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Blog For Readers: Sherlock Holmes

In it origins, the detective method is closely connected with early Romantic ideas about the nature of the imagination. Poe set the precedent of the detective as an impure rationalist; and it has frequently been pointed out how the methods of Dupin, and his disciple, Holmes rely not on deduction, but induction. This is a method which required the mind to make certain leaps of the imagination. The classic example of the detective psychology can be seen in the famous mind-reading episode, which Conan Doyle took from Poe, and adapted in the adventure of the The Cardboard Box.

Sherlock Holmes's own wide knowledge of classic murder cases and of the circumstances of their victims' demise certainly assisted him in the detection of crime and the speed with which he reached his conclusions.

The most famous detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes, made his first public appearance in the December issue of Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887. The story, A Study in Scarlet, was not an immediate success when it was reprinted by Ward Lock & Co. in the following year. That was unsurprising, however, for in August of that year the first of Jack the Ripper's many victims was added to the already high crime statistics of London. The appetite of the Victorian reading public enjoyed a full enough saturation of bloody murder and mayhem from the popular press of the day.