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For a new generation of fans, Sherlock Holmes has a capacity for recall as remarkable as his celebrated powers of reasoning and observation. He is gifted with a photographic memory in the popular BBC program Sherlock, and his mnemonic strategies feature prominently in books promising to teach readers how to think like him. However, there is very little evidence in the original stories of this capacity, apart from Holmes’s oft-quoted method of stocking his little brain attic with useful information. This article examines how, in the context of late-nineteenth-century theories of memory, the detective has as much, if not more, reason to forget than to remember.