I think what they're missing is the bluster and naive arrogance of the Victorian era, when men were men, women were women, and English virtues were the only virtues worth owning. It had an aura of innocence and certainty that you can't recreate in a modern setting. Nor can you duplicate the romance that the imagery of a fog shrouded horse drawn London provided. Setting and the era are at the heart of Sherlock Holmes appeal. Much like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells needed a less technologically sophisticated world in which to create their wonders and make them believable within that context. Steampunk is trying to get some of that back, but it's still only a pastiche no matter how skillfully it's done.This is a beautiful explanation of it, thank you. This is also a new thing to me. I'm starting to notice all the British influences in my life, it's interesting. I'm definitely getting a better sense of what it means to be British specifically as opposed to American. it's something I never understood before.
And you've now given me many hours of Holmes to look forward to.