The Museum of London have explored the story of Sherlock Holmes and his creation in an evocative and imaginative exhibition.
When we visited on Saturday, as Sherlock fans, we found much to enthral, amuse and intrigue us. I was particularly captivated by a number of paintings of Victorian London in the fog, which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used to such great effect in his Sherlock Holmes stories.
He used the fog of London almost as a character in its own right, as a metaphor for human life, and for the mysteries Holmes was called upon to unravel. Sherlock Holmes’s familiarity with the rail network, the bus routes, the streets, pubs and cafes was used not only to give the stories character and depth but almost to power them. The exhibition enriched my understanding of how setting itself fires and drives a writer’s creativity.
The number of actors (the highest on the list, to my mind, are Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch) who have portrayed Holmes in the media is just one indication of the hold the character has taken on the public imagination.
An inspiring and illuminating exhibition which I recommend to all lovers of the Sherlock Holmes stories.