Did Sherlock Holmes have a son?

I’m addicted to the Laurie R. King Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell mysteries, even though I’m not very familiar with the original stories. In A Monstrous Regiment of Women, Mary says something like, “If he was your son, wouldn’t you want someone to try to help him?” about a young man with a drug addiction. It’s followed by, “Of course, he had a son. And someone had tried”

I’ve done some searching, but I haven’t turned up anything canonical about Holmes having a son. If he did, with whom? How? He famously had no time for romance. Well, aside from possibly Irene Adler.

I have read them, and no, there is nothing in them about a son. That’s from fanfiction, and the various pastiches/homages that have come down the pike.

It’s not remotely canonical, but some Sherlock Holmes commentators have the theory that Nero Wolfe was the son of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler:

Specifically, that Nero Wolfe is the son of Sherlock and Irene Adler who was seen in the Holmes story A Scandal In Bohemia, one of only four people ever to outsmart Holmes.
eta: beaten to the punch

eta again : oh, I see you already know about Irene

Conan Doyle never hinted at such, & he dropped hints galore.


C’mon, are you trying to say that what Baring-Gould wrote *wasn’t * fanfiction? The man was practically a groupie. :slight_smile:

His Annotated Holmes is much better than the new one than came out recently precisely because he cared about the fanwanking stuff, admittedly. But his “biographies” of Holmes and of Wolfe are drivel.

Yes. Holmes never married, and to an upright Victorian like Doyle, that meant he had no son. There is no mention of a son in any of the Doyle stories, or even a wife. And IIRC, he was never even alone with Irene Adler.

Ah, Wold-Newton. What a wonderful concept.

By using the Wold-Newton strategy, some have said that Robert Goren, of Law and Order: Criminal Intent is a descendant of Holmes. That’s just one reason why I love the whole construction. :slight_smile:

The other way round. Baring-Gould did it first, and then Farmer started playing with it.

YMMV, but I don’t even think Sherlock Holmes had any romantic feelings for Irene Adler–more along the lines of respect and admiration for her cleverness. Maybe Holmes was [del]gay for Watson[/del] asexual all along.

Psssst: Staff report about the Sherlock Holmes speculation game

I think Holmes came off (IMO) as asexual or possibly even somewhat closeted. While he had a deep respect for certain women the notion that he would actually have an emotional relationship with a woman is kind of far fetched within the original Holmesian fictional universe of AC Doyle.

Ah, but Arthur Conan Doyle had a son bearing the same initials, Adrian Conan Doyle. In “The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes,” there are 12 stories of cases referred to in passing in The Canon. Half of the stories in this volume are listed as by Adrian Conan Doyle and John Dickson Carr (master of the ‘locked room mystery’) and half are credited to Adrian Conan Doyle alone.

I submit they are worthy to stand alongside The Canon.

I have nothing to add to the Holmes-has-a-son discussion except that I, too, just love-love-love the Mary Russell novels.

No son (or daughter) canonically, but lots of fanfic/pastiches in which Holmes has offspring, with Irene Adler or others.

Capt. Spock, in Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, refers to Holmes (or perhaps it was Conan Doyle) as an ancestor in quoting the axiom, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

I really like the June Thomson pastiches, which are every bit as good as the best of Conan Doyle. Start with The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes.

Yeah it’s me

Glad we got that cleared up, after eight years. :dubious:

Sherlock Holmes’ son is clearly Tommy Westphall. :slight_smile:

In Season 3 of *Elementary *one of Holmes’ “Irregulars” asks him to be a sperm donor. Holmes declines on the basis that his “remarkable” abilities make him extremely miserable and he didn’t want to inflict a life like that on anyone else.

In the film with Roger Moore and Patrick MacNee as Holmes and Watson, respectively, it’s implied that Holmes had a child out of wedlock, “Scott” (one of Holmes’s given names).

Ugh. I had to look that up, only to find that giving his name as William Sherlock Scott Holmes is a construct of the Wold-Newton mythos. I reject thee.