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The 21st century is a good time to be Sherlock Holmes. He stars in the recent Guy Ritchie films, with Robert Downey, Jr., playing the great detective; an internationally popular BBC television series, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock; a novel sanctioned by the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate; and dozens of additional novels and short stories, including two by Neil Gaiman. Add to this video games, comic books, and fan-created works, plus a potent Internet and social media presence. Holmes' London has even become a prime destination for cinematic tourists.
The evidence is clearly laid out in this collection of 14 new essays: Holmes and Watson are more popular than ever. Why we continue to be fascinated with them is the overall topic. The genius detective has been portrayed as hero as well as antihero. Adaptations describe him as tech savvy, scientifically detached, even psychologically aberrant; he has been romantically linked to The Woman and bromantically to Watson. Whether Victorian or modern, he continues to intrigue us. These essays analyze Sherlock Holmes as a cultural icon and explain why he is destined to be a beloved if controversial character for years to come.