Did Victorian-Era Gay Men Think Sherlock Holmes Was Gay?
Something I’ve often wondered about is whether or not there is any documentation that any contemporaries of the Sherlock Holmes stories in any way thought them to be gay. What I mean is: did any homosexual men read the stories and understand the characterisation/subtext to imply, if not johnlock vibes, at least homosexuality, not least for the character of Sherlock Holmes himself?
I have come to the end of the book London and the Culture of the Homosexuality, 1885-1914 by Matt Cook and it seems he’s saved a lovely bit for last.
My new fave George Ives (I’ve written about him in other posts) kept meticulous journals, much of which informed Cook’s work. Ives routinely engaged in self-examination against the stereotypes of homosexuals newly outlined by sexologists and found himself similar in some ways and different in others, both of which he carefully recorded in his diaries. He noted his “keen aesthetic sense” and “lack of taut muscle”, among other things.
In March 1901, Ives records in his diary that he considers himself to be:
“the Sherlock Holmes of a 1000 little peculiarities”
Here we have a man who identified as homosexual relating to a character who he may have recognised to be homosexual as well. Ives definitely doesn’t write “yeah I’m gay and I know Holmes is gay too” but I think it’s interesting that he would have included this little comparison in alongside his descriptions of whether or not he matches the “gay profile”.
(1971) - Jaws (1975) - Close encounters of the third kind (1977) - Indiana Jones Trilogy (1981-1984-1989) - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - The Color Purple (1985) - Jurassic Park (1993) - Schindler’s List (1993) - Saving Private Ryan (1997) - Catch me if you can (2002)
lit meme [10/10] books or series → a walk to remember by nicholas sparks
“It wasn’t that long, and it certainly wasn’t the kind of kiss you see in movies these days, but it was wonderful in its own way, and all I can remember about the moment is that when our lips touched, I knew the memory would last forever.”