Conversations With Spirits

By E O Higgins

The story of a dissipated genius in a borrowed hat and coat

Monday, 7 January 2013

The man with Sherlock Holmes' face

The original images of Sherlock Holmes - created by Sidney Paget - helped define the character’s ‘look’ as we now know it. 

However, Paget was actually given the commission by accident, as The Strand Magazine thought they were hiring his better-known elder brother, Walter - who had recently illustrated Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe for them. 

However, Walter was still very much involved, as Sidney used him as the model for Holmes (see above). 

Despite his good work, Sidney Paget and Arthur Conan Doyle developed a fairly strained working relationship. The author thought that Paget’s interpretation of Holmes was much too suave and elegant. And Paget further exasperated Conan Doyle by adding touches that were nowhere to be found in the stories themselves - most notably Sherlock Holmes’s now-famous deerstalker hat and Inverness cape

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