The Method Of His Madness

2668 Words11 Pages
Jake Armstrong
Mrs. Neighbors
English 514 – 3
3 March 2015
The Method to His Madness
In the detective canon of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the acclaimed prototype of the consulting detective. Holmes has modernized the detective story, and has certainly made his footprint on the genre. As evidenced by his long-lasting fame, public reaction and legacy, Sherlock Holmes revolutionized detective fiction through the staged application of the science of deduction. Through the simple fact that Sherlock Holmes is still so revered by literary scholars, it is clear to see how paramount the canon is in detective fiction. The Georgia Review states its surreal influence: “No other Victorian literary character…has maintained
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This fame can be measured by Holmes’ household recognition, among other things. For example, simply typing in Sherlock Holmes into a search engine will yield millions of results, and, while some have created websites dedicated to Sherlock, others carry the tradition of a literary society dating back to the 1930’s. The oldest and most notable of those is The Baker Street Irregulars, which is “is a literary society dedicated to the study of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Victorian world” ("About the BSI Trust"). With all these followers, whether on Facebook or not, it is no wonder that the Sherlockian tradition may live to fight another day. Although the memory of Sherlock is alive and well today, it is just as important to look back to the earlier public reaction of Sherlock. The most notable occasion happened to occur on the most unfortunate circumstances of Holmes’ death. Around this time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was drawing media scrutiny for his “ambiguous attitude towards the Sherlock Holmes stories” ("You Know My Methods" 741); in fact, he “regarded them as distinctly inferior to his historical works” (741). As such, he attempted to give the hero an honorable death. Therefore, Holmes faced the “Napoleon of crime…who was my intellectual equal” (Doyle, "The Final Problem"), and was assumed dead by Watson at the end of the short story. Holmes received many letters from fans, friends, and family
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