Sherlockian.Net: The world of Holmes and Watson

[Reconstruction of 221B sitting-room]

Who, what, where, when

The straight dope: Did Sherlock Holmes really exist?
For that matter, did Dr. Watson really exist?

Myths Retold: Sherlock Holmes, the original House MD

Description of Sherlock Holmes: It's your homework, not mine. Read the stories.

Landmarks in Holmes's career:

Glimpses inside 221B

Probably the most elegant re-creation of the sitting-room and adjacent rooms in Holmes and Watson's lodgings is the floor plan drawn by Ernest H. Short, circa 1948, and published in the Strand magazine in 1950. Click for a scan.

Take every word in the text seriously, and here's what you'll conclude about 221B Baker Street: 'Sherlock Holmes and the Mantelpiece'

Holmes's address: 221B Baker Street, London
  • The Location of 221B, by Peter Liddell
  • Analysis from Smithsonian Magazine blog
  • Bird's-eye drawing from Stutler Comics | Magazine version
  • 3-D view from 'Spice in the Coffee'
  • Abbey House, 219-229 Baker Street
  • A spectacular re-creation in Reading, PennsylvaniaNewspaper coverage &bull Some of the items
  • Chuck Kovacic's re-creation in California
  • Miniature model by Sebastien Cavenet
  • Baker Street Diorama
  • Miniature by Nancy Garcés-Saroli
  • Model in 1/6 scale by Craig Calvert
  • Miniature by Deb Weissler
  • Model in Lego
  • Reconstruction for the Festival of Britain, 1951 (video)
  • The contemporary equivalent: panoramic tour of the BBC Sherlock flat
  • Baker Street Makeover on a Budget
  • What would the flat be worth?

    Holmes's birthday: January 6, 1854 (according to Christopher Morley, pioneer American Sherlockian). At any rate apparently he was a Capricorn.

    Holmes's family:

  • A brother, Mycroft Holmes, mentioned in several of the stories
  • Speculations about other relatives
  • 'The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes'

    Holmes's sexuality: Now that's a controversial subject! One viewpoint: Gay Sherlock Holmes Holmes's companion: John H. Watson, late of the Army Medical Department

  • Les Klinger, "Art in Whose Blood?"
  • Jude Law comes close to the original character
  • A Friend Indeed, by Edgar W. Smith

    Holmes's arch-enemy: Professor James Moriarty -- see the Professor Moriarty page on Sherlockian.Net.

    Holmes's love life: To Sherlock Holmes Irene Adler was always The Woman. The Irene Adler page on Sherlockian.Net. Besides her, there's always Maud Bellamy of "The Lion's Mane". And then there's Mary Russell.

    Holmes's hobbies and personality: Some sports ("an excellent boxer, singlestick player and swordsman"); music (played the violin, and wrote a monograph about Orlando di Lasso); obscure knowledge (the Buddhism of Ceylon, the warships of the future); tobacco.

    When did the stories take place? About Sherlockian chronology

    Were Holmes and Watson gay? The author probably didn't intend them to be, and traditional readers don't think so, but more recently there's been a lot of doubt. One writer painstakingly explains why the answer is yes.

    Unpublished cases: List by 'mazaher'

    The Ocular Helmsman: Personal effects and environs

    Frequently asked questions

    Did Holmes do drugs? What did Holmes say about eliminating the impossible? See the Frequently Asked Questions page.


  • The Whole Art of Detection
  • The Art of Deduction, by Taz Rai
  • "Sherlock Holmes's Seven Vital Lessons", an essay by John C. Sherwood
  • "Science of Deduction and Analysis", compiled by Dimitrios Markatos
  • Crime Scene Sketches of 17 cases, by Thomas F. Hanratty
  • Typical pattern of the stories: Ronald Knox, "Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes"
  • Sherlock Holmes, Paranormal Investigator
  • Sherlockian.Net links related to policing and crime
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Art of Disguise
  • Think Like Sherlock
  • The Critical Thinking Community

    Some common misperceptions

    25 'common misconceptions' from
    "Elementary, my dear Watson": never appears in the original stories; tentatively traced to P. G. Wodehouse's comic novel Psmith, Journalist (1915). Holmes does say "Exactly, my dear Watson," in three different tales.

    Deerstalker (fore-and-aft) cap: never exactly mentioned in the stories. The original illustrator, Sidney Paget, interpreted the "ear-flapped travelling cap" mentioned in "Silver Blaze" as a deerstalker and drew it for that story and four subsequent times. Then the idea took off. Definition of a deerstalker . . .

    Where can I buy a deerstalker hat? From many gentlemen's outfitters and shops that sell woollen goods. One that's near me, and that sells over the Internet, is Macleod's Scottish Shops. The 240-year-old British firm of hatters, Christys', currently has two models of deerstalker for sale.

    Why is it always the hat?

    Curved or calabash pipe: not clearly described in the stories, but attributed to actor William Gillette, who wanted a pipe that would not interfere with his famous profile or with clear articulation.

    What goes with the pipe, of course, is the dressing-gown. And then there's the magnifying glass. And the violin.

    Stupid Watson: not justified by the text, except in the sense that everyone is stupider than Holmes; traceable to the buffoonish Watson played by Nigel Bruce in 1940s films.

    Watson's marriages, and other inconsistencies

    Take a look at the "Canonical Cruxes" page provided by "Inspector Hopkins". About the marriages specifically, some notes by Brad Keefauver.

    Another way (or two) of looking at it all

  • Working Back to Sherlock Through Tarzan (the Wold Newton Universe)
  • Steampunk

    The View Halloa

    A series of brief introductions to the stories and provocative questions about them, prepared by Rosemary Michaud for the Hounds of the Internet and now available on Sherlockian.Net

    Also from Sherlockian.Net

  • Other famous Holmeses
  • Issues of Sherlockian chronology
  • Commentary and background, story by story
    Back to the Sherlockian.Net Holmepage
    Copyright © Chris Redmond 2016