Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle not as smart as Sherlock?

I'd admire his stories a lot and read them all the time. Sherlock Holmes is my hero. However, I read that he believed fairies were real because he saw a fabricated photo of a fairy. I don't mean to sound rude, but I figured the mind behind Sherlock wouldn't be able to believe something so easily. Sure, a photo could be a form of evidence, and fabricated photos weren't common back then, but it just sort of disappoints me.

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    An author cannot be "less smart" than his character -- the author is able to manipulate the story so the hero 'figures out" the puzzle. Holmes uses a lot of "cutting edge" science (for his time) and the scientific method to solve the crime(s). As far as the fairies hoax goes, I think many people at the time believed in spiritualism-- these days many people believe these "ghost hunter" shows, when probably 99.9999% of it is bunk and many people believed in the fairies, not just him. I think Doyle believed in all that because he wanted something to believe in since he had so many of his family die around WWI.

  • 9 years ago

    I've never heard that fairy story, but it's entirely possible to write a smart character without being as smart as the character you make. Do you think all the writers behind House are medical geniuses or that the writers behind the Sherlock show can deduce everything about a person from their clothes? It's just good writing and good characterization. Doyle based Sherlock off a mentor/professor person he knew though.

  • 9 years ago

    I think you're confusing intellect with spirituality.

    Doyle was an extremely smart, very intellectual man... but he also because VERY spiritual later in life (following the death of wife, his son, his brother, two brothers-in-law, and two nephews all within a relatively short timeframe). He became depressed and later shifted that depression into a belief in the paranormal. Grief does strange things to people.

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