From Page to Stage: Sherlock Holmes

Winnipeg Public Library and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre have teamed up to bring you new ways to enrich your theatre experience! Interested in the current RMTC production, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily? Join crime writer Catherine Macdonald as she examines the amateur sleuth “template” established by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the Millennium Library on Tuesday, October 21, at 12:10 p.m. And if you can’t make it to the theatre or the library, try a few of the suggested reads below…

Explore More Sherlock Holmes

First introduced in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes quickly became the archetype of the cerebral detective and has inspired hundreds of novels, stories, and dramatic adaptations. We can rest assured that Holmes will continue to be rewritten, remixed, re-interpreted, and re-imagined for the next hundred years.

Explore the Original Stories

holmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. The character of Irene Adler in “A Scandal in Bohemia” was widely believed to be based on Lillie Langtry. That short story and eleven others are brought together in this collection. (Because the book is in the public domain, free etexts are also widely available.)

annotatedThe New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. This massive four-volume edition reprints all 56 Holmes stories together with critical interpretations, historical notes, lavish illustrations, and much, much more for the devoted Sherlockian.

Explore More Drama

brett Jeremy Brett in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes [and various other titles]. Considered the definitive Holmes of our era, Brett portrayed the detective in more than forty episodes for British television. (Also available online via hoopla, the streaming video service WPL subscribes to.)




cumberbatchSherlock. The BBC’s modern-day version of Holmes as a texting, asocial genius has been both critically acclaimed and wildly popular, due in no small part to the charisma of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

Explore Works Inspired by Holmes

In a loving act of homage, authors have been inventing varied and creative ways to explain how they discovered “lost” Sherlock Holmes case histories ever since Doyle ceased publishing. A staggering number of these pastiches have been published over the past century; here’s a sampling of just a few.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Laurie R. King. In 1915, a retired Sherlock Holmes is quietly studying honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Under his reluctant tutelage, Mary Russell proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner in the first of a long-running series.

enolaThe Case of the Missing Marquess, Nancy Springer. This first in a series for younger readers introduces Sherlock Holmes’s (much) younger sister – an engaging and intelligent detective in her own right – as she searches for her missing mother.

Dust and Shadow, Lyndsay Faye. This atmospheric novel pits Holmes against Jack the Ripper as he himself is wounded while trying to capture the East End killer.  

The House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz. Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more.

A Study in Sherlock, edited by Laurie R. King & Leslie Klinger. Eighteen well-known authors from Lee Child to Neil Gaiman provide their own original perspectives and variations on the consulting detective.

Explore More History

Bertie: a Life of Edward VII, Jane Ridley [also published as The heir apparent]. Edward VII (aka “Bertie”) was 59 when he finally came to power and reigned as King of England for only the last ten years of his life. This colourful biography paints a balanced portrait of his life, including his relationships with Lillie Langtry and other women.

Oscar Wilde, Richard Ellman. Ellman’s beautifully written, profoundly researched biography won a Pulitzer Prize and is still considered the standard life of Wilde.

scienceThe Science of Sherlock Holmes, E.J. Wagner. Doyle grounded Holmes’ investigatory methods in the cutting-edge science of his day, and this book uses Sherlock’s adventures to explore the real-life developments in forensic science during the late 19th century, from fingerprints to handwriting analysis.

Explore More Sherlockiana

On Conan Doyle, Michael Dirda. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda is a passionate Sherlock fan. His highly engaging introduction to Holmes’ creator combines memoir and personal appreciation as well as an insider’s account of The Baker Street Irregulars, the club dedicated to the study of Sherlock Holmes.

A Sherlock Holmes Handbook, Christopher Redmond. This exhaustive reference to the world of Sherlock Holmes gives a full background to the original stories and everything related, including movie and television versions, Victorian era history, and the entire Holmes phenomenon.

bioSherlock Holmes: the Unauthorized Biography, Nick Rennison. “What carefully plotted conspiracy led Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to declare that Holmes was merely a literary invention?” A delightful exercise in mock scholarship tracing the life of Holmes in incredible, imaginative detail.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s