A brilliant review of the Museum of London’s exhibition, ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived And Will Never Die’, which has another month to run (go see it!).
The Exhibitionologist’s statement that, “Much like Doyle’s novels do, the exhibition does a wonderful job of evoking the atmosphere and feel of late Victorian and early Edwardian London”, reminds me of what I find so fascinating about this fictional world. As readers we rely on a fictional portrayal to bring to life a real, historical place; and as museum-goers we look to real artefacts (like those at the MoL) to bring to life a fictional world.
Who ever said fiction was all in the imagination?
We begin the Museum of London’s tour of the cultural phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes with a dizzying wall of television screens, showing the world’s most famous detective in all his various film and television incarnations. This is immediately followed by a procession of brightly coloured film posters from around the globe, that invite us to come along with Holmes and his trusty sidekick Doctor John Watson on another one of their thrilling adventures. From Germany to China, from box-office hits to obscure B-movies, Watson and Holmes are instantly recognisable in all of them.
1897 portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, painted by the illustrator of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sidney Paget (Barbican Life)
And then, after this reminder at just how iconic and well-loved these characters have become over the years, and what a huge and successful industry Sherlock Holmes now represents, we go right back to the start, to where…
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