I have an intense fascination with Sherlock Holmes. I have read quite a bit of the short stories and novels, and I have watched most modern adaptations. I have never thought to study the history of England and Sherlock to see if they were related in anyway. Therefore, the first thing I did was go to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and see if they mentioned anything I could get a jumping point off of. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s entry there is an excerpt mentioning that Doyle based two of his aristocratic characters with troubles of off “Albert Edward, prince of Wales” (Edwards). The two stories the Dictionary says he are portrayed in is A Scandal in Bohemia and The Beryl Coronet (Edwards). These two stories coincide with the history of how the Prince of Wales acted. The Oxford Companion to British History describes him as, “indolent and wayward and what vigour he did possess was devoted to sexual encounters of various kinds” (Cannon). This could be interpreted as Doyle making fun of the Prince because of his relations and needing the help of a detective in order to get out of the trouble he caused for himself. However, the Prince didn’t live for very long and only made it to 1892 after dying of pneumonia (Cannon). The fact that he didn’t live very long means that he does not have much information recorded. He died before he was even married and ever became anything important. This lack of information caused the search to peter out. No information showed up for him in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. However, because of the character he represent in the Holmes’ stories, Doyle made the readers like him more. It was the unjust and corrupted needing help that allowed his stories to grow and become the ideal detective story.
Edwards, Owen Dudley. “Doyle, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan (1859–1930).” Owen Dudley
Edwards Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian
Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Jan. 2013. 2 Mar. 2015.
Cannon, J. A. “Clarence, Albert Victor Christian Edward, duke of.” The Oxford Companion to
British History. : Oxford University Press. Oxford Reference. 2009. Date Accessed 2 Mar. 2015