Dr. Watson, in full Dr. John H. Watson, is a fictional English physician who is Sherlock Holmes’s devoted friend and associate in a series of detective stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Watson, born in 1852, has served as an army surgeon in India, where he was wounded during the second Afghan War, and has returned to England in impaired health. He and Holmes meet in London; they share rooms at 221B Baker Street. The medical practice Watson establishes does not prevent him from accompanying Holmes on his crime-fighting cases, which he later records and publishes. The character of Watson, as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is modest and intelligent.
Though fictitious, the date and location references make one feel like reading some historical events. At the time the Holmes stories were published, addresses in Baker Street did not go as high as 221. Baker Street was later extended, and in 1932 the Abbey National Building Society moved into premises at 219–229 Baker Street. For many years, Abbey National employed a full-time secretary to answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. In 1990, a plaque signifying 221B Baker Street was installed at the Sherlock Holmes Museum, situated elsewhere on the same block. Since the closure of Abbey House in 2005, ownership of the address by the Holmes Museum has not been challenged, despite its location between 237 and 241 Baker Street. The house is protected by the government due to its “special architectural and historical interest”, while the 1st floor study overlooking Baker Street is still faithfully maintained for posterity as it was kept in Victorian Times.
The prototype for the modern mastermind detective, Holmes first appeared in Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. As the world’s first and only “consulting detective,” he pursued criminals throughout Victorian and Edwardian London, the south of England, and continental Europe. Among the most popular stories in which he is featured are The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (1892), The Adventure of the Speckled Band (1892), The Adventure of the Six Napoleons(1904), and the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).