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Would the real Sherlock Holmes please stand up?

More than a century after first emerging into the fogbound, gaslit streets of Victorian London, Sherlock Holmes is universally recognizable. And yet many of his most recognizable features don’t appear in Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories. Sherlock is a cultural text, repeatedly altered over time as each new interpretation becomes superimposed over those that proceed it. This means that Sherlock continually evolves, embodying ideas and values often far removed from those found in Conan Doyle. And after each particular story ends, Sherlock rises again, a little changed, perhaps, with a new face and fresh mannerisms or turns of phrase, but still essentially Sherlock, our Sherlock.

For a peek into the evolution of Sherlock, watch the TED-Ed Lesson Who IS Sherlock Holmes? - Neil McCaw

Animation by Lasse Rützou Bruntse