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From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

Mattias Bostrom



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Mysterious Press
21 August 2018
Literary studies: general; Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers; Fiction & Literature; Popular culture; Sherlock Holmes
Winner of the Agatha Award for best nonfiction work
A finalist for the Edgar Award for best critical/biographical work
A finalist for the Anthony Award for best critical/nonfiction work
A finalist for the Macavity Award for best mystery-related nonfiction work

Everyone knows Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a unique literary character who has remained popular for over a century and is appreciated more than ever today. But what made this fictional character, dreamed up by a small-town English doctor in the 1880s, into such a lasting success, despite the author’s own attempt to escape his invention?

In From Holmes to Sherlock, Swedish author and Sherlock Holmes expert Mattias Boström recreates the full story behind the legend for the first time. From a young Arthur Conan Doyle sitting in a Scottish lecture hall taking notes on his medical professor’s powers of observation to the pair of modern-day fans who brainstormed the idea behind the TV sensation Sherlock, from the publishing world’s first literary agent to the Georgian princess who showed up at the Conan Doyle estate and altered a legacy, the narrative follows the men and women who have created and perpetuated the myth.

It includes tales of unexpected fortune, accidental romance, and inheritances gone awry, and tells of the actors, writers, readers, and other players who have transformed Sherlock Holmes from the gentleman amateur of the Victorian era to the odd genius of today. Told in fast-paced, novelistic prose, From Holmes to Sherlock is a singular celebration of the most famous detective in the world - a must-read for newcomers and experts alike.
By:   Mattias Bostrom
Imprint:   Mysterious Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 226mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 43mm
Weight:   658g
ISBN:   9780802127891
ISBN 10:   0802127894
Pages:   608
Publication Date:   21 August 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mattias Bostr�m, born in 1971, is a Swedish author, publisher, and Sherlock Holmes expert. He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars and has been an active Sherlockian for thirty years. He lives outside Stockholm with his wife and two daughters.

