Strong women in the Canon.

The Canon is blessed with, in my opinion, many notable female characters. Conan Doyle does not give us many shrinking Violets although he does give us three strong Violets.

The two most famous female characters from the series are Mary Morstan and Irene Adler but I think they tend to overshadow equally strong female characters. One of my personal favourites being Violet Smith from The Solitary Cyclist.

Who are your favourite women from the Canon?

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  1. Easily overlooked: Mrs. Hudson. She might not be a striking example of a strong woman, but she seems one of very few who fearlessly stands up to Holmes and has undoubtedly earned his respect.

  2. There are four Violets in the stories, but only Westbury seems to have little to commend her.

    As for my own favorite, I keep coming back to the long-suffering Mrs. Hudson. She would have needed great strength to tolerate Sherlock Holmes for as long as she did.

  3. As you say, the fourth Violet, while not overtly weak, is not a stand-out character. The three I referred to all show some real steel and it is Smith's pursuit of the cyclist that I always enjoy. The adaptation of it in the Granada series being something that always makes me smile.

  4. My favourite is little Lucy from The Yellow Face... Perhaps not a strong character, but a strong symbol for hope of a better society. (I love the fairy tale ending of that story, so many SH stories end in tragedy.)

  5. I like Maud Bellamy (The Adventure of the Lion's Mane) and Annie Harrison (The Adventure of the Naval Treaty).

    According to Holmes: "Maud Bellamy will always remain in my memory as a most complete and remarkable woman."

    Finally, I also like Sarah Sawyer from BBC Sherlock Season 1. I think she was written as a nod to the strong female characters in the Canon. In addition to saving Sherlock from his attacker in the Chinese circus, she also gave useful inputs in the solving of the cryptic messages.