Archive for May, 2016

Fascinating Facts About Sherlock Holmes

Blog_PromoBanner_576x245_SherlockHolmesOn this day in 1859, the man who was to bring the world its most beloved fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. First appearing in print as far back as 1887, Sherlock Holmes has been synonymous with intellect, problem solving and a knack for stating the obvious (in the wonderfully sarcastic isles of Britain, anyway!).

So, to celebrate the great man’s birthday and his most famous creation, we have collected together our favourite facts about Sherlock Holmes which we’re sure you’ll have never heard.

Sherlock Holmes is the second most portrayed movie character in history
That’s right! Not the first, not the third – our dear Sherlock is merely the runner-up, the silver medallist. Having been portrayed by over 90 (90?!) actors on both the big and small screen, and starring in over 292 movies and TV shows (well, according to IMDb), Sherlock comes in an honourable second place to Bram Stoker’s gothic behemoth, Dracula, in terms of on-screen representations.

Sherlock Holmes Actors


Only one Sherlock Holmes story wasn’t set in the Victorian or Edwardian periods
We will have all noticed the period backdrop to the stories of Sherlock Holmes. But in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s later collections of Sherlock Holmes short stories, the legendary detective is catching spies for British intelligence agencies, finally retiring and spending his days beekeeping – ahh!

victorian sherlock


Sherlock Holmes’s parents are never mentioned in any of his stories
Not one mention – imagine being poor Roger and Daphne Holmes (presumed names!). You would be livid, right?! Though he was never the sentimental sort, the only mention of Sherlock Holmes’s family in any of the Sherlock stories (apart from his brother, Mycroft) is in reference to his ancestors.

sherlock parents


Sherlock Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson”
”Elementary” – yes. “My dear Watson” – but of course. The time-old combination of the two phrases, however – never once did it leave his lips. This, though, didn’t stop it becoming a huge part of popular culture and part of Sherlockian folk law. If you’re interested, it was apparently first uttered in the 1929 Clive Brook film The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

sherlock elementary


Sherlock wasn’t always going to be called Sherlock
Did you know he was almost named Sherrinford – just as great a name for a sleuth, or we think so anyway. The name Sherlock comes from (or so the tale goes) a combination of the names of two Nottinghamshire cricketers: Mortdecai Sherwin and Joseph Shacklock. Doyle himself was a keen (and talented) cricketer, so we’d like to think this is the true origin of Sherlock Holmes’s name.

sherlock signature


The name Sherlock Holmes is a little more popular than you think…
According to a number of different sources, at the time of writing this there are 9 people in the UK sporting the name Sherlock Holmes. But that’s nothing compared to the US, where there are 34 lucky beggars signing their cheques with the famous sleuth’s name. But that’s nothing – in the 1911 Census, one entry from a family lists the names of two of their children as Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. Now THAT’S dedication!

sherlock name


Sherlock used some detective techniques before real detectives did
Fingerprints – Sherlock. Identification of a suspect by their typewriter – Sherlock. Identifying blood stains – Sherlock. Gauging gunshot firing distance – do we need to go on..? In each of these cases, the great detective used his powers of deduction and scientific prowess to pioneer techniques before they were official used by police.

sherlock experiments

Football books for Euro 2016

Against all odds, Leicester City have lifted the Premier League trophy. Will Crystal Palace be able to join in with the underdog story when they face Manchester United in 2016’s FA Cup Final? Hot on the heels of the nation’s favourite tournament will be the event every football fan in the continent has been waiting for – Euro 2016 in France.

football books for fans of all ages during Euro 2016

Kicking off on 10 June, the event finds four of the home nations battling for the prestigious trophy. Will Jamie Vardy be having an international party come mid-July?

As we await the feast of football, we thought it would be a good time to look at the football books available at Book People. All available at back-of-the-net prices, there’s something for footy fans of all ages.

Euro 2016



Twenty-four teams will be battling it out during June and July and this book provides profiles of all of them – and their key players.




