Among the books with the most translations in the world, Sherlock Holmes ranks 16th , with a total of 60 translations. The first place is “The Little Prince”, with 253 translations.


Holmes originally set the name as “Sherrinford”, translated as Sherrinford. When “A Study in Scarlet” was published in 1887, Doyle felt that the name was too hypocritical, and in order to pay tribute to the then cricket player William Sherlock, he finally changed the character’s name to Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle himself is a veteran cricket fan .

And John Watson wanted to be named Ormand Stacker.


It was Joseph Bell, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, who inspired Conan Doyle to write Sherlock Holmes. From 1876 to 1881, Doyle studied medicine at the school and worked as an outpatient assistant for Bell.

At the time, 27-year-old Conan Doyle wrote “A Study in Scarlet” in just three weeks.


A Study in Scarlet was not very popular at first. The manuscript was rejected by many publishers because the “one shilling thriller” was already in the works by then.


It was eventually published in the Beeton Christmas Almanac (a book on cooking and housekeeping) and they accepted it for a one-time payment of £24 for Conan Doyle’s work. Works published in magazines, enough for one year.

Beeton’s Christmas Almanac, 1887, with “A Study in Scarlet”


In 1888, “A Study in Scarlet” was republished, and Conan Doyle finally had the money to pay his artist father, who had been hospitalized for a long time, to illustrate this work.


The second Sherlock Holmes story was finalized after a dinner with Oscar Wilde.

Joseph Stoddart, editor of Lippincott’s Magazine at the time, admired “A Study in Scarlet,” and at a dinner he persuaded Doyle to write a second novel featuring a detective and serialize it in the magazine.

Wilde, who was there, also agreed to write a novel for the magazine—his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was published in 1890, the same year as Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four.

The Langham Hotel, where Conan Doyle agreed to write a second Sherlock Holmes novel. This work established the characteristics of the series of novels that followed

Conan Doyle was impressed by Oscar Wilde’s brilliance and generosity.

Conan Doyle was astonished beyond belief to hear that Wilde had read and liked his Micah Clarke. If he is familiar with Wilde’s evaluation of others, then he will know that Wilde reads new works voraciously, and often praises other authors too much.


Doyle was still running his own clinic, but business was not booming.

It was a low point in his life, but fortunately the money he earned from writing the book was enough to make him live well.


Until 1891, a series of Sherlock Holmes stories were published in the “Seaside Magazine”, and Conan Doyle became famous for a while, and then left the medical industry completely.


The story in Seaside Magazine was a hit, with sales jumping to half a million copies. Letters from readers can show that all this is due to Sherlock Holmes.


Sidney Paget’s illustrations (Conan Doyle didn’t mind) brought Sherlock Holmes to life, and the story’s genius detective matched the illustration’s handsome faces and elegant attire. People do not believe that the detective is just a fictional character, as if he is more real than the author.

An early cover of Seaside Magazine, the magazine that catapulted Conan Doyle to fame


Between December 1892 and December 1893, 13 issues of The Shore Magazine published all the stories in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes except The Cardboard Box. Conan Doyle was tired of the character he had created, complaining, “It’s taking my attention from other things”.


The adventures of Sherlock Holmes are becoming more and more tasteless, and Conan Doyle intends to “finish” Holmes.


Finally, at the end of the story of “The Last Case”, Sherlock Holmes and his old enemy Moriarty fought to the death by the Reichenbach Falls. In the end, both of them fell into the river and were “buried” in the bottomless abyss.


More than 20,000 readers have canceled their subscriptions to The Shore Magazine due to dissatisfaction with Sherlock Holmes being written “dead”.


Plenty of Sherlock Holmes fans, not reconciled to seeing their hero fall to his death, put pressure on Conan Doyle to bring the character back to life after “The Last Case.”


