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This book, 'The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes', is a glossy, colourful rendering of the great detective's life by Philip Weller and Christopher Roden. Weller, a retiree of the Royal Air Force, is a well-known Sherlockian, founder of S.H.E.R.L.O.C.K. (Sherlock Holmes Enthusiasts Regionally Located Outside the Capital of the Kingdom), is author of many Holmes-related studies. Roden recently provided the introductions to a new edition of the complete canon of the Holmes stories published by Oxford University Press; he has also written several articles for journals related to Holmes, and has served as editor of A.C.D., the journal of the Arthur Conan Doyle Society. With credentials such as this, the reader can be sure of two things - the detail and information is going to be worthwhile, and the love of the subject going into the study is tremendous.
This is a not just a biographical sketch of Sherlock Holmes, but also a visual treat for the reader. There over 200 illustrations in the book, many in full colour. These come from the original sketches that accompanied the stories in the Strand magazine, from photographs and movie stills during the film/television series years, pictures of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, souvenirs, places mentioned in the stories, and various images of Conan Doyle.
The authors look at several topics in turn - the world context of Sherlock Holmes (both London and other places), the actual stories of the canon, the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and various lists including groups and a brief (and necessarily incomplete) bibliography. The format, particularly for the discussion of the stories, is very good both for reading and for reference - this provides a short synopsis of each story, including major events, places and characters, as well as original publication information.
This is a worthy addition to any Sherlockian or Holmesian library.
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