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Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First Consulting Detective
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Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First Consulting Detective

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  8,460 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
From the Dust Jacket:
Although millions know of Sherlock Holmes through the chronicles of his exploits written by Dr. Watson, it is only now that, owing to his recent death, the full biography and facts of his life can be brought before the public. This volume brings together for the first time every known fact that can be fully authenticated about the life of one of the wo
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 7th 1995 by Wings Books / Random House Value Publishing (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30)
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Cathrine Bonham
Aug 14, 2011 Cathrine Bonham rated it it was ok
Shelves: sherlockia
For a biography of a fictional person it really wasn't very interesting. The narritave is largely just paraphrasing of Doyle's adventures with a lot of speculation thrown in.

If you do decide to read this do try to find a copy of "Profile By Gaslight: an irregular reader about the private life of Sherlock Holmes" Edited by: Edgar W. Smith Published by: Simon & Schuster NY 1944. "Profile By Gaslight" is referenced a lot in Baring-Gould's foot notes and is on it's own a much more interesting r
Dec 29, 2015 Anthony rated it it was amazing
What an incredibly fun read. Yes, it's dry and clinical in spots, but what biography isn't? Baring-Gould clearly did his research, drawing from Conan Doyle's published stories of the Great Detective and building on concepts introduced by other Holmesian scholars. He here constructs a fully detailed and authentic biography not just of Sherlock Holmes but of his brother Mycroft and their parents. (Given somewhat short shrift is oldest Holmes brother Sherrinford, a country squire.) Baring-Gould's w ...more
M.R. Graham
A fascinating piece of scholarship, expertly blending fact with surmise. Baring-Gould does an excellent job of untangling Watson's obfuscations, reading between the lines, and catching odd clues left by the Detective's biographer.
Unfortunately, the conclusion left something to be desired. One would think that so respected a Holmesian scholar would have noted that, to date, The Times has yet to publish an obituary for Sherlock Holmes. I credit The Times' editorial staff with both the resources an
Dec 26, 2014 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Late last night, I finished this singular title from Holmesian studies: Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by the late W.S. Baring-Gould, a Holmesian scholar of note. (First published, 1962; this vintage paperback edition is from 1963, the second printing.)

This might be the pinnacle of scholarly literature concentrating on “The Game” of treating Holmes and Watson as real people (according to Wikipedia, Ronald Knox, the English theologian, gets credit for inventing “The Game”). It’s a complete biogr
Jul 21, 2014 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlockiana
This is a pastiche biography of Sherlock Holmes which maps out a chronology of all of his adventures and includes Baring-Gould's headcanons about Holmes. I mostly read this for research purposes. Since this book was so influential among Sherlockians, I figured it was required reading. Props to this guy for doing the hard work of putting together a timeline, but the reading was a bit of a slog at times, since it was more or less a summary of the canon. Baring-Gould's headcanons also wildly diverg ...more
Kathy  Petersen
Dec 06, 2011 Kathy Petersen rated it really liked it
I've been reading the entire Holmes collection chronologically by publication date; Baring-Gould has written this biography using the chronology of the cases themselves. This makes me want to start over -- but I won't since B-G has provided sufficient detail to remind me of the tale he briefly, and without spoilers, describes. He also reveals some hitherto unknown facets of Holmes' life after Reichenbach and before the adventure of the empty house. (Rex Stout would neither confirm nor deny...)
R. C.
Feb 22, 2010 R. C. rated it it was amazing
How can a story that's basically a clever compilation of "facts" from many other stories be so fascinating? My favorite part was reading the info on Holmes' dad that was actually lifted directly from The Lost World's description of Professor Challenger. Uh-huh, origin of Holmes' neuroticism, check. Can I add to this review hearts and flutters and stars for the "biographer"? *~*~<3~*~* Mr. Baring-Gould *~*~<3~*~*
Jul 10, 2015 Corey rated it it was amazing
A ‘biography’ of a fictional character has a certain meta feel to it, and this measures up, with footnotes and references to other fictional characters and novels, and a deep comprehension of the writings of Dr. Watson. To any fan of Sherlock Holmes this book will be both indispensable and delightful. Oh, and Baring-Gould even solves the mystery of Jack the Ripper.
Dec 28, 2012 Iceman rated it liked it
Sherlock Holmes é um ícone da literatura e, atrevo-me a dizer, do meio da investigação criminal.

Figura criada em 1887 por Sir Conan Doyle, o sucesso foi imediato. Para além de elevar a arte de detective particular a patamares nunca alcançados, Doyle conseguiu criar uma vedeta internacional e o mais curioso é que essa personagem nunca existiu.

Mesmo mais de 100 anos depois do fim das suas aventuras, é impossível não nos deixarmos entusiasmar e impressionar pelos casos criados e pelo carisma da per
This is the second attempt at a Sherlock Holmes biography that I've read, and I ended up being slightly bored by both of them. I guess the problem is that at some point both authors can't do much else than retell the canon stories. Baring-Gould did this to the point where he paraphrased or just quoted looooong passages from the canon, which was not necessary and didn't even fit with the style of the rest of the book. Why would you have extensive dialogue in a (fictional) biography? But maybe tha ...more
James Walter
Jul 31, 2016 James Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, But Oh So Serious

I loved "Sherlock Holmes Of Baker Street" tremendously. Such commitment to establishing a superb continuum of facts to support a supreme fallacy is to be commended. I know my statements are probably offensive to the "died in the wool" Sherlockian! But to the I think, majority of Sherlock Holmes fans, who enjoy without obsession, this is masterpiece to be enjoyed, both for a better understanding and appreciation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and for the creativity of such
Aug 21, 2015 Antonomasia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: serious Holmes fans with high boredom threshholds
I'd been looking forward to reading this for months. Not as much as I'd been looking forward to Game of Shadows, but then Robert Downey Jr's very liberal interpretation of Holmes is the sexiest thing I've ever seen in a film, and this is just a geeky old book about Conan Doyle's original character.

