The Irene Adler Prize: The Story Behind the Name

Irene Adler is the heroine of the 1891 Sherlock Holmes detective story A Scandal in Bohemia by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I named the Irene Adler Prize after her because she’s a smart, adventurous woman with a powerful voice. In fact, Holmes calls this talented opera singer “THE woman.”

In a 19th-century context, she’s vividly and respectfully portrayed by a male author – and as a boy, I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories, which inspired me to achieve writing success. It’s my hope that the Irene Adler Prize will enable the voices of more talented women to be heard.

Illustration: Charles Dana Gibson (1891)