Who is the most iconic figure in the detective genre? There is nothing special to guess - Sherlock Holmes. Most people on the planet are confident that Sherlock was the greatest detective of all time.
Many films have been made about him, there is even a whole community "Baker Street Militia", which is busy writing new stories about the adventures of the indefatigable Holmes and creating a reconstruction of the events described. Such popularity leads to the idealization of the hero, the emergence of a number of myths about him, cultivated in particular in cinema.
After all, climbing in and reading how the hero actually behaved in a book is much harder than seeing the picture on the screen. What are these delusions?
Sherlock Holmes tried not to involve innocent people in his investigations. Sherlock Holmes should not be considered such a White Knight of the detective world. It is not true that he exclusively uses his mind to solve crimes, and innocent people do not suffer from this. While Sherlock was the greatest detective, he also had dark sides. And it's not just about weird habits and drug use. In order to solve the next crime, the detective easily manipulated the fate of people, sometimes even just for the sake of interest. For example, in the story "The End of Charles Augustus Milverton," Holmes even got engaged to a maid in order to get closer to the suspect. And after the end of the investigation, the detective simply leaves the woman, for her it was clearly not the most pleasant memory. Sherlock did not even try to explain anything to the unfortunate, her name is no longer found in the books. The detective did not shrink from hiring a group of street boys to do all the dirty work for him. The detective called this squad the Baker Street Militia. Hired boys are mentioned in several stories at once: "The Hunchback", "A Study in Crimson Tones", "The Sign of Four".
Sherlock Holmes had a very progressive social outlook. On the contrary, in the story "The Incident at the Villa" Three Horses, "the detective has rude and even racist conversations with blacks. Sherlock calls the black boxer dumb just for the color of his skin, mocking the size of his lips. Holmes told the boxer that he uses his head the least. And after the negro left, Watson heard: “Fortunately, you didn’t have to test the strength of his not very intelligent head, Watson. Your maneuvers with the poker did not hide from me. But Dixie is actually a pretty harmless guy. Just a huge force, an ignorant, boastful child. Have you noticed how easy it was to pacify him? " Racist statements against blacks Sherlock allows himself to let go in the future. True, it is worth noting that at the time of writing these works, such an attitude towards blacks was considered natural. Of course, racism cannot be justified by this, but it will also not work to say that Holmes somehow stood out in this regard from the general number. Curiously, many researchers believe that the story "The incident at the villa" Three Skates ", in which the racist statements are heard, is a fake and does not belong to Conan Doyle. This, incidentally, is not surprising, because fanfiction about the adventures of Sherlock Holmes has appeared for a long time.
Sherlock Holmes is hiding evidence from the police. Even in a number of movies, you can see scenes when he takes evidence from the crime scene, hiding it from the police. This approach allows the detective to constantly be ahead of the authorities by several steps, getting to the bottom of the truth first. However, in the books, the hero acted completely differently. Sherlock, on the other hand, left additional clues for the police to understand the facts that the detective had already thought of. In particular, it is said about this in the story "The Devil's Leg". Conan Doyle wrote that Sherlock would often share information with the police if he found out she was on the wrong track. This happened in the story "In the lilac gatehouse." The detective's advantage was not in hiding evidence, but in better brain function, the use of deductive methods. So those scenes in which Sherlock specifically hides evidence only harm the image of the detective. After all, he never did anything like that.
Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes's best friend. There seems to be the only person the detective can trust - Dr. Watson. This man really became Holmes's assistant and his biographer, being with him in the most difficult situations. The friendship of men persisted throughout most of the described life. Holmes himself claimed to be lost without his Boswell (meaning the analogy with the famous biographer Samuel Johnson). Only in reality, the detective appreciated the medical talents of his assistant and the willingness to always provide a service, never completely trusting him. For example, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes asks Watson to watch what is happening at the estate, while he himself goes to the swamps. The detective prefers not to tell his "friend" about his plans, reporting about the events that have already taken place. In the story "Sherlock Holmes is Dying", the hero imitates a fatal illness, without even initiating his friend into a cunning plan. Holmes decided that Watson could not have kept his secret. Although Sherlock claims to respect his friend from a professional point of view, he never believed that he could play along. Full trust and full-fledged friendship, therefore, is out of the question.
Holmes has always been an eccentric, this was manifested in his eccentric attire. This myth is cultivated in many film adaptations. One of the latter, starring Robert Downey Jr., demonstrates delusion to the fullest. Sherlock in this film wears too eccentric robes that simply do not fit him in size. All this leads to the idea that the detective is simply at odds with banal hygiene. In fact, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes is described as a meticulous person who looks after his cleanliness no worse than a cat. The detective dresses traditionally conservatively, which was natural for that time. The author generally describes his hero as an extremely clean person. In the same story, it is said that although Sherlock lived in an old hut in a swamp, he looked neat and clean throughout the investigation. The detective even agreed with the servants that fresh linens and a change of clothes should be constantly brought to his shelter.
