By B. J. Rahn
Ever wondered where Conan Doyle got his inspiration for the literary sleuth? Was there a real ‘Study in Scarlet’ in Victorian London? What baffled Victorian police detectives?
In The Real World of Sherlock, B. J. Rahn explores the world that Sherlock emerged from and the inspirations behind the character himself. Holmes is a man known for his eccentricities – his reclusiveness and the aura of genius have become trademarks today, and are recognisable in any Holmes adaptation. This book reveals the men who inspired that iconic persona. Among them are Dr Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle’s role model and an investigator of disease and crime, and the writer Edgar Allan Poe, who invented the detective story as we recognize it today.
Rahn also takes a fascinating look at crime and detection in 19th-century London. She explores how the work of police detectives and CSI evolved in this era, from footprint analysis and human blood testing to fingerprinting and crime-scene photography. But did Sherlock make use of these emerging techniques in his investigations?