" Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last."The wisdom of this statement is probably much more apparent to me now than it was when I first read it more than four decades ago.
-- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Red Circle"
My own life's journey certainly has been filled with lessons. And I hope that the greatest is saved for last -- although I am in no hurry to find out!
When did Holmes receive that last lesson? David Ruffle's new book, Holmes and Watson: End Peace, records the death of Sherlock Holmes as happening in 1929. William S. Baring-Gould, in Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, put the event much later, in 1957.
Messers Ruffle and Baring-Gould are in good company: The first author to write about the death of Holmes (except perhaps in parodies) was . . . Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Final Problem." Of course, that wasn't permanent.
Count me with Vincent Starrett, who argued that Sherlock Holmes "never lived, and so can never die." After all, his obituary has never appeared in The Times of London.