How Enola Holmes 2 accommodated real historical events in the film

A still from Enola Holmes 2 (Image via Netflix)
A still from Enola Holmes 2 (Image via Netflix)

Enola Holmes 2 premiered on Netflix on November 4, 2022, following up on the very successful first film from 2020.

The film follows Enola Holmes (Millie Bobby Brown) in her quest to become a self-sufficient detective, just like her brother Sherlock Holmes (played by Henry Cavill), a famous detective in England and a bonafide genius.

Her journey leads to the case of a missing girl named Sarah, who disappears while working at a matchstick-making factory. Following this, Enola Holmes uncovers dark and dangerous truths about the industry and the people in power, who are trying to suppress a huge secret.


These events in the film are reportedly inspired by an actual event in British history, termed "The Matchgirls' Strike," where workers from the matchstick-making factories went on strike to protest against the use of poisonous phosphorus. It took place in 1888.

Enola Holmes 2 aptly adapted this event in the context of the film and depicted a rare portion of society that is often overlooked by many.

Enola Holmes 2's Matchgirl Strike: How much of it is true?

Enola Holmes 2 has represented the Matchgirl Strike with a certain amount of grace and poise by accommodating it into the plotline completely. The entire story surrounds Sarah Chapman, who is depicted in the film as a girl who discovers some government papers that reveal details about the poisonous phosphorus used in making matchsticks.

Sarah Chapman's story may be overly dramatized in Enola Holmes 2, but she is a real historical figure who was instrumental in the Matchgirl Strike of 1888. The strike was a real historical event and an important one that saw British women going into a full-blown protest for the first time.

However, this protest was not only due to the phosphorous poisoning issue, but also regarding the working conditions and pay issues which workers faced during that time.

The event was represented in a dramatic fashion, but most details about it were drawn from real events. Of course, Enola Holmes is not a historical figure and she was not a part of any of these events.

It is a familiar way of retelling a Sherlock story as author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also often accommodated real historical events in Sherlock Holmes' novels, some of which have also been adapted into other popular media.

The previous Enola Holmes film also accommodated a historical event in the form of the Great Reform Act, which is a pivotal part of British history. Through Enola Holmes, the film has explored the more neglected parts of British history with great ease and detail.

This is a theme that is likely to continue in the following films. Enola Holmes 2 ended with the introduction of Doctor Watson, indicating that there would be another sequel to the film, if not more. Moreover, Moriarty also promised to return in the future.

The new installment lived up to the hype of the previous one, already amassing rave critical reviews from all across the world. Directed by Harry Bradbeer, the film features a script from Jack Thorne. It is based on Nancy Springer's novel of the same name.

Enola Holmes 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury