Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Christine  Costello


Sir Arthur Conan  Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Enigmatic Portrayal of Sherlock Holmes

The Personal and Political Relationship Between Queen Victoria and Benjamin Disraeli


Queen Victoria and statesman Benjamin Disraeli shared a unique relationship. When the Queen first became acquainted with Disraeli, she felt a strong dislike for him due to their conflicting opinions about Sir Robert Peel. Later, Victoria was displeased when Disraeli was selected to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Derby Government. The Second Reform Bill and issues such as the Indian Mutiny, however, allowed the Queen to see Disraeli in another light. Through Disraeli’s use of flattery and Queen Victoria’s gift of persuasion, these two distinguished individuals established a unique personal and political relationship. This relationship eventually developed into a lifelong friendship that influenced the foreign and domestic affairs of Victorian England.

Like Disraeli and Queen Victoria, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes also became an icon of Victorian England. Sherlock Holmes is considered one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time. His unique character, superhuman qualities and true genius allow him to solve mysteries that have previously been deemed unsolvable. Through the accounts of Doctor John Watson, the reader experiences the tension, suspense and shock in each one of Conan Doyle’s mysteries. The remarkable friendship that Watson and Holmes share allows for a comparison between the two individuals, making evident Holmes’ eccentricity and singularity and Watson’s normalcy. Holmes’ drug addiction and impatience implies that he clearly does not fit into the society in which he lives. Society however, is dependent on Holmes to restore justice.

Major Works Consulted:

Blake, Robert. Disraeli. New York: Saint Martin’s, 1967.
Conan Doyle, Arthur. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume 1. New York: Bantam, 1986. ---. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume 2. New York: Bantam, 1986.
Longford, Elizabeth. Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed. New York: Harper and Row, 1964.
Photo Credit: “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.” Dictionary of World Biography: The Nineteenth Century. 1st ed. 1999.


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