Ultimately, Conan Doyle was pressured to write The Return, which brought Holmes back from the dead, a series of 13 short stories first published in 1905.

twenty one

But the author, as usual, quickly grew weary of writing Sherlock Holmes stories, and of readers viewing them as his crowning achievement. This time he did not kill Holmes, and it would be too suspenseful to do so again. He announced the retirement of Holmes, and he did not write another Sherlock Holmes serial for a year.

twenty two

Although Holmes’ popularity remains high, the last classic Sherlock Holmes and Watson story was published in 1927. From 1887 to 1927, Conan Doyle eventually wrote 56 short stories and 4 novels about Sherlock Holmes.

twenty three

Obviously, Sherlock Holmes is much more famous than his creator Conan Doyle.

Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes fell in love with each other. Holmes made Conan Doyle popular, but Conan Doyle was not here. He believed that he had a wide range of roles , so he hastily found a reason to write Sherlock Holmes to death, but the greater value of life could not be realized. Due to the pressure from Fang, Conan Doyle had to resurrect Holmes .

twenty four

Of the 60 total cases, 37 were murders, including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter. Fourteen were cases of theft or robbery. In as many as 10 stories, Holmes does not discover any real crimes.


Holmes appears in every story, Watson appears in 58 and misses two stories. Landlord Mrs. Hudson played 14 times, and police officer Lestrade played 13 times. His nemesis, Moriarty, only appears in three stories.


Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft Holmes, is often portrayed as an important character in film and television dramas, but in fact he only appears in two short stories in Sherlock Holmes : “The Greek Interpreter” and “Bruce Partington”. plan”. (Included in “Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” and “Last Greetings” respectively)

My brother Mycroft in “Sherlock” in 2010


My elder brother, Mycroft, is a veritable “brother control”. The brothers have been close since childhood, and whenever the younger brother needs help, he is willing to break out of his own routine.

Once, just before Sherlock walked to Baker Street, Mycroft was already waiting there in a carriage. What is even more amazing is that once at Sherlock’s request, Mycroft disguised himself as a cab driver and took Watson from Lowther Arcade to Victoria Station.


He was also the only one who knew Sherlock was still alive after his 1891 showdown with his nemesis Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls, and he kept his brother’s house at 221B Baker Street for three years afterwards.


Professor Moriarty is probably one of the three Sherlock Holmes characters most people know, after Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.


The relationship between Holmes and Moriarty is not simply sworn enemies. Some people say that Moriarty used to be Holmes’ math teacher, and others speculate that Moriarty once had an affair with Holmes’ mother.


Conan Doyle never said that the relationship between Holmes and Watson is of the same sex, but this does not prevent everyone from putting on a very understanding expression.

In fact, Holmes is a little ruthlessly detached from warmth and emotion, but sometimes he shows sincere love to Watson, which makes these moments of true feelings even more touching.


Holmes’ famous “deerstalker hat” never appears in the book. Sherlock Holmes’s “traveling cap with hood ears” is mentioned in The Silver Horse.


This magical hat was added by Sidney Paget in 1891 when he illustrated Doyle’s “Mystery of Boscombe Valley” published in the “Seaside Magazine”.

He designed a deer hat and a round neck cape for Sherlock Holmes, because an outstanding detective must have his own detective style.

Sidney Paget painting


Although illustrator Sidney Paget himself never admitted it, readers and even Conan Doyle himself believed that Sidney drew Holmes in the likeness of his brother Walter.


The pipe is indeed fully represented in the novel:

“His cigars were kept in the coal scuttle, his tobacco in his Persian slippers, and his unanswered letters were nailed with a jackknife in the middle of the wooden mantelpiece.” (“Musgrave Rites” ) .

Sidney Paget (Sidney Paget) was the most famous Sherlock Holmes illustrator in the 19th century. The above picture shows the portrait of Sherlock Holmes drawn by him.


When Holmes wants to think, he smokes instead of eating. Nicotine is a necessity for Holmes’ mind, but brother Mycroft doesn’t smoke tobacco, he takes snuff.


In fact, Holmes did not eat at all while working on the case, the detective felt that eating slowed his brain activity.


