Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium (November 23 - November 29, 2013)
Howard Ostrom, a Sherlockian based out of Florida known primarily for his massive and unique collection of autographed photos of actors who have played Holmes and Watson in one form or another (eg. film, TV, radio, theater, etc.), has of late been writing quite a few essays on a variety of Sherlock-related topics. A few months ago he teamed-up with Ray Wilcockson to research the virtually unknown history of African-American performers playing the Great Detective - a line of inquiry inspired by the discovery of a one reel silent film titled The Tale of a Chicken (1914) - culminating in the three part essay “Voices From the Darkness: African-America & Sherlock Holmes" (2013). His latest essay series is based on extensive research into silent Sherlock Holmes films seeking to answer questions like "Who were these Si-locks? What of the titles they appeared in? How did they come about?" The first part of "Silent Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes and the Silent Film Era" spans the years 1900 to 1908, beginning with the one minute Mutoscope film familiar to many Sherlockians titled Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900) - and thanks to Sherlockian Michael Pointer's rediscovery of the film in 1968, you can view this remarkable piece of Sherlockian and Film history here. (On a related note, Michael Pointer wrote three excellent Sherlock books, my favorite being the ridiculously oversized (12” height) The Pictorial History of Sherlock Holmes (1991).) Ostrom catalogues twelve films in total, all made before 1913 though many are sadly lost to us forever. Follow @HowardOstrom on Twitter to receive future updates.
[A still from the Mutoscope film Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900).]
Sherlock Peoria recounts his recent adventure watching episodes of the new Russian Sherlock Holmes (2013) TV series without English subtitles, a feat I also attempted: “…it’s been quite a puzzling experience. Sherlock Holmes has always been about words for us, if you think about it, and suddenly being deprived of any words at all is quite strange. You find yourself going, “I think this is The Sign of the Four … but it’s obviously not.” I like the look of the series, though the Sherlock Holmes is another one of our recent “Sherlocks who don’t look like Sherlock.” The Watson is very good, but Watson has always been a bit easier to capture on film.” The Russian Sherlock Holmes TV series premiered this past November (16 episodes to date) and stars Igor Petrenko as Sherlock Holmes and the late Andrei Panin - the actor was found dead with a head injury in his Moscow apartment in March of 2013 - as Doctor John Watson. The show is set in Victorian London and has a gritty, realistic feel that doesn’t shy from the seedier, less picturesque side of late-19th/early 20th century urban life. As frustrating as watching the episodes are sans subtitles, I look forward to being able to properly immerse myself in this new and exciting adaptation. If you’re up for the challenge, all the Russian Sherlock episodes are available on YouTube or Russia.tv. For another perspective on the series plus extensive reviews, check out the Baker Street Babes.
[The final scene from Episode 02 of the Russian Sherlock - an obvious homage to the original - and totally brilliant - Russian Sherlock adaptation The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (1979-1986).]
Baker Street Babes released ‘Episode 47: The Game (Is On!)’ wherein “Curly, Maria, Taylor, & Ardy sat down with some of the team behind Sherlock: The Game Is On to learn how it started and to try and solve the puzzle of how such a collaborative project of this size even works.” After listening to the Babes talk to the game’s creators, make sure to watch the Making of Sherlock: the Game Is On video for further information as well as a wealth of game previews, graphics and artwork. Other Sherlock-themed games discussed include Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Board Game and the Xbox, Playstation and PC Sherlock Holmes series from Frogwares, the latest offering being Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments.
[Opening screen for the fan-created video game Sherlock: the Game Is On - a cute looking, crime solving puzzle role playing game based on BBC Sherlock.]
Doyleockian reflects on the recent rumblings of the so-called ‘fandom that waited' noting that the original Sherlock fandom had to wait a decade to find out what happened between events in “The Final Problem" (1893) ending with Sherlock’s apparent death at the bottom of the Reichenbach and "The Empty House" (1903) - of course The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901) was published after LAST but it’s stressed that the Dartmoor adventure occurred before FINA. Alistair Duncan suggests we “spare a thought for the fans of Sherlock Holmes in 1893. When they picked up their copy of The Strand in December and read Watson’s summing up of the conflict between Holmes and Moriarty they went through emotions very similar to those of today’s teens to twenty-somethings (and older). But what they didn’t have was a closing scene of Holmes watching Watson from afar - very much alive. The Victorian fans of Holmes were not going to get that scene for ten years. It puts the wait for Sherlock into perspective doesn’t it?” As much flack as Moffat receives for making BBC Sherlock fans wait nearly two years to find out what happened after events in The Reichenbach Fall, it doesn’t compare to the sheer heartlessness of ACD who left Strand readers adrift thinking that Holmes died along with Professor Moriarty. So Duncan drops the gauntlet asking: “Could you modern fans even conceive of such a wait for a mere temporary return? Judging by the internet most of the newer fans of Holmes are struggling with a mere quarter of that wait.”
[My homage to “The Strandom That Waited.”]
The Stranger delivered up a very knowledgeable review of the Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of The Hound of the Baskervilles: “After the nightmarish opening sequence, in which a man is pursued and devoured by a hellhound on a misty moor, Kennan initiates the comedy, and the rest of the play keeps it rolling in ways that are direct or indirect. Even the dead-serious themes and concerns of the play—such as trying to capture a killer, protect the innocent, and separate the natural (true) from the supernatural (untrue)—become funny. Once Holmes’s seriousness is undone by traces of comedy, the entire culture Conan Doyle’s novel represents is undone, and we can’t help but chuckle at a society that had complete faith in progress, saw women as soft in the head, believed that the shape of a man’s cranium corresponded with his intellectual abilities, and saw wars for resources and markets as an honorable civilizing mission in the long march of history.” I wish NYC was a little closer to Seattle so I could check out this adaptation of HOUN.
[Info on The Hound of the Baskervilles from the Seattle Repertory Theatre which runs from November 15 to December 15, 2013.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere marks the passing on November 8, 2013 of Sherlockian Jerry Wachs, BSI (“Sir James Saunders”) with a set of memories related by fellow BSI and friend Jerry Margolin. I’ve copied just one to this post but make sure to read all of Margolin’s remembrances: “Jerry was a collector of Sherlockiana. His particular specialty was Sherlockian lapel pins; he had the largest collection in the world. I think it got up to over 1,000 pins and it covered every aspect of the world of Sherlock Holmes. Like most of us, he was very social, very well liked by all who knew him and was very well respected.” Jerry Wachs full obituary can be found here, but some essentials include: “Gerald N. “Jerry” Wachs, M.D. died on Nov. 8, 2013, in New York, at age 76. Jerry had many accomplishments in his life, but none more important than his four children…He was also the treasured grandfather to six beautiful grandchildren and [a] loving brother…Dr. Wachs was responsible for the FDA’s approval of over 20 new drug applications…an avid collector who was most proud of his 19th-Century first edition English poetry collection…a life master in bridge…He was the constant companion of Gail Postal for the past 19 years. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.” Posts like this also serve as a reminder to make the most of the time we have with Sherlockian friends young and old - particularly when, due to distance and obligations, those times are scattered over months and years.
[Remembering Sherlockians, gone but not forgotten.]
Sherlock.Everywhere - the Tumblr site of IHOSE - re-posted this imaginary cover from a site that imagines “the greatest team-ups that never happened…but should have.” From the creator of the Super-Team Family…The Lost Issues: “These two shared a story in Detective Comics #572, and I have always wanted to see them together again. It’s great to see Sherlock Holmes getting so mach attention these days. I enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr. films, they were fun if a bit splashy for Holmes. Elementary has grown on me as well, an interesting spin on the Watson/Holmes story. My favorite current Holmes incarnation is on the BBC’s Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect in the role of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Still, no actor has ever topped Jeremy Brett in my mind when it comes to playing the world’s most famous sleuth.” Here here.
[Sherlock and Batman team-up in an issue that never was…but should have been.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Telly Visions discusses the recent two hour documentary How Sherlock Changed the World (2013), scheduled to premiere on PBS December 17 which “will explore the real-world impact of history’s most famous fictional detective, including the effect that Holmes has had on the development of real forensic and investigative techniques, and will feature noted forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee.”
[I’ve been looking forward to seeing the How Sherlock Changed the World documentary since first hearing about it.]
Empire Magazine features an exclusive photoshoot in their latest issue with BBC Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss shot on the 221B set. Also, click here for Empire Magazine's piece on BBC Sherlock's Season 3 trailer: “The revelation that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes is alive is a surprise to exactly no one who saw the end of The Reichenbach Fall (or to those who noticed that the show’s title has not suddenly switched to 'Watson'). But to those in the universe of the show, it’s going to come as an almighty shock, one that we doubt will be greeted with total joy when they discover the wool that has been pulled over their eyes.”
[Moffat and Gatiss chillaxin at 221B for their Empire magazine photoshoot. ]
Sherlockology announced the UK air dates for BBC Sherlock Season 3, Episode 1: “The long awaited day has finally arrived. Sherlock Series Three will air in the UK from January 1 2014. With a suitable degree of theatricality, the BBC today confirmed the premiere airdate for Sherlock Series Three in the UK through the medium of an empty hearse, flowers announcing the date that the Great Detective will return to life and grace our screens once again.” Americans will of course have to wait until January 19, 2014 - the last day of BSI Weekend - to officially see how Holmes survives his dive off of St Barts and how Watson reacts to the return of his missing roommate.
The Final Problem pointed out that someone must have “finally told John that web counters are so 1998” - the evidence being that The Personal Blog Dr John H Watson no longer possesses a hit counter perpetually displaying always 1895.
The Baz - a site for all things Rathbone-related - in their Sunday Pics #13 feature posted a few screenshots of Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective in the classic The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), a film which I just re-watched as part of my Thanksgiving break Sherlock movie marathon.
[Vintage Rathbone as Holmes in the 1939 film The Hound of the Baskervilles, the first in the series of 14 movies starring Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Dr Watson.]
The Daintiest Thing Under a Bonnet, just announced via the Baker Street Babes website, that Sherlockian and actor Curtis Armstrong will MC the charity ball: “This year, we are delighted to announce that our cosplay/noir/Victorian costume competition prize will be awarded by no less lovely a Sherlockian than Mr. Curtis Armstrong! You’ve seen this fabulous gentleman as Tom Cruise’s best friend in Risky Business, and he’s appeared in nearly fifty films more films, including Revenge of the Nerds, Better off Dead, Dodgeball, Akeelah and the Bee, Ray, and most recently, Sparkle. He’s the charming co-host of TBS’s reality show King of the Nerds, and you can also catch him on New Girl, The Closer, and Supernatural.” And for those unaware, Booger from Revenge of the Nerds is also a Sherlockian of some renown! You can follow Mr Armstrong on Twitter. Tickets for the Ball are still available here.
UPDATE: Sherlock Holmes in Brentwood Holiday Play ”The Blue Carbuncle” has just added a second show for December 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm !! ”Our first performance on December 8 sold out quickly and completely – so we’ve added another one due to popular demand!” The newly added December 10, 2013 show is taking place at a private residence in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA (address visible when you book your ticket). The host for the event is none other than annotator extraordinaire Leslie Klinger who will introduce the play and give a brief talk before the performance touching on some of the traditions of Sherlock Holmes’ times and other elements of BLUE. Ticket sales will partially fund the show itself, though a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Heritage Trust, Ltd. (aka Save Undershaw!) the group dedicated to restoring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s magnificent estate, Undershaw. Click here to get your tickets - this second show will also sell out soon so act fas!
[If you pulled a Commissionaire Tangey and missed out on the first show, you still have a chance to get tickets for the just added second show on December 10th at 7:30 PM. ]
Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium (November 2 - November 22, 2013)
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere takes stock of everything they’re thankful for in the wide world of Sherlockiana and the culture it thrives within during this 58th IHOSE podcast, appropriately titled “Thankful for Sherlock Holmes” - for non-USA readers Thanksgiving is only a week away. Hosts Scott Monty and Burt Wolder deviate from their standard IHOSE interview format and instead discuss a variety of Sherlockian-related topics including: recent scion events such as The Sons of the Copper Beeches and Mycroft’s League in Philadelphia, a review of recent change-ups within the BSI as well as the upcoming BSI Weekend, the premiere of BBC Sherlock Season 3, a Kickstarter-funded Sherlockian-themed playing card set, a recent TED talk by Parul Sehgal on jealousy and much more. Finally, in place of the Editor’s Gaslamp, they read an editorial by Sherlock Peoria’s Brad Keefauver titled “Zismanian Scholarship" comparing Father Ronald Knox and Johnny Knoxville. For an outside perspective on the IHOSE podcast, check out this critique/review on the crime fiction blog Do Some Damage praising its eclectic mix of Sherlockian news and commentary while remaining accessible to newcomers.
[Another wonderfully informative and entertaining IHOSE episode from the two most recognizable voices in all of Sherlockiana.]
Doyleockian author Alistair Duncan in ”Sherlock Holmes R.I.P.?" wrote one of his most thought provoking essays yet - the post has garnered 21 comments so far - posing the question: "Is Sherlock Holmes, by which I mean the written Holmes, on the decline?" Duncan worries that the answer is "Yes", a conclusion he reaches based on observations like the asymmetrical discussion/interest in TV/movie adaptations of Sherlock Holmes versus the Canon on formats like Internet discussion boards. Duncan argues that this division cuts straight down the generational divide with the "younger generation" preferring Holmes on the screen and the "older generation" concentrating on the Holmes of the printed page. So where does this leave us? "Can this gap be bridged? I’ve seen younger people (under 25yrs) turn up to events organized by The Sherlock Holmes Society of London but I’ve rarely seen the same faces twice. I strongly suspect that many of them (not all) have turned up expecting something that revolved around the screen Holmes and have, instead, found themselves surrounded by people more enamored with the Holmes of the page. The result is that they don’t (or rarely) come back.” If Duncan’s observations are accurate, the “younger generation” of Holmes-enthusiasts are drifting away from both the original Sherlock Holmes source material as well as the decades old Sherlockian societies, leaving the future of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ uncertain. So what is to be done? “If the traditional society model is to survive it needs to attract new blood. However, must it change itself significantly to do so and at what cost?” Perhaps Duncan is being overly pessimistic and all is not lost, but his concerns are worth taking seriously.
[The inscription on ACD’s tombstone reads "Steel True, Blade Straight." If Duncan’s worst fears come to pass, what will the grave of Sherlock Holmes read?]
Baker Street Babes formally announced this year’s Daintiest Thing Under a Bonnet Charity Ball happening Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm at the Player’s Club in New York during BSI Week 2014 - if you don’t have your schedule handy, the Ball immediately follows the BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture with Dr. James O’Brien. Last year the auction raised nearly $2,500 for The Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that seeks “to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.” Why did The Babes choose the WWP to raise money? “We owe inspiration for this event to those who tirelessly serve our country, and to Dr. John Watson, army doctor, whose recovery from the ravages of the Second Afghan War once required the help of an extraordinary friend.” I had the good fortune of attending last year’s BSB Charity Ball and I wouldn’t miss the second annual ball for anything. (In the interest of full disclosure, last year I assisted in compiling the auction lots and gave a toast to Mrs Stoner - doomed wife of Dr Roylott - and this year I’ll be organizing auction lots and helping out in other ways.) Check out Melinda Caric's Charity Ball 2013 photoset and stay tuned for more information.
[100% of the proceeds from ticketing and the auction of Sherlockian art, crafts, rare books and pastiches will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. There will also be a quiz, costume competition, raffle, and military-themed Sherlockian toasts. Tickets are $35 and going fast!]
Mattias Boström, Swedish Sherlockian and author of Från Holmes till Sherlock (which translates in English to From Holmes to Sherlock) has been setting fire to the Swedish literary world in recent months. Just this past weekend, The Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy awarded Boström the prize for Best Non-Fiction Book 2013! And even more impressive, Från Holmes till Sherlock was ”shortlisted for the biggest Swedish non-fiction prize. Six books are on the shortlist and the winner - who will get SEK 125 000 [USD 19,023.88] - will be announced on November 28. The prize is for a non-fiction book that adds new knowledge, gives new perspectives on existing knowledge or makes old knowledge accessible. The other shortlisted books are about the poet William Blake, a forgotten Swedish 20th century author, modern journalism, Versailles, and a Swedish 19th century painter.” The entire staff of Always1895 will be rooting for you Mattias - let the force of Vincent Starrett be with you!!
[Mattias Boström’s beautifully designed book: though I have yet to actually read it because it’s in not-English (Swedish in this case) I’m 100% positive that it is excellent - and I’m fairly certain winning and being nominated for these prizes proves it. ]
The John H. Watson Society, having just released to great acclaim their inaugural 150 page issue of The Watsonian, announced this week that the society’s first monograph Coin of the Canonical Realm is published and ready to enter the libraries of Sherlockians everywhere: “in this, the first monograph published by the John H Watson Society, Nicholas Utechin sets out to make 21st century sense of all the 19th century mentions of money in the Sherlock Holmes stories.” Mr Utechin is a Director-at-Large of the John H. Watson Society (‘Rex’), a Baker Street Irregular (‘The Ancient British Barrow’) and an Honorary Member of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London (having edited The Sherlock Holmes Journal from 1976-2006), was featured, along with Steve Rothman, on Episode 08 of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere discussing their work on To Keep the Memory Green (2007) about the late, great Richard Lancelyn Green. The JHWS monograph Coin of the Canonical Realm should be of interest to anyone who has ever “stopped to wonder exactly what a ‘half-sovereign’ would buy today? Find out what Mary Morstan stood to gain if the Agra treasure had not been hurled out of the Aurora. How much in dollars - then and now - would Neville St. Clair’s daily begging takings have amounted to? Could Sir Henry Baskerville’s $6 boots be bought for an equivalent sum in 2014?” Limited to 100 First editions, I guarantee you won’t want to sleep on this one.
[Watson paging through Mr Utechin’s new monograph Coin of the Canonical Realm. The cost is $9 plus $3 postage for U.S. members, and $9 plus $5 postage for international members. PayPal or credit cards may be used.]
