Sherlock Holmes and the great cesspool of Victorian London

From Pentonville Road Looking West: Evening (1884) by John O’Connor
Arthur Conan Doyle expelling ectoplasm

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a complex man. In his early life he studied medicine and created the rational genius detective Holmes in 1887. But in his later years Doyle turned to spiritualism and esoteric philosophies. Holmes too had a wild side, perhaps most vividly illustrated by his cocaine addiction. His faithful sidekick, Dr Watson, had “a grand gift for silence” and that made him “quite invaluable as a companion.” The literary precursor to the Holmes character was Edgard Allen Poe’s August Dupin, while the real life model was Doyle’s university professor Joseph Bell.

Sherlock Holmes became the most portrayed, most talked about and the most celebrated sleuth in history. Listing all the resources found on the net would therefore be almost insane. There are at least two great public domain film serials, one with Reginald Howard as Holmes and another with Basil Rathbone. There  are some very good Russian Holmes films, in addition to hundreds of American old time radio shows, books and movies. Much of it can be found at However, I have selected two great feature length movies which are listed as public domain on several websites:


Radio shows


Below you can watch “The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes”