Was Sherlock Holmes a real person?
The simple answer is “no, not exactly, but there is the person of Dr. Joseph Bell”. So who is this guy and what do I think…
By the end of Conan Doyle's second year
“Most people see but do not observe,” Bell once commented, “Glance at a man and you find his nationality written on his face, his means of livelihood on his hands and the rest of his story in his gait, mannerisms, watch-chain ornaments and the lint adhering to his clothes.”
Telling the House Surgeon to usher in a new patient, he delighted in putting the deductive powers of the student to the test, with results generally amusing, except to the poor student victim himself.
"What is the matter with this man, sir?" he inquired "Come down, sir, and look at him! No! You mustn't touch him. Use your eyes, sir! Use your ears, use your brain, your bump of perception, and use your powers of deduction."
After looking at the patient the student replied: "Hip-joint disease, sir!"
From close observation and deduction, gentlemen, you can make a correct diagnosis of any and every case. However, never neglect to ratify your deductions, to substantiate your diagnosis with the stethoscope, and by other recognized and every-day methods of diagnosis."
Of another patient he would say, "Gentlemen, we have here a man who is either a cork-cutter or a slater. If you will only use your eyes a moment you will be able to define a slight hardening--a regular callous, gentlemen--on one side of his forefinger, and a thickening on the outside of his thumb, a sure sign that he follows the one occupation or the other." Another time, "Gentlemen, a fisherman! You will notice that, though this is a very hot summer’s day, the patient is wearing top-boots. When he sat on the chair they were plainly visible. No one but a sailor would wear top-boots at this season of the year. The shade of tan on his face shows him to be a coast-sailor, and not a deep-sea sailor--a sailor who makes foreign lands. His tan is that produced by one climate, a 'local tan,' so to speak. A knife scabbard shows beneath his coat, the kind used by fishermen in this part of the world. He is concealing a quid of tobacco in the furthest corner of his mouth and manages it very adroitly indeed, gentlemen. The summary of these deductions shows that this man is a fisherman. Further, to prove the correctness of these deductions, I notice several fish-scales adhering to his clothes and hands, while the odor of fish announced his arrival in a most marked and striking manner.
On one occasion he called upon a student to diagnose a case. The student made a miserable failure of it.
"Get out your notebook, man," said
Doyle Graduated from
Thus was born the great Sherlock Holmes! I love stories like this. These are why I invite you to keep an open mind and keep walking in this big weird world of ours!
I’m Average Joeemail: OurWeirdWorld@gmail.com