Gender and the Modern Sherlock Holmes

Essays on Film and Television Adaptations Since 2009


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About the Book

From his 1887 literary debut to his many film and television adaptations, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has lost none of his appeal. Besides Holmes himself, no character in Conan Doyle’s stories proves as interesting as the astute detective’s constant companion, Dr. Watson, who somehow seems both superfluous and essential. While Conan Doyle does not depict Holmes and Watson as equals, he avoids presenting Watson as incompetent, as he was made to appear on screen for decades. A variety of reimagined Holmeses and Watsons in recent years have depicted their relationship as more nuanced and complementary. Focusing on the Guy Ritchie films, the BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’s Elementary, this collection of new essays explores the ideas and implications behind these adaptations.

About the Author(s)

Nadine Farghaly has a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Salzburg. She lives in Siegsdorf, Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Nadine Farghaly
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9459-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2281-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction (Nadine Farghaly) 1
The Evolution of Sherlock Holmes: An Examination of a Timeless Figure Amid Changing Times (Greg Freeman) 7
There’s a Name Everyone Says: Irene Adler and Jim Moriarty in Sherlock (Benedick Turner) 21
Return of “the woman”: Irene Adler in Contemporary Adaptations (Rhonda Lynette Harris Taylor) 40
“Of dubious and questionable memory”: The Collision of Gender and Canon in Creating Sherlock’s Postfeminist Femme Fatale (Maria Alberto) 66
“Feeling Exposed?” Irene Adler and the ­Self-Reflective Disguise (Katharine McCain) 85
I Am Sherlocked: Adapting Victorian Gender and Sexuality in “A Scandal in Belgravia” (Lindsay Katzir) 98
The Woman and the Napoleon of Crime: Moriarty, Adler, Elementary (Joseph S. Walker) 118
Joan for John: An Elementary Choice (Elizabeth Welch) 133
Joan Watson: Mascot, Companion and Investigator (Lucy Baker) 146
Conflations of “Queerness” in 21st Century Adaptations (Ayaan Agane) 160
A Questionable Bromance: Queer Subtext, Fan Service and the Dangers of Queerbaiting in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and A Game of Shadows (Hannah Mueller) 174
Sherlocked: Homosociality and (A)Sexuality (Karma Waltonen) 192
The Veneration of Violation in Sherlock (Zea Miller) 208
“Now, Watson, the fair sex is your department”: The BBC’s Sherlock and Interpersonal Relationships (Kathryn E. Lane) 223
About the Contributors 245
Index 249

Book Reviews & Awards

“covers in 14 orignal essays a brief period, exploring the on-screen relationships of Holmes and Dr. Watson as well as various female characters”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly.