The Best of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Critics have stated that Sherlock Holmes became an icon among detective novel characters.  What factors made this true?

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Holmes became popular with male readers because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took care to give him an enviable lifestyle. Unlike his readers, Sherlock Holmes works only when he chooses. His clients usually come to him at 221B Baker Street. They bring him interesting puzzles to solve. Much of the time he lounges in a comfortable chair and smokes a pipe. Most of his readers have to go to work six days a week, rain or shine. They are mostly "armchair detectives" who enjoy solving mysteries, just like their idol Holmes. They enjoy sharing his adventures and his dangers--up to a point. They identify with him, but they realize that there is a certain "aesthetic distance" between themselves and the detective. They feel assured that he is competent to cope with any problem and any threat, even from Professor Moriarty. The early readers were very much like the great detective. They enjoyed lounging, smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, reading, and meditating. Holmes is not married. He doesn't have...

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