GIS: The Final Problem–Vere Street

For my GIS (Geographic Information Systems) project on Sherlock Holmes, I picked Vere Street, where in “The Final Problem,” where Sherlock almost gets hit in the head by a “falling” brick. This is the second attempt on his life in this story. The following quote is the context of the mention of the location within the story: “I kept to the pavement after that, Watson, but as I walked down Vere Street a brick came down from the roof of one of the houses and was shattered to fragments at my feet. I called the police and had the place examined. There were slates and bricks piled up on the roof preparatory to some repairs, and they would have me believe that the wind had toppled over one of these. Of course I knew better, but I could prove nothing.” (The Final Problem)

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I looked on many of the sites listed to provide what the mention of tis street could have to do with the story as a whole. The first data I came across was from the Booth Poverty Map:

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This map shows that in, and around Vere Street there is a wide mixture of people. It almost covers the whole spectrum in this tiny area, going from blue (the poorest) to yellow (the wealthiest). Could this have something to do with the construction going on? Possibly. You would think that the police, though, would have been a little more attentive in such a rich area. Next I looked on Old Bailey Online, but Vere Street yielded no results, so I tried the keyword “brick,” and there was only one result of someone being killed by a brick
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hmmm… not exactly a brick falling from a ledge… But I kept trying on the other databases. Locating London gave me some…weird results. It gave me about 5 pins near Vere Street, but when i clicked on them all it said was “No Results.” alright…..So my last hope for some kind of data was British Histories. I searched Vere Street again…but alas, only one result, which seemed to be a log of a tax collector, or a tax assessment.

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So not much about the cconstruction history, but possibly something can be said here about the wealth of the people here. It seems thaat most of the people renting here are pretty upper to middle class, so it still surprises me that, in this story the police didn’t investigate any further…perhaps somebody paid them not to? That might be what Doyle was trying to get across by using this particular street: that whoever is trying to kill Holmes, has a lot of power.

~ Austin Carpentieri

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