Books

A Scandal in Bohemia – Arthur Conan Doyle

I am perhaps a bit late in mentioning this short story by Conan Doyle but my reason for reading it was I had watched the TV adaptation that was out on 1 January and also watched it again a few days after as came across it again and felt it was worth a second look. I am so glad I did, these adaptations with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are excellent. Traditionalists will say the have played fast and loose with the stories but I think they are excellent and it has done something which was make me go and read the story.

Dr Watson is married and calls in on the off chance to see his old friend Holmes. Whilst there a masked obviously wealthy client visits Holmes asking for some help, the masked man is unmasked by Holmes when he categorically says he knows who he is – King of Bohemia.

Upon his revelation the King has got himself into a bit of bother with a lady, (in the loosest sense of the word!) and there is photographic evidence to prove such which could affect the impending betrothal of the King to a young princess.  In steps Sherlock Holmes in his attempt to recover the picture in his own way with some help from Dr Watson. Within pages the problem is solved and the King can be married without any skeletons falling out of the closet and the lady the so called Irene Adler remains untarnished. Holmes has actually been outwitted by a women and he will need to have a souvenir of this outstanding occurence. What does he choose?

A Scandal in Bohemia is the first short story to be published in The Strand magazine and was published in 1891.

Move forward 120 years and Bohemia has become Belgravia and the BBC have stuck loosely to the story – still the incriminating photos but for technology’s sake now held on a mobile phone, there is a royal element but rather than a King it is a (female) member of the current Royal Family. We never find out who even though Sherlock works it out.  The location of the photo in both (before realising it is on a mobile phone)  is the same and the discovery of such matches. Then the story is fleshed out to clear up the cliff hanger from the end of series one and also the government plot with Holmes brother Mycroft involved in something ‘big’ which Sherlock decipher. By the end of the programme everything makes sense.

I hope some of you have seen it and the following two episodes. I may well venture to read some more Holmes as I found it quite funny and witty, more so when you can see that they have kept this element in the tv series. The TV series also pokes fun at the books and the images of Holmes through the years, for that I refer you to the famous hat –

Perfect! I hope they make more of these, the BBC at their best (for a change)

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6 thoughts on “A Scandal in Bohemia – Arthur Conan Doyle

  1. I have to admit that I am not a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories or any of the adaptations but I like the sound of how they changed the story to make it more modern. And anything that will make people pick up classic books is good as far as I am concerned….

  2. I haven’t tried to read any Holmes stories since I was at school, I didn’t like them but quite enjoyed Uncle Bernac by Conan Doyle. I’ve just realised that I actually have this story in a Folio book which I bought in Cambridge – Crime Stories from the ‘Strand’. I’m going to read it soon. I’ve really been enjoying the new adaptations, much to my surprise.

  3. I have to wait until May to see the new episodes in the States. While I read a few Holmes stories years ago, BBCs new series re-ignited my interest in them. I’m almost done reading all the originals and I can’t wait to see how the second season plays with Doyle’s creation. It’s genius!

    1. Genius is a good word to sum the programmes up. It as certainly made me want to read more Sherlock short stories, if I ever find the time!

  4. I love the new BBC adaptation of this famous detective stories! I mean I like the Robert Downey Jnr films but they are no where near as good as this. A few people I know don’t like the changes they’ve made but I think it is so refreshing. Since watching this series I think I really need to read more of the original stories.

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