The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection Lancelyn Green Bequest

Sherlock Holmes

Detective fiction was a relatively new genre of writing when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first started writing. The genre emerged through the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, notably The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Purloined Letter, and The Mystery of Marie Roget in the 1840s.

It was Conan Doyle, with his creation of Sherlock Holmes who firmly established detective fiction as perhaps the most popular genre of all,

A Study in Scarlet

The first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, initially appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. Later published in volume edition, it was illustrated by Conan Doyle’s father, Charles Altamount Doyle.

The story details the events following the kidnap, forced marriage, and later death of a young woman in the United States.

Sherlock Holmes introduced himself to the Victorian readership as an extraordinary English reasoning-machine, a man using the latest forensic techniques and a method of deduction taken from Conan Doyle’s friend, Joseph Bell.

Holmes interprets footprints, shoe prints, carriage-wheel tracks, horseshoe prints, bicycle tracks, and tobacco ash. His investigations were the Victorian equivalent of the modern CSI series.

Conan Doyle. produced The Sign of Four, the second of the two Sherlock Holmes novels written in Portsmouth, at the request of the editor of Lippincott’s Magazine, who he had met at a dinner party in London.


Details of the Sherlock Holmes items on display at the exhibition

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(You could win a copy of Study In Scarlet featuring an introduction by Steven Moffat!)