“He has considerable gifts himself” [SIGN]
Sherlock Holmes had a singular set of skills and knowledge. He was, as he said, "the only one in the world," [STUD] and because of those special powers, he had every reason to believe he would remain unique.
And yet, we find him again and again, demonstrating his willingness to share his secrets in an effort to advance the profession. He was more than willing to make it clear how he knew the things he knew.
Consider the times he recommended to Watson his monographs. In The Sign of Four, he mentioned his monograph Upon the Distinction between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccoes, following it up with others:
"Here is my monograph upon the tracing of footsteps, with some remarks upon the uses of plaster of Paris as a preserver of impresses. Here, too, is a curious little work upon the influence of a trade upon the form of the hand, with lithotypes of the hands of slaters, sailors, corkcutters, compositors, weavers, and diamond-polishers. That is a matter of great practical interest to the scientific detective,—especially in cases of unclaimed bodies, or in discovering the antecedents of criminals."
There is an entire Trifles episode dedicated to Sherlock Holmes's Monographs.
Aside from the monographs, Sherlock Holmes made it clear his intention was more comprehensive. In "The Abbey Grange," Watson was hurt by Sherlock Holmes's criticism over his dramatization of certain cases. He asked Holmes with some bitterness, "Why do you not write them yourself?" The reply made it clear:
“I will, my dear Watson, I will. At present I am, as you know, fairly busy, but I propose to devote my declining years to the composition of a text-book which shall focus the whole art of detection into one volume. Our present research appears to be a case of murder.”
True experts are not afraid to be generous with their time and knowledge, for they appreciate seeing their industries advance.
At the same time, they know how much diligence and hard work go into being at the top of their field. Let's chew it over with the Baker Street Elementary boys...
Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.
For those who may have recognized the headline.