Usborne Football Sticker and Colouring Book



This provides little fans with an introduction to the ‘Beautiful Game’ and has stickers to stick and activities to enjoy.




Frankie’s Magic Football Collection



Written by England legend Frank Lampard, these books combine football with magic and adventure. Perfect for ages 5 plus.



The Vision Book of Football Records 2016



With a bright and bold design, this book is crammed full of facts, stats, records and amazing footy feats.





The Football Manager Guide to Football Management



We’ve all been there… desperate for those title-winning three points after hours (days) spent in front of a screen playing Football Manager. But how much does this most of addictive of games actually represent real-life management?




Match! Joke and Fact Book Set



From striking facts to goal-den jokes, these two books are great for dipping in and out of between matches during the European Championships.



Match of the Day: 365



A trip down memory lane for football supporters, this looks at some of the controversial decisions, game-changing transfers and last-minute victories that have occurred on every day of the year during the Premier League era.

The Casting Call – Actresses you want to put in iconic male roles


With Ghostbusters getting an all-female makeover, and stars such as Helen Mirren calling for women to chase ‘male’ on-screen roles, it’s time for you to decide which female actors land the lead part in our favourite book adaptations. Maybe 007 shouldn’t be played by Idris Elba in the next Bond film; or perhaps you’re not a fan of Daniel Radcliffe as our favourite young wizard, Harry Potter? Now’s your chance to recast films and TV shows based on books with the best female actors from around the world!

Top 10 1980s kids’ books

In among the yuppies, space hoppers and Spectrum Sinclairs, the 1980s also brought the world some of the most gnarly children’s books. Below you can watch our totally bodacious video about these books. It’s rad!

Janet and Allan AhlbergPeepo

Published in 1981, this book from the married couple was the winner of the Parents Magazine Best Book for Babies Award and is still enjoyed by thousands of families today.

Roald Dahl – The Witches

A fantasy novel from the master storyteller that was deliciously dark, this was adapted into a 1990 film starring Anjelica Houston that did not impress Roald Dahl; he called it ‘utterly appalling’.

Francine PascalSweet Valley High

Blending elements of soap opera, romance and even fantasy and thrillers, this worldwide-bestselling series consisted of a fresh 603 books. It also inspired a TV series that ran from 1994 to 1997.

Rod CampbellDear Zoo

One of the most recognisable picture books that remains a bestseller to this day, the lift-the-flap elements made Dear Zoo a hugely interactive treat for toddlers and it’s just perfect for sharing.

Sue TownsendThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾

Including the likes of J.K. Rowling and David Walliams among its fans, Sue Townsend’s classic coming-of-age tale spawned seven sequels. Did you know he was very almost called Nigel?

Joanna Cole and Bruce DegenMagic School Bus

A series of fantastical books about science, the Magic School Bus series followed the antics of Ms. Valerie Frizzle and her class as it changed into a spaceship, a submarine and much, much more.

Jill MurphyPeace at Last

A tale that resonates with many parents and guardians, this book was published in 1980 and followed the story of the Near family and Mr. Bear – who just wants some sleep. The picture book was written by Jill Murphy, who is also the author of The Worst Witch.

Judy BlumeTiger Eyes

A young adult novel that tackles important subjects, this book always ranks highly in polls of Judy Blume’s most popular books. It was adapted into a film directed by Lawrence Blume – Judy’s son – in 2012.

Janet and Allan AhlbergThe Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

Since first being published in 1986, this innovative book from the Ahlbergs has sold over six million copies. With envelopes including letters, cards, games and a tiny book, it took five years from the book’s conception before it hit the bookshelves.

Roald DahlThe BFG

An expansion of a short story first seen in Danny, the Champion of the World, The BFG was published in 1982 and dedicated to Roald Dahl’s late daughter, Olivia, who died in 1962. It was adapted into an iconic animated film featuring the vocal talents of David Jason and Amanda Root. Later this year, the Steven Spielberg-directed live-action film starring Mark Rylance will arrive in cinemas all over the world.

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