Today we’ve found something truly obscure to share with you: A profile of the Master that ran in the Times of London on April 1, 1980, headlined just as this post is titled. The intriguing, and frequently unflattering, revelations in the piece were drawn from the papers of Dr. Moore Agar, Holmes’s personal physician for many years. (In “The Devil’s Foot,” when Dr. Watson mentioned Agar, he included the tantalizing note, “whose dramatic introduction to Holmes I may some day recount.” Unfortunately, if he ever wrote it up, he chose not to publish it.)
Dr. Agar agreed with other scholars of Holmes’s cases—such as Mr. Nicholas Meyer—that Professor Moriarty was merely a fantasy conjured up by the great detective’s imagination. The article contains many convincing details, but the failure of any further information to emerge from the doctor’s papers in the last 40 years is puzzling. Perhaps greater scholarly minds than we will be able to confirm or debunk the account.
Agar was sympathetic to a fellow medical man, writing, “Poor old Watson! He did his best to help Holmes and merely succeeded in making himself look foolish. There’s friendship for you.”
The article can be found only as a JPEG image in the Times’s archives (there is an option to view its text, but the results of the OCR scan seem to have been victimized by someone who wished, perhaps, to protect the memory of the Master). We present it here so that you may download it, enlarge the image, and peruse it at your leisure.