Saturday, June 8, 2019
Sherlock Holmes, The Most Portrayed Fictional Character Of All Time, Lives On As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Hits 160
The Herald Scotland looks at the longevity of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (seen in the above photo), as the writer turns 160.
As common on 21st-century screens as he was in Victorian bookstores, Sherlock Holmes is one of those characters who simply refuses to die.
We mean this quite literally. In 1893, Holmes was killed off while grappling with arch-nemesis Moriarty – reportedly prompting outraged readers to don black armbands in a mixture of protest and mourning.
Though probably untrue, the story shows the regard in which Holmes was held even then, and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was eventually cajoled into reviving his fallen hero.
Doyle – who was born 160 years ago last month – himself had a colder relationship with his creation. He – correctly – felt the character cannibalised his other work (who remembers Professor Challenger?), and began to “weary of his name”. He didn’t even rate his own writing, referring to the stories as “an elementary form of fiction” (pun, one assumes, intended).
Doyle died in 1930, aged 71, but Holmes grew more vivacious with every passing decade. The Guinness Book of World Records lists him as the most portrayed character of all time – with more than 75 actors spanning more than 250 screen appearances.
Since the turn of the millennium, the centenarian Mr Holmes has been enjoying something of a purple patch. Benedict Cumberbatch rocked ratings for the BBC in Sherlock, while Robert Downey Jr did the same on the big screen in Guy Ritchie’s soon-to-be trilogy, and Ian McKellen scored rave reviews with a more thespian take in 2015’s Mr Holmes.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
Note: The above photo is of actor Jeremy Brett, my favorite Sherlock Holmes.