Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for January 2011

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
relax after their Turkish bath

Illustration by Howard Elcock

'Both Holmes and I had a weakness for the Turkish bath. It was over a smoke in the pleasant lassitude of the drying-room that I have found him less reticent and more human than anywhere else. On the upper floor of the Northumberland Avenue establishment there is an isolated corner where two couches lie side by side, and it was on these that we lay upon September 3, 1902, the day when my narrative begins. I had asked him whether anything was stirring, and for answer he had shot his long, thin, nervous arm out of the sheets which enveloped him and had drawn an envelope from the inside pocket of the coat which hung beside him.'

The opening of Conan Doyle's short story The adventure of the illustrious client describes Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson relaxing after their Turkish bath at Nevill's Northumberland Avenue Establishment.

The image is by Howard Elcock, but it is not known if he visited the baths prior to executing the illustration.


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