Sherlock Holmes is one fictional character who has transgressed every conceivable line of society, culture, language and class. Speculations around him have always courted newspaper headlines since the late 19th century when Arthur Conan Doyle fathered his most popular character. In recent years, the detective's character has been revamped owing to a few unfaithful portrayals by movie and TV stars. Perhaps, Doyle would be turning in his grave right now, given that the Y-gen girls cannot stop giggling over Holmes' rumored liaison with his companion Dr. Watson. Doyle never even hinted at the homosexual tendency of Holmes. On the contrary, he had sent a teaser down our bladders by making the sleuth a self-admitted admirer of one Irene Adler (who appeared in the short story "A Scandal in Bohemia", published in July, 1891).
Holmes never settled down though. Was he really in love with Irene or was he merely an admirer of her resourcefulness is something which should be left just the way it is- unsolvable and speculative. What is clear though is that he had a knack for getting too absorbed in thoughts while working on a case. Today's average college-going girl may not have really given him any brownie point for staying ungroomed. Ironically, girls do seem to have a mental orgasm everytime Benedict Cumberbatch parts with one of his devil-may-care smirks. But a real-life Holmes would definitely have been in need of a Gillette razor. A couple of swipes and there you have a face so smooth, slippery and kiss-ready that even Miss Adler would have done much more than saying, "Good night, Mister Sherlock Holmes."
So, when Robert Downey Jr. missed a great opportunity to bed Irene Adler in the movie, it was a clear "case of lost opportunity" and must have something to do with his unkempt, unhygienic look.
Amazingly, the book Holmes, cites Listverse, was squeaky clean.
"Sherlock Holmes is actually described in The Hound of the Baskervilles as having a cat like approach to cleanliness"- Listverse.com
Like most popular literary characters, this one too seems to have been hit hard by the media makers. Seems like the 'real' Doyle's Holmes did shave regularly, though he couldn't have had access to the sophisticated shaving products we have today. Alas, he could so easily have been a married guy today.
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