We have all heard of Sherlock Holmes, and in the eyes of most of the world he is the greatest fictional detective of all time. His popularity is so great that there is an entire society devoted to Sherlock Holmes fan fiction and sometimes to pretending he is real, called the Baker Street Irregulars. It is inevitable that with such popularity there will be many mistaken notions about the character. Its mythology becomes distorted and things that are not at all true become commonly repeated as fact. Below are ten things most people think about Sherlock Holmes, that are completely wrong.
Many people see Sherlock Holmes as a white knight of the detective world: he solves cases using only the power of his mind and innocent people never get hurt in the process. He is universally beloved as the greatest fictional detective in the world, but he had more of a dark side than just his drug use and other eccentric habits. Sherlock Holmes was not at all averse to doing whatever it took to win a case, and he often played the game for the games own sake. In one story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, he becomes engaged to a housemaid to get closer to a villain he is trying to expose. After he solves the case, he simply leaves the woman, presumably upsetting her greatly. He never makes any effort to explain the situation to her and we never hear about it again. He also employed a small group of street urchins to do his dirty work, which he affectionately called "The Baker Street Irregulars." We see them in The Sign of the Four, A Study in Scarlet, and The Adventure of the Crooked Man.
In The Adventure of the Three Gables Sherlock Holmes engages in some very cruel and racist conversations with black people. He basically calls a black boxer stupid based on his skin color and then goes so far as to make fun of the size of his lips. An excerpt from Holmes encounter with Steve Dixie, a black boxer: "‘That's my name, Masser Holmes, and you'll get put through it for sure if you give me any lip.' ‘It is certainly the last thing you need,' said Holmes, staring at our visitor's hideous mouth." After The boxer left Sherlock Holmes comments: "I am glad you were not forced to break his woolly head, Watson. I observed your maneuvers with the poker. But he is really rather a harmless fellow, a great muscular, foolish, blustering baby, and easily cowed, as you have seen." There are other times where more commonplace comments are made about people from Africa in general, that are somewhat disparaging. There are a couple of important things to note, however. When the stories were written, these attitudes were fairly commonplace, it doesn't excuse them, but it doesn't make the character much different from anyone else in England at the time. It is also interesting to note that many scholars believe The Adventure of the Three Gables, which had the most obvious racism, was actually a forgery and not written by Arthur Conan Doyle at all. This would not be particularly surprising as Sherlock Holmes fan fiction has been popular for a long time.
In the recent Sherlock Holmes movies, he is pictured taking evidence from crime scenes and hiding it from the police on multiple occasions. This allows him to stay several steps ahead at all times and ensures he solves the case before they do. The only problem here is that this is totally the opposite of how he behaved in the books. Sherlock Holmes would always leave enough evidence for the police to figure out the same things he did if they were so inclined as we see in The Adventure of the Devils Foot. And he would often share information with them if he thought they were pursuing a useless line of inquiry, which we can see in The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge. Sherlock Holmes stayed ahead of the police because he was simply better at deduction than they were; it does a disservice to his character to suggest that he would ever misappropriate evidence.
Sherlock Holmes's best friend is Dr. John Watson, and he relies on him as his biographer and companion, especially on very dangerous missions. The pair are incredibly close and remain good friends throughout most of their lives. Holmes even comments that he would be "lost without his Boswell," in reference to the famous 18th century biographer of Samuel Johnson. However, while Holmes may have trusted his best friend to defend him in a scrape, and trusted his medical knowledge, he does not truly trust Dr. Watson. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes sends Dr. Watson to keep an eye on the situation at Baskerville hall, and then sneaks out to the moor to keep an eye on the situation himself rather than trusting his friends account. And to make matters worse he does not even tell Dr. Watson of his arrival. Also, in The Adventure of the Dying Detective, he tricks his best friend into thinking he is dying of a deadly disease because he does not believe that Dr. Watson would be able to keep the secret that he was faking it if he told him. While he claims respect for Dr. Watson's medical skills, it's a poor show that he doesn't think his friend could go along with his game.
Not all movies are guilty of this particular offense, but the horrible monstrosity that was the recent two part movie series with Robert Downey Jr is a huge offender. Robert Downey Jr portrays Holmes as dressing in an extremely eccentric manner, including ill fitting clothes, strange ensembles that don't make sense and as having a general air of bad hygiene. However, Sherlock Holmes is actually described in The Hound of the Baskervilles as having a cat like approach to cleanliness. He dressed in very traditional, conservative clothes for his time and was always impeccably neat. In fact, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes is out on the moor investigating a case in secret, living in an old shack, and still arranges to have fresh linen and other luxuries brought to him so that he can remain neat and clean.
翻译：高陈影 编辑：陈艳冲 来源：前十网