How To Fake Your Death Like Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a strange literary phenomenon; inspiring one of the very first examples of what today we would consider fandom. If you have not read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes, there are two things you must know about the Great Detective that are usually (not always, but usually) ignored when he is repackaged for a mainstream audience.
- He was addicted to cocaine.
- He faked his own death and disappeared for three years.
If this sounds good to you, Neatorama has a handy guide (an excerpt from Ransom Riggs’ The Sherlock Holmes Handbook: The Methods and Mysteries of the World’s Greatest Detective) to faking your death the Sherlock Holmes way, even going as far as to suggest some improvements on his method.
Those three years actually described a period when Conan Doyle wished to stop writing neatly tied up detective stories and focus on historical fiction, and in order to do so, killed off his widely popular character in as climactic a way as possible. For a decade he resisted consistent fan pressure (Oh, the Facebook groups that might have been!), until he finally wrote a book continuing the storyline, revealing that Holmes had simply heroically allowed his best friend Watson to believe him dead for three bloody years.
For the sake of your own Watsons, please remember to follow Step Seven:
Minimize the shock to your friends and family. When Holmes finally revealed himself to Watson, he does it in such a shocking way—which Holmes himself later confesses was “unnecessarily dramatic”—that poor Watson, a veteran of war and a man of sound constitution, faints on the spot. Imagine the effect such an appearance would have on the elderly or the anxious, and do your all to introduce yourself to them gradually. Save surprising flourishes for your enemies!
Oh, and if the man up top looks familiar, it’s because that is a picture of Grand Moff Tarkin I mean Peter Cushing, in his role as the Great Detective.
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