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The Man Who's Trying to Free Sherlock Holmes

The Man Who's Trying to Free Sherlock Holmes
Photograph by Everett Collection

Leslie Klinger refuses to take his own legal advice. “I work in tax and estate law, and I always tell my clients, don’t file a lawsuit for personal reasons. They’re money pits. Even if you win, you’ll wind up spending a fortune,” he says.

But in addition to being a lawyer, Klinger is one of the preeminent Sherlock Holmes scholars; he writes books and scholarly articles on the hyperobservant London detective, including the three-volume Norton anthology of the entire Sherlock Holmes canon, published as the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes in 2004 and 2005. So when Klinger decided to sue the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literary estate over what he believes to be a wrongful assertion of copyright, he knew it wasn’t going to win him any money. This time, Klinger is fighting for what he loves best: a literary figure famous for not loving anybody at all.