However, in a cookbook titled Dinner with Sherlock Holmes : A Baker Street Cookbook, the authors deduce from the source material that Holmes enjoyed game while cooking.


The most common clues Holmes used were newspaper advertisements and articles, followed by footprints on the floor, blood, dogs, handwritten notes, soot, codes/ciphers, in that order.

Sherlock Holmes’ standard equipment – hat, pipe and magnifying glass


When Holmes was drowsy between cases, he would sort through clippings and documents, save them and paste them in his scrapbook, which, accumulated over the years, became Holmes’ index of information on everything from past cases to vampire tales .


Holmes played the violin only 8 times in the process of investigating cases , but the violin always seems to accompany him in the adapted film and television dramas.


The famous catchphrase “Elementary, my dear Watson!” (Elementary, my dear Watson), never appeared in the original. Holmes only said something similar to this classic saying: “Elementary” in “The Hunchback” and “It was very superficial my dear” in “The Cardboard Box”. Watson, and in three other stories: “Yes, my dear Watson.”

The entrance to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where Holmes and Watson met


Before continuing to investigate the “Baskerville” case, Holmes and Watson visited the exhibition of modern Belgian masters on Bond Street. Who was this mysterious master in the late 1880s? Watson was referring, of course, to Van Gogh, a native of Brabant in the Netherlands who sometimes also lived in Brussels. Based on Holmes’ knowledge of geography, he did not know that Van Gogh was born in Brabant – which belongs to today’s Netherlands rather than Belgium.


In the “Milverton” case, Holmes recalls that, in order to get a lead on a case, he began to associate with a maid. As soon as Holmes received the news, he never spoke to the maid again.


And on the train to Boscombe Valley, Watson reads a cheap pulp novel, while the misogynist Holmes indulges in Petrarch’s love poems! (Petrarch, an Italian scholar and poet, is famous for his sonnets and is known as the “Father of the Renaissance”.)


After discovering Blackwood’s resurrection, Holmes’ “The game’s afoot” is a line from Shakespeare’s Henry V quoted by Conan Doyle. At the end of the first speech in Act III, King Henry said: “The show is about to begin: follow your soul…” These are the words of King Henry V of England inspiring his soldiers to attack the French city. The next line in the movie, “God bless Henry, England and St. George” is also from “Henry V”.


Doyle once wrote as many as four Sherlock Holmes stories in two weeks. As a result, some details in the story fell apart under scrutiny. For example, in The Case of the Speckled Tape, the murderer controls a snake with a whistle and a bowl of milk. But in fact, snakes don’t drink milk, and they can’t hear airborne sounds.


“Dream Linkage” is real! The Sherlock Holmes House of Horror, released in 1945, was based in part on Agatha Christie’s “And There Were None”; Agatha, in her early works, saw Holmes as a role model and praised Conan Doyle as a celebrity of the moment.


From 1881 to 1904, Holmes and Watson lived at 221B Baker Street. The address didn’t exist then, and technically doesn’t exist now. The current Sherlock Holmes Museum is located at 221B Baker Street, London, England, but if it is arranged in sequence, the building of the museum is actually between 237 and 241 Baker Street, and the house number should be 239 Baker Street. But in the end, the City of Westminster allowed the museum to keep the address at 221B Baker Street.


At the time, the Abbey National Building Society (ANBS) held the rights to 237-241 Baker Street. It was so crowded with letters addressed to Sherlock Holmes, 221B Baker Street, that the society had to hire a full-time secretary to help with the mail. So much so that when the Sherlock Holmes Museum opened, ANBS and the museum had a dispute over who should receive and process these mails for more than 10 years. The dispute didn’t stop until ANBS moved away.


Before moving to Baker Street, Holmes lived on Montague St., near the British Museum in London, so he could conduct research there .


There are rumors that Holmes was knighted by the British royal family in reality, but this is not the case. In the novel, Queen Victoria receives Holmes in 1895 and presents him with an emerald tie pin. In reality, Queen Victoria was indeed a fan of Sherlock Holmes, but instead of honoring him, she honored the author Sir Conan Doyle in 1902.


