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Was Sherlock Holmes a real person

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Another potential model for the hero who solves so many mysteries was Joseph Caminada (1854-1914). There are many undeniable similarities between this real-life detective and the one who operated out of Baker Street. Caminada was born in Manchester and was the son of an Italian immigrant. He joined the police force at an early age and studied criminals so that he could catch them, this is something that Holmes also did, during his many visits to London’s Underworld. Caminada was like Conan Doyle's literary figure, a master of disguise and also used a scientific method to catch criminals, which resulted in him apprehending over 1000 offenders. The Manchester-based detective was also like Holmes regularly consulted by the police when he became a ‘consultant’. Then as was the case with the man who solved the Mystery of the Hounds of the Baskervilles, Caminada had a nemesis, who was a criminal mastermind. His enemy was not some egocentric Professor like Moriarty, but a young man who swore revenge on Caminada for arresting him <ref>O'Neill, Joseph, Crime City: Manchester's Victorian Underworld, Milo Books, 2008), p 14, 89)</ref>.
== Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn, the inspiration for Holmes?==
Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn (1826-1914), was a Scottish medical doctor, a public health advocate and a social reformer. Doyle knew him, because Littlejohn, taught him at medical school in Edinburgh. He was one of the earliest experts in the new forensic science and like Holmes, he was regularly consulted by the police especially in Scotland. Littlejohn was frequently an expert witness in court cases and this brought him a measure of fame. He was a very logically man and was a pioneer in the use of science to solve difficult cases. There are many differences between Littlejohn and Holmes, especially in their character. Littlejohn was a rather dour, religious man, who played a very active role in his Church<ref><ref> Boström, Mattias. From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women who Created an Icon. (York, Grove Press, 2017), p. 118</ref>. He was also a happily married man with a large family. This was very dissimilar to the life led by Sherlock, a committed bachelor, and an opium addict. Moreover, Holmes is portrayed by Doyle as rejecting the opportunity to be knighted, while Littlejohn was knights by Queen Victoria, for his services to medicine<ref> Ben-Yami, Hanoch. "Could Sherlock Holmes Have Existed?." Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10, no. 30 (2010): 3-9</ref>.  
==Joseph Bell==
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>.

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