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Written by Tony Harkin
"His ignorance was almost as remarkable as his brilliance”
This quote is describing Holmes. Holmes possesses brilliant powers of deduction. However, there are many things that he knows nothing of. In fact, Holmes was unaware that the planets orbited around the sun. Watson was astounded that Holmes could identify cigars by their ashes, but oblivious about something as astounding as planetary theory.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the information. It biases the judgement.”
This quote describes the foundation of Holmes’ deductions. He relies upon having all of the possible information findable from something before making conjectures about it. By knowing all the details, he can make extended accurate judgement about things, proving his powers of deduction.
“You see but you do not observe.”
Here Holmes explains more of how he comes to his deductions. He is not just passively seeing things, instead he is actively examining and observing his surroundings. This helps him gather evidence to deduce conclusions from.
“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name”
This quote is about Irene Adler. Irene Adler is arguably the most famous female character from any of Doyle’s works, even though she only appeared in one story (A Scandal in Bohemia). She is one of few people who has outwitted Holmes, and for this she has earned his complete admiration. She is referenced in other stories, including “His Last Bow” and “The Five Orange Pips”.
“You know my method. It is founded on the observation of trifles.”
Here is another example of Holmes explaining his deductions. He notices everything around him, and believes that even the smallest clues are still clues that can help make a correct conclusion, solving the mystery. This quote is similar to one from “The Man with the Twisted Lip”, “It is of course, a trifle, but there is nothing so important as trifles”.
“it is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Here Holmes is describing how he comes to his final conclusions. After he has observed all he can, gathered all the evidence he can, thought about the puzzle all he can, he can make several theories. Next, by eliminating the ones that can not be possible, he comes to the correct conclusion.
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