What is some background information about the character Sherlock Holmes?


Quick Answer

Sherlock Holmes, the character created by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a detective from Victorian London who is famous for his scientific reasoning, keen observation and rational mind. Holmes' hobbies include playing the violin, boxing and sword-fighting. He is from upper class society and has a brother named Mycroft who appears in several stories. Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street with his flatmate John Watson, a retired army doctor. Holmes appears in 56 stories and four novels by Doyle.

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Full Answer

Holmes is very intelligent and easily bored. He dislikes the company of other people and is happiest when working on a case. He sometimes uses cocaine and morphine when not working; however, these drugs were not illegal in Victorian England and obtainable at most drugstores. Holmes also smokes pipe tobacco regularly.

Doyle does not provide much information about Holmes' physical appearance, other than nothing that Holmes has piercing eyes, a prominent chin and a hawk-like nose.

The Sherlock Holmes stories are one of the first examples of detective fiction in literature, and there are many adaptations of the stories on the big screen and TV. At the time of their publication, Doyle expected the Sherlock Holmes stories to be quickly forgotten and considered them less important than his other writing projects, including several historical fiction novels.

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