Pipe Ashes to Ashes - an amusing thought

I have often wondered what it must have been like to be a person reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as they came out. Anybody that has come to Sherlock Holmes since 1927 has had the benefit of having all the stories instantly available, the entire canon has been there for us to dip into.

What must it have been like to be one of those people who had to wait for the next instalment to be published, one of those people who mourned the publication of The Final Problem without the assurance that Holmes would return?

I also wonder what it must have been like for people when Holmes ceased to be contemporary. As I have mentioned before, Holmes began his adventures operating in the same world and age as his readers but as the world entered the 20th century Holmes remained largely in the 19th. By the time 1927 was reached Holmes had not had an adventure later in time than 1914 and his last published adventure Shoscombe Old Place was set at the turn of the century, nearly three decades prior to its publication date.

So, looked at another way, Holmes went from being a contemporary detective to being almost a retro detective. He operated in the past but it was a past that many of his readers were directly familiar with. Or, to put it yet another way, Holmes became trapped in the recent past - he entered his own version of Life on Mars.

How about that? A parallel between Sherlock Holmes and Gene Hunt.


1 comment:

  1. There are certainly parallels - not least the attitude to the fairer sex.