The Real World of Sherlock — Co-sponsorship with the ESU

The English-Speaking Union of New York invites you to

The Real World of Sherlock

a talk by Professor B. J. Rahn, co-sponsored by The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes

Thursday, April 28, The English-Speaking Union

144 East 39th Street, New York City

$15 for ESU National Patrons
$25 for ESU and ASH members
$35 for Non-members

ESU National Patrons are invited to enjoy a private
Champagne Reception with B.J. Rahn in the Executive
Director’s office at 6 pm, prior to her talk.

6:30 p.m.

Based on the new paperback edition of The Real World of Sherlock, this lecture explores how closely (or not) Holmes’ fictional world represents Victorian life. It provides a fascinating insight into crime and detection in nineteenth-century London by tracing how the work of police detectives and CSI evolved in this era. From footprint analysis and human blood testing to fingerprinting and crime-scene photography, comparing Holmes’ methods with official procedures yields several surprises—as does research into Sherlock’s fabled drug addiction. Analysis of Holmes and the Fair Sex reveals that despite his antifeminist remarks, Holmes’ actions speak louder than his words, as he befriends female clients, earns the trust of reluctant witnesses, and protects helpless victims. Holmes was very much a man of his time, attuned to social issues, ready to accept new ideas and to challenge unjust or inequitable practices and thereby help to reshape society. He was a quintessential Victorian.

Professor B. J. Rahn, a former member of the English Department at Hunter College in New York, has been teaching, researching, and writing about crime fiction for over two decades. She also leads detective walking tours in the U.K. which visit sites of several renowned authors.

For information, contact Ed Mohylowski at or 212-818-1200, ext. 218. 

The Lecture Series of the New York Branch receives generous support from the Drue Heinz Trust.