Remembering Sherlock Holmes

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

A goo, first edition of the 1902 book will cost you thousands of pounds and a signed copy, even more.

Saturday marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of the first collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. At the time probably neither the editors of Beeton’s Christmas Annual or the Strand Magazine in which the stories were published (starting in 1887, 130 years ago this year) nor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author, realised that the character would be so endearing.

Edinburgh was where Conan Doyle was born and you can join a walking tour that will take you to places connected to the author. There you will see where he was born and educated as well as being introduced to the man on whom Holmes was based. That man, Joseph Bell, has a plaque in his memory which you will see as the tour wends its way around the city. It was erected by The Japan Sherlock Holmes Club which only emphasises the world-wide appeal of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes will however, be firmly identified by his London address, 221B Baker Street, where you will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum. If you look at the queues outside you will see any number of nationalities, another testament to the worldwide appeal of the fictional detective.

At Hindhead in Surrey is Undershaw, the house in which Conan Doyle lived for ten years of his wife and where he wrote probably his most famous story, The Hound of the Baskervilles. At one stage, the house was nearly derelict and there were plans to turn it into flats. Today it is a school for the disabled. Normally unavailable for visits it was open for Heritage Open Days event last month and probably will be again next year.

Another of his homes and where he ended his days in 1930 in what is now called Windlesham Manor in the East Sussex town of Crowbrough. Today that is a care home and, once again, unavailable for visiting.

The Hound of the Baskervilles was set on dartmoor in Devon but there is a dispute about which house Conan Doyle used as the basis for Baskerville Hall. It may not have even been in Devon so visitors, today, must content themselves with visiting the moor and some of the places connected to the book.

That book resurrected Holmes after his death at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. At the falls, there is a memorial plaque at the funicular railway and, in the nearby town of Meiringen, there is the Sherlock Holmes Museum which opened just 26 years ago on the anniversary of the death of Holmes at the falls.

At many of these locations, the name of Sherlock Holmes will be remembered in special events this weekend.

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