Tag Archives: Sherlock Holmes

Addiction a century ago

“Addiction, mainly in the upper classes, was viewed with sympathy. It was not a criminal offense to buy or sell morphine. Freud for a time prescribed cocaine to some of his excitable patients, and we know that Sherlock Holmes, when he was bored, injected himself with a 7% solution. Soon after their accession, the tzar […]

Guaiac and “the old Guaiacum test”

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Guaiacum officinale. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr. July 27, 2007. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. “The old Guaiacum test was very clumsy and uncertain.” — A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1887   So declares Mr. Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel A Study […]

R. Austin Freeman and the Victorian forensic thriller

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Richard Austin Freeman, c. 1935. W.L. Briant. Via Encyclopædia Britannica. Many people today are acquainted with well-known books and television series of forensic crime fiction. The modern detective fiction writer is expected to provide detailed descriptions of autopsies, current technology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Yet, even in this relatively new version […]

Rejuvenation: “The Adventure of the Creeping Man” from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ch’ io sono quell gran medico Dottore enciclpedico, Chiamato Dulcamara, . . .  Rigiovnir bramate? I’m noted as a scientist, Practitioner and specialist. I’m Doctor Dulcamara … Would you like your youth recaptured? L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love), music by Geatano Donizetti, Libretto by Felice Romano, […]

Enlightenment from Sherlock Holmes on COVID-19 associated perilous boredom

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Evening silhouette of Sherlock Holmes’s statue at Baker street, the real place where he never lived. Photo by dynamosquito. Taken January 11, 2010. Via Wikimedia Boredom can useful. It can motivate people to do great things. It can also be dangerous by increasing the risk of depression and […]

William John Adie (1886–1935)

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. WJ Adie. Source William John Adie (Fig 1) deserves to be remembered as an unusually gifted, compassionate clinician and teacher, but he is best known for his account of the myotonic (Holmes-Adie) pupil. One of many talented Australians who enhanced British medicine, Adie was born in Geelong, west […]

The most enduring fictional character in literature, Sherlock Holmes, created by a physician

Marshall Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Figure 1. Basil Rathbone (Sherlock Homes) with pipe and Nigel Bruce (Dr. John H. Watson). A scene from the film “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” in 1939. The plots rarely adhered to the Conan Doyle story plots and Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard and Dr. Watson were […]

Blood on the road

Anne Marie Appelgren Málaga, Spain   The modified Ford station wagon, used as a blood transfusion transport in the name of the international Red Cross in Spain 1937. To the right we see Norman Bethune and far right Hazen Sise. “The wounded are dying, searching for blood. Now the blood can move, now the blood […]

What did Dorothy Reed See?

Sara Nassar Cairo, Egypt   Dorothy Mabel Reed Mendenhall. Photograph by A. Pearsall, courtesy of Alan Mason Chesney Archives of John Hopkins Medical School. “They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.”1 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet   Dorothy Mabel Reed Mendenhall opened the doors of medicine at […]

It’s elementary: the addictions of Sherlock Holmes

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, USA   Illustration of Sherlock Holmes for “The Valley of Fear.” From The Strand Magazine. By Frank Wiley September, 1914. Accessed via the Toronto Public Library, Adventures with Sherlock Holmes virtual exhibit. One might ask, why write about the addictions of a fictional character? The answer is that there is […]