However, in 2002, a hundred years after Holmes was resurrected in the novel, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) awarded Holmes an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding use of forensic science and analytical chemistry in literature. This honor is generally only given to Nobel Prize winners, academic staff and industrialists who have made great contributions. Holmes is the only fictional character to be honored.


A researcher whose real name was John Watson accepted the award in front of the Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station. The society also awarded Holmes an academic award.


Holmes has an IQ of 190, or at least that’s what he’s projected to be in John Radford’s The Intellect of Holmes and the Three Other Pipes Problem. As we all know, the average IQ of the average person is between 100 and 110, while Einstein’s IQ is 160.


“The Strange Case of the Spotted Band”, also translated as the Speckled Banded Case, is the most popular one among Sherlock Holmes’ detective stories. Not only is it the author’s favorite, it also regularly ranks among the top in reader polls.


In 2008, in a survey conducted by British television, 58% of people believed that Sherlock Holmes was real . And 23% think Churchill is a fictional character.


2009’s “Sherlock Holmes” drew criticism from many “Holmes fans” who believed that Holmes could only fight with his own mind, and the hand-to-hand combat scenes were seen as a typical Hollywood twist on classic characters.


However, in the books, Holmes is a good fencer as well as a boxer who is good at hand-to-hand combat. In “The Sign of the Four,” Holmes’ former nemesis, a professional boxer, even tells Holmes that he could have been a title contender if he had gone pro.


In addition to his boxing and fencing skills, Holmes was also proficient in baton. The real-life martial art Patton (misspelled in Doyle’s work) is a combination of jujitsu, kickboxing and mixed martial arts that flourished in late 19th century England.

The book revealed that it was the baton technique that allowed Holmes to get rid of Moriarty’s entanglement, and finally defeated Moriarty in the fight.

Holmes and Moriarty scuffle on the footpath of the Reichenbach Falls


The British website Digital Spy once launched a poll, and Sherlock played by “Benedict Cumberbatch” was elected “The Greatest Sherlock Holmes in Film History” with 58% of the votes.


Many fans loved Benny as Sherlock Holmes in the 2010 BBC production of Sherlock. It could be “genetic” because he’s actually a relative of Conan Doyle.

Researchers at found that they were 16th-generation cousins. Their common ancestor was John Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who was Doyle’s 15th great-grandfather and Benny’s 17th great-grandfather.


Although the BBC’s version of Sherlock considers himself a “high functioning sociopath”, some analyzes disagree with this diagnosis. While it’s true that Holmes is obsessive-compulsive and emotionally distant, like some sociopaths, he also has strong moral restraint and a deep understanding of human emotions — though he’s good at hiding them.


Judging from Holmes’ behavior (such as his narrow range of interests and attachment to daily life, etc.), some psychologists believe that Holmes may have Asperger’s syndrome .


Sherlock Holmes has over 300 fan clubs around the world. Generally speaking, Americans prefer to call themselves Sherlock fans, while the British like to call themselves Sherlock Holmes fans.


Each “sub-association” has its own name. The most popular of these is the Baker Street Squad, named after the network of homeless children on Baker Street in Sherlock Holmes’ novels.


While the younger generation might consider Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch the definitive Sherlock Holmes, it’s Basil Rathbone who has starred the most. Rathbone appeared in 14 Sherlock Holmes films in the 1930s and 1940s.

Sherlock Holmes played by Robert Jr. in 2009

Benny as Sherlock Holmes in 2010

rathbone is best known for playing sherlock holmes


Although Holmes told the Duke that he was poor, in fact he was rich enough to retire at the age of 49.


After a few years of catching bad guys, Sherlock Holmes finally retired and became a beekeeper.

However , there is still work to be done for him, and the British government wants him to investigate the source of the leak.


T. S. Eliot once said that every writer owes something to Sherlock Holmes… He is as real to us as Falstaff .

“The great mystery of Sherlock Holmes is this: when we talk about him, we always imagine that he is real.”

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