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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.
Foxcroft, Louise. The Making of Addiction: The 'Use and Abuse' of Opium in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2007)