Ever wondered where Conan Doyle got his inspiration for the literary sleuth? Was there a real 'Study in Scarlet' in Victorian London? What baffled Victorian police detectives?In The Real World of Sherlock, B. J. Rahn explores the world that Sherlock emerged from and the inspirations behind the character himself. Holmes is a man known for his eccentricities - his reclusiveness and the aura of genius have become trademarks today, and are recognisable in any Holmes adaptation. This book reveals the men who inspired that iconic persona. Among them are Dr Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle's role model and an investigator of disease and crime, and the writer Edgar Allan Poe, who invented the detective story as we recognise it today.Rahn also takes a fascinating look at crime and detection in nineteenth-century London. She explores how the work of police detectives and CSI evolved in this era, from footprint analysis and human blood testing to fingerprinting and crime-scene photography. But did Sherlock make use of these emerging techniques in his investigations?This is the perfect book for any Sherlock fan who wants to find out about the background to the character and the fast-evolving world of detection from which the stories emerged. You'll be astonished at just how real Sherlock was.
Professor B. J. Rahn teaches English Literature at Hunter College in New York. She has been teaching, researching, and writing about crime fiction for over two decades. She has published articles in journals and reference books such as The Armchair Detective, The Dictionary of Literary Biography and the Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. She also leads detective walking tours in the UK, which visit sites in the lives and fiction of authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie, and Margery Allingham.