Royal Mail stamps celebrate Sherlock Holmes


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04 August 2020
Royal Mail's set of ten stamps celebrate one of the most beloved fictional heroes of all time, Sherlock Holmes, with six stamps featuring images of characters from the BAFTA and Emmy award winning BBC series Sherlock, and a mini-sheet feature new illustrations of other stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Six stamps depict characters from the BAFTA and Emmy award winning BBC series, Sherlock, including: Sherlock Holmes; Doctor John Watson; Jim Moriarty; Irene Adler; Mary Morstan; and Mycroft Holmes. Mrs Hudson and Eurus Holmes are also featured.    

Devised and written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock aired for the first time in July 2010. This interpretation of Conan Doyle’s mysteries offered audiences a fresh, modern take on his novels and short stories, with an irreverent tone and 21st century technology such as internet searches, texting and GPS. It went on to win numerous awards for its writing, production and the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Amanda Abbington and Andrew Scott.

Each of the character stamp features a scene from some of the most popular episodes across all the series.

**SPOILER ALERT!** When UV light is shone over the stamps hidden details from the episode storyline are revealed, as shown below.

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An additional four stamps, presented in a miniature-sheet, explore other stories written by physician-turned-author, Conan Doyle. The stories included are among the ones Conan Doyle considered his favourites: The Adventure of the Speckled Band; The Red-Headed League; The Adventure of the Second Stain; and The Adventure of the Dancing Men.

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, in 1887. He had no idea how iconic the character would become. Inspired by the detective stories of Edgar Allen Poe and real-life figures such as Scottish surgeon Joseph Bell, Conan Doyle would produce 56 Holmes short stories and four full-length novels before laying the character to rest in 1927.
Richard Doyle, Arthur Conan Doyle’s great nephew, said:

'In the first chapter of my great uncle Arthur's famous Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of Four, Sherlock remarks upon the sheet of stamps in Watson's desk - imagine his consternation if it turned out to be this sheet of stamps!  What would he have deduced from what he observed?

'I hope those who take a close look at these fascinating stamps, observing not just seeing, are inspired to read the original stories and novels written by my great uncle - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.'

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