Fictional detective Sherlock Holmes is one of the most popular detectives in the history of the English detective story. But just how popular, was shown on Sunday August 28th, 135 years after Holmes first appeared in print, when crowds from all corners of Leiden flocked to the Sherlock Holmes event in Mayflower Bookshop. Visitors, some of them even dressed as Holmes, when unable find a seat in the packed bookshop, sat on the ground or stood on their toes, not to miss anything from Wim Tigges’ fascinating lecture on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Holmes, on the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, their idiosyncrasies, not forgetting the many films, plays and television series in which the consulting detective, as he called himself, featured. The audience listened spellbound to Tigges, as he took them on a journey to 19th c. London, where Holmes resided at 221B Baker Street.
Since, as Tigges himself said, the dynamics of Holmes’s character only truly come alive when seen, far more so than on the page, the event concluded with a performance of a characteristic passage from ‘The Blue Carbuncle’, played by the Mayflower Theatre Company (Simme van de Lustgraaf and Freek Bouricius). As the delighted fans of old discovered books on Holmes they had not seen before, and new fans of Sherlock Holmes were created, Sherlock Holmes was much discussed. Truly an afternoon to remember!