The Adventures of Richard Holmes

Michael Holroyd

  • Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer by Richard Holmes
    Hodder, 288 pp, £12.95, July 1985, ISBN 0 340 28337 8

Earlier this summer, during two and a half days of sun, I was persuaded to join a Wordsworth and Coleridge pilgrimage in Somerset. One of the chief attractions was a rumour that Richard Holmes, currently working on a Life of Coleridge, would appear. For a day and a half there was much talk of Mr Holmes. How would he appear? Over what hill? Across what pond? From time to time messages would arrive which we carefully decoded. Then suddenly a man in a field called threateningly to us: were we looking for Mr Sherlock Holmes? We agreed that we were. He pointed onwards and we increased our pace, stumbling like a group of Dr Watsons, in pursuit of this now legendary figure – whom we eventually caught up with innocently poised near a cream tea.

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