I’ve read a few Sherlock Holmes stories, but they’re not really my thing. I never got to the ending and thought, “Wow, that’s brilliant!” it was always more like “Oh, he strung together a random set of trivia in a way that happens to work in this particular instance.”
But when I spot a Shakespeare reference I look closer. Who knew that January 6 was Sherlock Holmes’ birthday, and that Shakespeare was responsible for it?
According to an article in the New York Times' City Room blog last year, there are multiple theories as to why January 6 was chosen as his birthday, one that's celebrated by his fans over at Sherlockian.net. Paul Singleton, a Sherlockian scholar, said that Christopher Morley (who helped found the Baker Street Irregulars, a group dedicated to the study of Doyle) came to his theory based on the fact that Holmes, who quotes Shakespeare often, only quoted one Shakespeare play twice — that being Twelfth Night, and therefore, Holmes was born on the 12th night of Christmas, i.e. January 6.