Three interesting speculative chapters about Sherlock's pre-detecting life make a decent opener, but later only the obligatory Jack The Ripper digression interleaves a sheaf of unoriginal case synopses
Jan 13, 2016 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I couldn't believe I hadn't read this sooner. But now I'm glad I waited a couple of years after I finished the canon. This amazing fictional biography in part acts as a sort of canon refresher. It's really fun to read about many of the cases from a biographical perspective. I love how Baring-Gould filled in ACD's gaping plot holes and makes sense of the radical inconsistencies Sherlockians are always discussing. Of COURSE Watson had three wives! Everything makes sense now. Oh, THAT's wh ...more
Ron Chicaferro
May 25, 2011 Ron Chicaferro rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of the worlds first consulting detective then you might want to read this wonderful book, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould. The book was published in 1962 so it may be hard to find but it is the most definitive of the Holmes books. Baring-Gould spent 20 years researching all the aspects of the Conan-Doyle stories to either prove or disprove many of the aspects of the Holmes stories that have been adopted by other authors. Its a fascinating look into a ch ...more
Jan 08, 2015 Dane rated it really liked it
Shelves: sherlock
This is a biography of Sherlock Holmes, written as if he'd been a real person. In the first several chapters, the author creates a backstory for him that has been riffed off of in fanon ever since. The events of the adventures that Watson chronicled in the Canon are rearranged chronologically to create an interesting and coherent narrative that helps make sense out of Conan Doyle's cavalier approach to continuity. I really enjoyed this, and as soon as I finished this library book, I ordered a co ...more
Kirsten T
Dec 22, 2014 Kirsten T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely bonkers and therefore entirely loveable. A work of Serious Biography about Actual Real Person, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. Did you know that Sherlock Holmes was prrooobbbabbly hunting the yeti during his three year "Great Hiatus"? Or that Professor Moriarty may well be dozens of other famous fictional characters, including Fu Manchu and Captain Nemo? Well now you do. Thanks, William S. Baring-Gould! (Basically, Sherlockian scholarship is BANANAS.)
Mike Jensen
A thoroughly enjoyable "biography" of a fictional character. Baring-Gould would have a better book had he resisted the temptations to supply so many plot synopsis from Conan Doyle stories as if they are the events of Holmes's life. The ending is every bit as silly as it tries to be moving, but overall this is a very readable and fun book of the "Holmes was real" variety. This conceit is silly to its core, but many like it.
Luis Reséndiz
Sep 06, 2016 Luis Reséndiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canasta-básica
un libro cariñosísimo, en parte estudio del canon holmesiano, en parte novela, en parte fanfic. la habilidad de baring-gould --y su tremendo conocimiento de las aventuras de holmes-- le permite emparejar y ordenar el canon y, al mismo tiempo, llenar sus huecos con un montón de historias --¡holmes buscando al yeti! ¡holmes peleando con un pterodáctilo!-- que, en este conjunto, no pueden sino parecer la consecuencia natural del desarrollo del personaje. una auténtica maravilla.
Dec 31, 2011 Rozonda rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a teen (lent by my brother) and loved it. I recently got my hands on acopy and have re-read it. This very first attempt of a biography of the Great detective is still delightful, and my better knowledge as an adult of the characters and historical facts mentioned has but added to the delight. A piece of joy.
Nov 30, 2015 Winterwade rated it it was amazing
The most prominent of the now several fictional Holmesian biographies, Baring-Gould delves into the canon established by Conan Doyle with aplomb, creating links with other fictional detectives and other figures and suggesting a background for the gentleman detective. A must-read for any fan of Holmes, in any iteration.
Dec 01, 2013 Read1000books rated it really liked it
Not a mystery or a pastiche per se but a biography of Sherlock Holmes. Very good. Includes Holmes involvement in the Jack The Ripper case (and the identity of the murderer-you'll never guess who!), as well as the time and manner of Holmes' death.
May 02, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sherlock-holmes
This was the first Writing about the Writings that I had ever seen, found on a remainder table way way back when I was in college. It will always have a place in my heart, although I think some of his deductions and conclusions are wrong. Do Sherlockians ever agree on some of these things?
M.k. Yost
Apr 27, 2013 M.k. Yost rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sherlock-holmes
I adored this! It's like the unauthorised biography of Sherlock Holmes, and piece of convincing semi-fiction that seems to have influenced a lot of modern Sherlockian writers.
Mar 04, 2013 Tammy rated it really liked it
Crackfic. Seriously. He manages to make Professor Challenger a Holmes relation. Also, I don't care what you tell me, Sherrinford is reallllll.
Mark Stratton
I found some of the speculation fascinating and the rest was insipid and vaguely insulting. I guess this makes me a bit of a heretic.
Zane rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2013
Nitaocel rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2015
Thaddeus Rice
Thaddeus Rice rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2013
Srinivas Galla
Srinivas Galla rated it did not like it
Oct 13, 2014
Ortega_647 rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2014
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William Stuart Baring-Gould (1913–1967) was a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar, best known as the author of the influential 1962 fictional biography, Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A life of the world's first consulting detective.

He was creative director of Time magazine's circulation and corporate education departments from 1937 until his death. His paternal grandfather was Reverend Sabine Baring-
More about William S. Baring-Gould...

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