Dan Andriacco asks “just how many biographies of Arthur Conan Doyle does one need?” I’ve read many a Sherlockians answer to this question in books, journals and monographs (an answer that ranges anywhere between all of them to none of them), with the overarching theme being that, to date, no single ACD biography can be called ‘definitive’, a few can be called ‘informative but incomplete’ and still some can barely be called ‘competent’. But Andriacco isn’t attempting to stir the ACD biography controversy pot here; he simply wants to point out that he picked up two of the newest ACD biographies at his favorite used bookstore: Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes (2007) by Andrew Lycett, and The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle (2008) by Russell Miller. I’ve heard many good things about both, particularly the Lycett tome. I’ll admit that I’ve read very few biographies of Watson’s literary agent, but if you’re looking for a great place to start, I highly recommend Jon Lellenberg's (ed.) The Quest for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Thirteen Biographers in Search of a Life (1987) which is not a biography at all but a collection of reviews/essays by noted ACD/Sherlockian scholars on each of the major biographies of ACD up to that point (c. 1987). Let’s hope Mr Andriacco reviews his new acquisitions in the near future. For an exhaustive list of ACD biographies and bibliographies, check out Chris Redmond's excellent list at Sherlockian.net.
[Some of the all-star contributors to Lellenberg’s volume include ACD/Holmes scholars Richard Lancelyn Green, Nicholas Utechin, James Bliss Austin, Donald Redmond, Peter Blau, Chris Redmond, Philip Shreffler and more.]
The Crew of the Barque Lone Star, a scion society based out of the greater Dallas / Ft. Worth area, released the November 2013 issue of their irregular publication The Bilge Pump (click to download the PDF) featuring minutes from their last local gathering, an interesting essay on how Watson’s naming of the tales gave “his imagination full rein. And how magnificently he rose to the occasion”, a quiz, information about the quickly approaching 2014 BSI Weekend, a well-argued essay by Ronald Brackin on the truth behind Watson’s reference to the Lone Star (the doomed ship mentioned in FIVE), discussion points related to RESI by Sherlock Peoria's Brad Keefauver, a pastiche titled “The Wrong Cabman” and plenty of random Sherlockian tidbits. As fantastic as publications like the Baker Street Journal and other expertly produced and stalwart Holmes publications are, I also love DIY, local Sherlockian newsletters and zines like this. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
[“We offer good company and rousing Sherlockian conversation to anyone who might be interested, and are also resolved to dig deep into the fifty-six short stories and four novels that comprise the Canon. In addition, we volunteer in the community, lecture to libraries and school groups, attend conferences around the country…”]
NYPD Patrolman’s Illustrations, created in 1974, was a pamphlet designed to help New Yorkers deal with the grim realities of city life at the time (eg. “Before entering your vehicle, make an examination of the backseat or any other place where an intruder might hide…a driver seated behind the steering wheel practically defenseless against quick attack.”). The NYPD tapped Patrolman Leo Poulsen whose “illustrations depict a New York of shady, bell-bottomed operators, cartoonish Bowery tropes, full-figured women, and fairy tale characters, all rendered in that bizarre ’70s-style caricature that is that is both playful and unsettling.” The below illustration is the only one that features a character in the style of Holmes and Watson, but it’s a classic example of just how recognizable the form of Holmes is - even if Watson appears to be either checking out Homes’ derriere or looking to score some scratch for the gambling table (assuming that Holmes won’t give him his checkbook back).
[“Men, don’t carry money in your rear and side pockets (sucker pockets). A crowded elevator is an ideal spot for a pickpocket to do his thing.”]
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London released the artwork for their 2013 Xmas card which features stunning, graphic novel-style artwork by one Mr Bryan Talbot who “has worked on Batman, The Sandman, Judge Dredd and many other series, and his work has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Street Comics and The Radio Times.” The card will be produced in full colour with a sepia tint, and will be available in packs of ten. The cost includes postage and packing. Make sure to follow the SHSL on Twitter for news, events and other SHSL-related events.
[It appears Holmes and Watson either dropped their bag of Xmas gifts in the snow or are investigating evidence left at the scene of some hideous yet unknown crime involving the scattering of gifts and holly.]
Sidgwicks posted another fantastic but unknown drawing from the Canon by Russian illustrator N. Zeitlin for “The Adventure of the Empty House”, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Moscow: Detgiz, 1956.
[A Russian illustration of what appears to be a rather informally dressed Holmes struggling to avoid his presumed fate at the finale of FINA in what must be the flashback scene as narrated by Holmes to Watson immediately after Holmes’ big reveal to Watson at Watson’s consulting room just prior to the ‘meat’ of EMPT.]
Sherlockology announced a bit of very special news that should have London BBC Sherlock fans pulling a Percy Phelps, ie. uttering screams, dancing around the room, shrieking a little more and then falling back limp and exhausted until treated with a medicinal tincture of brandy, à la the final scene in NAVA. “On Sunday December, 15 2013 at 13:00GMT, the British Film Institute will show S3E1: The Empty Hearse in a public screening at the National Film Theatre on London’s Southbank, ahead of the yet to be announced first television airing in the UK on the BBC. The premiere will be followed by a Q&A with members of the cast and crew who will be in attendance.” Fantastic news right? Well, here’s the proverbial parsley in the butter…you guessed it: SOLD OUT!
[Paget’s illustration depicting the precise moment when Holmes artfully uncovers the final course of Mrs Hudson’s breakfast spread assumed to contain a Scotchwoman’s idea of breakfast when in fact the long sought and fretted over Navel Treaty was revealed.]
The Grand Game Sherlock Holmes Trading Cards project continues to release new and exciting teaser art on their Facebook, The sample card image below depicts one of my all time favorite Sherlockians (guess who?), but other likenesses recently posted include Chris Redmond, sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, 32nd and 33rd presidents of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman and Peter Blau of Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, just to name a few familiar faces you’ll come across. Lastly, check out Ross K Foad's promotional video for “The Grand Game”.
[The above Grand Game card features the likeness of the man, myth and Sherlockian legend whose poem 221B inspired the very title of my Always1895.net blog, Mr Vincent Starrett!]
The Daily Mail, among a few other trillion sites, posted the first trailer for BBC Sherlock Season 3 The Empty Hearse. If you want to stay pure of heart and completely spoiler-free, you probably shouldn’t watch the trailer or even go to the Daily Mail page; in fact just don’t go anywhere near the Internet or any other person who has been near the Internet until late January 2014. If you happen to have magic powers and acquired a ticket to the British Film Institute screening of the Season 3 premier on December 15, 2013, then forget everything I just said and continue gloating in whatever fashion suits you best. I’ve yet to watch the trailer or look overly close (I squinted) at the screenshots on the site because I sort of want to remain pure of heart - but since even the Pope is a tiny bit fallible these days, I’ve compromised and allowed myself to only view a single Season 3 image, that of a very wonderfully mustachioed John Watson - so how about we stop squinting at the same time, together, and just stare at Martin Freeman with a mustache? Then if at any time between now and when The Empty Hearse airs and you begin to have impure thoughts about ‘just’ looking at a few more screenshots or a ‘friend’ tries to show you something from Season 3, just close your eyes and think of Watson and his mustache and our hearts will remain pure.
[John H Watson, looking great and ready for Season Three - but is he ready for the return of a certain private consulting detective.]
Sherlockian Scion & Event Links:
The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence opened this past week in NYC and will run until December 29, 2013. I’ll be attending the performance this Friday, November 22, 2013 and if all the rumors I hear are true, NYC-area Sherlockians will be out in full force that evening. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they handle (our) Watson on stage and how the good doctor interacts with the other three Watsons on the bill. Check back early next week for a full review.
[Click to get your tickets.]
The Three Garridebs of Westchester - for East Coast Sherlockians - is having their Annual Blue Carbuncle Luncheon on Sunday, December 29, 2013 at An American Bistro in Eastchester, NY. If you would like to offer a toast, tell a joke or a funny story, sing a song, or present a short work (maximum 5 minutes) that will add to the convivial spirit of the event, or for further information, please contact Sue or Ben Vizoskie.
Sherlock Holmes in Brentwood Holiday Play ”The Blue Carbuncle” - for West Coast Sherlockians - is happening on Sunday December 8, 2013 at a private residence in Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA (address visible when you book your ticket). The host for the event is none other than annotator extraordinaire Mr Leslie Klinger who will introduce the play and give a brief talk before the performance touching on some of the traditions of Sherlock Holmes’ times and other elements of BLUE. Ticket sales will partially fund the show itself, though a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Heritage Trust, Ltd. (aka Save Undershaw!) the group dedicated to restoring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s magnificent estate, Undershaw. Click here to get your tickets - this show will sell out.
[If you’re anywhere near Brentwood, LA on December 8th, this looks like quite the worthy event!]
Challenger Unbound, a one-day symposium (panels, lectures, coffee breaks, etc.) on ACD’s Professor Challenger narratives, is happening on December 9, 2013 at the Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London. “A century has passed since the publication of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. This one-day symposium offers an ideal opportunity to take stock of the Professor Challenger narratives and to reassess what these three novels and two short stories can offer to new generations of scholars, students, and enthusiasts.” Sounds like a fun and edifying way to spend a Monday. Learn more at Sherlock Holmes: Past and Present on Facebook.
[Professor Challenger’s evidence of the Lost World, in the form of a pterodactyl, is about to fly out the window. I suspect something similar might happen at the Challenger Unbound Symposium.]
BSI Week 2014 is less than two months away - and just thinking about the myriad of upcoming Sherlockian festivities/madness gives me the chills. If there is anyway you can travel to NYC for January 15 - 19, 2014, I strongly recommend doing so, for where and when else can you stumble across such a concentration of august and irregular souls all in one place, all prepared to not only celebrate the January 6th birthday of The Master, but also to celebrate the society and culture which has developed around Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson, the Sacred Writings and our Sherlockian forefathers and foremothers. To get a feel for what’s in-store for January 2014 in NYC, check out Scott Monty’s BSI Weekend page for the action packed schedule, accommodation information, what Twitter hashtags to follow (ie. #bsiweekend or #bsi2014) and other related information.
[The 1947 annual BSI dinner at the Murray Hill Hotel. Photo from Jon Lellenberg’s BSI Archival History page.]
Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium (October 26 - November 1, 2013)
The Grand Game is an ambitious and exciting new project from Brian Rodgers whom has plans to release multiple sets of Sherlock-related trading cards: think baseball cards featuring the likeness of Sherlockian all-stars. There’s a series of cards featuring various actors who have donned the deerstalker on the big and small screen as well as other Canonical items of interest. I’ll be featuring some of the artwork on here over the next couple of weeks, though The Grand Game Facebook page already contains some preliminary art. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect to the project is the 60 card set dedicated to famous Sherlockians, past and present. Many of the names and faces are BSI Sherlockians you may be familiar including: Susan Rice (cf. below), Bob Katz, Peter Blau, Steve Rothman, Les Klinger, Steve Doyle, Jon Lellenberg, Mattias Boström, PJ Doyle, Joe Coppola and many more living Sherlockians whom, as well as being members of the BSI, also happen to be winners of the coveted Two Shilling Award, a distinction awarded to BSI members for “for continued prominent service” (The Sherlock Holmes Handbook, p. 190 by Chris Redmond, whose likeness will also appear in the set ). Sherlockians adorning cards who have passed beyond the Reichenbach make up a virtual who’s who of true Sherlockian All-Stars: Rex Stout (author of controversial 1941 paper “Watson Was a Woman" and Nero Wolfe literary agent), William Baring-Gould (creator of the original Annotated Sherlock Holmes) Vincent Starrett (“…where it is always 1895.”), Jay Finley Christ (inventor of the 60 story abbreviation code), Julian Wolff, S. Tupper Bigelow, John Bennett Shaw (Sherlockian collector extraordinaire), Chris Steinbrunner (founder of one of my favorite scions The Priory Scholars of NYC), Michael Harrison (author of The Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes) and of course Christopher Morley and Edgar Smith. I’ll keep everyone updated as this project progresses.
[Susan Rice, ASH, BSI, - one of 60 Sherlockians represented in The Grand Game trading card project.]
The John H Watson Society showed the world just how serious this nascent group of Watson-centric enthusiasts really are by releasing Volume 1, Number 1 of The Watsonian, the journal of the JHWS, which will have reached the majority of subscribers/members this past week. Clocking in at just under 150 pages, The Watsonian is a publication which every Sherlockian will want on their shelf. “Aspiring to become a publication with some degree of the prestige of the Baker Street Journal or the Sherlock Holmes Journal of London, The Watsonian concerns itself with traditional and revisionist articles. Its purpose is simple: to illuminate the good doctor’s life and accomplishment with regard to the many roles he takes, not only as Holmes’s colleague, but also as physician, writer, man of the Victorian era and above all friend.” (p. 7) Authors of note in this inaugural issue include: Bob Katz, Dan Andriacco, Don Yates, Don Libbey, Donald Pollock, Sandy Kozinn and many more. Also, make sure to read Dan Andriacco's short post on receiving his copy in the mail - and once your copy arrives make sure to read Mr Andriacco's essay entitled “Dr Watson, Detective?” in the current issue.
[I was thrilled to find the inaugural issue of The Watsonian in my mailbox this week. Here’s the cover of this professionally printed, biannually produced journal which seeks to be the home of all things related to everyone’s favorite one fixed point.]
Baker Street Beat (speaking of Mr Dan Andriacco) announced some rather exciting news, particularly for Midwestern, USA-based Sherlockians with a penchant for Holmesian/Doylean conferences: “After a one-year absence, a seminar with a new name and a new sponsorship but much in the spirit of the original - exploring Victorian and Doylean topics as well as Sherlockian ones - is coming to Dayton [Ohio]. The Agra Treasurers, a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars, for the first time will host “Holmes, Doyle, & Friends” on March 14-15, 2014.” For a taste of what to expect, here’s a review with photos of the 2009 Sherlock Holmes/Arthur Conan Doyle Symposium. For those familiar with Mr Andriacco’s first McCabe/Cody novel There’s No Police Like Holmes, rumor has it that the SH/ACD Colloquium (which was hosted by St. Benignus college in Erin, Ohio) portrayed in the novel was based on this long-running Ohio symposium.
[Programme cover for 2009 Sherlock Holmes/Arthur Conan Doyle Symposium.]
Sidgwicks posted a couple of wonderful illustrations by A. Abramov for The Valley of Fear from a 1990 edition. I really love all the images Sidgwicks blog has been posting lately. Keep up the good work!
[Illustrations by A. Abramov for The Valley of Fear, Krasnoyarsk: Krasnoyarsk Publishing House, 1990.]
Times Literary Supplement contains ‘Then and Now’ review of ACD’s Memories and Adventures from 1924 by DL Murray: “A certain great man (it may not be forgotten) was very severe with the Doctor, his collaborator, for always bolting from the straight line of deduction in his record of a case, as soon as he caught sight of a bit of excitement or romance. “You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures”, he would say, “into a series of tales.” Perhaps he would have passed a similar criticism on the other Doctor whose life is told in this volume. If it is wisdom to map out a career and go forward on it with calculated steps, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has not been wise. But that sort of rationality does not make lives which it is a pleasure to recall and fun for other people to hear about; just as detective stories worked out like Euclidean problems would not have made the books that we take care always to have somewhere in the house.” (Thanks to Brenda for the tip!)
[Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Photograph: Mary Evans Picture Library.]
Sherlock Peoria in “A Report From the Front Lines” has this to say about Elementary: “And let’s face it, as much as Elementary's supporters might strain to pull out Canonical detail from the show, would you rather encounter a new acquaintance who had never heard of Sherlock Holmes, or one that had only watched Elementary? Personally, I'd rather work with a blank slate than have to undo the web of weirdness that Elementary has laid over the top of our familiar story cycle.” In related Elementary news/controversy, Breitbart considers (Thanks to IHOSE for the tip!) whether the show is ”guilty of lowering the quality of its content because of politically-correct standards.” Personally, I’m now completely caught up with the New York detective antics of Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu and I’ll admit two things: 1) I really don’t think the show has much to do with Canonical (or otherwise) Sherlock Holmes and 2) I really enjoy watching ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Joan’ interact and am enjoying the show as a quirky TV ‘procedural' (opposed to adaptation or pastiche).
[Canonical gateway drug or canonical diversion?]
Doyleockian remembers the birthday of perhaps the greatest of all actors to play the Great Detective, Mr Jeremy Brett (1933-1995). This Sunday, November 3rd would be Brett’s 80th birthday and though he departed this mortal coil almost 19 years ago, his memory and legacy live on with every new and repeat viewing of Granada’s Sherlock Holmes. Alistair Duncan reminds his readers that: “for the 1980s and 90s Brett was the Holmes. Whether you liked his portrayal or not does not change this. His performance as Holmes crossed two decades and even the recent films of Robert Downey Jr were doing nothing to threaten his position in the Holmes pantheon.” Remember to take a moment this weekend and raise a glass to one of the giants of Sherlockian culture. If you haven’t read David Stuart Davies terrific biography of JB, now is the perfect time to track down a copy of Bending the Willow and spend and evening or two immersed in the time Brett spent becoming/being Sherlock Holmes.
[Happy 80th birthday Jeremy Brett!]
Hypable reports on Ian McKellen's thoughts on playing a retired Sherlock Holmes in the upcoming adaptation of Bill Condon's A Slight Trick of the Mind (2014): “I’ve never had ambitions to play Sherlock Holmes, but this is Sherlock in a very particular place… he’s nearly 100 years old, and in retirement, and it’s more about being a beekeeper than it is being a detective.” According to the Belfast Telegraph though, when McKellen was asked if movie-goers would see him donning a beekeeper’s outfit, the 74-year-old actor said: “You certainly will! There will be plenty of nets too, because I am not going anywhere near any bees, I’ll tell you that now. I have a healthy respect for bees. I love their honey, but that’s about it.” Read the complete interview with McKellen at Empire Online.
[A Slight Trick Of The Mind won’t begin filming until McKellen wraps his current run on Broadway next year. Meanwhile, catch McKellen as Gandalf the Gray in The Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug which will be in theaters this December.]
Sherlockian Scion & Event Links:
The Montague Street Lodgers of Brooklyn are having their 28th annual Autumn gathering on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm at Caffe Buon Gusto on 151 Montague Street (of course). If you’re in the NYC area, contact Peter Crupe for more information.
The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence Playwrights Horizons’ upcoming production written by Madeleine George (The Zero Hour) and directed by Obie Award Winner Leigh Silverman (Chinglish, Golden Boy, The Call). “This new production features different Watsons from history, including Alexander Graham Bell’s Watson (as in, “Come here, I want you!”), IBM’s supercomputer Watson, and Dr. John Watson, assistant to you-know-who. It’s a time-jumping fantasy about the assistants and machines on whom we’ve come to depend.” Click here for a video trailer of the play.
