Sherlock Holmes Cannot Have Feelings Says Arthur Conan Doyle’s Estate

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: June 26, 2020

Sherlock Holmes was unemotional and lacked respect for women says Arthur Conan Doyle’s Estate.


The estate has sued Netflix over its upcoming film Enola Holmes arguing that the movie manipulates the original depiction of a public domain character Sherlock Holmes because he’s not only expressing himself but is also respecting women – and that apparently violates Conan’s copyrights. 

Enola Holmes is a famous character from Nancy Springer novels and the teenage sister of the world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes. So, the problem is that the film touches upon many elements of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories that aren’t necessarily covered by copyright. These copyright claims were settled in 2010 when Mr. Holmes was released.

Source: The Hindu

The estate argues that Springer books, as well as Netflix, are inspired by the 10 stories that are owned by them. In fact, due to unspecified financial damages, the estate is also extending its notice and suing Springer’s publisher Penguin Random House.

Yes, we all know that the character of Sherlock Holmes is defined by his social aloofness and lack of emotional quotient. But eventually, that changed due to his life experiences and helped him to evolve and see others differently. Anyway, this is what the complaint alleges:

“After the stories that are now in the public domain, and before the Copyrighted Stories, the Great War happened. In World War I Conan Doyle lost his eldest son, Arthur Alleyne Kingsley. Four months later he lost his brother, Brigadier-general Innes Doyle. When Conan Doyle came back to Holmes in the Copyrighted Stories between 1923 and 1927, it was no longer enough that the Holmes character was the most brilliant rational and analytical mind. Holmes needed to be human. The character needed to develop human connection and empathy.

Conan Doyle made the surprising artistic decision to have his most famous character—known around the world as a brain without a heart—develop into a character with a heart. Holmes became warmer. He became capable of friendship. He could express emotion. He began to respect women.”

This isn’t where the accusations stopped. A fun analysis of the character was also included in the official complaint.

“His closest companion, Watson, revered Holmes and was generous in his admiration. But to Holmes, Watson was utilitarian — to be employed when useful, then set aside. Holmes did not treat Watson with warmth. Holmes told him, “You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.” (“The Man with the Twisted Lip.”) Holmes did not even congratulate Watson when Watson told Holmes he was going to marry Holmes’s client Mary Morstan.”

Updated June 26, 2020
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