The Who’s Who of Detective Novels

Sherlock Holmes is a classic literary and now filmic character that has transcended not only generally gaps, but also cultural gaps. It has been appropriate into countless different shows and movies, from a series called elementary, appropriated for more American audiences, to “Sherlock”, which was produced predominantly for a British audience.
First novel to feature Holmes A Study In Scarlet published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887.
3 other novels followed as well as 56 short stories, the majority published in The Strand magazine
The majority of the narratives occur from Holmes’ companion and assistant John Watson’s perspective – hence from the outset Sherlock Holmes was presented to the reader as a series of observations of a peculiarly English character. When the narration technique alters it is usually to an omniscient perspective, so that action outside of Holmes and Watson’s range in the story can be observed by the reader. Only two stories are written from the perspective of Holmes himself.
Sherlock Holmes has been adapted many times, for both cinema and television
The number of these adaptations attest to the text’s popularity and appeal
In part this appeal rests on a desire for a constructed – and nostalgic- ( Victorian) England where order emerges from chaos. The figure of Sherlock Holmes represents an idealised Englishness: one which is imaginary and constructed.
A ‘hard-boiled’ hero, whose capacity for violence matches his adversary’s . Moves in the underworld he investigates, attracts women, is usually damaged or broken( has issues with either drugs or alcohol which also act to imply his masculinity). Works alone by choice, and is separated from his criminals by a moral code
The scope of the crime is more ‘wide-open’ and entails a journey into the underworld by the hero to solve the case.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s