Sons of the Copper Beeches held their annual Autumn dinner last Friday, October 26, 2013 at The Racquet Club in Philadelphia (founded in 1889) where yours truly, after participating in a rather disastrous group rendition of ‘The Musgrave Ritual’, was elevated to ‘Journeyman’ status by Headmastiff Dr Bob Katz. A delightful evening was had by all as plans were hatched and drinks were drunk. As usual I missed the last Bolt bus of the night - always the mark of a fine evening - though I had more than enough to read while waiting for a train back to NYC thanks to Steve Rothman, editor of the Baker Street Journal, who had given me a healthy sized box of BSJ back issues to add to my growing collection.
[During the proceedings, I had the great pleasure to sit with a few of my favorite Sherlockians: Starrettian Ray Betzner and BSJ Editor Steve Rothman; not pictured but seated to my immediate right was Wessex Press editor Steve Doyle.]
Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium (October 19 - October 25, 2013)
Sherlockology assured BBC Sherlock fans - completely rabid after two years of waiting for news of Sherlock’s post-Barts Fall - that they “can confirm any UK air dates you see for October or November [as] most definitely false.” Sometimes no news isn’t really good news nor does it really help when dealing with the obvious and acute PTSD afflicting fans of Sherlock Season 2. “The BBC cannot and will not schedule or announce any UK air dates until they have taken delivery of the completed run of three episodes, and even then the air date will only be set in stone around two to three weeks before broadcast. This is standard practice for any BBC programme…” But hark! It appears that the secret is out for Entertainment Weekly has revealed the premiere dates: “Sherlock will return to PBS Masterpiece on Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. That means the show will air back-to-back for the first time with that other hugely popular and influential Brit import, Downton Abbey (which returns Jan. 5). This announcement caps nearly two years of rabid fan speculation about when the third season of the international sensation will premiere. This also marks first time the mystery-thriller’s U.S. air date has been announced before the BBC reveals its UK premiere date (the BBC has the “first window” rights to air the show, so UK fans can at least take heart in knowing they will almost certainly get season 3 sometime before Jan. 19).” In other BBC news: Steven Moffat, purveyor of all that is outrageously cruel, has finally admitted to plans for Season 4 (via Radio Times): “”We had to inform the BBC that Martin and Benedict had commissioned a new series,” said Moffat. “They signed themselves up. They both announced that they were carrying on - so that’s good. “Benedict, at some red carpet event somewhere, said he was carrying on forever. Martin, at another one, said, “Yep, series four is happening”.”” One can almost hear the cry of joy and relief wash over the Internet once these two announcements became established fact.
[If hearing that BBC Sherlock Season 3 will finally air in early 2014 and that Season 4 is in the works wasn’t enough excitement for the BBC fandom to take in one week, Mr Benedict Cumberbatch will appear on the cover of Time magazine at the end of October! ‘And Moffat saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.’]
Sherlock Peoria, partially in reaction to all the BBC Sherlock hullabaloo, made a very interesting observation regarding the possible cause and effect related to the vocal dedication of the BBC fandom: “Yes, Sherlock has fans so passionate that PBS actually acknowledges their existence and considers them in its decisions. You remember Sherlock fans? That oft-discounted-by-elder-Sherlockians group who were once seen as a fluffy flash-in-the-pan? Well, they just got us Sherlock months ahead of when we might have otherwise seen it. They did that. Not grumpy old me, bitching in my blog a few days ago. Not the gathered Baker Street Irregulars of New York, who will be meeting two days prior (and probably in transit home about the time it’s going to be showing). Not any other big name Sherlockian past or present you can name. The Sherlock fans did this. And they should take a well earned victory lap before sitting down to watch “The Empty Hearse” on January 19th. Good on you, ladies and (I know you’re out there!) gents.”
St Bartholomew Hospital in London (cf. picture above), scene of Sherlock’s ‘suicide’ at the end of BBC Sherlock Season 2…and monument of sorts to what Brad Keefauver speculates is the tremendous influence which the noisy yet dedicated BBC fandom seems to wield. Though I respect Mr Keefauver’s position in his essay, let us not forget the real and absolute significance of St Barts: ““Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford, introducing us. “How are you?” he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive…”” (STUD) And so the world would never be the same again.
[A still from the pretty much spoiler-free Sherlock Season 3 trailer released in late August of 2013. Click the above screenshot to watch what is to some 30 seconds of glorious bliss; and to others, 30 seconds of Moffat-sponsored frustration and torture.]
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes premiered this month (October 10, 2013) at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to rave reviews, leaving Sherlockians living beyond traveling distance of the OMSI no choice but to peruse the wealth of online photos of the exhibits with just a smidgen of envy and a giant dollop of anticipation, for soon the entire show will hit the road and begin a world tour that will hopefully bring the excellent looking 221B simulacrum and the rest to a museum near you! The Oregonian described how attendees have the opportunity to view original manuscripts, period artifacts and investigative tools along with a description of the exhibits that include “Doyle’s Study, an experimentation station, Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street, the “Culture of Sherlock” collection and a mystery game with clues hidden within the museum.” For a taste of what opening night was like, check out this photo set featuring the organizers as well as various Sherlockian VIPs such as Jon Lellenberg and Richard Doyle, great-nephew of ACD and director of the Conan Doyle Estate along with scores of Sherlock enthusiasts, a handful dressed in their finest Victorian threads. The OMSI site offers a range of opportunities for visitors planning an excursion as well as information for schools considering organizing a field trip to the exhibit - which makes me kind of wish that I was in 6th grade and preparing for a visit to the world of Sherlock Holmes, an opportunity that is sure to have a life changing effect on more than a few precocious ‘pre-Sherlockians’ who are sure to look back at that magical day as the moment they caught the Sherlockian bug, permanently altering their lives forever. Finally, for a wonderfully thorough and intimate review of the entire show see this GeekDad post which features a plethora of wonderful photos of the various exhibits, close-ups of the artifacts, a shot of a page from the original manuscript of Hound of the Baskervilles (cf. Randall Stock's history of the HOUN manuscript and why it was broken up at the time of its publication) and more. I'm sure I'll have opportunities to post more about this remarkable event as I count down the days until it arrives in NYC.
[221B, live and direct: Sherlock’s shelves and lab area. Photo by Jonathan H. Liu, who authored the GeekDad post.]
Dan Andriacco, aka Dutch to the John H Watson Society, revealed that Issue #1 of The Watsonian, journal of the fledgling yet ever growing JHWS, is set to appear in mailboxes around the world! My only concern is whether the reported 150 page (!) publication will fit in a standard sized mailbox. And if that wasn’t enough, Mr Andriacco announced that the nascent group is sponsoring an International Canonical Treasure Hunt: the “mega-quiz will consist of 200 questions requiring in-depth knowledge of the Canon and the printed scholarship of the last 75 years. It will be conducted over a one-month period sometime in 2014. As host society, the JHWS will invite teams from the Baker Street Irregulars, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, the Société Sherlock Holmes de France, the Sherlock Holmes Society of India, the Toronto Bookmakers, the Sherlock Holmes Society of Japan, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, and other international and U.S. scions who desire to field a crack team of Sherlockian/Watsonian scholars to compete for world honors.” As a member of the JHWS (where I’m known as ‘Baron’), I’m looking forward to receiving Issue #1 immensely as well as participating in the 2014 Canonical Treasure Hunt, along with watching and reporting on whatever else this intrepid group has up it’s tweeds.
[I’ll be waiting patiently for the 150 pages of Watson-centric fun to begin.]
Molly Carr's newest release In Search of Dr Watson (MX, 2013) is now available in a revised, second edition version: “…as much as possible about Doctor Watson. Radically different in style from her first two books, the investigation will nevertheless be of interest to students of military history, railways both Indian and British and of course all fans of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is a household name. But where would he be without his Biographer? Beavering away in Baker Street, unknown to everyone except Scotland Yard and a few luckless criminals. It is time to put the loyal and much put upon man, Dr. John H. Watson M.D., centre stage.” On a related note to the JHWS and Molly Carr (aka ‘Brenda’), two of her latest books were reviewed on Dr Watson’s Library, a blog maintained by the JHWS which posts reviews and recommendations on books by its members: In Search of Doctor Watson (2nd Edition, MX, 2013) and A Sherlock Holmes Who’s Who (MX, 2012) described as “for the Holmes fanatic who wants to know everything!” You can follow Ms Carr on Twitter and Facebook.
[In Search of Dr Watson 2nd Edition is available from Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK and Waterstones. For elsewhere Book Depository who offer free delivery worldwide. In ebook format it is in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks (iPad/iPhone).]
The Baker Street Babes Lyndsay, Melinda, and Sarah in “Episode 46: Moriarty Returns! With Daniel Corey” look at the latest incarnation of the Napoleon of Crime in a comic series that started in 2009. ”Moriarty is a supernatural/dark crime comic that flips the Sherlock Holmes universe on its head–James Moriarty, its sinister and conflicted star, is now the protagonist. Inspired in part by great Professor Moriartys including Laurence Olivier in The Seven Per Cent Solution and Daniel Davis in Star Trek: TNG, Corey set out to solve the mystery, who is Professor Moriarty, since ‘He’s mentioned here and there, but there’s only two stories that involve Professor Moriarty and he’s never actually onstage.’ Who is the Professor in the absence of Holmes, and will his criminal empire ever come to fruition?” Creator Daniel Corey, in an attempt to fund a third series consisting of four more issues, started a Kickstarter campaign where he hopes to raise 24K. Here’s a video of Corey explaining his plans for Moriarty Vol. 3. If you’re interested in where the Morarity series has been so far, check out these video summaries Moriarty Vol. 1: The Dark Chamber and Moriarty Vol, 2: The Lazarus Tree, or you can purchase the first to volumes in hardcover from Image Comics. The series reminds me a little of John Gardner's thought provoking 1970s trilogy of novels which delve into the history and psychology of Holmes' nemesis, painting the Napoleon of Crime in an almost sympathetic light. You can follow Daniel Corey's Moriarty Project on Facebook and Twitter.
[Cover for Moriarty Vol. 1: The Dark Chamber.]
The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence is a theater production premiering in NYC on November 15 and running through December 29, 2013. First off, just so there’s no confusion, the Watson of the Canon only makes up 1/4th of the ‘Watsons’ portrayed in The Watson Intelligence: “Watson: trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes; loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone; unstoppable super-computer that became reigning Jeopardy! champ; amiable techno-dweeb who, in the present day, is just looking for love. These four constant companions become one in this brilliantly witty, time-jumping, loving tribute (and cautionary tale) dedicated to the people - and machines - upon which we all depend.” My first reaction to reading this description was “Wow” and my second reaction was “this could be amazing, or at the very least interesting.” Now I’m very curious to watch as actors portray John H. Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical Department, Thomas A Watson (1854 - 1934), assistant to inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Watson the IBM computer capable of answering questions posed in natural language and a contemporary guy named Watson in a play that sounds like an extended meditation on our post-Industrial Western society - or might just be a zany romp consisting of four characters whose only point of convergence is the name “Watson”. Why can’t I get the image out of my head of Basil Rathbone's sidekick Nigel Bruce holding up a computer and quoting Zoolander: “Oh! The files are in the computer!” (smash goes the computer). Check out the play’s Facebook page and visit TicketCentral.com (use code WATPBE) to order tickets.
[I have absolutely no clue whether The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence will be a hit or miss, but it’s a chance to see our favorite one fixed point in a changing age pushed to his limits by finding himself in an Age that has changed multiple times over.]
Sidgwicks posted a fine promotional still (seen below) for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984), featuring a great shot of what could only be the “newly-framed picture of General Gordon" as mentioned by Holmes in "The Cardboard Box" - an image I had just been searching for a few days before in the hopes of, like Watson, using the likeness of Charles George Gordon (circa the ‘Pasha’ years) to not only decorate my wall (framed of course) but to act as a surefire catalyst for a chain of thoughts inevitably leading to “dwelling upon the sadness and horror and useless waste of life” war inevitably breeds, which was of course just part of the contents of Watson’s saturnine mood so adroitly discerned by Holmes during the first scene of “The Cardboard Box”. Sherlockians well-versed in some of the textual oddities of the Canon will of course recall that this memorable ‘mind-reading’ scene from CARD occurs again, almost line for line, in the “The Resident Patient.” For an explanation of why it is that both CARD and RESI include the exact same scene, see Klinger’s ‘The Textual Problem of “The Resident Patient”’
[Promotional still for Granada’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984).]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Sherlockian.net is hands down the most important Sherlock Holmes website in existence and has been for many years. Created by longtime Sherlockian Chris Redmond - his titular name in the BSI of “Billy” was inspired in part by his age at the time of his investiture…he was just 16 - the site serves as the ultimate resource for Sherlockians, whether they’re collecting research for a journal article or neophyte Holmes enthusiasts delving for the first time into the world of Sherlock Holmes culture and scholarship. Which is why I’m thrilled beyond words to see my photo adorning the front page of sherlockian.net! This picture was snapped by the wonderfully talented NYC Sherlockian and photographer Melinda Caric at a book release party for Lyndsay Faye's latest novel Seven For a Secret while I perused the Sherlockian Scholarship bookcase at the Mysterious Bookshop in downtown Manhattan. Unfortunately the edition of the book I’m holding Seventeen Steps to 221B edited by James Edward Holroyd was outside of my price range that evening but that never dampens the pure joy of holding a piece of biblio-Holmesian history. Check out Ms Caric’s complete Seven For a Secret Flickr set for the lowdown on the evenings’ literary debauchery, as well as further proof that Ms Faye’s genius extends well beyond the realm of historical fiction into that of the sartorial.
[Thank you for the honor Chris Redmond and the wonderful photo Melinda Caric - oh yeah, and thanks to Lyndsay’s mixologist husband Gabe Lehner for keeping the book party attendees in good spirits.]
Sherlockian-Sherlock is a relatively new Sherlockian website started earlier this year by three intrepid Hungarians (though the site is in English). I stumbled on it while perusing Chris Redmond's recent updates to the 'Online Resources' section of Sherlockian.net. Initially drawn to the intriguing cadence of “Sherlockian Sherlock Dot Com” after further exploration it is quite the promising web destination for Holmes and ACD enthusiasts. The website's editors/creators - make no mistake, Sherlockian Sherlock is an actual website and not a blog or a Web 2.0-inspired creation - have a particular fascination with Sherlock Holmes art, the dispelling of common misbeliefs related to Holmes, actors who have donned the deerstalker and the science behind the Great Detective. I encourage you to add Sherlockian-Sherlock to your bookmarks posthaste.
Neatorama posted about a newly available Sherlock Holmes Pocket Notebook made-up of 64 pages with a very simple though elegant Sherlock design. Perfect for composing an outline for that Sherlock pastiche you’ve been meaning to write involving Holmes, the Wright Brothers, the Suez Canal and the First Pan-African Conference. Get to it!
[Just remember that if you author notes like “Meet me at the Yew Alley and come alone. PS Bring dog biscuits.” but then decide not to send it, be sure to throw it directly onto the fire so it burns opposed to letting it fall down into the grate where meddling detectives might come across it.]
Sherlockian Scion & Event Links:
The Sherlock Breakfast Club is a Los Angeles-based group of Holmes enthusiasts who meet irregularly for breakfast at Ye Olde King’s Head Pub in Santa Monica, CA. A discussion of a pre-assigned story is followed by a canonical quiz, where the victors win prizes, often from London. Time permitting they screen a Granada episode, usually corresponding to the story du jour. One of the leaders of the group, Bonnie MacBird whom I had the good fortune to meet this past August in MN at Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place, stresses that the group is very inclusive and welcoming. There are Sherlockians of all stripes and ages, including many BBC Sherlock fans as well as Downey, Rathbone, Elementary, and those of the strictly canonical persuasion. “Everybody gets to express their Sherlockian love, and it’s all rooted in the Canon.” No doubt attendees depart assured that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Their next event is November 9, 2013 at the ungodly hour of 9 am.
From Gillette To Brett IV: Basil, Benedict and Beyond is happening September 12 -14, 2014 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Put together by purveyors of the finest in Sherlockian publications, Wessex Press's the three day conference “will feature rare Sherlockian films, vendors, and an all-star roster of distinguished speakers, presenters, and events. We are thrilled to present exclusive, 75th Anniversary screenings of Basil Rathbone's The Hound of the Baskevilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) in the state-of-the-art IU Cinema.” Mark your calendars.
[I can’t wait!]
* The Sherlockian Calendar is a Holmes-enthusiast’s best friend - visit and visit often.
* If you have a Sherlock Holmes-related event or meeting you would like listed, or any news, gossip or announcements that might interest readers of Always1895.net, please email always1895[@]gmail.com.
Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium (October 12 - October 18, 2013)
UPDATE: I realized that the original title for this post referenced the wrong date range, an error that’s now been corrected.
Dearest Readers - Thank you so much for your patience regarding the lack of posts over the last month. Due to a complete and total computer meltdown, I lost the ability to do any writing at home. As I slowly save up for a new MacBook Air, I’ve managed to piece together an old iMac which should allow me to start posting my Weekly Sherlockian Links Compendium regularly once again. A special thanks to everyone that wrote enquiring about the well-being of the site and me. I’ll be playing catch-up for the next few weeks, but please don’t hesitate to send in new Sherlockian info you would like to see posted.
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, IHOSE released Ep 57 “A Sherlockian Halloween” where Mr Monty and Mr Wolder discuss “Holmes and the occult [and are] joined by editor and author Charles Prepolec, who together with J.R. Campbell edited Gaslight Grimoire: Fantastic Tales of Sherlock Holmes, Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, and Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes, joins us to talk about the intersection of Sherlock Holmes and the spooky, outre and creepy, setting the tone for the season. Charles (who goes by @sherlockeditor on Twitter), had the great fortune to work with the likes of Barbara Hambly, Martin Powell and Kim Newman, among others, and he talks about the selection process for including authors and their works in the anthologies.” Mr Prepolec has a great on-air personality and if you haven’t already, make sure to set aside an hour and give IHOSE Episode 57 a listen. Also, in leu of reading the traditional Editor’s Gas-Lamp, an introduction to a collection of Conan Doyle stories written by ACD biographer John Dickson Carr is read.
[Just one of three collections of Sherlock Holmes pastiches focusing on the more macabre side of the Great Detective and his world from editor, and Ep 57 I HOSE guest, Charles Prepolec.]
