English Literature KS3 / KS4: How did Arthur Conan Doyle create the character of Sherlock Holmes?

Andrew Marr investigates how Arthur Conan Doyle first created the unforgettable character of Sherlock Holmes, back in 1887.

He uncovers the real life inspiration for the first great sleuth and ‘brainiac’ in detective fiction and finds out where Holmes’ distinctive quirks and eccentricities may have come from.

With Anthony Horowitz, Marr explores other important aspects of Conan Doyle’s narrative, such as how Holmes’ reputation is elevated within the stories, ways that information is withheld from the reader, and the role of the sidekick in crime writing more generally.

Teacher Notes

Could be used to inspire students towards the creation of their own unforgettable characters through real-life experiences and observation of people they know.

Students might also invent additional titles of Sherlock Holmes cases, or do the same for their own invented character.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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