Younger in a book than in a movie. What was the “real” Sherlock Holmes?

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20 years ago, on September 24, 1999, a monument to the famous Englishman was unveiled in London. True, it never existed in reality, but then? This only emphasizes its uniqueness and makes us believe in the words he said: “There are extremely few people like me. Maybe I'm so alone. ”

According to the last sentence, it is quite easy to identify this hero. Perhaps the quoted quote is not as famous as the famous one: “It's elementary, Watson!” But still recognizable. Of course, this is Sherlock Holmes. The main detective of all time.

In fairness, I have to admit that for some peoples its embodiment is quite different from the "author's version". In any case, the Russian Holmes, brilliantly played by Vasily Livanov, managed to outshine not only foreign competitors, but also his literary prototype. The domestic television project imperiously advanced the classic book "canon" – 56 short stories and 4 novels written by Arthur Conan Doyle. And he almost turned into a source.

Sherlock Holmes. Special signs

This, of course, is pleasant and fully consistent with patriotic feelings. But sometimes it’s useful to see – what features of the “real” Holmes disappeared or were distorted in the film adaptation?


The series “Acquaintance” and “Bloody inscription” were shot based on the stories “motley ribbon” and “Etude in crimson tones”. This very “Etude” was the first story of Conan Doyle about the famous detective. It is there that Holmes and Watson meet.

In the domestic series, these are already held men in years. By the standards of Victorian England, they could be considered almost elderly. Vasily Livanov is here 44 years old. Vitaly Solomin is younger – he is 38 years old. Which, of course, is still too much. Age categorically does not correspond to literary characters.

In the story, “His farewell bow,” Conan Doyle hints at Holmes's age: “He could have been given sixty years.” The story takes place in 1914. It turns out that the famous detective was born in 1854.

The action “Etude in crimson tones” takes place in 1881. It means that Holmes is only 27 years old there. But Watson, oddly enough, a little older than his friend. Fans of clarifying details by means of calculations tied to the date of receiving a medical diploma, found out that the doctor was born in 1852. And that means that at the time he met he was 29 years old.

Illustration for the book about Sherlock Holmes of 1894.
The truth about Sherlock Holmes. What vices did the thinker from Baker Street indulge in?

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This is not mentioned at all in the film. Holmes immediately appears to us as a whole established nature. It is extremely difficult to imagine him as a student – it seems that he was born right away like that – with a pipe and bald patches.

In the book about where and how Holmes studied, not much is said either. And certainly without details. However, Conan Doyle scattered several inconspicuous details from the stories. And if you arm yourself with the deductive method of Sherlock Holmes himself, then something can still be restored.

Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls. Sidney Paget's illustration for the story The Last Problem, which appeared in Strand magazine in December 1893. Fragment.

Kill Holmes. Why did Conan Doyle hate Sherlock?

“One small guy who works in a chemical laboratory at our hospital … I think he knows anatomy very well, and he is a first-class chemist, but he seems to have never studied medicine systematically.” This recommendation is given to Holmes by a friend of Dr. Watson. The judgment is subjective – solid “seems” and “in my opinion”. That's just about chemistry, everything is clear. But where did Holmes get such knowledge?

“In the last years of my stay at the university, they talked a lot about me and about my method,” these are the words of Holmes from the story “The Rite of the House of the Mesgraves.”

“Have you ever heard from me about Victor Trevor?” He was my only friend during the two years I spent in college, ”and this is his direct speech from the story“ Gloria Scott. ”

It remains only to find out which college Holmes studied at. For the right to be considered alma mater of the great detective, the most respected universities of Britain, Oxford and Cambridge, fought.

And the last one won. Experts in the history of the laws and customs of these educational institutions found in the same story “Gloria Scott” one interesting detail: “Trevor was my only friend, and we made friends by chance, by the grace of his terrier, who one morning grabbed my ankle when I went to church. " It is known for certain that in the 19th century students were forbidden to keep dogs in Oxford. Therefore, after all, Cambridge.

They even name a specific Cambridge college – Gonville and Caius College. Which is very similar to the truth – this college has long been firmly associated with physicians and chemists. So – yes, Conan Doyle’s stories have friends and colleagues. One doctor with a diploma is Watson. And another doctor – without a diploma. Unlearned student Holmes.



Author: Monique R. Sanchez

Hello dear blog readers! My name is Monique R. Sanchez. We are all very different and do not resemble each other. We have different interests and hobbies, different professions, different views on life and different rhythms of life. But each of us has a place where we would always like to return, where you can just relax, relax, be yourself. And it unites us.

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