Dan Andriacco, along with his publisher MX Publishing put together a special Halloween treat for fans of his McCabe/Cody series: they’re offering up a short Halloween themed story - available for a limited time for free on Amazon Kindle. “”We’ve been tasered, drugged, kidnapped, and almost blown up. So I’m sorry we’re late for the party.” Jeff Cody is having a bad day. But readers will love this short story about a Halloween party gone terribly wrong. If you haven’t read any of the critically acclaimed Sebastian McCabe - Jeff Cody mystery novels, “The Revengers” is the perfect introduction. If you’re already a McCabe-Cody fan, it will give you an enticing taste of their next book.” If you don’t have a Kindle you can still get a free copy by joining the Sherlock Holmes Book newsletter on Facebook. Personally, I’ve saving this story until Halloween draws a little bit closer and maximum ambient spookiness can be achieved.
[A haunting cover for a tale of a Halloween party gone wrong featuring two of my favorite literary characters Jeff Cody and Sebastian McCabe.]
Girl Meets Sherlock posted a touching and insightful piece on the late Marlene Aig, Sherlockian and one of the first Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH) as well as an Associated Press reporter, who passed away suddenly in 1996. Having many friends within the ASH world, I’ve heard many speak of Marlene Aig in a tone reserved only for the most exalted and respected of Sherlockians. So it gives me great pleasure to announce that MX Publishing has released a newly unearthed Holmes pastiche by Ms Aig entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Lufton Lady, available as an e-book (Kindle, Nook, Kobo & the iPad). Edited by friend and notable Sherlockian Chris Redmond, “Lufton Lady is a quick, enjoyable read with a charming Holmesian atmosphere and a special flare that surely belonged to Marlene and Marlene alone. It’s a good story, but it’s also a piece of history and a chance to connect with one of the great female pioneers of the world of Sherlock Holmes.” For more information about Marlene Aig, please read this lovely piece on the ASH website (originally published in The Serpentine Muse Vol 13, no. 1, 1996) by two of her closest friends who remind those of us who knew her of the friend we’ve lost and those who didn’t know her of what they’ve missed entitled “Good Night, Marlene.”
[The Lufton Lady by the late Marlene Aig and edited by Chris Redmond of Sherlockian.net.]
Aeon Magazine in “Shamanic powers of insight and the power to bring order out of chaos: Is the detective a priestly figure for our times?” considers the age old question of how best to judge a society and suggests that investigating the relationship detective fiction shares with society is one such fruitful criteria. Defining the detective story as one in which “a felony is committed in mysterious circumstances and then an individual follows clues and makes deductions to discover what happened,” the author Jason Webster, not surprisingly a crime writer, looks at the history of the modern mystery story (modern circa William Godwin’s Caleb Williams (1794) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)) noting the significance of it’s co-development with the Industrial Revolution and the rise of police detective himself. Perhaps most importantly, Webster writes, the reason in which the detective story became such a huge best-seller almost overnight was due to the role in which the hero detective fulfilled: “Faced with the worst crime (what could be more existentially troubling than a murder?), the detective gives us answers to the most pressing and urgent questions: not only whodunit, but how and why and what it means…In other words, a detective is a kind of priest.” Read on for an intriguing discussion of our search for meaning in the modern age and how detectives such as Sherlock Holmes and GK Chesterton's Father Brown (a literal priest) took on the role of interpreters of human nature.
[Father Brown in one of hundreds of different editions available to the reading public in search of meaning in the modern world.]
Oxford University Press Blog posts the occasional Sherlock Holmes-centric piece either by James O’Brien, author of The Scientific Sherlock Holmes: Cracking the Case With Science and Forensics (Oxford, 2013) or Douglas Kerr, author of Conan Doyle: Writing, Profession and Practice (Oxford, 2013). In “Six Methods of Detection in Sherlock Holmes” Mr O’Brien notes that between the appearance in 1841 of Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue and ACD’s A Study In Scarlet in 1887 ”chance and coincidence played a large part in crime fiction.” But with the rise and domination of the methods of Sherlock Holmes via logic, deduction, and science, new approaches to collecting and analyzing data acquired at a crime scene or from a likely culprit were developed, solidifying the Master and his follower’s reputation as men (and women) of science and innovators of forensic methods. As evidence of Holmes’ particular genius for fusing the theoretical with the pragmatic, O’Brien takes a look at the following Holmesian-championed innovations which, though experimental and even suspect in the days of Lestrade or Gregson, eventually became tools de rigueur for police and private consullting detectives alike: Fingerprints, Typewritten Documents, Handwriting, Footprints, Ciphers and Dogs.
[Holmes and Watson employed the olfactory talents of Pompey the dog in order to track down missing rugby star Godfrey Staunton, chronicled in “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”. For more information on Holmes and the use of dogs in detective work, I strongly suggest seeking out one of my favorite, though slightly obscure, works by Michael Harrison entitled Cynological Mr. Holmes: Conanical Canines Considered: Dog-lore and Dog-love in the Sherlockian Saga (1985, Magico), which can now be had as an e-book from the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box.]
Doyleockian's Alistair Duncan has posted a number of diverse and interesting pieces in the last few weeks commenting on everything from the resurgence of the Elementary Wars (now that Season 2 is in full swing) to the South Norwood Tourist Board’s attempt to name a lake in honor of ACD - “Lake Conan" is apparently the front runner, but I agree with Mr Duncan that "Lake Conan" is not a very good pick: whether it’s the unappetizing ‘Conan the Barbarian’ association or the fact that ACD is never referred to as just "Conan", almost any other variation on ACD’s name works better. The SNTB has an online poll with various naming options but I have to question their sincerity regarding names other than ‘Lake Conan’ considering the Reichenbach option is misspelled as “Reichenback" [sic]. Speaking of lakes, in another post Pike is discussed…Langdale Pike that is (not the fish), who just happens to be one of my all time favorite minor Canonical characters. Duncan wonders whether the man who sits ”in the bow window of a St. James’s Street club” might best be thought of as “a blend of Mycroft Holmes and Shinwell Johnson. The latter, it will be remembered from “The Illustrious Client”, was Holmes’s source of information, people and gossip in the underworld. Langdale Pike was clearly an upper-class equivalent.” Apparently Elementary Season 2 features a character named Langdale Pike, but even though I have yet to see the episode I guarantee it can’t beat Peter Wyngarde's Pike in Granada's The Three Gables. Coincidently, Wyngarde played the nefarious Baron Grüner in the 1965 BBC production of The Illustrious Client with Douglas Wilmer as Holmes - wherein Shinwell ‘Porky’ Johnson is played by prolific character actor Norman Mitchell. Finally, perhaps Duncan’s most edifying and useful post - at least for Sherlockian book collectors - is “Book Preservation" which contains tips on book preservation along with a link to a PDF about book conservation from the British Library’s Preservation Advisory Centre (click for range of videos on book care).
[Peter Wyngarde as gossip-monger extraordinaire Langdale Pike in Granada’s The Three Gables.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
NPR Books reviews a new autobiography about Jazz legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker called Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker (2013) by Stanley Crouch where it is revealed that “”They read history books. They went to museums,” Crouch says. “Redcross told me, once he said, “Yes, Charles and I, we would sit and we would discuss Sherlock Holmes…”" Something tells me that Holmes, with his affinity for experimenting with his Stradivarius in ways that may have been described as noise by Watson but might today be recognized as experiments in atonality or even freeform cacophony, might have recognized a kindred spirit in Parker and his pioneering bebop sound - not to mention their similarity when it came to seeking recourse in the needle, to which Parker was addicted for most of his short life (he died at 34). If you don’t want to listen to an audio review, Crouch’s biography of Parker was reviewed in the New York Times.
Howard Ostrom, best known for his incredible collection of autographed photos of various big and small screen Holmes and Watson team-ups (hosted virtually on blogger Ross K Foad's NPLH website), recently wrote a three part essay/study entitled “Voices From The Darkness" which takes a look at the African-American Sherlock Holmes progression, history and future in theater, cinema, comics and other mediums. His inspiration for said undertaking can be found in Part 1 (PDF) of “Voices From the Darkness” after coming across a little known Sherlock Holmes film from 1914 called A Tale of a Chicken which featured an all black cast but was virtually non-existent in the annuals of film history. This 1914 silent film would be just one of many to feature a black actor playing the Great Detective (often times with a corresponding all black cast) and Mr Ostrom has done Sherlockians everywhere a great service by unearthing this unique and fascinating bit of Sherlockian and film history.
The Consulting Detective makes the compelling argument that “in the grand scheme of things, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the 1968 BBC television series, is one of the most important in Sherlock Holmes’ history. It was only the second time that a real attempt was made to bring Arthur Conan Doyle’s work to the small screen.” And yet, as the author Nick Cardillo points out, the work of Douglas Wilmer and later Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes is largely forgotten or at least tragically overlooked. Last weekend I re-watched the entire DVD run of Douglas Wilmer’s BBC Sherlock episodes.
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere marked the 25th anniversary of Without A Clue (1988), perhaps the finest example of a Holmes spoof ever. “Our hero, Sherlock Holmes, is shown to be nothing more than a profligate drunkard of an actor, hired by Dr. Watson (known to himself as “John Watson, the Crime Doctor!”) to mask his true identity as a successful detective whilst applying for a position in an exclusive hospital. Much to his chagrin, the character actor becomes popular and the public (and later Watson) can’t seem to do without him. It was a case of art imitating life, as another doctor - one A. Conan Doyle - was resigned to the same fate as the Crime Doctor.” I’ve always thought that the true genius of Without A Clue lies in the fact that the laughs come not from denigrating the familiar Sherlockian ‘tropes’ but raising them up via experimentation and playfulness to the level of high comedy.
[My favorite poster for Without a Clue.]
Sherlock Peoria looks at “As much as the sixty stories of Sherlock Holmes are spread across all the seasons of the year, there is something particularly autumnal about them….Fall has traditionally also been a season of anticipation for Sherlockians. Preparations are being made for January festivities. New Holmes pastiches are available for Christmas lists. Back from summer breaks, many a Sherlockian society is going full-steam….”
Sherlock Scion & Event Links:
221B Con reminds everyone that you (Yes, you!) have “only one month left to register for only $35. Registration will go up to $45 on November 16. If you filled out a registration form, but have not submitted your payment by November 16, your registration will be deleted. Please email us at reg[at]221bcon.com if you have any questions or issues.” The 2014 221B Con is happening in Atlanta, GA on April 4-6th (which is exactly 167 days, 22 hours and 44 minutes from now). For updated info, complete details and information about registration, hotels, programming, etc. stop in at 221bcon.com.
Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit recently held their annual Fall Meeting (2013) and the AMS Tantalus Robert Musial thoroughly reviewed the evening’s toasts, sites and sounds. The highlight of the evening seemed to be Regina Stinson's presentation titled “The Legend of the Deerstalker.” Musial reports that: “Her excellently-researched monograph reviewed the two dozen artists who illustrated the Canon in its early days, among them Arthur Conan Doyle’s father, Charles Altamont Doyle; and more popularly, Sidney Paget and Frederic Dorr Steele, who contributed the most iconic depictions of The Master and his surroundings.”
[A few AMS members (from left to right): we have Dr. Ed Stein, Dr. David Mohan, Tantalus Rob Musial and of course I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere’s very own Mr Scott Monty.]
MX Publishing is hosting a free event on Friday, 8 November 2013 (7pm GMT) featuring Matthew J Elliot, author of The Immortals: An Unauthorized guide to Sherlock and Elementary (MX) - a study of BBC Sherlock and CBS Elementary episodes to date, just in time for the second season premiere of Elementary and for the one-day-to-be-released Sherlock (click here for BBC’s latest news on Season3). For more information about the event, check out the The Immortals book release event page on Facebook.
The New York Society Library is hosting an evening with BJ Rahn - an English Literature professor at Hunter College who also runs the site CrimeCritic.com - entitled “The Enduring Appeal of Sherlock Holmes" which will explore "the remarkable international appeal of Holmes (which shows no signs of abating), analyzes the nature of the fascination, and discusses its various manifestations in print, on stage, in films and television, plus museum and library exhibits, conferences, courses, statues, tours, hotels and pubs, and fan societies dedicated to him." Tickets are $10 in advance and will occur on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 5:30pm in the Whitridge Room at the The New York Society Library in Manhattan.
* To find a Sherlockian event in your area, check out The Sherlockian Calendar - maintained by Ron Fish with Sue and Ben Vizoskie of The Three Garridebs of Westchester County, NY. If you are interested in posting an event to the calendar, please email the details to webmaster Ron Fish at RonF404 [at] aol.com.
** If you’d like to see your event/meeting mentioned here on Always1895, please email me the name of your group/event, the details, contact info & web address, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and any other info that should accompany the link.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (September 14 - September 20, 2013)
Daily Mail led off with a headline that has probably caused the total mental collapse of hundreds of BBC Sherlock fans, leaving thousands more contemplating what it would take to hire an airgun toting hitman: “U.S. threat to kill off BBC’s Sherlock: Hungarian-born socialite threatens legal action claiming she owns Arthur Conan Doyle character" - say what?! As apocalyptically insane this headline sounds, there’s probably really nothing to worry about. Longtime Sherlockians are probably familiar with the Andrea Plunket saga and her various claims to copyright of the Sherlock Holmes characters/stories based on having once been married to TV producer Sheldon Reynolds - who created the Ron Howard Sherlock Holmes (1954-1955) series as well as a quasi-remake Sherlock Holmes & Doctor Watson (1979-1980) with Geoffrey Whitehead as Holmes - from which she supposedly acquired the copyright in a 1990’s divorce settlement. If this is your first time hearing about Plunket’s claims on the Sherlock Holmes properties (in one form or another) and want to learn more, you are in for a transcontinental soap operatic treat that involves attempted murder, squandered fortunes, a Swiss tax haven, a Georgian ‘princess’ and a bed & breakfast in upstate NY. A 2010 article in the NYT “For the Heirs to Holmes, a Tangled Web" did a good job summarizing the history of ACD’s literary properties, mentioning all the major players since 1930. Next check out "The Case of Andrea Plunket and the Sherlock Holmes Copyrights" for a closer look at Ms Plunket and then see Chris Redmond's “Notes on the Ownership of the Sherlock Holmes Stories" for a variety of relevant links. Note of clarification: Andrea Plunket’s company The Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate is not the same entity as the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., the company currently involved in Klinger v Conan Doyle Estate (cf. Free Sherlock!). Read the Conan Doyle Estate’s view on Plunket here. On a final note, you can find Ms Plunket on Facebook.
[Opening title for Sheldon Reynolds' Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson from 1980. The only place on Earth I’ve been able to find copies to watch is on, ironically, YouTube - though the quality is almost unwatchable due to having been recorded from TV to VHS and then ripped to a video file.]
Sherlock Holmes Exhibition a “unique and interactive experience showcases areas of forensic science that enabled Sherlock Holmes to solve crimes, as well as the historic underpinnings of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s rich and vibrant stories” opens at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) this October 2013. Exhibits include Dr. Conan Doyle’s Study, the Science & History behind Sherlock Holmes’s methods, a recreation of Sherlock Holmes’ sitting room at 221B Baker Street and an exhibit dedicated to Sherlockiana and Culture in all it’s manifestations. For the latest news and updates regarding what is sure to be one of the greatest popular Sherlock Holmes events in decades make sure to follow @SherlockExhibit on Twitter and The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes on Facebook. Speaking of news, on September 18th their Facebook and Twitter excitedly announced “The first artifact crate from the UK arrived at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) today!”
[Click for a PDF of the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes Press Release.]
The Norwood Builder put together a post that is a stunning example of why being a Sherlockian is one off greatest intellectual ‘lifestyle choices’ one can make. In “Sherlock Holmes’ clients - Or: The demography of Canon" readers are treated to an amazing undertaking where we find the Norwood Builder "trying to get a bird’s eye view of Sherlock Holmes’ canonical clients, with a particular regard to their demographic representativeness - or lack of it." When a prospective client marches down Baker Street, zeros in on ‘221B’, gains admittance from Mrs Hudson (or a boy in buttons) and ascends the seventeen steps leading to the sitting room of Mr Sherlock Holmes, it’s important to remember that said client does not simply materialize out of thin-air but possesses a rich biography. As (fanatical) readers of the Canon, we have a strong sense that these biographies are varied and drawn from all strata of society: for every Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein there is a Shinwell ‘Porky’ Johnson; with every missing Lady Frances Carfax there is a Mrs Amberley whose fate for better or worse must be discovered; for each wrongly accused Thaddeus Sholto there is a John Horner or even a Flora Millar whose name must be cleared. But does the assumption that Holmes’ clients came from all walks of life hold true? To answer this question, Holmes’ Canonical clients are broken down by Type, Gender and Status and the results will surprise you! The Norwood Builder’s blog is no stranger to the application of statistical analysis to elements in the Canon: click here to see all his posts tagged with “statistics.”
[“…and then he entered himself–so large, so pompous, and so dignified that he was the very embodiment of self-possession and solidity. And yet his first action, when the door had closed behind him, was to stagger against the table, whence he slipped down upon the floor, and there was that majestic figure prostrate and insensible upon our bearskin hearthrug.” (PRIO)]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere reports on Mr Jerry Margolin’s, BSI (“Hilton Cubitt”) latest Sherlockian objets d’art acquisition, the original artwork for a piece titled Sherlock Joker, the Crown Prince of Crime Detection (insert combination of the Joker’s infamous “Hahahah…” maniacal laughter with Holmes’ measured comments on Early English Charters) which was the original art used for one of two cards depicting Batman’s arch nemesis the Joker in the guise of the Great Detective for Batman Master Series, a 1996 card set released by Fleer. Where as Margolin’s piece depicts a somewhat calm Joker hamming it up in deerstalker and calabash but revealing a glimpse of his true insanity via the magnifying glass, the second Sherlock Joker image shows Arkham Asylum's number one resident patient at the apex of total madness revealed by the now shattered magnifying glass. There is a long history of Sherlock Holmes appearing alongside Gotham’s Caped Crusader, but the most recognizable is from the cover of the 50th anniversary of Detective Comics, Issue #572 (March 1987), where we see Batman and Holmes paging through the 1937 Detective Comics issue where ‘The Batman’ first appeared. One of the stories contains an amusing panel sequence where we see Batman and Sherlock Holmes (at 135!) discussing his secret to good health: ”A proper diet, a certain distillation of royal jelly developed in my beekeeping days, and the rarified atmosphere of Tibet, where I keep my primary residence…” Batman then attempts to light Holmes’ pipe only to be told “Thank you, for I’m afraid the pipe is purely for show these days.”
[“Holy Sherlock Holmes!" Congratulations Jerry on Sherlock Joker, one of two Joker as Sherlock Holmes renderings, by artist Carl Critchlow, originally commissioned by Fleer as part of the Batman Master Series set.]
