Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World's First Consulting Detective is a 1962 "biography" about Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould, a Holmes scholar whose annotated edition of the canon is still highly respected by Sherlockians today.
Baring-Gould's biography is responsible for several examples of Word of Dante in Sherlockian circles: amongst them that there was another older brother called Sherrinford Holmes who looked after the Holmes estate, Mycroft was the head of the Secret Service, Holmes was in a touring theatrical troupe in America, and he lived to a ripe old age thanks to the Royal Jelly he collected from his Sussex bees.
Tropes in this work include:
- Adaptational Villainy: Professor Moriarty who is made out to be either the mastermind or the unseen consultant in crime in several of Holmes' cases found in "Adventures" and "Memoirs". Amongst them are:
- "The Five Orange Pips" - Moriarty helped the KKK track down and murder the Openshaw Family.
- "The Red-Headed League" - Moirarty was the true mastermind behind John Clay's plan to steal the French gold.note .
- "The Greek Interpreter" - Moriarty was the one who put Harold Latimer and Wilson Kemp together.
- There is also a major case not involving Moriarty: Athelney Jones, the friendly but incompetent Inspector from The Sign of the Four, is Jack the Ripper.
- Big Fancy House: Mycroft, the Holmes estate in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
- Canon Foreigner: Sherrinford Holmes, mainly to explain why Mycroft and Sherlock are working in London if they come from an aristocratic family. Sherrinford was the older brother so he got the estate.
- Evil Mentor: At one point Moriarty was hired to be Holmes's private tutor. The two did not get along and Moriarty left as soon as possible.
- Idle Rich: Sherrinford Holmes who grew up to be a mere country squire.
- My Beloved Smother: Siger Holmes who wanted his children to be in careers, he chose. Sherrinford being the eldest would be a country squire when he inherited the estate, Mycroft would become a government auditor, and Sherlock would become an engineer. Mycroft and Sherlock of course took their own career paths. Mycroft became head of British Intelligence (though being an auditor was a convenient cover story) while Sherlock of course became the world's first consulting detective.
- Mythology Gag: Sherrinford comes from Conan Doyle's original name for Sherlock in the manuscript for "A Study in Scarlet".
- Promoted to Love Interest: Irene Adler, naturally. This work follows the popular theory that Nero Wolfe was the love child between Irene and Sherlock as result of a night of passion they had when they crossed paths again at Montenegro during Holmes' years he spent wandering the world between "The Final Problem" and "The Empty House".
- Serial Romeo: Watson, who's been married three times: a wife before Mary whom he met in San Fransisco, Mary Morstan, and another one during the end of Holmes's career.
- Shared Universe: Holmes is made to be the cousin of Conan Doyle's other eccentric hero, Professor George Edward Challenger. They're related through Siger Holmes' side of the family.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: The Holmes estate is called Mycroft which is what Siger Holmes decided to call his second son.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Sherlock was effectively exiled from the family estate when he told Siger he wanted to be a consulting detective instead of an engineer like his father wanted. Siger gave his youngest son a modest allowance, but told him he never wanted to see his face again.