Reviews for From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon

Praise for From Holmes to Sherlock One of the Washington Post's 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2017, a Crime Lady best book of the year, and one of Ashwin Sanghi's 5 favorite books of the year (Deccan Herald) A Publishers Weekly Top 10 in Essays & Literary Criticism for fall 2017 If you love Sherlock Holmes, you'll love this book . . . Mattias Bostrom's From Holmes to Sherlock is the best account of Baker Street mania ever written. Really . . . what Bostrom has accomplished supremely well is to relate, as his subtitle proclaims, 'the story of the men and women who created an icon.' In effect, he shows us how Sherlock Holmes enchanted the world. --Michael Dirda, Washington Post A timely overview of the great detective's actual genesis and multiple transformation as a mass cultural icon . . . Riveting . . . Bostrom has expertly unearthed entertaining instances of the sleuth's diverse appearances in all media, throughout the world . . . [A] wonderfully entertaining history. --Michael Saler, Wall Street Journal From Holmes to Sherlock celebrates the versatility of one of fiction's most beloved characters . . . terrific . . . Mattias Bostrom has written a necessary addition to any Baker Street library. --Steve Donoghue, Christian Science Monitor For Sherlock Holmes buffs, there's a new book I imagine is indispensable . . . Bostrom's achievement is staggering and endearingly gossipy. It's like eating popcorn and you learn a whole lot of cool stuff along the way. --Nicholas Meyer Mattias Bostrom has done the impossible--encapsulated the journey of Sherlock Holmes from international literary superstar to modern day television hero. Meticulous, charming and, best of all, adoring of the original. --Lyndsay Faye, author of The Whole Art of Detection Just when you think you've read every great book about the history of Doyle and Holmes, Mattias Bostrom reveals startling new layers to the famous adventures of the greatest detective of all time. Written with skill, wit, and unmatched expertise, From Holmes to Sherlock is the new standard in the complete history of not only the original Doyle stories, but literally every adaptation, too. --Ryan Britt, author of Luke Skywalker Can't Read A breathtakingly comprehensive study of a literary phenomenon . . . Mattias Bostrom has given us an epic narrative that despite its length and sheer poundage in paperback is unputdownable. Bravo. --New York Journal of Books One of my favorite books of the year . . . you will enjoy Bostrom's book enormously. It's a delight to read, narrative history paced like a suspense novel . . . What I loved most about From Holmes to Sherlock is that you don't have to be a Sherlock Holmes expert to enjoy it. --Sarah Weinman, Crime Lady Even the most assiduous Sherlockian can admit that the endless reinvention and lasting pop-cultural impact of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation was not necessarily elementary. As a study in Sherlock, the case of the big business of public frenzies, literary estates and endless adaptations finally gets solved. --Globe & Mail (Toronto), gifts for every type of book lover on your list A fascinating tale that brings together everything you thought you knew about Sherlock Holmes, and then some . . . both a work of deep scholarship and a disarmingly racy read. --Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Bostrom provides a unique approach to the history of the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon that had me turning all 500 pages of this tome with interest. --Steve Steinbock, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, 5 stars Conan Doyle's building of the character has never been better told, and the peregrinations of the copyrights down through the years form virtually a novel in itself. --Nick Murray, Financial Advisor, books of the year 2017 [Bostrom] comes up with some intriguing and fresh details . . . The canon of critical and biographical material on Holmes and Doyle is massive, of course, but even so, this latest entry makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how a bloodhound called Sherlock took over the world. --Booklist (starred review) A remarkable tour of Sherlock facts and myths . . . Bostrom's lively narration makes this hefty book feel just as fun as the original detective adventures. It is detailed but never boring, and is probably the only book over 200 pages that I have read in one sitting (do or do not try this at home). --Politics and Prose Entertaining, enlightening . . . Each chapter is short, written in a punchy, eavesdropping style, so that even if you don't know the protagonists, their battles, failures and successes read like mini-mysteries . . . The chapters here are like a bag of salted peanuts--you can't stop at one. --Winnipeg Free Press A spirited account of how Sherlock became a household name . . . Bostrom's weaving of the Holmes story into the larger one of popular culture and the mass-entertainment industry is the best part of this very good book. For fans of literature, film history, and Conan Doyle alike, a fine complement to the best works of Sherlock-iana. --Kirkus Reviews Bostrom's important and entertaining book should be read by all Holmes fans. --Randall Stock, Best of Sherlock, 2017 best books about Holmes & Conan Doyle A fascinating treatment of Doyle's creation of Holmes and the way in which it became such a popular culture juggernaut, sometimes in spite of Doyle's descendants. --Max Allan Collins Bostrom has succeeded masterfully in doing something no one has hitherto dared try: telling the whole Sherlock Holmes 'story.' It is an extraordinary tale. --Nicholas Utechin, editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal, 1976-2006 When next asked why you so love Sherlock Holmes, hand your interrogator a copy of this work. --Steven Rothman, Baker Street Journal Absolutely outstanding . . . and unlikely ever to be surpassed in depth, scope, dedication, intelligent enthusiasm, readability and all the qualities that make a book worthwhile is Mattias Bostrom's masterpiece From Holmes to Sherlock. --Roger Johnson, Sherlock Holmes Journal This ambitious work charting the history of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockiana in all of its guises is the most important book on the Sherlockian bookshelf in the past several years. Mattias's research is impressive as is his breadth of knowledge. --Mark Alberstat, editor of Canadian Holmes Superb! I am deeply in awe of Mr Bostrom's comprehensive research, his meticulous selection and his enticing presentation. Mattias Bostrom is one of a select group of really important Holmesian/Doylean scholars. --Roger Johnson, editor of the Sherlock Holmes Journal, coauthor of the Sherlock Holmes Miscellany From Holmes to Sherlock will be one of the four or five most important books among the scores of nonfiction volumes about Sherlock Holmes, and it's easy and entertaining reading as well. --Christopher Redmond, editor of Sherlockian.net [From Holmes to Sherlock] explores the world's continuing fascination with fiction's leading detective hero. The informal, accessible style of Gallagher's translation makes for an easy, if lengthy, read. --Publishers Weekly In brief, novelistic chapters, Bostrom supplies a well-researched, chronological approach to the history. To be enjoyed by Sherlockians everywhere, this title makes it clear that Holmes's story is far from over. --Library Journal [A] unique, incredibly ambitious and wide-ranging volume . . . While it reads like a work of fiction, almost a literary mystery, it is a rich tapestry, filled with real-world heroes and villains . . . I can't recommend this book highly enough . . . A must-read for anyone with an interest in the character, the history or the fandom surrounding him. --Canadian Holmes Well written and recommended. --Peter E. Blau, Scuttlebutt newsletter [An] excellent book. --Sherlock Holmes Society of London newsletter One of the most original and needed Sherlockian books to appear for some years . . . Probably the most interesting book on the world of Sherlockiana to emerge in the 21st century. --Alistair Duncan, Doyleockian No Sherlockian year in review will be complete this year without mention of this book. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this book should be in every Sherlockian collection. --Interesting though Elementary Mattias Bostrom . . . [has] written a book about Sherlock Holmes that is head and shoulders above anything we've seen lately . . . with a style and grace that leaves one nearly speechless. --Timothy J. Johnson, Curator of Special Collections and Rare Books, E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections

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