Lyndsay Faye, as announced last week, appeared at The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC for the launch of her latest novel, the sequel to the excellent The Gods of Gotham, Seven For a Secret - and it was a ‘Wilde time.’ Not surprisingly there was a strong Sherlockian presence on hand to support Ms Faye as she discussed the world of Timothy and Val Wilde as well as the time period in which they lived. Most interestingly was her discussion of the various reactions she’s received regarding the moral outlook and attitudes of the characters, in particular the criticism (by some) that Timothy Wilde’s views on blacks, gays and religion are overly ‘modern’. For further proof that Ms Faye’s literary star is rising, read her interview in last Sunday’s LA Review of Books “Sherlockian Girl Goes Wilde" (Ha! Get it?)
[Photo by Erin Malone - the Mysterious Bookshop makes for the perfect environment to reflect on New York in the 1840s.]
Baker Street Babes, in their first NC-17-rated podcast, released Episode 44: “Sherlock Holmes After Dark Pt I” wherein “Babes Curly, Liz, & Lyndsay talk dirty with Les Klinger, Sketchlock, reapersun, and Madlori in this first of two episodes about doing the dirty in Sherlockiana. This is the first of a two parter episode. In the first part we cover Victorian Pornography, how Les started collecting Sherlockian porn, his recommendations, and then why women like slash.” My guess is that Part II will be an hour long analysis/discussion of the Granada scene from “The Master Blackmailer” wherein Jeremy Brett is filmed canoodling with Agatha, Milverton’s housemaid, in what has to be the single most awkward (sexual) moment in the history of Sherlockian anything in any medium ever. The Babes of course aren’t the first Sherlockians to delve into the sexual underpinnings of the Canon. Mr Chris Redmond wrote a book titled In Bed With Sherlock Holmes: Sexual Elements in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stories of the Great Detective which not only analyses sexual elements in the Canon, but also looks at the non-Sherlockian fiction, letters, essays and speeches of ACD as well as aspects from his personal life. Finally, for a good time, check out I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere's “Top 10 Most Suggestive Lines from the Sherlock Holmes Stories.” For example, #8: “I remember nothing until I found myself lying on my bed trembling all over. Then I thought of you, Mr. Holmes.” (COPP)
[The above image is everyone’s favorite ‘suggestive’ Canonical illustration, though it actually depicts Holmes and Watson relaxing at the Turkish baths, but I’m never quite sure if that makes the picture more or less suggestive: “ I had asked him whether anything was stirring, and for answer he had shot his long, thin, nervous arm out of the sheets which enveloped him and had drawn an envelope from the inside pocket of the coat which hung beside him.” (ILLU)]
The Hollywood Reporter in “Conan Doyle Estate: Denying Sherlock Holmes Copyright Gives Him ‘Multiple Personalities’” reports on the latest development in the Klinger vs Conan Doyle Estate lawsuit. In response to Klinger’s lawsuit arguing that the major story elements of the Sherlock Holmes stories are fair game, ie. the free use of Canonical characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, irregardless of the fact that a few of the final stories have yet to enter the public domain. “The Doyle estate makes the case for a special breed of “complex literary characters” (unlike alleged “flat” television ones like Amos ‘n’ Andy) who develop their personalities, not always as expected, presumably making them more real. The defendant says, “Sherlock Holmes is such character, having all of the complex background and maturing emotions, thoughts, relationships and actions that characterize human development over time.”” Put simply, the Estate makes the claim that Sherlock Holmes is the sum of all sixty stories and since not all sixty stories are in the public domain, Sherlock Holmes can’t be freely used since ‘part of him’ is still protected. An interesting argument for sure, but will it stand up in a court of law? On a related note, read Alistair Duncan's views on the Free Sherlock case here.
Friends of the Soldier Named Murray a Sherlock Holmes Society based out of The Terrance on Mountain Creek, an assisted living facility in Chattanooga, TN., was recently made an Official Scion of the Baker Street Irregulars. Consisting of about 16-18 “active members attending each meeting…the study group meets monthly and discusses a different Sherlock Holmes short story….Any person who is a resident in an Assisted Living Facility and would like to form a Sherlock Holmes Society may contact the “Friends of the Soldier Named Murray” by email request to Jody Baker for tips, forms and other organizational assistance.” Sherlockians truly are everywhere!
Sidgwicks uncovered another wonderful illustration from a non-English source, this time in an Italian translation of The Sign of Four by Ugo Matania for “Il segno dei quattro”, Il Romanzo Per Tutti (Vol. 4, No. 5), 1948. Earlier this month, Sidgwicks posted a scan from a German edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles: Richard Gutschmidt for Der Hund von Baskerville, Stuttgart: Robert Lutz, 1907. I’ve seen a few illustrations from German and Italian translations over the years and they’ve all been rather stunning. Perhaps one day someone will publish a collection of non-English edition illustrations of the Canon.
[“He began to play some low, dreamy, melodious air,”]
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (September 7 - September 13, 2013)
Meiringens posted a letter from my Sherlockian hero Vincent Starrett to mystery duo ‘Ellery Queen' quoted in the wonderfully rare The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes 1944. For those unfamiliar with Queen’s collection of Holmes pastiches (written up to 1944) that was for all intents and purposes removed from the shelves due to (legal) complaints from ACD’s rapacious children Adrian and Dennis Doyle, I strongly suggest reading Jon Lellenberg's account of the affair in the essential BSI Archival History: Irregular Proceedings of the Mid ‘Forties (1995). The book first appeared at the BSI’s March 1944 legendary “Trilogy” dinner “held at the Murray Hill Hotel to celebrate publication of three landmark books: Profile by Gaslight, Edgar W. Smith’s anthology of BSI Writings About the Writings; Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: A Textbook of Friendship, Christopher Morley’s groundbreaking version of an annotated Canon; and The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen’s collection of parodies and pastiches” (from Lellenberg’s “March of Time”). Copies of The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes go for as high as $750 though you can download a copy for free in a variety of formats from Archive.org. Prior to Vincent Starrett’s offering of “The Unique Hamlet”, argued by some to be the greatest Holmes pastiche ever written, Queen writes the following: "But in your Editors’ opinion one of the most provocative paragraphs Mr. Starrett ever wrote about Holmes has never appeared in print until now. Here it is a postscript from one of Mr. Starrett’s letters to your Editors:"
[“I’ve always wanted to do a synthetic Sherlock. the beginning of one story, the middle of another, and the conclusion of a third; or perhaps six or eight of the adventures merged into a perfect Holmes tale…” Click Archive.org for the entire text of Queen’s (eds) The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes and to see the Starrett/Queen exchange in context.]
Baker Street Journal arrived in my mailbox this week and the Autumn 2013 (Vol. 63, No. 3) issue is one of the all around best issues I’ve read this year; they’ve all been good, but this spytastic, BRUC-centric issue is particularly terrific. Contributors include Sherlockian.net's Chris Redmond with a piece analyzing a deceptively simple line of text spoken by Violet Westbury, fiancee of the deceased Arthur Cadogen West, from BRUC, author Lyndsay Faye discussing Holmes’ relationship with popular though morbid Victorian publication Newgate Calendar (subtitled “The Malefactors’ Bloody Register”) as well as narcotics, Fred Leise discussing Holmes’ Indexing abilities, Leslie Klinger arguing for Watson as the true genius behind the Canon, Peter Calamai writes about a 10-bedroom manor house that had been home to a Baskerville family at one time, Nancy Holder with “Sherlock Holmes, My (Comic Book) Hero”, Terence Faherty with “A Case of Paternity” and Albert Silverstein with “Reflections on the Holmesic Hero”, along with a particularly engaging ‘Letters To Baker Street’ section. If you’re not currently a subscriber, then I suggest borrowing $38.50 from a close friend and clicking here.
[BRUC-centric cover for BSJ issue Autumn 2013 (Vol. 63, No. 3).]
Lyndsay Faye, author of Dust and Shadows and The Gods of Gotham as well as numerous articles for publications like The Baker Street Journal as well as popular blogs such as Tor, will be reading from her latest novel Seven for a Secret, the second Timothy Wilde novel set in 1860s New York City at The Mysterious Bookshop on September 18th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The Mysterious Books launch party will also include a special drink made by Faye’s extremely talented ‘mixologist’ husband Gabriel Lehner billed as ‘Wilde’s Secret’ - and if it’s anything like Gabe’s Gods of Gotham-inspired cocktail, attendees are in for a ‘spirited’ evening (and semi-painful morning). Seven for a Secret was also chosen by IndieBound as their ‘October read’. Also make sure to read Ms Faye’s recent essay for Criminal Element entitled “Holmes 2.0: Life in the New Sherlockian Renaissance”: “We are not quite normal, we Sherlock Holmes fanatics, supposing normalcy exists. Of late, however, there are a lot of us. There are a very, very great many, in all shapes and sizes and colors and ages, and we daily gain recruits to our geekish hordes. Brainy, you could argue, is the new sexy. Which leads me to ask two questions. Why now? And why Holmes?” Finally in LF-related news, Ms Faye recently announced: “I’m going to be writing multiple guest issues of the incredibly fierce comic Watson and Holmes.”
[The cover of Ms Faye’s latest Wilde novel Seven For a Secret.]
Digital Spy announced that this December 2013 Dynamite Comics has drafted writer David Liss and artist Daniel Indro to “tackle the classic Arthur Conan Doyle villain in a five-issue miniseries” Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives, which “will center around the detective’s foe, with no appearance from Holmes.” ComicsBeat reported Liss describing a bit more of what we can expect from the Napoleon of Crime: “No one is the villain of their own narrative, and no one is evil all the time, so I thought it be fun to tell a story about a very bad man who finds himself in a situation in which he chooses to be good - mostly. At least a little. This story is going to take place right after the Arthur Conan Doyle story, “The Final Problem,” in which both [Holmes and Moriarty] presumably die in Switzerland. What if Moriarty survived the fall? Where did he go?” And a third blog, ICv2, suggests that this post-Reichenbach Morarity will be using “his intellect and cunning to battle a villain far more evil and dangerous than the criminal mastermind himself.” The cover art for Issue #1 is super epic (cf. below) and has me all pumped up to read about the ‘good’ Professor existing in a world free from Holmes’ incommoding, hampering, inconveniencing and/or persecuting.
[Professor James Moriarty just moments after getting Bartitsued down the Reichenbach Falls; other than getting really really wet, what other effects will Moriarty’s ‘fall’ have on “the organizer of half that is evil” in London?]
Sherlock Peoria in “Important classic literature or pop culture?” reflects on a recent Forbes article - written in a genre style which Keefauver declaims as “these kids today just aren’t the people we were” - declaring that only 5% of college students know that the Sherlock Holmes tales were authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (or that Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World; Marie Curie discovered radium; Euclid is the father of geometry; Mozart wrote Don Giovanni) but: “knowing the name of the creator of a legend that has been passed along through the hands of storyteller after storyteller is special knowledge, reserved for those who care enough to look back into the past. Sure, you don’t have to look hard to find Doyle, but you do have to make the effort to look. Should we be educating every child in America that Conan Doyle wrote the stories? Do we even want to force every child in America to read the stories to broaden their minds Sherlockianly?” I’m guessing that only 5% of hardcore Sherlockians would answer that ACD authored the Sherlock Holmes tales as well.
[A rendering of the supposed author of the Sherlock Holmes tales, an author which supposedly only 5% of ‘kids these days’ would be able to name.]
Free Sherlock! posted the latest epic update in the Homeric Klinger vs the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. legal battle vying for the hearts and minds of Canonical characters everywhere…or less dramatically: “On September 10, 2013, the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. filed opposition to our Motion for Summary Judgment, along with declarations from the Estate’s witnesses Jon Lellenberg, George Fletcher, Larry Woiwode, Valerie Sayers, and Loren Estleman. We have 14 days in which to respond, and upon filing with the Court, we will post our response on this website. Thereafter, it will be up to the Court to determine the outcome.” (Click on the above names for the PDF of their ‘Declarations’ aka their affidavit, which are actually all rather interesting reading.)
[I’ll admit to being a tad disappointed by the lack of Canonical names to be found in the cast of legal characters involved in this case. Just imagine if there was a “Frankland” to be had or even a non-Canonical but equally amusing “Playfair”. ]
Doyleockian reflects on where to begin in the world of collecting Sherlockiana. To the novice Sherlockian the possibilities for collecting seem infinite but unless you plan on spending the rest of your life trying to be the second coming of John Bennett Shaw, the faster you figure out just exactly what your Sherlockiana niche is, the faster you can get out there and collect. Alistair Duncan advises: “Well the first thing you need to do is define your scope. You cannot hope to collect everything so you must focus. You could elect to focus purely on the canonical (i.e. written) Holmes and collect items relating to that. Or you could focus on one or more of the adaptations. Alternatively you could set your focus differently.”
[Bookplate from John Bennett Shaw.]
Sherlock’s Danger Night put together a truly remarkable list which attempts to exhaustively enumerate every book and magazine used on BBC Sherlock. Proprietress mid0nz, with the help of a few volunteers, maintains both a Tumblr and a LiveJournal and appears to be updated as new information becomes available. Originally brought to my attention via the Baker Street Babes, I can’t help but concur with their continual astonishment at the “amount of detail that members of the Sherlock fandom go into to uncover clues, decipher scenes, and explore the intricacies of the characters.” Along with the list itself, there is a “key for which episodes the various tomes and weeklies appear in…[and] even goes further and lists the books found in other episodes that aren’t necessarily at 221B” (eg. the C.O.’s office from Hounds of the Baskerville). Personally, my favorite book at BBC 221B is Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene, where the concept of a meme was first coined, and then abused ad nauseum with the advent of the Internet.
[“Knowledge of Literature - nil??]
Baker Street Babes announced that they are “starting to post guest articles here on the site and we are very happy to say that the very first shall be from the illustrious collector Howard Ostrom! His full essay…is a doozy and incredibly fun! Sherlock Holmes as a cowboy. Enjoy!” “The Case of The Vitagraph Holmes” (Or, Cowboy in a Deerstalker) is the essay of the week and highly recommended reading if you have a few moments.
Don Libey, Co-Director of the recently formed John H Watson Society, released The Biography & Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes: Being a two book, one volume edition of ‘My Brother, Sherloc’ by Mycroft Holmes and ‘Montague Notations’ by Sherlock Holmes (Campbell & Lewis, 2013), two fascinating though highly speculative accounts of the ‘real’ life of Sherlock Holmes. For starters, imagine if Holmes never actually lived on Baker Street but instead lived and worked out of Montague Street - and that’s just the start. Even if you’re not a fan of pastiches, Mr Libey’s approach is scholarly and drenched in the Canon and should appeal to those with purist tendencies as well as pastiche lovers alike.
Dan Andriacco inspired by the recent flurry of discussion surrounding the news that Sir Ian McKellen has been cast in the role of the Great Detective for the film adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005), a pastiche that apparently many Sherlockians - including myself - are unfamiliar, recommends another book where we find Holmes in the Winter of his Life: Michael Chabon's excellent The Final Solution: A Story of Detection (2005): “To me this little book (131 pages) is a gem. It’s about a nine-year-old boy, German and mute, and an 89-year-year-old beekeeper referred to only as “the old man.” The boy is a refugee from Nazi Germany. He doesn’t talk, but his bird does.” Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon is one of my favorite contemporary authors, having written Wonder Boys (which was made into an excellent film featuring Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Katie Holmes and, playing amorous book editor Terry Crabtree, one Robert Downey Jr!), The Yiddish Policeman’s Ball, and his epic love letter to the Golden Age of comic books, the brilliantly entertaining The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000).
[Chabon’s amazing The Final Solution is one of the best Holmes pastiches out there.]
The Consulting Detective explains why The Sign of Four is a masterpiece: “Of all of Doyle’s novels, this one if perhaps the most original. The fact that it manages to cross a number of genre lines is excellent, making it perhaps the most entertaining of the four original Sherlock Holmes novels…[as well as] the most historically important Sherlock Holmes stories. For the first time in print, Sherlock Holmes is portrayed taking drugs…” It’s refreshing to read a blog post that’s strictly about the Canon, in this case the virtues of the second Holmes novel from an historic, aesthetic and cultural perspective.
[One of my favorite SIGN covers.]
CB Productions Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure adapted by Steven Dietz, based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle November 1-10, 2013: “The King of Bohemia is about to be blackmailed by a notorious photograph, and the woman at the heart of this crime is the famous opera singer, Irene Adler. With his trusted companion, Doctor Watson, at his side, Sherlock Holmes pursues first the case, and then the affections of Miss Adler - and in doing so, marches right into the lair of his longtime adversary, that malevolent genius of crime: Professor Moriarty.” If you’re in the St Paul/Minneapolis area, this sounds like a promising Sherlockian night at the theater.
Tea at 221B in “Canon Sherlock Holmes Comic Books” looks at a unique series of Canonically-inspired comics Cases of Sherlock Holmes created by Dan Day: “The original run of fifteen was published bi-monthly in 1988 by Renegade Press. The remaining five issues were published by Northstar.” Even if comics aren’t your thing, these releases are about as good as it’s going to get in terms of Canon-to-illustration reading. I own most of the Cases of Sherlock Holmes issues and compared to the majority of Holmes-inspired comics that have been released over the last 50 years, these are actually worth owning, or at least perusing, and some of the cover art is quality enough to out in a frame and hang on your wall. Check out the rest of the images posted by Tea at 221B and if you have a hankering to acquire a few issues of your own, eBay appears to have most of them for reasonable prices ranging from $3 to $10 an issue.
[Just one of many wonderfully illustrated, Canonically-sensible covers from the Cases of Sherlock Holmes comic series from 1988.]
Sherlockian Scion Links:
John H Watson Society recently added a section to their website titled “The Doctor’s Bookshelf" consisting of reviews of books written by JHWS members. Volumes reviewed so far include: the sixth issue of Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, two books by Kieran McMullen (“Raleigh”) The Many Watsons and the three-in-one hardcover from MX Holmes & Watson: The War Years, Jon Lellenberg's (“Towser”) exquisitely edited (and designed) ACD diary Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure, Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s Nicholas Utechin (“Rex”) Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes, the Wessex Press published pastiche by Ann Margaret Lewis (“Cameo”) Murder in the Vatican: The Church Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, Roger Johnson and Jean Upton's The Sherlock Holmes Miscellany, “Dutch” aka Mr Dan Andiacco's The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore. As a certain old bookseller once remarked to a distracted doctor: “With five volumes you could just fill that gap on that second shelf. It looks untidy, does it not, sir?” (EMPT)
[“I moved my head to look at the cabinet behind me. When I turned again, Sherlock Holmes was standing smiling at me across my study table. I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in utter amazement, and then it appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life.” (EMPT)]
* To find a Sherlockian event in your area, check out The Sherlockian Calendar - maintained by Ron Fish with Sue and Ben Vizoskie of The Three Garridebs of Westchester Country, NY. If you are interested in posting an event to the calendar, please email the details to webmaster Ron Fish at RonF404 [at] aol.com.
