The Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, Switzerland, claims to be the most authentic
Baker Street reproduction in the world
Conan Doyle wrote the Holmes stories quickly,
never imagining that they would receive much scrutiny. If he forgot
a date or fact from a previous story, he forged ahead without looking
it up. This bad habit has resulted in some startling discrepancies.
Was Watson wounded in the leg or the arm? How could Watson's deceased
wife be on a visit to her mother's? Is Watson's given name "James"
or "John"? To correct these and other inconsistencies, Sherlockians
comb the "canon," or "sacred writings," for clues, seek secondary
sources (inventing some themselves when all else fails), and write
"scholarly" articles, using Holmes's methods to solve contradictions
in the works or following clues to add new "facts" to Holmes's and
this map was drawn in 1892, no 221b Baker Street existed
One favorite Sherlockian controversy centers on
the "original" location of 221b Baker Street, a non-existent address
in Conan Doyle's time. When Baker Street was renumbered during the
1920s, 221b was created on the block formerly called Upper Baker
Street. Many faithful representations of the sitting room at 221b
Baker Street have been constructed throughout the world. All contain
the violin, the tobacco-holding Persian slipper, and other Holmesian
accouterments mentioned in the stories.
The Game is played seriously, but is played best when it avoids
pomposity. Christopher Morley once wrote, "What other body of modern
literature is esteemed as much for its errors as its felicities?"
Conan Doyle, on the other hand, wondered why anyone "should spend
such pains on such material." He alone, it seems, was immune to
the fascination exerted by Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on generations