To Sherlock Holmes she was always The Woman. Many readers see more than meets the eye in Irene Adler, who we are introduced to in the first of the Holmes short stories, "A Scandal in Bohemia." After all, she could captivate the King of Bohemia, so why not a detective? Despite her brief appearance, the New Jersey native continues to fascinate and is the subject of much writing and speculation.
- View from the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes
- Character Analysis
- La Scala in Milan, where she sang (contralto)
- Novels about Irene Adler by Carole Nelson Douglas
- Clips of Lara Pulver as Irene Adler, 2012
- The Women: a talk by Lyndsay Faye (video)
- Destiny (Irene Adler) in Marvel Comics
- The Women: Sex and Success in the Canon, Warner Bros, and BBC Sherlock, by Lyndsay Faye
- How to Butcher a Brilliant Woman Character
- Why Can't Any Recent Adaptation Get Her Right?
- Why Can't They Get Irene Adler Right? by Carole Nelson Douglas
- Why a blogger hates Irene Adler
Possible Origins of Irene Adler
As portrayed with a few recent Holmeses . . .
Heavy breathing: Matt Frewer as Sherlock Holmes and Liliana Komorowska as Irene Adler in "The Royal Scandal", Hallmark Channel, 2001; Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Gayle Hunnicutt as Adler, Granada Television, 1984; Robert Downey, Jr., as Holmes and Rachel McAdams as Adler, 2009; Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Lara Pulver as Adler, BBC, 2012.
Did they have an affair?
There's a Sherlockian tradition that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler met again (don’t know where, don't know when: maybe Montenegro, 1892) and enjoyed a dalliance. They may even have produced a son, who became Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout's great New York detective. Imaginative writings have resulted from this hypothesis, but that's all they are: imaginative.
Another popular tradition is that Irene Adler was in reality the "Aunt Clara" who figures in the 1920s song "We Never Mention Aunt Clara," as sung to the Baker Street Irregulars by Jim Montgomery. It's rather fun to think so. The White Ghost Shivers performed the song in April 2012.