Enola Holmes the character is based on a fictional tale, but is the plot of Enola Holmes 2 based on a true story? Let us explain…
Enola Holmes 2 is a sequel to the surprising Netflix hit of 2020. A fun introduction to Sherlock Holmes’ teenage sister, it packed a charming sense of escapism through lockdown.
In the new sequel, we follow Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) as she sets up her own detective agency in 1880s London, and when a case soon rears its head, some history buffs may recognize the plot from the history books. You can read our review here.
This film may have you wondering: is it based on a true story? Well, let us explain. But first, warning: Enola Holmes spoilers ahead…
Is Enola Holmes 2 based on a true story?
Yes, Enola Holmes 2 is based on a a true event that happened. However, it has obviously been transformed for the film.
Enola herself is not a real person, neither is Sherlock, as both characters are based on the literary works of Nancy Springer and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle respectively. They are not based on a true story or real people.
However, the mystery that Enola Holmes 2 covers actually is, as its based on a workers strike that took place in Victorian England.
Enola Holmes 2 is based on a real workers strike
Enola Holmes 2’s mystery begins when Enola is approached by a young girl named Bess (Serrana Su-Ling Bliss), whose older sister Sarah Chapman (Hannah Dodd) has disappeared after being accused of theft at her workplace, the Bryant & May match factory. Most of the workers there are young women, many of whom are currently dying from the spread of typhus.
However, this case turns into a bigger conspiracy later down the line. In reality, it’s not typhus that’s killing the factory workers – it’s phosphorus, a new component being used in the making of the matches. The pages Sarah stole were records of all the workers who had died from this, and she intended to reveal the illegally poor working conditions to the public to gain justice for the victims.
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At the end of the film, while the evidence isn’t made public, Sarah and Enola return to the factory and incite a strike. The film’s main plot ends with all of the young women walking out, hopefully towards a better future. And if you’re watching closely, you will be shown a photo image of the real women this case in based on.
While the plot doesn’t exactly match the events of history, Sarah Chapman was a real person, and the film is based on the Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888.
The strike involved over a thousand women and girls who worked at the Bryant & May east London factory, They were striking in order to protest incredibly poor working conditions, which included 14-hour work days and extremely low pay.
During this time, Sarah Chapman, who worked at the factory with her sister and mother, was only 19 when she joined the strike committee in order to reduces inequality among her co-workers. She didn’t play quite as large a part as she does in Enola Holmes 2, but she, like everyone else striking, was a key player in improving workers rights.
The Matchgirls’ Strike of 1888 went on for a number of weeks until Bryant & May executives eventually caved in to public pressure, and conditions were improved, which is implied to happen at the end of Enola Holmes 2.
Enola Holmes 2 is currently available to stream on Netflix.