Common Misbeliefs About Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes was a handsome man.
It is a misconception that the detective was handsome. Though for movies, films and theatre plays producers cast good-looking actors to play the sleuth, Conan Doyle did not want him to be a nice man. According to the author’s description Holmes is rather hideous: he is balding and has a big nose. Many years later J. K. Rowling hid Harry Potter under a scar and glasses, and this way people saw his features and deeds and formed their opinions accordingly. Doyle wanted to show the spirit, courage and humanity of Holmes. The detective became handsome because of a brilliant artist called Sidney Paget. He was commissioned by The Strand Magazine to make illustrations to the Holmes novels. While reading the stories Sidney came to like the eccentric Sherlock and that is why the character was handsome for him. But Conan Doyle thought it was Frank Wiles who depicted Holmes the closest to his original idea.
“神探歇洛克英俊瀟灑”是個誤解。盡管在銀幕上和舞臺劇中，制片人總讓好看的演員扮演這位偵探，但柯南·道爾本不想如此。根據作者的描述，福爾摩斯相當丑陋：他不但謝頂，還長了只大鼻子！多年以后，J. K. 羅琳把哈利·波特藏在了傷疤和眼鏡之后，人們由此注意到他的特質和行為，從而形成對他的看法。道爾希望展示的，是福爾摩斯的精神、勇氣和人道關懷。神探之所以變得英俊瀟灑，要歸功于一個名叫西德尼·佩吉特的優秀畫家。他受《斯特蘭雜志》委托，為福爾摩斯系列小說繪制插畫。在閱讀故事的過程中，西德尼喜歡上了這個古怪的主人公，所以將他畫得格外英俊。但是，柯南·道爾認為，弗蘭克·懷爾斯所畫的福爾摩斯最符合他的原意。
Holmes and Watson are old.
Many people imagine the duo is middle-aged at the beginning of their friendship. Before their first encounter Watson served as an army doctor in Afghanistan and Holmes already had a reputation in solving crimes. In fact they both are young, around thirty years during most of their adventures. The two are almost coveal – Holmes was born in 1854 and he met Watson in 1881. It is easy to explain how could they achieve so many things at such a young age: they both were extraordinary young men. Though Watson is lightly overshadowed by Holmes, the good doctor was an intelligent man and a well-trained surgeon, who pulled through on the battlefield.
Sherlock Holmes was homosexual.
It is a current opinion that Holmes and Watson had a romantic relationship. Actually Watson was married not only once in Doyle’s novels, so he was heterosexual. Holmes lived entirely for his profession – he was workaholic. There are people who do not consider sex their purpose. They can fully or partially do without sex urge. Famous scientists like Stephen Hawking or Sir Isaac Newton were workaholics too.
Sherlock’s job is dangerous, it requires fast thinking, the ability of combining things and a perfect build-up. It is an extremely exhaustive profession, and after it he has no time or/and energy to other activities or private life. Similar to him C. Auguste Dupin and Hercule Poirot had no companions.
Roger Johnson (The Sherlock Holmes Society of London Press and Publicity Officer and Hon Editor. He is the editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal.), observed that in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories, “Watson is something of a ladies’ man, but a faithful husband to his wife. And Holmes is essentially asexual, with no erotic interest in women or men.”
“But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things. I should never marry myself, lest I biasmy judgment.” – Sherlock Holmes quote from The Sign of Four. The detective needs true cold reason for his profession.
The society of the Victorian era had a different attitude towards sexuality. Nowadays it is an everyday topic. At that time there had been a belief that living a sexually active life shortens life expectancy and dulls thinking. It is possible that Holmes refrained from sexuality because of this reason – he thought it is harmful for thinking. He remarked digestion draws away energy from brainwork, and maybe his opinion was the same about sex.