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Did Sidney Paget expose a secret in his artwork?


I don’t often do this but I thought I would have a go at “playing the game”. Whilst articles in this vein can be entertaining, my personal feeling is that they add little in the long-term to Sherlockian knowledge. If you build an entire hypothesis on the idea that the stories were real then it simply cannot last. As Holmes might say “how can you build on such quicksand?”


However, in the spirit of entertainment rather than scholarship, I present this idea to you. Did Sidney Paget inadvertently give away a secret in his artwork?

Holmes always described his brother Mycroft as lacking energy and stated that he could only be a detective if it could be done from the comfort of an armchair. Was he, in fact, pulling Watson’s leg?

In 1894 the chronicles of a new detective began being published. The first seven of these appeared in The Strand and were illustrated by Sidney Paget. The detective in question went by the name of Martin Hewitt but was he in fact Mycroft Holmes trying his hand at some more physically demanding detective work?

The pictures below of Mycroft and Hewitt would seem to suggest so.

Mycroft Holmes (left) Martin Hewitt (right). One and the same?

 Food for thought. After all they do share the same initials.




For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

1 comment:

  1. You have it! - surely the two are one! - but personally, I was always annoyed at Mycroft's lazy effortless solutions. I always prefer a mystery where the clues are laid clearly and we get an insight into the deductive process. Well spotted!.

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