Sunday 20 September 2015

Jeremy Brett Recreates Sydney Paget's Sherlock Holmes Illustrations

It's just over twenty years since Jeremy Brett died. I've enjoyed plenty of actors in the role over the years, but anyone who thinks there's ever been a better Sherlock Holmes is just plain wrong.

Much has been written about how Brett 'became' Holmes in a way that was somewhat unhealthy. While much of this is hyperbole, it is fair to say that some of the more extreme aspects of Brett's own character certainly didn't hurt when it came to creating a mesmerising Sherlock on screen.

Above all though, Brett just wanted to embody Arthur Conan Doyle's creation. For him, the text was sacrosanct, and any question about the character could be answered by going back to the stories. Similarly, for him, the original Sydney Paget illustrations were the visual source. Hence his delight in recreating them for the TV series (with thanks to this blog...)

There are several books about Brett as Holmes. Annoyingly, they are in so much demand from Sherlockians that they command rather high prices. Expect to pay £50+ for all but the last of these, though at least Bending the Willow is available as a cheaper ebook, and A Study in Celluloid is back in print from Gasogene Press.


  1. Oh my Sherlock! to my joy I was able to see him on the stage with Edward Hardwick in London in the late 80's at the Wyndham's I was mesmerized and laughed and cried and have never forgotten! even now more than 25 years later. I think it was later in the run, as I know I couldn't get any more tickets to see it again which I wanted to. BC is not quite the right gravitas, but Jeremy was Sherlock.

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