Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first handwritten notes for a Sherlock Holmes story have gone on display for the first time in Britain, celebrating the world’s most famous fictional detective.
In the first major UK exhibition about Holmes for 60 years, the Museum of London seeks to define who Holmes is, and why he still conjures up such enduring fascination.
Entitled “The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die”, the display looks at the overseas appeal of Conan Doyle’s creation featuring early films, photography, paintings and some of the original manuscripts.
“Conan Doyle managed to capture a particular mood of Victorian Britain, combining the rapid progress of human civilization and the fractured mind of a person caught in a whirlpool of time,” Laura Mitchell, media officer at the Museum of London, told TASS.
“Stories about the world’s first private detective appeared at a time when the whole of London kept track of police attempts to get on the trail of Jack the Ripper,” Mitchell said. “In this atmosphere of excessive nervousness and mysticism, Sherlock Holmes demonstrated phenomenal ‘icy intelligence’ and proved that the world maintains logic and the highest order when evil is punished.”
Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous Londoners of all time. The Guinness Book of Records counts Holmes as the most portrayed fictional character in film and on TV, ahead of Hamlet. Two recent Hollywood films starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have grossed more than $1 billion while the BBC’s Sherlock series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, was licensed to almost all countries of the world last year.