Home Today Is Sherlock Holmes Never Says ‘Elementary, My Dear Watson’.

Sherlock Holmes Never Says ‘Elementary, My Dear Watson’.

World-renowned detective. Most portrayed character in history. Icon. Who are we speaking of? Why, Sherlock Holmes, of course! Any self-respecting amateur detective would guess that! The ultimate detective archetype, the character of Sherlock Holmes has been a hero to millions since his creation well over a century ago. So can all agree he more than deserves his very own day? Of course, elementary my dear Watson!

  1. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, says the character was originally inspired by Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for whom Doyle had worked as an assistant. Like Holmes, Bell was famous for his ability to draw broad conclusions from minute observations.
  2. Francis “Tanky” Smith, a policeman and master of disguise who was Leicester’s first private detective, is also thought to have influenced the character. Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story first appeared in print in 1887 and continued to be published for the next forty years, until shortly before the author’s death. During this time, the detective had countless adventures, usually accompanied by his loyal friend and assistant, Dr. Watson.
  3. Sherlock was called Sherrinford.   Originally Sir Arthur Conan Doyle named the sleuth Sherrinford but changed his mind – perhaps because there were well-known Nottingham cricketers called Sherwin and Shacklock and the author was a big fan of the sport.
  4. John Watson was nearly called Ormand Stacker.
  5. A Study in Scarlet wasn’t popular.  His first adventure was rejected by several publishers and printed in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, which was not a success.
  6. Sherlock Holmes is the most popular film character or at least, the most popular human character! He’s been in 226 films while Dracula has been in 239!
  7. Sherlock never says ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’. While the detective says ‘elementary’ and ‘my dear Watson’ several times, he never puts the two together.
  8. Conan Doyle tried to kill Sherlock Holmes because he was bored.  After two years of writing the popular stories, the author was sick of the detective, and complained ‘it takes my mind from other things’.
  9. The Sherlock Holmes Museum isn’t at 221b Baker Street.  It’s actually at number 239.
  10. The Speckled Band is the most popular Sherlock Holmes story. Not only was it Conan Doyle’s favorite, but it frequently tops reader polls.
  11. Some portrayals of Holmes, including the Guy Ritchie films, are known for having the detective wear a “deerstalker” hat. The type of hat that Holmes wears is never actually mentioned in the books. Credit for it goes to illustrator Sidney Paget, who added the feature when illustrating The Boscombe Valley Mystery.
  12. Sometimes Doyle wrote as many as four Holmes stories within two weeks. As a result, some of the finer details in the stories fall apart under scrutiny. In The Adventure of the Speckled Band the murderer controls a snake with a whistle and a bowl of milk. However, snakes don’t drink milk and they can’t hear.
  13. While we might like to grab some food during a study session, Holmes avoids food entirely when on a case. The detective believes eating slows down his brain.
  14. Although Holmes’s popularity is still going strong, the last canon Holmes and Watson story was published back in 1927. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ultimately wrote 56 stories and four novels about Sherlock Holmes between 1887 and 1927.
  15. Many fans will agree that Benedict Cumberbatch nails his role as Holmes in the 2010 BBC series. It might be something genetic, since he is actually related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Researchers from Ancestry.com discovered that the two are sixteenth cousins, twice removed. They share a common ancestor in Duke of Lancaster of Gaunt (that’s a mouthful). Gaunt is Doyle’s 15th great-grandfather and Cumberbatch’s 17th great-grandfather.
  16. “The game’s afoot” is a catchphrase that is often credited to Holmes. However, Doyle took the line from Shakespeare’s Henry V. King Henry says the line at in Act III, Scene 1, at the end of a speech, “The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit…”
  17. Holmes has over 300 societies dedicated to him. Generally, the American members call themselves Sherlockians and the British ones call themselves Holmesians.
  18. Each sub-group also has its own name. One of the most popular ones is the Baker Street Irregulars, named after Holmes’ intelligence network of homeless children.
  19. Mycroft Holmes might get some screen time in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Sherlock, but the character only appears in two of Doyle’s stories: The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter and The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.
  20. Throughout 50+ Holmes stories, we never actually find out the names of Sherlock’s parents. The only information we get on an ancestor is that Holmes’s great-uncle was the French painter, Horace Vernet. We also get a passing mention to Holmes’ ancestors being important public figures, or “squires.”


Days of the Year