Sherlock Holmes

Fictional Detective

Born: 1887
Best known as: The most famous detective in English literature

Sherlock Holmes is the fictional creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote about the detective in a series of 60 stories published between 1887 and 1927. Holmes was famous for his extra-keen powers of observation and deduction, which he used to solve perplexing crimes and mysteries. He operated from his flat at 221b Baker Street in London, assisted by his friend Dr. Watson. The nefarious criminal Professor Moriarty appears as Holmes's antagonist in some of the tales. Sherlock Holmes was an immediate hit in Doyle's day and remains so popular that he is sometimes mistaken for a real historical figure. Among the most famous Holmes stories are A Study in Scarlet (the first Sherlock Holmes story, 1887) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).

Extra credit:

Holmes was played by actor Basil Rathbone in a popular series of movies from 1939-46. In the 1980s and 1990s Holmes was portrayed on television by Jeremy Brett; in 2010, the BBC began a modern-day version of the tales with Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes… Sherlock Holmes has an older brother, Mycroft, who appears in a few of the stories. Mycroft has powers of deduction which are supposedly even greater than Sherlock’s, but lacks the energy to pursue them.

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