Sherlock Holmes through the Microscope by Carl Heifetz
The life and career of Mr. Sherlock Holmes haves inspired the interest of many of the brightest intellects in the world. They have expended great efforts to penetrate beyond the glimpses afforded us in the 60 published adventures — to detect the real underlying character of “the best and the wisest man” Dr. Watson has ever known (“The Final Problem” by A. C. Doyle). To the hundreds of past and present day Sherlockians, Holmesians, Doyeleans, we owe a great deal of gratitude for helping to shred the veil which has been created to obfuscate the real character of our remarkable hero: from the sainted Christopher Morley and Vincent Starrett; to the renowned commentators Ronald A. Knox, William S. Baring-Gould, Edgar W. Smith, Sydney C. Roberts, Michael Harrison, Michael Hardwick, and many others too numerous to mention. Commentators have included bookmen, journalists and essayists, physicians, psychiatrists and pathologists, chemists, monsignors and vicars, barristers and solicitors, and automobile executives. All have brought their intelligence, unique perspectives, and, most of all, a very desperate need for knowledge to this quest, their labor of love. With great humility but stout heart, I feel highly motivated, even obligated, to attempt to add my voice to this ongoing effort. As a microbiologist, I hope to bring a different perspective to these studies. I am used to dealing with very minute objects that produce consequences much greater than their size would indicate. Is not this obsession with minutiae the perfect training and background for one who feels the need to participate in Sherlockian studies? I do hope that this makes me somewhat qualified to join in this important area of scholarly research.