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It is widely held by scholars of the works of Conan Doyle that the main model for Sherlock Holmes was Joseph Bell (1837 – 1911). He was a doctor and a lecturer and lived in Edinburgh, Scotland and that Doyle was taught by Bell and later became his assistant, for a period of time <ref>Jacks, p 12</ref>. Bell believed that observation was essential for correct diagnosis. This made him a very successful doctor and surgeon. He later applied his system of close observation to criminal cases. The deductive method so famously used by Sherlock seems to have been based on the methods developed by Bell. Like the great detective, he had an uncanny ability to identify a strangers’ occupation, home, and even past, based on simple clues. Bell was also involved in some famous criminal cases and was regularly consulted by the police. In the 1890s he was consulted by the London Police in relation to the most famous case in British
legal history. This was the Jack the Ripper case when a serial killer brutally murdered five women in London. However, Bell did not have many of the eccentricities of Holmes and was a rather respectable figure, who was Queen Victoria’s personal medic when she visited Scotland<ref>, Scarlett, Earle P. "The Old Original: Notes on Dr. Joseph Bell Whose Personality and Peculiar Abilities Suggested the Creation of Sherlock Holmes." Archives of internal medicine 114, no. 5 (1964): 696-701</ref>.
Conan Doyle created not only one of the great figures in crime fiction he fashioned one of the most significant figures in popular culture. Sherlock Holmes creator, Conan Doyle was influenced by other, writer’s work, especially that of Poe. However, there is a great deal of evidence that suggests that he based his classic character on a historical figure. It is not likely that Joseph Caminada was used as a model by the Edinburgh born writer for his most famous creation. Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn was probably someone who inspired the young writer to conceive of Holmes. Certainly, the logic and rationality of the fictional detective are very similar to the approach advocated by Littlejohn. However, the main influence on Conan Doyle for his immortal character was Joseph Bell and he even admitted it in letters to friends and also publicly in interviews. The Scottish medic was one of the pioneers of forensic science and modern investigation techniques. His analytical method was clearly adopted by the writer for his character. Then there were his frequent consultations with the police and his involvement in mysterious cases which no-doubt inspired the young writer. It appears that Holmes mainly based Sherlock on Bell, but also used some of the characteristics of Littlejohn. However, undoubtedly, Conan Doyle added much to the character. His imagination added memorable details such as the deerstalker hat and phrases such as ‘Elementary, Dear Watson’, that have made the criminal investigator such a beloved hero.