Newspaper article International New York Times

A Focus on Sherlock Holmes in London

Newspaper article International New York Times

A Focus on Sherlock Holmes in London

Article excerpt

Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective is the subject of a Museum of London exhibition called "Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die."

He might have been called Sherrinford, might have resided at 221 Upper Baker Street, and might not have survived the Reichenbach Falls.

But luckily for his fans, Arthur Conan Doyle changed his mind more than once about his fictional "consulting detective," now the subject of a Museum of London exhibition called "Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die."

The intrigue begins at the exhibition's entrance, with visitors pushing through a door hidden in a wall of fake bookshelves.

Then they hear the voices of actors like John Gielgud and Simon Callow who portrayed Holmes on the radio, and see video clips of actors like Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett who played him decades ago on screen.

The exhibition's organizers say they are trying to give those who may have discovered Sherlock Holmes through the latest film or television adaptation a wider cultural context.

Capitalizing on interest in the BBC's current Emmy award-winning series, "Sherlock," starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the museum reaches back to 1885 and a sheet of paper upon which Conan Doyle first jotted down some ideas, including possible names and addresses for his stories.

"For very keen Sherlockians, this in where it all starts," the curator, Alex Werner, said in an interview. "It's a paper where Conan Doyle is really thinking out the story. He is considering the name Sherrinford Holmes and he doesn't have Dr. Watson's name yet."

And because Conan Doyle considered Edgar Allen Poe as a major influence, the show includes an excerpt from the handwritten manuscript of what is considered the world's first modern detective story, Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue."

"We've borrowed three pages from the Free Library of Philadelphia," Mr. …

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