“It is always awkward doing business with an alias.”Well, Holmes should know. The Canon is chock full of aliases on several levels.
-- Sherlock Holmes, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
(Dawn Koogle’s favorite quote)
Most obviously, a large number of clients, villains and other personages present themselves to Holmes or to the world at large under false colors, as James Ryder did in the scene from which this quote comes. Think of all the characters who changed their names to hide a villainous past – or a virtuous one, in the case of Birdy Edwards.
Secondly, there are a number of other characters to whom the author assigns an alias which is the only name used for that person in the story. I mean, does anybody believe the King of Bohemia was really the king of Bohemia? (Since there was no king of Bohemia, the answer to that question would be no.)
And finally, Holmes himself – master of disguise that he was – took on a false identity many times. We don’t know what name he used, if any, when traveling as an Italian priest in “The Final Problem” or hawking books in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” We do know, however, that he called himself Captain Basil in “The Adventure of Black Peter,” Escott the plumber in “The Adventure of Charles August Milverton” and Altamont in “His Last Bow.”
What other aliases did Holmes use?