** If you’d like to see your event mentioned here on Always1895, please email me the name of your group/event, the details, contact info & web address Twitter, Facebook, etc. and any other info that should accompany the above.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 31 - September 6, 2013)
This week we react to the news that Sir Ian McKellen has been cast as Holmes in an upcoming film adaptation of A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005), Episode 56 of ‘I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere’ gives free reign to Brad Keefauver of Sherlock Peoria, two takes on the importance and merits of A Study In Scarlet are given, Ray Betzner on Vincent Starrett’s mystery novel Murder in Peking, Dan Andriacco discusses life lessons learned from Holmes, Alistair Duncan looks at four ages of ACD, Jon Stewart pretends to be Sherlock Holmes for 3 seconds, The Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections award Don Yates for his essay “Sherlockian Memories” and The Priory Scholars of NYC gear-up for their “Back to School 2013” meeting.
The Telegraph announced that Sir Ian McKellen (ie. that guy who also played Magneto and Gandalf) will play Sherlock Holmes in a film adaptation of a novel by Mitch Cullin called A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005). Wow, what?! I have to admit that I’ve never read Cullin’s novel that’s set in “1947, and the long-retired Sherlock Holmes, now 93, lives in a remote Sussex farmhouse with his housekeeper and her young son. He tends to his bees, writes in his journal, and grapples with the diminishing powers of his mind. But in the twilight of his life, as people continue to look to him for answers, Holmes revisits a case that may provide him with answers of his own to questions he didn’t even know he was asking - about life, about love, and about the limits of the mind’s ability to know.” The New York Times gave Cullin’s novel (his seventh at the time) a very good review back in 2005: “The strange, silent image of an old man staring into an apiary governs the entirety of A Slight Trick of the Mind. “When you look upon me,” Holmes tells his grief-stricken housekeeper, “I believe you find a man incapable of feeling… . If I choose to speak at any length, I usually talk of the creatures.” Talking exclusively “of the creatures,” though, doesn’t make human beings disappear; it only makes their demands more desperate. As the conclusion of this beautiful novel makes plain, lives aren’t like cases or, for that matter, like narratives. They are never solved or resolved: they just one day come to an end.” Unless filming goes terribly wrong, a film version of A Slight Trick of the Mind has the potential to emotionally and intellectually probe the depths of the Great Detective in the Winter of his life. On Friday, Sir Ian himself via his Twitter @IanMcKellen had this to say about the news: “Working again with Bill Condon? Playing Sherlock Holmes? Elementary. Couldn’t be happier.”
[Ian McKellen as Gandolf from The Lord of the Rings - so far he has the long stem pipe working for him.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere released Episode 56 featuring longtime Sherlockian blogger Brad Keefauver, BSI (“Winwood Reade”) of Sherlock Peoria (as well as older manifestations). IHOSE hosts Scott Monty and Burt Wolder “discussed [Keefauver’s] first meeting with Sherlock Holmes, noting that it was far from typical. It was theatrical in nature, but you’ll have to listen to hear the exact work that captured Brad’s attention. We were then off and running into the sci-fi world of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and others, with Brad openly admitting his Trekkie origins (not that there’s anything wrong with that).” After Mr Keefauver’s exit various current Sherlockian news items are discussed, with the show concluding on “a reading of the Editor’s Gas-Lamp, this time selecting “One Advocating Sherlock Holmes” from the March 1987 issue (Vol. 37, No. 1) of the Baker Street Journal. While the topic and some of the pronouncements may be controversial, we like to think that we found some common ground in it.” Another excellent episode from two of the hardest working guys in the Sherlockian world. If you don’t already subscribe to IHOSE, you can do so either through their IHOSE website or via iTunes.
[If you’re familiar with Brad Keefauver’s work over the years, IHOSE Episode 56 should be a real treat - if you are new to Peoria, Illinois’ king of Sherlock Holmes, sit back, relax and get ready to rumble Keefauver-style!]
Bauman Rare Books posted a succinct history of the story behind the first Sherlock Holmes novel A Study In Scarlet, a history familiar to anyone versed in the Canon but essential knowledge for those at the onset of their Canonical explorations. Published originally in the 1887 issue of Beeton’s Christmas Annual, as an objets de Littérature it is now “a rare collectible and considered the most expensive magazine in the world, with a Beeton’s 1887 selling for $156,000 at Sotheby’s in 2007." Whether you’re a neophyte or experienced Sherlockian, for a mind-blowingly good time, make sure to stop in at Randall Stock's fantastically essential “Beeton’s Christmas Annual 1887: An Annotated Checklist and Census" page for a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the magazine itself, price list, summary of recorded copies and the crown jewel, a list of Confirmed Copies of Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887 known to exist with location, description, current owner, provenance, etc. If you’ve never visited Mr Randall Stock’s Best of Sherlock website, bookmark the “Annotated Checklist and Census” page and then save it for a leisure moment when you can sit back and fully embrace the awesomeness of the document in toto. (Thanks to NYC Sherlockian John Genova for the tip!)
[And though the chances of ever owning - or even holding - a copy of Beeton’s 1887 are lower than low, a plethora of facsimiles of varying quality exist and can be had for a somewhat reasonable price. If you’re interested in learning more about STUD facsimiles, Randall Stock has you covered with his “Facsimile Editions of Beeton’s Christmas Annual 1887.”]
The Consulting Detective, by coincidence also featured a piece on A Study in Scarlet, though calling it “a most unusual introduction” citing the “The Country of the Saints" flashback as an odd structural choice: "Don’t get me wrong - A Study in Scarlet is a fine piece of writing and without it, I wouldn’t have a favourite fictional character to blog about. But in terms of plot structure, the novella is at first glance very unusual. I cannot speak for others, but I feel that the first part (the actual mystery) is far more interesting than the back-story set in Salt Lake City, Utah.” Personally, my views on Part II of STUD aren’t definitive but sometimes I like to think of it as crafty Watson’s literary endurance test inserted to scare off those incapable of matching strides with “an old campaigner” - for once you survive the desolation of Utah, the whole universe of the Canon lay before you. Also this post contains the first instance I’ve seen of the new STUD edition from BBC Books featuring an Introduction by BBC Sherlock creator Steven Moffatt - along with the inevitable Benedict Cumberbatch adorned cover.
[I can almost here BC firing off “the game is on” to the chagrin of almost every cranky Sherlockian on Earth. That aside, the BBC Books cover isn’t any less relevant/related to the plot of STUD than the original Beeton’s cover.]
Ray Betzner, Pennsylvanian Sherlockian and editor of Wessex Press’ must-have 75th Anniversary facsimile edition of Vincent Starrett’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, posted a terrific Starrett-centric post about Murder in Peking (originally published in 1936 as The Laughing Buddah), Starrett’s last mystery novel: “In his memoirs, Starrett wrote of the story: “It was a roman a clef with a vengeance. Friends and acquaintances made up the dramatis personae and the fictional murderer was myself.”” I sometimes forget that Starrett’s Sherlockian writings only make up a fraction of the esteemed Chicago author’s oeuvre, which included mystery novels and short stories, newspaper columns, literary criticism, poetry, science fiction and even a book about boats.
[Mr Betzner also included two deliciously lurid covers, the above published in the Sunday supplement of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sunday, May 16, 1948).]
Dan Andriacco “On Friday I had the chance to introduce Sebastian McCabe, Jeff Cody, and Lynda Teal to a few new readers at the Oakwood (Ohio) Rotary Club. My primary mission, though, was to deliver a talk called “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Sherlock Holmes: Life Lessons From the Great Detective.”” Check out Mr Andriacco’s post listing “Ten Life Lessons Learned From the Master,” my favorite being # 8: “Life really is stranger than fiction…and even fictional characters know it.” Speaking of McCabe & Cody, I just finished reading Andriacco’s fourth novel in the series The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore (MX, 2013), his first set outside of Erin, Ohio, which takes place in London and is wonderfully packed with ‘Holmesian’ references and Sherlockian ‘in jokes’ and Easter eggs which will thrill and delight enthusiasts on both sides of the pond. This was also the first Andriacco book I read via the iPad, and I must say it was formatted beautifully for the iBooks app available from iTunes - highly recommended as a quality alternative to owning the physical book.
[Whether on a new school e-reader or in traditional book form, Andriacco’s fourth McCabe/Cody novel is another winner. ]
Doyleockian served up a delightful little post showing Arthur Conan Doyle at four different ages: 1) a young, newly-qualified, Arthur Conan Doyle from the mid-1880s, 2) ACD in 1893, the year of Sherlock Holmes’s “death”. “Here we see the 34 year old Conan Doyle during one of the worst years of his life,” 3) Boer War-era Doyle from early 1900 (aged 40 but shortly to turn 41) dressed in the bespoke pseudo-military outfit that he wore for his brief turn as a medic in South Africa, and 4) a still from Conan Doyle’s movietone interview from October 1928 when he was 69 years old. As long time readers of Always1895.net know, I’ve been a fan of Mr Alistair Duncan's blog for quite a while; and it is the simple yet informative, entertaining posts like this one that make his Doyleockian blog worth reading regularly. If you're new to Mr Duncan and his blog, and a fan of the greatest of literary agents, Arthur Conan Doyle, make sure to check out his well-researched series of books exploring various stages of ACD's life, each centered around a Conan Doyle domicile. Check out the Alistair Duncan Sherlock Holmes Collection on MX for more details - and while you’re at it, follow Mr Duncan on Twitter @alistaird221b.
[ACD from early 1900 - click on the image to view the rest of Duncan’s Conan Doyle images.]
The Daily Show welcomed back host Jon Stewart on September 3rd from his Summer sabbatical (he was directing a film in the Middle East). The ‘gag’ was that Stewart ‘forgot how to be an American’ and went through a cycle of different identities, becoming ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for a few seconds. Jeremy Brett, Basil Rathbone and even Charlton Heston or Rupert Everett won’t be upstaged any time soon by Stewart, but I’m sure he can beat out at least a few actors who’ve attempted to ape the Great Detective on celluloid over the years. For a semi-complete list of the best-to-the-worst Sherlock actors, check out this Sherlock Holmes Actors I Watched (From Best to Worst) list on IMDB.
[Jon Stewart returns to The Daily Show after a three month hiatus of sorts and goes through an identity crisis, assuming the guise of Sherlock Holmes for a brief moment.]
Sherlockian Scion Links:
The John H Watson Society announced that Founding Chair, Don Yates, has received the 2013 Dr. Bryce L. Crawford, Jr. Award for an outstanding essay in the tradition of the purist form of scholarship from the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections for his essay “Sherlockian Memories” which appeared in the September 2012 issue of the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter. From ‘Baron’ to ‘Pal’, a hearty congratulations Sir!
Priory Scholars of NYC are quickly filling seats for their ‘Back To School 2013’ October 6, 2013 session at a new Manhattan venue The Churchill Tavern. Anyone in the NYC area, young or old, neophyte or old-hand, innocent or guilty are invited to join in on the Sherlockian scion scholarly fun. If you’re interested in attending, please check out the Facebook page for registration info; and then hit the books and study up on “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" for a quiz and discussion.
* To find a Sherlockian event in your area, check out The Sherlockian Calendar - maintained by Ron Fish with Sue and Ben Vizoskie of The Three Garridebs of Westchester Country, NY. If you are interested in posting an event to the calendar, please email the details to webmaster Ron Fish at RonF404@aol.com.
** If you’d like to see your event mentioned here on Always1895, please email me the name of your group/event, the details, contact info & web address Twitter, Facebook, etc. and any other info that should accompany the above.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 24 - August 30, 2013)
BBC News reports on research undertaken by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London (SHSL) in the 1980s, but never previously published, which argues that Donnithorpe - the fictional home of Victor Trevor and his father in “The Gloria Scott" - was based on the village of Rollesby on the Trinity Broads. “The research was undertaken by the late Bernard Davies, a member of the society…[who] by relating the Broads to the railway system as it was, to the approximate speed at which a horse and buggy could go, and most importantly the times of sunset… by these and the descriptions of Donnithorpe with its view over the Broads, it narrows down to one place and one place only, and that’s Rollesby Hall.” According to Mr Roger Johnson (editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal), Davies called this sort of research “literary topographical detection,” an appropriate name indeed. There’s also a fascinating 60 minute BBC Norfolk Radio Special “Far From the Fogs - Sherlock Holmes in Norfolk" (first broadcast on August 26, 2013 - only available for 7 days): "Paul Hayes explores the links between the character of Sherlock Holmes and the county of Norfolk." Roger Johnson’s commentary on Davies and Rollesby Hall is worth the price of admission. Stories mentioned and explored include: “The Dancing Men”, “The Gloria Scott”, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Below is a photo from a Flickr photo series called ”1984 - In the Country of the Broads" documenting a SHSL trip to various locations in the Trinity Broads which Davies identified as having canonical significance.
[“At the lodge, Rollesby Hall - Bernard Davies expounds” and explains the fruits of his literary topographical detection work. Click for the complete set titled “1984 - In the Country of the Broads.”]
Mattias Bostrom, recent father, world traveler, ex-stand-up comedian and Swedish Sherlockian extraordinaire, was interviewed this week by Lisette Verhagen (LV) of Brandt New Agency, who just sold the Danish rights to Bostrom’s new book to Forlaget Modtryk. Piratförlaget, the company that put out Bostrom’s gorgeously designed Från Holmes till Sherlock is one of the most respected publishing houses in Scandinavia. Since we (English speakers anyway) can’t read the book, here’s the first interview question with Mattias explaining what his Sherlockian tome is all about: LV: Could you explain briefly what From Holmes to Sherlock is about? MB: ”It’s a narrative non-fiction story about the people who have made Sherlock Holmes such a success from the 1880’s until today. Arthur Conan Doyle created the detective, but he would soon have stopped writing about Holmes had it not been for editors, publishers and literary agents. And later in life other people recreated the detective for their own purposes and according to the time they were living in: theatre actors, film, radio and TV producers, pastiche authors, and fans. All under the surveillance of the Conan Doyle Estate: primarily Arthur Conan Doyle’s sons Adrian and Denis. This is a book about how all these persons interacted and how they made the success continue till now.” And the English speaking world awaits…To find out more about Mr Bostrom (in English) check Facebook for his ‘Mattias Boström - Author' page (or his webpage in Swedish) and you can follow him on Twitter via @mattias221b.
[Mr Bostrom’s Från Holmes till Sherlock reviewed in Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan. Again, since it’s in Swedish let’s assume they are writing deservedly wonderful things about him and his new book. For any readers of The Pink‘un out there, I’m willing to bet 50 kronor that the line “Sherlock Holmes-konferens i Minnesota” is about Bostrom’s recent appearance in Minnesota.]
Dan Andriacco invites us (back) into one of the most sacred spaces for a seasoned Sherlockian; I speak of course of one’s personal library. Commemorating his 408th blog post - started back in May 28, 2011 - Mr Andriacco revisits his original Baker Street Beat post discussing his approach to book ‘acquiring’ (“Just don’t call it a collection.”). Additionally this week Mr Andriacco presents a new feature, Quintessential Quotes of John H Watson: “Thinking a lot recently about Dr. Watson in conjunction with the formation of the John H. Watson Society, it occurred to me that one could assembly a hefty compendium of interesting Quintessential Quotes from the Good Doctor.” Stay tuned to Always1895.net for an upcoming Andriacco-o-thon where we’ll look at a few of his latest publications, all available from MX Publishing: The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore, Sherlock Holmes in The Perculiar Persecution of John Vincent Harden and Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Magic Umbrella (available on Kindle).
[Mr Andriacco and his “several hundred – various editions of the Sacred Writings, pastiches, critical works, biographies, works of fact and fiction peripherally related to Holmes, books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and juvenile books.”]
Doyleockian finds Mr Alistair Duncan discussing two contemporaries of Sherlock Holmes, Victorian detectives Loveday Brooke and Sexton Blake in “A Study In Syllables”. For those relatively new to the world of Victorian detectives, Sherlock Holmes was just one of a small army of private consulting detectives of one type or another scattered throughout London. Tracking down the originals in publications like The Strand can be tedious but there are two separate series of books, both titled The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, which collect some of the better stories featuring the likes of Martin Hewitt, Dr. John Thorndyke, Max Carrados, Simon Carne aka Klimo, etc. Hugh Greene's The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes was also the inspiration for a two season TV series by the same name. The other Rivals book set was edited by Alan K Russell and contains 80 facsimiles of various Victorian and Edwardian detectives. (Personally I prefer the Russell set.)
[Detective Sexton Blake “appeared on the scene pretty much as Holmes went over the falls.”]
Scientific American blogger Jennifer Ouellette in “Sherlock Holmes and the Dynamics of an Asteroid” starts off on the amusing note: “As a die hard fan of Sherlock Holmes, I sometimes envy my (now former) SciAm co-blogger Maria Konnikova for figuring out to combine her love for Holmes with her field of psychology (cf. her bestselling book, Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes).” But Ms Ouellette is a welcome addition to that loose fraternity of writers/columnists from popular newspapers/magazines or more specialized publications like Scientific American who, whenever possible slip in some delicious Sherlockian tidbits up to writing a full blown article on some aspect of the Great Detective which is, presumably, of interest to their non-Sherlock Holmes obsessed general readership. The reigning king of this fraternity is of course Vincent Emerson Starrett, author of that seminal work The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes which arguably kick-started what we think of today as modern ‘Sherlockian Scholarship’. For a crash course in Starrettian column writing on Holmes, I advise you to pick up Sherlock Alive: Sherlockian Excerpts From VS’s Books Alive Column in the Chicago Tribune 1942 - 1967. But I digress: Ms Ouellette’s piece fits wonderfully in SA and does a terrific job summarizing some of the literature on Professor Moriarty’s magnum opus The Dynamics of an Asteroid, "a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?" (Chapter 1: "The Warning" from The Valley of Fear.)
