Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: The detective who was forbidden to die

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In 1893, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle decided to kill off his most famous creation: detective Sherlock Holmes.  Six years of writing these cleverly concocted mysteries, he explained in a letter to his mother, had left him weary of the character.  Thus, in The Adventure of the Final Problem, Holmes and his nemesis, Prof. Moriarty, plunge over a Swiss waterfall while locked in combat.

Basil Rathbone as Holmes
Obviously Sir Arthur seriously underestimated Holmes’ popularity.  Shocked to the point of wearing black armbands, Doyle’s readership launched a stunning protest.  Even Queen Victoria was not amused, personally requesting the author to revive the legendary detective.
Caving to the outcry, Doyle penned The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901, as a prequel to previously published adventures.  But that wasn’t good enough.  Clamoring fans wanted Holmes alive.
"We are not amused"
So Doyle dutifully produced The Adventure of the Empty House, wherein Holmes explains he’d flung Moriarty down the falls and then faked his own death to escape the professor’s henchmen.  With satisfied fans back on board (and a record sum of money from his publisher) Doyle continued writing Sherlock Holmes adventures, stopping only three years before his own death in 1930.

 Sherlock holmes, however, is still going strong.

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