James Bond, Sherlock Holmes Come to Fort Wayne

By Eric Olson

January 20, 2012 Updated Jan 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--James Bond is an indelible footnote in western pop cultural but he’s not alone. It seems just about every year James Bond or Sherlock Holmes appears in a new movie and for good reason; they’re great characters that lend themselves to exciting yarns. And they lend themselves to great exhibits like the current one at Fort Wayne’s Karpeles Manuscript Museum. This is a page of the original manuscript, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own hand, of the classic Holmes adventure ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. This exhibit is titled ‘The Detective, the Detective Story and the Spy’ and it traces the roots of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond… and of the detective story itself. These are movie notes with changes penciled in by Bond creator Ian Fleming, who put much of himself in his stories.

“ He was a heavy smoker,” says museum director Lisa Olinger, “as many as 86 cigarettes a day and they were hand rolled from a particular shop in London with three gold bands around the bottom of them. And those kinds of details made their way into the writing of the character James Bond.”

These are handwritten notes by Arthur Conan Doyle on a new character he was creating as a foil for Holmes named Dr. Watson. Not as famous as Doyle or Ian Fleming is Dorothy Sayers, a detective novelist herself but better known for her writings about detective novels.

“And she did some pretty in depth research about how to write the perfect detective story,” says Olinger, “so if there are any of you out there that are writers this is an opportunity to see some of her research.”

And a chance to get up close and personal with writers that have entertained us all for nearly a century, with plots and characters that have become, well, elementary. This is Eric Olson reporting.

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