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Irene Adler

"To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex....”

So begins “A Scandal in Bohemia,the Sherlock Holmes adventure most beloved by female devotees of Sherlock Holmes. Irene Adler, the “well known adventuress,” has become an icon of feminine independence, style, and resourcefulness in the Victorian era. One of the traditional toasts at a Sherlockian gathering is always to “The Woman.”

“...And that was how a great scandal threatened to affect the kingdom of Bohemia, and how the best plans of Mr. Sherlock Holmes were beaten by a woman’s wit. He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late. And when he speaks of Irene Adler, or when he refers to her photograph, it is always under the honourable title of the woman.”

To read the story, point and click on the title in the second paragraph above. And by the way, Adventuresses aren't the only ones fascinated by Irene Adler -- read more about her here. Some have even suggested that Irene Adler and Aunt Clara may have something in common.