Sherlock Holmes's Identity: Mr. Pearson's Reply to Mr. Conan Doyle
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Sherlock Holmes's Identity
In reference to Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle's letter which appeared in The Times last Thursday, Mr. Hesketh Pearson writes:—
Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle implies that I have described his father as one who, because he could give such a lifelike portrait of Dr. Watson, must have depended entirely an someone else for Sherlock Holmes. If he will turn to page 88 of my biography of his father he will read: "Doyle always declared that Dr. Joseph Bell, surgeon at the Edinburgh Infirmary, was the model for Sherlock Holmes, but Bell once confessed that Doyle owed much less than he thinks to me.' What happened, obviously, was that Bell stimulated Doyle's fancy, which, once released, far surpassed the original."
Further, in giving instances of Doyle's Watsonish characteristics, I preface them with the remark: "He was often too absorbed in his thoughts to display the quickness of mind and observation expected of him."
Thus, though Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle does not appear to think so, he and I are of one mind on the subject.