We're used to seeing Sherlock Holmes as a creature of logic vs. emotion. Watson called him "an automaton - a calculating machine" in The Sign of Four, and it was only many years later that he noted, "For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain." [3GAR]
When it came to women - even the woman - Holmes was not moved:
"It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler." [SCAN]
And Holmes reassured us that the softer emotion wasn't part of his character:
"I have never loved, Watson, but if I did, and if the woman I loved had met with such an end, I might act even as our lawless lion-hunter has done." [DEVI]
Of course, he did manage to play the part once when he led on Milverton's house-maid:
"You will be interested to hear that I am engaged."He goes on to explain his rather mercenary reason for doing so: "I needed information, Watson." [CHAS]
"My dear fellow! I congrat - "
"To Milverton's housemaid."
But that's not to say that true love didn't play a part of the plots of some of the 60 stories. Unfortunately, we must admit that there are very few "happy ending" love stories in the Sherlock Holmes. When we do encounter love in Canon, it usually has some sort of dark side to it - twisted, tested, tortured, or tragic in nature.
To mark the occasion of Valentine's Day, we're bringing you a quiz about love interests in the Canon. There are 9 questions; those who answer all questions correctly will be entered for a chance to win a Sherlockian collectible - some piece of effluvium from our grab-bag.
The contest is open from February 14 - 21, 2015. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the correct entries and notified by email.
If you're having trouble seeing the form on this page or in this email, simply click here for the direct link.
Bonus question, just for fun - no points awarded:
Roses are red
Violets are blue...
We know four Violets in the Canon
How many do you?
Leave us your Violet answer as a comment below.
In the meantime, is there a love story in the Canon that has stuck with you, either because of its poignancy or tragic nature? Please share it as a comment.