4 May, 1891 – Remembering the Reichenbach Falls

The Reichenbach Falls

The 4th of May is not just Star Wars day.

Today is the day Sherlock Holmes faces his most formidable opponent at the edge of the treacherous falls of the Reichenbach.

On  4th May 1891, Holmes confronted Professor Moriarty in a deadly due that has become an iconic event in both literature and screen adaptations.

The short, yet powerful story of The Adventure of The Final Problem is one of the most crucial moments in the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. 

We are introduced to a powerful villain who is as intelligent and powerful as our hero. He is noted for being the mastermind behind many a crime in London, and has finally decided to get rid of an interfering Holmes before any more of his criminal activities are thwarted.

Back in 1893 when the story was published, Arthur Conan Doyle had made it clear he wanted to end the character of Sherlock Holmes in order to be able to move on to other writing projects. This is clear in the somewhat abrupt way in which the detective succumbs to the villain. There is even the lack of a proper climax in the final confrontation as all is described in hindsight by an absent Watson.

Yet, there’s something alluring about The Adventure of The Final Problem. Its timeless qualities and critical narrative within the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, makes it one of my most favourite stories, and contains the captivating notion of having a seemingly unbeatable protagonist finally meeting his match.

Although we are dealing with a fictitious event of a literary character, there’s no denying the significance of this day in the collective minds of all Holmesian enthusiasts.

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