Published on January 30th, 2012 in: Books, Feminism, Issues, LGBTQ, Movies, Oh No You Didn't, TV |
By Lisa Anderson
To Sherlock Holmes, she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It’s not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one in particular, were abhorrent to his cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind . . . He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer . . . And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
—”A Scandal in Bohemia,” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
In recent years, two new versions of the stories of Sherlock Holmes have captivated viewing audiences. One is the film version starring Robert Downey, Jr. The other is the BBC Television version with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead. Both versions make good use of characters that have either been portrayed very differently or not used as extensively in other incarnations of Holmes stories. For example, both Jude Law and Martin Freeman portray John Watson as a much better sidekick than did Nigel Bruce and others. Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s smarter older brother, gets screen time and importance in both the movies and the television show. However, none of Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters has seen their stock increase more in these retellings than Irene Adler. SPOILERS BEHIND THE CUT!