Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

9 10 2009

Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesI’m currently reading the engrossing Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. I’ve read many adventures of him here and there but never really pursued a collection to the end. This particular book is a collection of 12 stories, all chronicled, as always, by the great detective’s faithful companion Dr. Watson. I must really mention that this particular collection is a New Millennium Library publication because this includes a very good Introduction by John Michael (who is an associate professor of English at the University of Rochester at the time of the publication i.e. 2001), which revealed a few very interesting facts about the author and his work. 

I learned from the introduction itself that Sherlock Holmes dies in the last piece of this collection – ‘The Final Problem’. But I was utterly unprepared to know about the public outrage that followed at that time. It seemed that people were really upset and there were rallies and protests and all such sort of things. And there were huge number of angry letters sent to the author and one lady had even addressed him ‘”You brute” John says that never before or since had there been such a reaction from the public to the death/tragedy of a fictional character. Such was the intensity of their hurt and fury that the author had literally been forced to correct his “mistake” by bringing back Holmes to life and continuing to delight the readers with more adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 

In one of these stories, I was thrilled to know that Sherlock has an elder brother who has superior powers of observation and deduction than Sherlock. His name is Mycroft Holmes. The reason for his being not so popular as his younger sibling is that he isn’t into detective work. He is a very quiet person who lacks ambition and energy required for the profession. 

Reading all those chronicles, I feel transported to that time and place – 19th century England – and I keep fantasizing about being there beside Sherlock Holmes, as he solves the mysteries…

All in all, reading this book has been a very remarkable experience to me. Though Arthur’s works have been in my to-read list for so many years now, I have always been putting them away to another day (with the exception of devouring a few stories now and then). It amuses me to recollect how I finally managed to pick this particular book – it’s just that the copy was new and I was very much impressed by the fine quality of the paper and the print. 🙂 

I’m very curious to know how the author crafted Sherlock’s escape from the fatal circumstances/events and explained his return. I’m sure I’ll have it answered in the collection – The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

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4 responses

10 10 2009
Sree

I used to be a big Holmes fan too…. in fact so much so that.. I felt as if I were his assistant little Ms. Watson and start thinking as soon as the case opened :)… those were the days, but gradually the memory and the excitement faded.. maybe some time soon, I should relive those moments.. maybe I will do it together with Sreya..

12 10 2009
sireeshaavvari

Ha ha.. Don’t you think it’s really gonna be a while to do so?

12 10 2009
Sunita

🙂 You have taken me back to our old, partly torn Sherlock Holmes book.. the old book smell and the utmost care with which we used to turn the pages.. aahhh.. I remember my 7-8th class holidays with that wonderful book! And ‘The Woman’ as he always calls her in The Scandal in Bohemia.. Thanks for taking me back thru the memory lane.. Enjoy reading 🙂

12 10 2009
sireeshaavvari

Hmm.. you do have a good memory. I hardly remember any stories I read long back. Except of course The Hound of Baskervillies.
I’ve finished this book shortly after writing this post. I must admit, it was really hard for me to read about Holmes’ death.

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