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snopes
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Comment: When Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 in
"The Final Problem," did people really wear black armbands in the street?
Did a woman hit him with an umbrella? Everyone says "stockbrokers wore
black armbands," etc., using almost the exact same words, but no one tells
where their information came from.

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snopes
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Comment: I found the following quote, supposedly by Sherlock Holmes,
several places on the Internet after having had it told to me: "It is a
capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to
twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

It's supposedly from the Hound of the Baskervilles, but I can't find it in
that story. I did find it in an online list of quotations, Rand Lindsly's
Quotations. Could it be that this is being falsely attributed? If so,
where did it come from?

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Shadowduck
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: I found the following quote, supposedly by Sherlock Holmes,
several places on the Internet after having had it told to me: "It is a
capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to
twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

It's supposedly from the Hound of the Baskervilles, but I can't find it in
that story. I did find it in an online list of quotations, Rand Lindsly's
Quotations. Could it be that this is being falsely attributed? If so,
where did it come from?

Good quote, wrong book - it's from "A Scandal in Bohemia", which is the first short story in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

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itsalx
No, I'm a frayed knot.


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I am very familiar with the Homles 'oevere' and I do recognize that quote, but I was unable to find it in 'A Scandal in Bohemia'. I'm sure it's from Doyle, though. The other thing I would like to note is, whe I was looking through my copy of "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" I noticed that it actually belongs to the library in a town I used to live in. Hopefully they won't hire Sherlock to look into its absence.

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Steve
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It's from one of the early novels--either A Study in Scarlet or The Sign of the Four. And I'm almost certain it's from Scarlet.

ETA: After reading the post below mine, all I can say is "D'oh!"

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Shadowduck
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quote:
Originally posted by itsalx:
I am very familiar with the Homles 'oevere' and I do recognize that quote, but I was unable to find it in 'A Scandal in Bohemia'.

From "A Scandal in Bohemia"

quote:
“Then how many are there?”

“How many? I don’t know.”

“Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed. By the way, since you are interested in these little problems, and since you are good enough to chronicle one or two of my trifling experiences, you may be interested in this.” He threw over a sheet of thick, pink-tinted notepaper which had been lying open upon the table. “It came by the last post,” said he. “Read it aloud.”

The note was undated, and without either signature or address.

“There will call upon you to-night, at a quarter to eight o’clock,” it said, “a gentleman who desires to consult you upon a matter of the very deepest moment. Your recent services to one of the royal houses of Europe have shown that you are one who may safely be trusted with matters which are of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. This account of you we have from all quarters received. Be in your chamber then at that hour, and do not take it amiss if your visitor wear a mask.”

“This is indeed a mystery,” I remarked. “What do you imagine that it means?”

“I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. But the note itself. What do you deduce from it?”

I carefully examined the writing, and the paper upon which it was written.

“The man who wrote it was presumably well to do,” I remarked, endeavouring to imitate my companion’s processes. “Such paper could not be bought under half a crown a packet. It is peculiarly strong and stiff.”

“Peculiar—that is the very word,” said Holmes. “It is not an English paper at all. Hold it up to the light.”

I did so, and saw a large “E” with a small “g,” a “P,” and a large “G” with a small “t” woven into the texture of the paper.

“What do you make of that?” asked Holmes.


It's on the first or second page, depending on the edition you have - or go to the e-book I linked to and use "edit" "find on this page" like I did!

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Stoneage Dinosaur
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Comment: When Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 in
"The Final Problem," did people really wear black armbands in the street?

No, but according to The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

quote:
The Adventure of the Final Problem was published in December of 1893 in The Strand magazine. People were so upset that more than twenty thousand of them cancelled their subscription to The Strand magazine.

It took a story of a ghostly hound to inspire Conan Doyle to bring the great detective back. In 1901 Sherlock Holmes reappeared in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Conan Doyle needed a strong central character for his ghostly novel. Why invent one when he already had that in Holmes? However Conan Doyle made it clear that Holmes was not alive. This story took place before the incident at Reichenbach Falls.

The public's response was phenomenal. The Hound of the Baskervilles was also first published in The Strand. The magazine's circulation rose by thirty thousand overnight.



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"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

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itsalx
No, I'm a frayed knot.


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Thanks Shadowduck. I must have skimmed right past it. I recall reading the bit about the stairs, and the paper but missed what I was actually looking for. Unfortunately, the edit command doesn't work on paper books. [Smile]

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There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who do not.

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