5 Things You Didn't Know About Sherlock Holmes

On October 14, 1892, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published.  The book was a compilation of stories that Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about Sherlock Holmes.


Sherlock Holmes Was Originally Going To Be Called Sherrinford Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was reported to have used the name Sherrinford for his detective but changed the name with a slight alteration to Sherlock, naming the character after a cricket player named Francis Shacklock. Doyle himself was a cricket player with the Marylebone Cricket Club and played in many first-class matches between 1899 and 1907. It seems appropriate somehow because Baker Street is located in London’s Marylebone district.

Doyle’s First Novel Featuring Sherlock Holmes Was a Failure The first Sherlock Holmes novel was something of a flop. The detective made his debut in the novel “A Study in Scarlet” written by a 27-year-old Doyle in just three weeks. Doyle’s was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, a real-life lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who could diagnose his patients just by seeing them, which is reminiscent of the much later television serious about the brilliant physician in “House.” Although many publishers rejected Doyle’s first novel, it was eventually published in a paperback magazine called Beeton’s Christmas Annual.


Sherlock Holmes is The Most-Filmed Fictional Character. Sherlock Holmes is the most-filmed human fictional character. Holmes has been portrayed in about 254 films over the years. The first film released, called Sherlock Holmes Baffled, was in 1900 and had a runtime of one minute.  Since his creation in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been played by over 75 actors including Sir Christopher Lee, Charlton Heston, Peter O'Toole, Christopher Plummer, Peter Cook, Roger Moore, John Cleese, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr.

He Never Said "Elementary, My Dear Watson" If anyone were asked what phrase Sherlock Holmes was famous for, their answer would probably be “Elementary, my dear Watson,” but he never said that in any of Doyle’s books. The quote can be attributed to a novel by P.G. Wodehouse called "Psmith, Journalist,"  which came out in 1915 and appears in several films. Although Holmes says ‘Elementary!’ and ‘my dear Watson’ at various points, he never put them together.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum Is And Isn’t At 221B Baker Street Although the museum in London bears the official address ‘221B’ in line with the celebrated address from the stories, the museum’s building lies between 237 and 241 Baker Street, making it physically — if not officially — at number 239.