[Atari’s 1979 hit video game Asteroids also ascended to such rarefied heights that no 12 year old in the 1980s could walk past a machine without shoving a quarter in - a brilliant scheme whose nefarious success would have made the Professor proud…that is, if it wasn’t the Professor himself who conceived, designed and implemented said plan while working from the shadows, beginning in 1891 after his reported death at Reichebach.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere looks at the rise of the Kindle and other e-readers in conjunction with Sherlockian culture (eg. Kindle Sherlock Holmes Readers), where a purported 1,700 Sherlock-related e-books exist to choose from. Last week saw the historic release of Leslie S. Klinger's The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes on Kindle, and just last week I received a set of iTunes ‘codes’ for downloading all the newest Sherlockian MX Publishing titles for review purposes - opposed to receiving a box of books; and as a final example, I’ve spent the last week systematically reading the digital scans of the entire run of Baker Street Miscellanea, a brilliant journal whose original editorial staff consisted of William D Goodrich, John Nieminski and Donald K Pollock, Jr, on a new iPad Mini; an experience I hope to repeat with The e-Baker Street Journal eBSJ v2.
["The Complete Baker Street Miscellanea on CD-ROM provides a complete run of this outstanding Sherlockian and Doylean journal. It includes all 76 issues from 1975 to 1993 as well as the two BSM author/title indexes.” Priced ridiculously low for $40 (!!) at The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, you should do yourself a favor and treat yourself to the BSM, then load it up on your iPad, preferably, sit back and read through three decades of Sherlockian scholarship, news and controversy which were just as remarkable, contentious and innovative as the present.]
The Norwood Builder (originally posted by ImJohnLocked) shared this marvelous map whose chief feature is everyone’s favorite London street: ”Baker Street: From Oxford Street to Regent’s Park and St John’s Wood.” The detail on this map, after clicking on enlarge, is fabulous and you can almost see Tiny Holmes and Tiny Watson trying to hail a hansom as they bounce from one London location to another.
[Or, one can imagine Tiny Watson walking back triumphantly from Tiny Latimer’s in Oxford Street where he just acquired a new pair of English boots followed by a trip to the Turkish baths to treat a flair-up of his rheumatism (and perceived old age).]
No Place Like Holmes announced the start of their fourth season with an episode entitled ”Dawn Of The Red” Part 1 (Se4xEp01). For those who’ve watched Ross K. Foad's Sherlockian web series up to this point: “Madeline Chambers and her villainous Red Headed League are still obsessed that something is not right about Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. They have no council records, they is no trace of a passport or birth certificate, he doesn't appear to even have a library card. The league is convinced he can not be who he says he is…unluckily for the detective and doctor duo, Miss Constance believes she found a way to prove it…” (cue dramatic outro music!) Also check out Mr Foad's MX release Holmes In Time For Christmas (Xmas in August!) where “one fateful Christmas day Holmes receives a letter which prompts him to finally open up and enlighten his friend on one of the most harrowing and twisted cases he has ever investigated whilst working under the alias of Norwegian Explorer Sigerson during the Christmas of 1893.”
[Based on the 2010 Christmas Special of the hit Sherlock Holmes web drama comedy No Place Like Holmes.”]
Holmesosis dug up this fascinating quote from Simon Callow regarding Jeremy Brett: ”The superbly handsome Jeremy Brett, the regularity of his features made dramatic by a broken nose, the mellifluousness of his voice made arresting by a slight vocal impediment, presented a ravaged and romantic Holmes, a man who had suffered deeply and whose recourse to the syringe was the compulsion of a self-destroying temperament….” Read on, keeping in mind that Callow wrote the above in 2009 - fourteen years after Jeremy Brett had died - and be amazed at the sheer staying power which Brett possesses even in death.
[Jeremy Brett will always be the Sherlock Homes.]
Tea at 221B, in what has become one of my favorite irregular features of any Sherlockian blog, has found yet another gorgeous illustration by my favorite Canonical illustrator Frederic Dorr Steele. Discovered in that virtual goldmine that disguises itself as the digital collection of the The Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Library. Depicting a scene from “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client,” FDS successfully captures the mood of Sherlock Holmes, Kitty Winter & Violet de Merville as Ms Winters categorically dresses down the deluded Ms de Merville as Holmes looks on approvingly.
[A defiant Kitty Winter to Violet de Merville: ”And you needn’t look at me like that, my fine lady.” (ILLU)]
The Crew of the S.S. May (Northern Ireland’s Sherlock Holmes Society) posted their Sherlockian “New Bulletin 132” with links to Stephen Fry - now you’re picturing Mycroft naked - discussing why he thinks Holmes was “both experientially and neurologically…wrong” regarding the attic room as mind analogy, a set of stories about the ‘fake’ BBC Sherlock scenes filmed to throw off the spoiler-hungry wing of the BBC fandom, an Anthony Horowitz's charity scheme involving the naming rights for a character in his upcoming sequel to The House of Silk, and more links which can be viewed by clicking here.
[Mycroft (Stephen Fry) and a blushing Mary Watson née Morstan played beautifully by Kelly Reilly.]
Sidgwicks posted a remarkable piece of Canonical art by Henry Lauritzen, which originally appeared in Sherlockiana in the mid-1950s in the journal of the Danish Baker Street Irregulars, consisting of four ‘line-ups’ of Canonical characters. Make sure to visit Sidgwicks blog for larger versions of all four rows, one of which is pasted below. The artist’s interpretation of each character shows a significant and impressive familiarity with the minutia of the Canon. I would love to own high quality prints of these drawings.
[The above Canonical line-up features: James Ryder, Joseph Harrison, Duke of Holdernesse, Jonathan Small & Tonga, Holy Peters, Hudson, Dr Leon Sterndale, Mortimer Tregennis, Jack Woodley and Colonel Lysander Stark. This series appeared originally in Sherlockiana (Vol. 1, Nos. 3-4) in 1956.]
MapBox is a web-based HTML5-built platform for creating custom maps and visualizing user data in an interesting, dynamic and aesthetically pleasing manner, as well as allowing users to connect/integrate various apps like Evernote, foursquare, etc. within the project. Whether or not that last sentence means something to you or not, I highly suggest watching their ‘Sherlock Tutorial' which breaks down “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" and presents the story in summarized chunks which are displayed on the screen while a map of London automatically moves from Canonical location to Canonical location driven by the part of the story you’re currently reading. For example, the Aldgate Station section is represented by a little train tunnel icon placed on it’s location on the map (cf. screen of the Aldgate Station section below) with the accompanying text: “Arthur Cadogan West was found dead, head crushed in on train tracks at Aldgate Station at 6AM Tuesday morning. West worked at Woolwich Arsenal on the Bruce-Partington submarine, a secret military project. Plans for the submarine had been stolen and seven of the ten missing papers were found in West’s possession. Mycroft implores Sherlock to take the case and recover the three missing papers.” Remember this is not meant to replace the story, but act as a ‘tutorial’ or summary of the story - but a summary with some cool bells and whistles. If you’re a certified crazy Sherlockian and your first thought after seeing this was “Well, how does it handle Canonical references that have been ‘disguised’ or obscured by Watson?” - then jump a few places ahead to 13 Caulfield Gardens - the swinging bachelor pad of master spy Hugo Oberstein - which didn’t exist in Kensington in 1895. A really cool web app/toy which if used in an interesting and intelligent way could truly augment and enhance a project, such as ‘ways to present the Canon to younger readers’. I’ll have Parker keep an eye on MapBox and let you know if any more Canonical maps are created.
[“It is a hobby of mine to have an exact knowledge of London.” (Sherlock from REDH)]
Jerry Margolin, perhaps the greatest Sherlockian art collector of all time, asked that I alert the readers of Always1895.net to this very special opportunity: painted by artist SanJulian, this framed painting measures 20” by 24” and depicts five actors who have played Holmes over the years: Rathbone, Brett, Cushing, Downey and Cumberbatch. Mr Margolin is asking asking $1500.00 + shipping. For more information or to make a bid, please email Margolin at: email@example.com.
[You could wake up every morning and see this stunning, one of a kind painting on your wall.]
Sherlockian Scion Links:
The Norwegian Explorers, when not planning or hosting life-changing, three day conferences, run a Sherlockian discussion group said to be one of the most scholarly and engaging study groups in existence. At their next meeting (9/21/2013), Starrettian extraordinaire Karen Murdock, editor of the indispensable Sherlock Alive (2011), will lead a discussion of “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" as well as hand out door prizes.
[Sherlock Alive: Sherlockian Excerpts From VS’s Books Alive Column in the Chicago Tribune 1942 - 1967.]
* To find a Sherlockian event in your area, check out the SherlockianCalendar - maintained by Ron Fish with Sue and Ben Vizoskie of The Three Garridebs of Westchester Country, NY. If you are interested in posting an event to the calendar, please email the details to webmaster Ron Fish at RonF404@aol.com.
** If you’d like to see your event mentioned here on Always1895, please email me the name of your group/event, the details, contact info & web address Twitter, Facebook, etc. and any other info that should accompany the above.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 17 - August 23, 2013)
Peter Blau's Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press - the main inspiration for Always1895's “Friday Sherlock Links Compendium” - ”has been published monthly on ink-on-paper, with occasional illustrations and enclosures, for forty years.” Peter Blau, BSI (“Black Peter”), in his most recent list (July 13, 2013), mentions: Norman Schatell's brilliant The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes (MX), the Titan CBS Elementary tie-in novels, the soon-to-be-released “28-page tribute to a man who was admired by more than one generation of Sherlockians” The Sage of Sante Fe: The Adventures and Public Life of John Bennett Shaw (Oceanside: Sherlock in L.A. Press, 2013) by Susan Rice and Vinnie Brosnan, and much much more. Make sure to check out the Spermaceti Press Archive of newsletters dating back to 1985; and let us hope that one day the entire run of newsletters dating back to 1971 is made available.
[The above image is of Black Peter, Mr Blau’s titular investiture in the BSI and logo for Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press. For those of you rusty on your nautical/whaling terminology, “spermaceti" is a wax that is most often found in the head cavities of the sperm whale used to make candles and oils and ""scuttlebutt" is an appropriate pun, since it means gossip, and comes from the barrel (butt) of water used to provide drinking water for the crew of whalers and other ships." Learn more at the archive.]
Sherlock Peoria tinged his post with just a hint of romanticism when relating the story of “perusing the Sherlock shelves tonight, I noticed a section where the dust was noticeably thicker than every other part of the library. I like a little dust in my library, a bit of a tribute to [Wilder’s] The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, as well as a nod to every library of arcane lore on film, where that particular tome you were looking for always requires having the dust blown off the top after you pull it down….” And what valuable though neglected treasure does Mr Keefauver refer? None-other-than the various adventures - some might call them the apex of all Sherlockian pastiches - of Solar Pons! ”Solar Pons might even be seen as the greatest fan of Sherlock Holmes who never existed, re-creating the detective more perfectly than anyone ever did, in fact or fiction.” Born from the rich and prolific pen of August Derleth (1909-1971) who among other accomplishments was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1938, founded Arkham House in 1939 and was an early champion of the then obscure American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft and the now classic “Cthulhu Mythos”. ”No other writer, of whatever background or training, knew and understood his particular ‘corner of the earth’ better than August Derleth” wrote professor of History William F. Thompson in his Forward to the 1985 reissue of Derleth’s non-fiction book The Wisconsin: River of a Thousand Isles (1942). Somehow between 1945 and his death in 1971 Derleth managed to write eleven Solar Pons story collections on his Arkham House imprint Mycroft & Moran, the first titled In Re: Sherlock Holmes” – The Adventures of Solar Pons (1945) whose Introduction was written by no less a personage than uber Sherlockian Vincent Starrett. Later Solar Pons collections would contain Introductions by equally eminent writers/Sherlockians such as Ellery Queen, Edgar W Smith, Anthony Boucher, Michael Harrison and Peter Ruber.
[The first edition cover for In Re: Sherlock Holmes” – The Adventures of Solar Pons (1945) containing an Introduction by Vincent Starrett on Derleth’s own Mycroft & Moran imprint published to the tune of 3,604 copies.]
Doyleockian in “A 3 or 4 or 5 pipe problem?” reminds us that “two of the most iconic elements of Holmes were provided by people other than the author,” the iconic deerstalker and the equally iconic ‘curved pipe’ or Calabash. The deerstalker is derived from a reference in BOSC to a “close-fitting cloth cap” which illustrator Sidney Paget interpreted as the now classic deerstalker. Read the rest of Mr Alistair Duncan's post to learn more about Holmes' preferences regarding tobacco pipes, none of which were the 'curved pipe' first made famous by actor William Gillette. And don’t miss Mr Duncan’s piece “The Villain I Want To See" on why BBC Sherlock Season 3 should include Chinese pottery expert, master scrapbooker and multiple murder Baron Gruner from “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”. Mr Duncan even goes so far as to make a (rather controversial sounding) suggestion as to who should play the fiend: “my current idea, and I admit, it is a bit “out there”, would be to have David Tennant play Gruner. His ‘ladies man’ credentials are firmly established courtesy of Casanova and I think he would be an excellent Gruner.” Someone get Moffat on the line…
MX Publishing is hosting a book launch party September 26, 2013 in London for the release of David Marcum's latest collection of Sherlock pastiches The Papers of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 2 (MX, 2013) - and you can order Volume 1 here. Other MX authors such as Luke Kuhns, Ross K Foad and Tony Reynolds will be on hand to sign their books and talk Sherlock with attendees. Then on November 8, 2013 MX is hosting a BBC Sherlock and CBS Elementary book launch for Matthew Elliott and Luke Kuhns's The Immortals: An Unauthorized Guide to Sherlock and Elementary, a “companion to both the UK and US hit series, analyzing each episode (including the un-filmed pilot for Elementary), identifying trivia, offering criticism and considering Canonical fidelity.” For more up-to-date information about MX releases and events, check out MX on Facebook.
[Cover for The Papers of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 2 (MX, 2013).]
The Huffington Post (originally composed by Nathan Rostron for Bookish.com) article that I’m linking to is begging for me to ask the following question: What do Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Sue Grafton, Lee Child, John Grisham, Michael Connely and Scott Turow have in common with one of Always1895’s absolute favorite Sherlockians, historical mystery novelists and Baker Street Babes aka Ms Lyndsay Faye? They are all authors of books in the “11 Best Upcoming Mystery/Thriller Novels Of Fall 2013”! That’s some serious company - and this isn’t exactly an ‘off’ year for Stephen King considering his entry, Doctor Sleep, is an official sequel to the 1977 horror classic The Shining. “Lyndsay Faye caught the attention of thriller aficionados with her Edgar-nominated historical novel The Gods of Gotham, about down-on-his-luck Timothy Wilde, who joins the brand-new NYPD in the 1840s. In the second book in Faye’s Timothy Wilde trilogy, Seven for a Secret, Wilde has proved himself an able cop, and he’s horrified to learn of the powerful underground network of “blackbirders" who steal free black Northerners and sell them in the South as slaves." All I can say for now is that we’re quite proud of the "booming" of Ms Faye’s name and talents throughout the Mystery/Thriller world.
[Note the giant poster for “New Yorks gudar” hanging up in the background…that’s how Gods of Gotham is translated into Swedish - and that’s some serious promotion. Booming indeed! An accommodation goes out to Mr Mattias Bostrom for taking and posting the above photo via his @mattias221b account.]
Sherlock DC alerted me to the Sherlock Pajama Party Watch-a-Long, wherein participants 1) don their very best sartorial sleepwear, 2) tune in to WETA UK Wednesday, August 28 at 10:30pm for A Study in Pink (or synchronize their DVD players or AVI players on their computers), 3) drop-in at the Sherlock DC chat room where you can type chat or video chat (remember to make sure your PJs rivals the Master’s dressing gown, be they blue, purple or mouse) and 4) comment, critique, edify and/or amuse in the Sherlock DC chat room during the episode. Though this will be Sherlock DC’s first sleepwear-themed watch-a-long, the group hosts a weekly Granada Sherlock Holmes ‘tweet-a-long’ using the hash tag #GranadaHolmes. If you’re unfamiliar with what a tweet-a-long is, instead of using a chat room, everyone gets together virtually and watches the Granada Holmes episode while simultaneously tweeting about the episode. And last but certainly not least, on August 31st, 2013 WETA UK will be showing a film extremely close to my Sherlockian heart and soul, The Private Life of Sherlock Homes (1970) and of course Sherlock DC is planning a tweet-a-long. I can’t wait to read the raw reactions of Sherlockian neophytes on Twitter as they watch Robert Stephens assume his nuanced and brilliantly ambiguous role as the Great Detective.
[Holmes (Robert Stephens) searching for his 7% Solution which we learn Watson has been diluting to a mere 5% from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.]
The Younger Stamfords via Monica Schmidt (also webmistress for Peter Blau’s The Red Circle) announced “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) film screening September 23, 2013 at the Iowa City Library at 7:00 pm…the first in a series of Sherlockian film screenings/moderated discussions” by the Younger Stamfords. Best of luck to the burgeoning scene of Sherlockians in Iowa City as they kickoff a moderated Sherlockian film series with what I consider to be the greatest Sherlock Holmes film in existence (not to be confused with the greatest Holmes adaptation, which is of course Jeremy Brett's Granada series), Billy Wilder’s 1970 classic film featuring the remarkable Robert Stephens in the role of the Master Detective alongside Mycroft as played by one time Sherlock actor Christopher Lee.
[Watson (Colin Blakely) shows off his latest Strand publication to an unimpressed Holmes: Watson: “Here’s an advance copy of Strand Magazine. They’ve printed “The Red-Headed League!”” Holmes: “Very impressive…” Watson: “Would you like to see how I treated it?” Holmes: “I can hardly wait. I’m sure I’ll find out all sorts of fascinating things about the case that I never knew before…." (Click for PDF of full shooting script here.)]
John H Watson Society announced that longtime New Jersey Sherlockian Al Gregory, BSI, (“The Grimpen Postmaster”) recently appeared on Classic Movies with Ron MacCloskey in an extensive and excellent interview about all things Sherlock Holmes. The format of MacCloskey’s Classic Movies program consists of a long form interview broken up occasionally by the movie of the week which the guest and interviewer then comment on and discuss. For the Al Gregory episode, a colorized version (!?) of the Rathbone/Bruce film The Woman in Green (1945) is shown and discussed making for an unique and edifying experience for viewers of all levels of Holmes expertise. Totaling 1 hour and 33 minutes, this is a video you’ll want to carve out a bit of Sherlockian-me-time for as you sit back and listen to an expert Sherlockian discuss the topic nearest and dearest to his heart and then share in a movie viewing experience. (Note: when clicking on the link to watch the video you may get an “opening an external application” warning - don’t worry the link is safe and it simply opens up a video player (eg. Windows Media Player) on your computer.)
