It turns out that author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owes a debt to Jesus Christ as an inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.
And no, you haven’t missed a short story in which Holmes walked on water, before turning some water into wine for his colleague Doctor Watson.
It all stems from the influence of his mother, who was a great storyteller coming from an Irish-Celtic tradition, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle expert Owen Dudley Edwards explains.
He said: “She evidently understood about drama and storytelling, and there seem to have been two different strains. One being Irish mythology: faeries, Gods, heroes and the Celts and so forth, and the other is that she was tremendously enthusiastic about medieval stories, knights in shining armour and so forth, King Arthur and that sort of thing.”
The battle between good and evil? Apparently so. Dudley Edwards remarked: “Well, that would have been something the Jesuits trained him, the idea of Christ as giving up his life so that evil should be destroyed, or at least forced to loosen its hold on the world.
“And of course, when he finally killed off Sherlock Holmes that’s what he did. Sherlock Holmes gives his life so that the evil influence of Professor Moriarty will be ended.”
Dudley added: “Sherlock Holmes, in addition to being in part a Jesuit, and in being various doctors, is also in part, particular at the point when he supposedly dies and gives his life on the final problem, Jesus Christ.”
Scottish actor David Hayman has become a sleuth himself to examine the truth behind Sherlock Holmes in a new one-off STV documentary.
Showing on STV on Monday December 28 at 9pm, the show will coincide with the release of the latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation directed by Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
The Search for Sherlock Holmes follows Hayman on a fascinating and personal journey to reveal the heart of one of the world’s most significant and loved literary figures, and the most portrayed movie character of all time.