Sherlock Holmes's Genesis Explained

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
The New York Herald (2 october 1921, p. 25)

Sherlock Holmes's Genesis Explained is an article first published in The New York Herald on 2 october 1921.

Report of the Conan Doyle's speech made at the Stoll Convention dinner held in the Balmoral Ballroom of the London's Trocadero.


Sherlock Holmes's Genesis Explained

Sir Conan Doyle Tells How Name of Character Was Evolved.

Special Cable to The New York Herald.
Copyright, 1921, by The New York Herald.

New York Herald Bureau
London, Oct. 1.

Sir Conan Doyle gave on authoritative account of the origin of the name of "Sherlock Holmes" at the semi-annual convention dinner of the Stoll Film Company here this week. At the same time his "Speckled Band" was enjoying a hugely successful revival at the St. James's Theatre. Simultaneously reports from Constantinople said the Turks were accusing the British Government of sending its famous detective to the Turkish capital, where he is well known in the films, just in time to discover plot against a score of high British officers there.

Sir Conan said many persons had strange reasons for his use of the name of "Sherlock Holmes," but the real reason was that he wanted to get away from Dickens's custom of calling every detective "Sharpe" or a similar name.

"Holmes was homely," he said, "and as for 'Sherlock' — well, years ago I made thirty runs against a bowler by the name of Sherlock, and I always had a kindly feeling for that name."

Sir Conan also gave to William Gillette all the credit for the dramatisation of "Sherlock Holmes." He revealed that Mr. Gillette, while touring America in the part of Sherlock Holmes, cabled to him:

"May I marry Sherlock Holmes!"

Sir Conan replied:

"Marry him or murder him. Do anything you like."