A photograph of Jerome Caminada, circa 1890.

Ever since Sherlock Holmes first became popular as the super-sleuth creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, theories have been proposed about who may have been the real-life inspiration for the now iconic detective. In her new biography The Real Sherlock Holmes, author Angela Buckley sheds light on a figure known a ‘Manchester’s Sherlock Holmes,’ a Manchester police detective named Jerome Caminada.

Over the years, a popular theory has been that Doyle’s inspiration came from his professor at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, Dr. Joseph Bell. Doyle, in fact, stated that Bell was an inspiration for the Holmes character. Bell, however, was a surgeon, and the only inspiration that he could have served was in the realm of logical deduction and early forensic science. Buckley’s new biography argues that the Caminada served as the down-to-earth inspiration for criminal cases that are the focus of the Holmes’ stories.

the_real_sherlock_holmesCaminada gained a reputation for being a master of disguise, a trait often demonstrated by Holmes. Caminada also made prodigious use of a city-wide informant network, a practice echoed in Holmes’ use of the Baker Street Irregulars. Throughout the rest of the book, Buckley provides further comparisons of similar traits shared between the real-life Caminada and the fictional Holmes. While Doyle may not have explicitly acknowledged Caminada as an inspiration, the evidence is there to lead us back to the old question, who was the real Sherlock Holmes?

Get a copy of The Real Sherlock Holmes by Angela Buckley from Pen and Sword Books. [Link Here]

For further reading about the book and about the possibility that Jerome Caminada was an inspiration for Doyle’s Holmes follow these links…

Has the real Sherlock Holmes been deduced? – The Telegraph

The Real Sherlock Holmes – Detective Jerome Caminada and ‘Criminal Manchester’

Author Angela Buckley at