The Sherlock Holmes stories were first published in the ‘Strand’ magazine. Written by Arthur Conan Doyle the quickly became a favorite amongst the people. So popular that as soon as Conan Doyle killed Holmes off in ‘the Adventure of the Final Problem’ 20,000 people cancelled their subscription to the ‘strand’ magazine. When Holmes returned in the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ 30,000 people re-subscribed to ‘strand’ magazine. Due to the fact that the stories were published in magazines, first this created a large community of readers. A reason why the stories were successful is that Holmes appealed to the audience.
In Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle had successfully created a realistic character. He succeeded because of his references to Victorian London and England. Examples of his references can be found in all his stories. In ‘The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist’, the investigation surrounds Miss Violet Smith. ‘Yes sir, near Farnham, on the borders of Surrey’ the Adventures of the Solitary Cyclist pg 2). Miss Violet Smith replies to Holmes’s enquiry. In the ‘Adventure of the olden Pince -Nez’ Conan Doyle, uses real train routes and train times. Stanley Hopkins informs Holmes and Watson on how to get to the crime scene.
‘There’s a train from Charing Cross to Chatham at six in the morning, and we should be in Yoxley old place between eight and nine’ (the Adventure of the Golden Pince Nez pg6). In the ‘Final Problem’ Conan Doyle has added places outside of Britain for added realism. ‘We sat in Stratousburg Salle-a-Manager arguing the question’. (The Adventure of the Final Problem). By adding real places and countries. Conan Doyle makes the audience believe Holmes is a real person. We know he is successful because many people wrote to 221b Baker Street asking for help.
Arthur Conan Doyle has made Sherlock Holmes appealing to the audience by making Holmes realistic. A method he used was referring to previous cases. In the ‘Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist’ Holmes reminds Watson about a previous case that took place at Farnham ‘It was near there we took Archie Stamford the forger’ (The Solitary Cyclist pg 2). This also occurs in’ The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez’. Watson remarks on a previous case. ‘The famous Smith Mortimer came also within in this period’ (The adventure of the Golden Pince Nez pg 1).
By adding previous cases us, the audiences are forced to believe that Holmes has a past we do not know about. This gives an added effect of realism. This also reassures the audience about law and order because we find out he has been successful before so we can rely on Holmes now. Throughout the Sherlock Holmes series, Watson is narrator. By making Watson, the narrator Conan Doyle makes the audience respect Holmes. Conan Doyle has made Watson likeable. He is constantly in Holmes’s shadow. He is more prone to mistakes that Holmes. Watson is modest and humble.
Generally, Watson is inferior compared to Holmes. Conan Doyle has Watson constantly praise Holmes. We end up agreeing because we identify Holmes. In the ‘Solitary Cyclist’ Watson comments on Holmes personality. ‘The strong masterful personality of Holmes dominated the tragic scene and all were equal puppets in is hand’ (The adventure of the Solitary Cyclist). Conan Doyle has not only made Watson praise Holmes, he has also made Stanley Hopkins a detective from ‘Then Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez’ admire him. ‘By George it’s marvelous’ Hopkins claims after Holmes would arrogant patronizing and impatient.
Another reason Watson is a good narrator that Watson learns about the case at a rate we under stand. So putting Watson as a narrator is a good choice. We like and admire Watson; we admire Holmes During the period when Sherlock Holmes was written, the police force was new. The public could not trust law and order yet. They needed someone they could trust. Arthur Conam Doyle created a character they felt fitted the criteria that the people wanted. Sherlock Holmes was moral, just, trusted and other truthful amongst other things. By putting Holmes as the main character, justice is always served.