In the second half of the Victorian period another way to escape daily routine was the story of entertainment. The detective story had already
Sherlock Holmes is a detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a Scottish author and physician. Holmes has become the reference point for detective story writers. His logical reasoning, his ability of acting in disguise and using forensic science to solve almost impossible cases are qualities shared by many private detectives also nowadays.
Conan Doyle created his hero in 1887, when he appeared in A Study in Scarlet – Beeton’s Christmas Annual – and soon after in The Sign of the Four – Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, 1890. But these were only the first of the fortunate 56 short stories- and 4 novels – which cover a period between 1880 and 1914.
The stories are usually told by his collaborator, biographer and close friend Dr. John Watson; only two are narrated by S. Holmes himself. and two others are written in the third person.
Watson and Holmes also share the same house at 221B, Baker Street Holmes. Only for a brief period they will live separate lives, when Watson gets married. At his wife’s death he goes back to Holmes’. Their flat is kept by the landlady, Mrs. Hudson.
Watson frequently makes note of Holmes’s erratic eating habits. The detective is often described as starving himself at times of intense intellectual activity, such as during “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”, wherein, according to Watson:
Holmes’s personality develops through the stories: he is a solitary man, who loves smoking; he is a drug addict who things cocaine helps his ability; he is an eccentric, with no regard for tidiness. In some stories he reveals his patriotism and helps the government in matters of national security. His great self-confidence and esteem brings him to show an arrogant behaviour: cold and dispassionate he feels pleased when his superior skills are recognized.