The Holmes marriage is the thing of fairy tales.
When people reach puberty, on their wrists appears a name. It is the name of their soulmate, the one person in the whole wide world who could give them perfect happiness.
Their one destined love. Not everyone finds it. Most never do, in fact. It would be weird, if pairs were always born next door, or even in the same nation.
It is sad, in a way, but it is half of a blessing.
When your soulmate dies, the name will blur to a shapeless blob. It doesn't mean anything – unless you found them already.
If you bonded, touching name to name, and one of you dies, the other won't be late in following.
Richard Holmes' name read “Shéherazade”, and that would have been enough for most to decide finding her was impossible. Not Holmes, though.
He went into politics and managed to become a diplomat, because where was he supposed to find a Shéherazade in England? Damascus, now that's more likely.
He finds her in Paris at the end, instead, but that's beside the point.
Read the rest via the link in the description!