Sherlock Holmes constantly wore a cap and smoked a pipe. Thanks to TV shows, the image of Holmes was formed, who wore a hat of a deer hunter and smoked a pipe. These accessories have already become an integral part of the detective's image. In fact, all this is fiction. The combination of a pipe and a cap has already appeared in theatrical productions. In the books, Sherlock never used them. It is known for certain that kalabash, a gourd pipe, first appeared thanks to the actor in one of the first productions of the play about Sherlock. This item was chosen because it is easy to hold on your chest during conversations. In the books, Holmes' pipe was completely different. While this may seem like a nit-picking thing, it's worth debunking this myth. After all, the kalabash and the deer hunter's hat are enduring myths about the image of the famous detective.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are mature and about the same age. In most modern interpretations, the detective and his partner appear to be rather mature middle-aged men. This is understandable, because Watson has already been to the war, gaining solid experience. And it took Sherlock a while to gain his brilliant reputation. In fact, both heroes were quite young, in most stories they were just over 25 years old. Indeed, Watson and Holmes were approximately equal in age. It is believed that the detective was born in 1854, and met his friend in 1881. Most of their adventures happened in the first years after they became friends. This suggests that at the time of those events the heroes were no more than 30 years old. The explanation of how such young people were able to reach such heights is given simply - they were outstanding young people. And even though Dr. Watson was constantly in the shadow of his more famous friend, he remained a professional, had a brilliant mind, which helped him to prove himself in the course of hostilities.
The main enemy of Sherlock Holmes was Professor Moriarty. If there is a main character, then there must be a main villain. TV series and films have confirmed Moriarty's reputation. In fact, the professor was not at all the detective's sworn enemy. Moreover, Conan Doyle's Moriarty appears in just one story - "The Last Case of Holmes." In passing, an evil genius is mentioned in the story "Valley of Horror". It says that Moriarty consulted other criminals for money. The scene of the battle at the Reichenbach Falls is generally the only one that tells about the fierce confrontation of the heroes. It's just that by that time the writer was already tired of his character, Conan Doyle decided to take up other projects. This is why the plot of the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty was born. The goal of the story was simple - to kill Sherlock. However, this ending simply angered the readers, in the end the author had to reluctantly, but resurrect the detective. When was there such a popular character that people even wore black armbands on their sleeves, mourning his death?
Sherlock Holmes loved Irene Adler. This line appears in many movies. The scriptwriters can be understood to make it more interesting for viewers to watch the film, romantic relationships will not hurt. A dramatic example of this interpretation of history can be found in the film with the participation of Robert Downey Jr. The actor played a bisexual eccentric playboy, in love not only with the charming Irene Adler, but also with his friend Dr. Watson. It would seem, what could be more harmonious than a detective's love story to a beautiful woman? However, there was simply no perfect love. Irene Adler herself is mentioned by Conan Doyle only in one story - "Scandal in Bohemia". She generally said only one phrase to the detective as she passed him: "Good night, Mr. Sherlock Holmes." Later, the detective described Adler as "a woman with a capital letter." This assessment came not because of the romantic story, but because she turned out to be the only woman who somehow surpassed the master of investigations. Holmes respected Irene Adler for her intelligence, but showed absolutely no physical attraction to her. As a result, this character did not appear in Conan Doyle's creations again. And the author himself describes Sherlock Holmes quite meaningfully: "inhuman, like Babbage's analytical machine." According to the character's creator, the detective was absolutely not interested in love.
Sherlock Holmes quickly disclosed all his cases. One might get the impression that the detective solved all the cases literally for a couple of months, ending his career relatively young. There is some truth to this - Sherlock actually solved crimes amazingly quickly. He really wanted to retire while still young. As a result, Holmes retired, began to study bees and even published a book about his observations of these industrious insects. The detective himself called this work "great work." Only now the government had a problem - information leaked, agents began to disappear one by one. The authorities were at a loss as to who might be behind this. As a result, several high-ranking officials turned to Holmes for help. Sherlock was forced to agree, the investigation of the case is described in the story "His Farewell Bow". The detective discovered the German secret agent, who was the source of the trouble. Dr. Watson was also invited to the final act. Sherlock told him that the plan to capture the spy was so complicated that the detective even had to join the secret Irish community in America for two years. And all this for the sake of investigating one confusing case. So Holmes's work was incredibly thorough rather than quick. When circumstances required it, he was in no hurry.