I don’t think I’ve ever confessed to my longstanding affection for Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s extraordinary Victorian sensation. It was probably 25 years ago when I finally picked up a Sherlock Holmes story and fell headlong into one of literature’s most famous and timeless creations. I promptly read the entire canon in very short order and have been revisiting Holmes and Watson ever since. I have several different editions of the Holmes novels and stories, including the e-version on my Sony Reader, and the magnificent three volume New Annotated Sherlock Holmes that was published a few years ago. A must-have for any true Holmes fan.
If I analyze my love for the Holmes’ adventures, I’d have to say that the absolutely beautiful writing, the evocative sense of place and time, and the carefully woven stories themselves combine to hold me in their thrall. They are, quite simply, a joy to read. So what brought on this sudden focus on Sherlock Holmes? Well, I was flying to St. John’s a few days ago and happened to watch a great documentary on the little screen in the back of the headrest in the seat in front of me called, The Search for Sherlock Holmes narrated by the Scottish actor, David Hayman. It was a fascinating show that included interviews with leading Holmesian experts, including my hero, Stephen Fry. When the documentary ended, I immediately pulled out my Sony Reader and immersed myself in the London of the late 1800s and the brilliant prose and plotting of Arthur Conan Doyle.
If you haven’t read Sherlock Holmes, don’t wait any longer. For more than a century, first, serialized in the pages of The Strand magazine, illustrated with the now famous Sidney Paget sketches (like the ones that open and close this post), and still in print today, Sherlock Holmes has captivated readers around the world. A more enduring literary figure, I cannot imagine.