Friday, March 2, 2018

The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes by Liese Sherwood-Fabre

book cover
The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes
by Liese Sherwood-Fabre

ISBN-13: 9780998411231
ebook: 80 pages
Publisher: Little Elm Press, LLC
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Step back to London, 1895. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories are full of references to everyday activities and events from Victorian times that make the twenty-first century reader run to the reference shelf. Few, for example, are intimately acquainted with the responsibilities of a country squire, the importance of gentlemen's clubs, or the intricacies of the Victorian monetary system.

These twenty-four short essays explore various aspects of life mentioned in the original tales of Sherlock Holmes, providing modern-day insight into the nineteenth century world. Originally shared through various Sherlockian newsletters around the world, they are gathered here for the first time. Essays cover:

The Life of a Country Squire, The Holmes' Family Connection to the Vernets of France, The Fate of Second Sons, The Victorian Medical Practice, Victorian Transportion, The Origins of Scotland Yard, The River Thames, Apiculture in the 1800s, Westminster Palace, Sherlock's Christmas Spirit, Practicing Law in Victorian England, The Second Anglo-Afghan War, Gentleman's Clubs, Tobacco, 221B Baker Street, Abductive Reasoning, Dog Breeding, Poisons, Fingerprints, Phrenology, Communications, The Monetary System, The British Museum, Chloroform. These examinations bring deeper meaning and color to the adventures of the world's most famous consulting detective.

My Review:
The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 24 short essays on the historical context of things mentioned in Sherlock Holmes stories. The footnotes show that most of the information was found online or in a small number of books about Victorian England, so you could look up much of this online for yourself. However, it is an interesting and informative read. Each essay was inspired by a comment made in a Sherlock Holmes story. For example, Sherlock Holmes mentioned country squires in his ancestry so there's a essay on what a country squire did and his rank in society.

Topics covered include country squires, inheritance laws, doctors and surgeons, transportation, the origins of Scotland Yard, the Thames River, beekeeping, Westminster Palace, Christmas geese, solicitors and barristers, the Second Anglo-Afghan War, men's clubs, tobacco use, dogs and dog shows, poison, phrenology, types of money and how much it was worth, the Postal Service and telegraphs, the British Museum, fingerprints, chloroform, and more.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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