Irene Adler

Irene Adler only appears in one of Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories - “A Scandal in Bohemia”. She is an American opera singer. Once the secret lover of the King of Bohemia, she threatens to reveal their relationship to the royal father of his fiancée if he does not call off the marriage. Watson describes how “to Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.” He makes it clear that Holmes did not feel “any emotion akin to love for” her. But Holmes admires her cunning and admits that she is the only woman ever to have outsmarted him. He fails to recover the photo of herself with the King, the one she was using to blackmail him. But she leaves behind a photo just of herself. Holmes, offered a reward for his efforts by the King, says he just wants this photo of her.

Adler Facts


The year that Irene Adler was born in New Jersey, USA.


In the 1984 series, "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes" by Granada, Irene Adler features in the very first episode.


The year Irene Adler was introduced in "A Scandal in Bohemia".

Portrayed by

To date, Arthur Conan Doyle's characters have been translated onto the page, into products and onto the screen by Hollywood and beyond. Here are just a few of the interpretations of this original Arthur Conan Doyle character over the years. Work with us to create the next version of this fascinating character.

Lara Pulver

Sherlock, BBC (2015)

Rachel McAdams

Sherlock Holmes, Warner Bros (2009)

Natalie Dormer

Elementary, CBS (2013)

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Original Arthur Conan Doyle characters available for adaptation

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