A simple intermediate level English resource.
Sherlock Holmes is over 130
The classic image of Sherlock Holmes. Basil Rathbone in 1939
Sherlock Holmes has passed on his remarkable methods to Scotland Yard. His analysis is based on the most detailed research. Holmes made famous the arts of observation and deduction.
When he met Doctor Watson, his friend and assistant, for the first time, he said ; "I see you have been to Afghanistan," But how did he know? Watson looked like a medical and a military man. He had a dark skin, but his arms were white. His left arm was hurt. So Holmes concluded that he was an English army doctor, and he had recently come back from a hot country, with an injured arm. The only possible country, at the time was Afghanistan!
"Elementary, my dear Watson!".
Another example: when Dr. Watson showed him his watch, Holmes said: "I see that this watch belonged to your elder brother, who is now dead. He was an untidy man, and he was very poor, but he had periods of prosperity. At the end of his life he drank too much." Again, the explanation was elementary!
Stanley MacKenzie, president of the Sherlock Holmes Society, said: "Holmes is a mental superman and an eccentric. I envy his facility for solving problems in his armchair, with his eyes closed and his hands joined."
Benedict Cumberbatch filming for the BBC's modern day Sherlock series
Conan Doyle did not want Sherlock Holmes to live for so long! In fact he tried to stop writing the Sherlock Holmes stories in 1893, with the story "The Final Problem". Holmes and Moriarty, his big enemy, had a fight at the Riechenbach Falls in Switzerland, and they fell together into the water. But the readers protested so much that Conan Doyle was forced to "resurrect" the detective. Holmes "miraculously" survived, and there was another book of stories ten years later. Now at Meiringen in Switzerland, at the site of the falls, there is a "Sherlock Holmes pub" and a "Sherlock Holmes hotel", and a large Sherlock Holmes museum.
In England, there is a big "Sherlock Holmes Society". Members of the Society take the stories very seriously. They have meetings and discussions, where they talk about the books, and discuss some of the problems that still exist. For example, in one of the stories, Holmes took a train from London to Paris, but arrived in Paris before the train! How did he do it? One member looked at the train timetables of the 1890's, and found an explanation: He could have changed trains at Reading, near London, to arrive at the coast more quickly! It's elementary of course, for Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes is a legend that will not die.. Every week about 40 cards and letters, addressed to Mr. Holmes, are delivered at his address, 221B, Baker Street, in London. People ask the detective to solve their personal mysteries for them — some letters even asked him to explain international events!
There is a secretary who answers all the letters to Sherlock Holmes: she always says that Holmes has retired, and that he now lives in the country, where he keeps bees. It's a pity!
cape: sort of coat - elementary : very simple - remarkable: unusual and very good - deduction: the ability to deduce, or to see things that are not clear - hurt , injured - damaged -- untidy: not neat, careless in his habits - prosperity: good fortune -an eccentric: an unusual man, not normal - I envy: I wish I had - Falls : waterfalls, cascade - resurrect: bring back to life - site: place - -retired: stopped working - bees: insects which make honey.
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Yes, Holmes was very popular 130 years , and he
very popular today... as the
"real" 19th century
detective, now as a modern 21st century
have a dozen or films about
Sherlock Holmes the 1970s;
and 2010, the BBC has had a big hit with
starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a -day Sherlock Holmes.
Conan Doyle not want Sherlock Holmes to live for long! In fact he tried to stop the Sherlock Holmes stories in 1893, with the story "The Final Problem". Holmes and Moriarty, his big enemy, had a fight at the Riechenbach Falls in Switzerland, and they fell into the water. But the readers protested much that Conan Doyle was to "resurrect" the detective. Holmes "miraculously" survived, and there another book of stories ten years . Now at Meiringen in Switzerland, at the site of the falls, there a "Sherlock Holmes pub" and a "Sherlock Holmes hotel", and a large Sherlock Holmes museum.
Pair work: sketches. Have pupils, working in pairs, imagine an interview in 1900 between a journalist and Dr. Watson. Use information from the article.
Missing words exercise. This is a grammar based activity
Most of the missing words in this extract are words that students need to take care with.
There are several uses of the word so;
There are the correlating conjunctions both... and
There is a word that often trips up learners of English, series – which always has an -s at the end, even in the singular.
As for verbs,
They have to correctly form a passive
They have to use the correct variants of the common "there is" .... as used in the plural and/or in past time
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This teaching resource is © copyright Linguapress renewed 2020.
Fully revised and updated 2017 . Originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate level English newsmagazine.
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