Tea at 221B posted scans of a set of Sherlock Holmes Playing Cards produced in 1989 by The Gemaco Playing Card Company. I’ve never seen these before, but I absolutely must find a set of these. Not only is the artwork well done, but the range of characters extends well beyond the usual choice of Canonical personages used for projects like this. As seen on Tea at 221B, Sherlock Holmes is the Ace of Hearts, Dr John H Watson is the King of Hearts (appropriately enough), Mrs Hudson is the Queen of Diamonds, Prof. James Moriarty is the King of Spades, Col. Sebastian Moran is the Jack of Spades, Mycroft Holmes is the King of Diamonds and Inspector Lestrade is the King of Clubs. After a few quick image searches, I found scans for the entire 1989 Gemaco Sherlock Holmes playing card set - and here’s where it gets really interesting: Jabez Wilson from REDH is the Red Joker, poor little Tonga from SIGN is the Black Joker. Aces: all four Aces are Sherlock Holmes though shown in different poses: Ace of Spades shows Holmes scowling with pipe and magnifying glass, Ace of Hearts shows Holmes playing his Strad, Ace of Diamonds has Holmes tinkering with his chemistry set and Ace of Clubs shows Holmes brandishing a pistol, presumably about to fire at the Black Joker card. Kings: all shown on Tea at 221B (though click for individual, hi-res images of each), the King of Spades is the fiendishly misshapen Napoleon of Crime Prof. Moriarty, the King of Hearts Dr John H. Watson, the King of Diamonds is Mycroft and the King of Clubs is Lestrade. Queens: here’s where the cards get super awesome - who else could be the Queen of Spades other than the Woman Irene Adler (in drag no less), the Queen of Hearts is of course Mary Morstan, the Queen of Diamonds is the long-suffering Mrs Hudson and the Queen of Clubs is Miss Hatty Doran (misspelled on the card as “Hattie Doran”) from “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" - no offense to Ms Doran, but I think Kitty Winters would have made a much better Queen of Clubs. Jacks: Col. Moran is the Jack of Spades, Jack Stapleton (aka Rodger Baskerville) is the Jack of Hearts, probably the coolest card in the deck is the Jack of Diamonds featuring Dr Grimesby Roylott with a ‘swamp adder' wrapped around his head ready to strike and last but certainly not least the Jack of Clubs, the most haunting card in the deck, features Col. Lysander Stark grasping a menacing looking cleaver. A framed set of all 18 of the illustrated cards would look glorious on my wall, but for now I’ll have to settle for these scans as supplied by one Albinas Borisevicius (credited on both Tea at 221B and the .EU site).
[As this post goes to press, I’ll have already written the Gemaco Playing Card Company begging/pleading for a set of these 1989 Sherlock Holmes playing cards.]
Midtown Comics posted this stunning illustration of Sherlock Holmes and Batman by Alex Maleev, known first and foremost for his work on Marvel’s Daredevil. The original piece currently resides in the legendary Sherlockian art collection of Jerry Margolin. At Comic Art Fans you can view 65 + extraordinary pieces from Mr Margolin’s collection, including Sherlock Holmes: Spiderman, Sherlock Holmes: Snoopy and a rather scandalous Cat in the Hat with 7% Solution drawing. If you want to learn more about Jerry Margolin and his history of collecting various Sherlockian objects, check out Episode 16: Collector’s Corner - Jerry Margolin of the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast.
[The Caped Crusader versus the other Caped Crusader!]
Sherlockian Scion Links:
Scintillation of Scions VII announced their first round of SOS VII speakers: Scott Monty, BSI (“Corporal Henry Wood”), Brad Keefauver, BSI (“Winwood Reade”) and Ashley Polasek - and if this group is any indication of what the esteemed Jacquelynn Morris has in store for SOS VII, attendees should prepare for a weekend of legendary Sherlockian proportions.
Priory Scholars of NYC have just announced a date, October 6, 2013, for their ‘Back To School’ Fall Session of the PSNYC which will take place at a brand new Manhattan venue (for us) called The Churchill Tavern, replete with all the trappings one might suspect from a British-style pub plus a variety of distinct Churchillian touches like the playing of WSC speeches in the bathrooms and a gigantic portrait of the World War II English Prime Minister dominating the fireplace room (cf. photo below). I have yet to find a definitive list of connections between the Great Detective and Winston Churchill, but I do know that during World War II Churchill nicknamed the Special Operations Executive, the group tasked with espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance behind enemy lines, the Baker Street Irregulars for their presumed ability “to go everywhere, see everything and overhear everyone.” (SIGN, Ch. 8)
[A small taste of the Churchill’s sumptuous decor rumored to rival that of the Amateur Mendicant Society’s luxurious club in the lower vault of a furniture warehouse.]
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 10 - August 16, 2013)
Last weekend I had the tremendous good fortune to attend Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place, a three day conference organized by the venerable Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections and the University of Minnesota. I’m saving all related #SHMN13 links plus my various reviews for posts later this week, but for now I’ll say that the experience was an incredibly inspiring one, and I hope to channel some of that inspiration into Always1895.net.
Wessex Press, purveyors of finest Sherlockian products such as Klinger’s (ed) Sherlock Homes Reference Library, Dahlinger’s, et al. (eds), Sherlock Holmes, ACD and The Bookman and Bill Rabe's Voices From Baker Street (2 CDs) to name just a few, announced that September 12 - 14th, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Sherlockians should mark their calendars for From Gillette to Brett IV: Basil, Benedict and Beyond, a conference which will feature “rare Sherlockian films, vendors, and an all-star roster of distinguished speakers, presenters, and events. The conference will be held on the beautiful campus of Indiana University at the Indiana Memorial Union. We are thrilled to present exclusive, 75th Anniversary screenings of Basil Rathbone's The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) in the state-of-the-art IU Cinema.” Read about From Gillette To Brett III for a taste of what you can expect. I’ve actually never attended one of Wessex Press’ tri-annual FG2B conferences, but I’ve heard nothing but great things (“Gillette to Brett III Was Unforgettable!" - Dan Andriacco) and plan on being in attendance next September 2014.
[Basil vs Benedict - two men enter, one man leaves!]
Leslie S. Klinger appears to have Cthulhuian powers over the Internet - and not just because this annotating fiend is currently working on The New Annotated HP Lovecraft - this week alone we found his tentacles reaching into at least three corners of the net. Known primarily for his superhuman annotation skills, the uncanny annotator announced that his New Annotated Sherlock Holmes Volume Vol. 1, originally published by Norton in 2010 as part of a three volume set will be out on Kindle August 26, 2013, as well as other formats to follow; and presumably the next two volumes to follow as well. You can pre-order a copy and have it sent straight to your device or find out more information at Amazon. When not making an edifying and amusing keynote address at the Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place Saturday night banquet, Klinger was being interviewed by the University of Minnesota (click for video interview and text) on “Sherlock Holmes and the ‘New Sherlockians’” where he discusses early Sherlockian scholarship, his relationship to the Robert Downey Jr films and BBC Sherlock and why he thinks both are good for the Canon and his views on the newest generation of Sherlockians; concluding in the case of the latter that the great edifice of Sherlockian culture will not be brought down in one fell swoop by Cumberbatch’s cheekbones and that the future for Sherlock Holmes and the Canon is a bright one. And if making the annotated Canon more accessible and predicting the heath and continuance of Sherlockian culture wasn’t enough, Klinger’s Free Sherlock project posted the following update regarding Klinger vs the Conan Doyle Estate: “ACD Estate now has until September 10, 2013 to respond to our Motion for Summary Judgment; our reply due by September 30, 2013. Court will rule by mail.” Finally, don’t forget his “Basic Holmes Library" (kind of a Shaw 100 Klinger-style) posted last week for burgeoning Sherlockians looking to get deeper into the Writings Upon the Writing. Someone get this man a drink!
[Klinger just sitting around and not annotating and not waxing philosophical on the future of Holmes and not defending your right to write about the Master and definitely not compiling a list of essential Holmes-centric books. Clearly, all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained to Klinger’s office!]
Addicted To Sherlock posted the first trailer (with English subtitles) of the hotly anticipated Russian Sherlock Holmes (2013). At first glance, Igor Petrenko as Sherlock Holmes and Andrei Panin as Doctor John Watson seem to borrow rather heavily from the Robert Downey Jr. approach to the Great Detective: there’s lots of gun play, 19th century fight clubs and Victorian-style dark Satanic-looking rituals. On the other hand, this 2013 Russian adaptation will clearly pay homage to the brilliant 1979-1986 Russian series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson choosing to show Holmes and Watson as young men and even including a boxing match between the two using the 221B sitting room as their boxing ring. Again, judging just from this trailer, the dialogue (as subtitled into English) seems very familiar (in a good way) and the Victorian setting, though garish at times, also appears gritty enough to pass as our beloved London of the Canon where “the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses.” No word yet on when the new Russian Sherlock Holmes will officially air stateside, but at the very least it appears that we’re in store for an above average set of adaptations-cum-pastiches.
[Russian Holmes waking up Russian Watson from the soon-to-be aired Russian Sherlock Holmes (2013).]
Digital Spy posted the first BBC Sherlock ‘trailer’ for Season 3, and though it’s not wildly revealing, I still got goosebumps even though I sometimes pretend that ‘feels’ are “abhorrent to my cold, precise but admirably balanced mind”. The Digital Spy link also includes a link to an interview with your favorite trifecta of pain Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue and Mark Gatiss, who predictably (and thankfully) reveal absolutely nothing about Sherlock Season 3.
[We only have to wait until the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Fourteen…]
Baker Street Journal's Steve Rothman teased @BakerStJournal's followers with a preview of the Fall 2013 cover of the BSJ: “Autumn issue off to the printer today. Here's a glimpse of its glorious cover. Guess which story…” My response (paraphrasing a certain detective): “@always1895 Appears that the Fall 2013 @BakerStJournal cover is meant to cause a healthy excitement among the train classes ie. John Baesch (BSI, “State and Merton County Railroad”) & Guy Marriott (BSI, “The Hotel du Louvre”)! A reader guessed the cover was for BRUC and was correct, though a jet-lagged Mattias Bostrom suggested the the cover was for “that one about the train cormorant” and Mickey Fromkin posted my favorite answer: “Going apocryphal with “The Lost Special”?” Tim Johnson, a very welcome addition to the Twitterverse who now has a brand new shiny Twitter account post- #SHMN13, replied to my “healthy excitement” post with: “Add me to the train classes. Grandpa J worked the Northern Pacific for 47 yrs and I have a model train layout.” If you don’t already, I strongly suggest subscribing to the BSJ immediately so as not to miss out on all the Sherlockian fun!
[There’s no doubt that the above cover for the BSJ Autumn 2013 issue is meant to cause a healthy excitement among the train/transportation classes within the Sherlockian world, namely John Baesch (BSI, ), Guy Marriott and Tim Johnson.]
John H Watson Society is directing a Canonically intense scavenger hunt called The First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt. In other JHWS news, Mr Dan Andriacco announced that his article entitled “Doctor Watson, Detective?” has been accepted for publication in the inaugural issue of The Watsonian the scholarly journal of the JHWS: “Aspiring one day to become a journal with a small portion of the greatness of the Baker Street Journal or The Sherlock Holmes Journal, The Watsonian concerns itself with Traditionalist and Revisionist articles concerning John H. Watson, M.D. The editorial policy of The Watsonian is to have no editorial policy. The journal is open-minded and receptive to thoughtful as well as amusing articles. As always, By-Laws 1 and 2 must be honoured and good taste must be, at all times, in evidence. Initially, the journal will not be juried, rather all publication acceptance will be at the discretion of the Chair, the Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief, and the Directors, all acting as the Editorial Board.” Exciting times!
[The Watsonian - journal of the JHWS.]
Green Bay Press Gazette interviewed director Kimberly Senior who is currently putting the finishing touches on Ken Ludwig’s new Sherlockian-infused comedy whodunit “The Game’s Afoot.” Q. What have you learned about Gillette or Conan Doyle you didn’t know before rehearsals started? A. ”I am so fascinated by individuals who borrow, and sometimes improve, the work of the original….William Gillette was an actor and playwright. He was the first person to adapt Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to the stage and played the iconic detective in more than 1,300 performances worldwide. Gillette is a featured character in “The Game’s Afoot”. A special pre-show chat with author Henry Zecher, who wrote William Gillette, America’s Sherlock Holmes, is set for Aug. 28.” (Thanks to Ray Wilcockson for the tip!)
[The famous William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes caricature by ‘Spy’ from Vanity Fair (1907).]
Special and Rare on a Stick, the blog of ‘The Man With the Greatest Job in the Universe’ whom regular readers will recognize as Tim Johnson, curator of The Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Library, shares his observations as a neophyte Twitter user: “I have no idea what finally triggered my conversion. Perhaps it was an unrealized need to be part of a larger conversation (or in this case a specific conversation connected with our Sherlock Holmes conference).” Regardless I, along with many other Sherlockian-minded Twitter users, very much welcome Mr Johnson to the never ending 140 character dialogue as he assumes the appropriate guise of @UMBookworm.
[Bookplate of John Bennett Shaw from the Sherlock Holmes Collection.]
Baker Street Babes in anticipation no doubt for BBC Sherlock Season 3 announcement that actor Lars Mikkelsen will play the role of the Master Blackmailer, released Episode 43: Charles Augustus Milverton Appreciation: “The worst man in London. The blackmailer. That guy from Jurassic Park that gets eaten by the shaky dinosaur thing. That douchebag. It’s Charles Augustus Milverton and we love to hate him. Join Babes Curly, Lyndsay, Melinda, Ardy, Maria, Taylor, and Amy as they discuss the case, the man himself, the adaptations, and the historical figure behind Milverton.”
[“Do you feel a creeping, shrinking sensation, Watson, when you stand before the serpents in the Zoo and see the slithery, gliding, venomous creatures, with their deadly eyes and wicked, flattened faces? Well, that’s how Milverton impresses me. I’ve had to do with fifty murderers in my career, but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow.” (CHAS)]
Christopher Morley Literary Estate is just one of the many reasons Sherlockians should consider using Facebook if they have yet to make the plunge, or have registered but have yet to explore the popular social networking platform. Would ‘Kit’ have created a Facebook profile? Let’s pretend he had a FB for a moment: just imagine what his friends page would look like (Edgar Smith, Vincent Starrett, Chris Cella…though I’m sure Alexander Woollcott's friend request would be left pending indefinitely) or his groups (The Three Hours For Lunch Club, Book-of-the-Month Club, Saturday Review of Literature, Grillparzer Sittenpolizei Verein, etc etc.) or his timeline (1934: birthday party for the Master at the Hotel Duane, 1936: ‘friends’ Edgar Smith, 1944: ‘likes’ Trilogy Dinner event, 1946: Adrian Conan Doyle ‘unfriends’ Morley, 1947: states there will never be another BSI dinner, 1948: comments with a “:(” on Smith’s posting of a “committee-in-camera” BSI dinner, 1949: changes relationship status to BSI as ‘It’s complicated’, etc.). Oh what could have been….
[Morley’s latest profile picture on Faceook.]
Bartitsu Club of NYC announced that their next training session will be this Sunday, August 18 at 11:30 am at The Society for Martial Arts Instruction (SFMAI) - RSVP on their Facebook. “A reporter and photographer from The Epoch Times will attend. They plan to run a feature story about Bartitsu. The Epoch Times is distributed in 35 countries in 21 languages, so it’s a good opportunity to promote Bartitsu to an international audience.” There’s also a seminar on August 25th in New Jersey.
Sherlock Scion Links:
ASH Wednesdays based out of NYC and open to all is the monthly, informal meeting of the storied Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, the oldest women’s Sherlockian society in the world - though of course open to the males of the Sherlockian species as well. I’ve been attending ASH Wednesdays for a while now and if you’re looking for a gentle first time Sherlockian meeting experience, you absolutely cannot go wrong with ASH. Meetings usually consist of 15 to 25 male and female, young and old, neophyte and experienced Sherlockians hanging out in the relaxed environs of a NYC Irish Pub. Discussion spans the Sherlockian world but often veers well outside Holmes-centric topics and ranges over literature, Star Trek (I’m looking at you Nick!), movies, cooking recipes, baseball (Go Cubs!), suggestions for surviving any number of apocalyptic scenarios, cats, cats, cats and anything and everything else that strikes our fancy. The next gathering is September 4, 2013.
[UPDATE] The Epilogues of Sherlock Holmes have canceled their August 31, 2013 meeting due to a temporary health issue of one of it’s leaders. I’ve been reassured though that the Chatham, NJ scion society will reschedule for some time in late Fall 2013 with Canonical discussion maestro Dr Bob Katz once again conducting his symphony of Sherlockian opinions and speculations. Personally, I’ll be awaiting the Return of the Epilogues with baited breath.
* To find a Sherlockian event in your area, check out and bookmark one of the most useful Sherlock Holmes resources on the Internet: the www.SherlockianCalendar.com - maintained by the indomitable Ron Fish as well as Sue and Ben Vizoskie of The Three Garridebs of Westchester Country, NY.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (July 27 - August 2, 2013)
Only one week to go until Sherlock Holmes Through Time and Place in Minnesota! I hope to see many of you there. For those Sherlockian Twitter users posting from the conference or following from home, it’s been officially decided that the hashtag #SHMN13 will stand for Sherlock Holmes Through Time & Place. See you soon!
221B Con - “Watsons Through Time” (52:10) “Recorded live at 221B Con, this panel was all about all the Watsons through ALL OF TIME! Well, as much as we could fit in just under an hour. Panelists were Kristina Manente (Curly), Ashley Polasek, Eddy Webb, and Roane.” The original panel subtitle was “From ladies’ man to comedic buffoon, how have representations of John Watson changed over time” and the panelists do a great job weaving current and vintage Sherlock Holmes adaptations in along with the Canon. An overarching theme is - predictably but alas still necessary - the ‘Watson is not stupid’ theme, and of course plenty of time is spent discussing, analyzing and giggling about the Sherlock and John (BBC Sherlock first names rule applies here) dynamic. The word on the street (OK, on Twitter) is that a few more 221B Con panels are set to be released - I’ll put 6,000 pounds (though “I am a poor man”) that “Fandom: What the Hell is Wrong With Us?” wins out.
[At some point, you’ll develop a soft spot for Nigel Bruce so don’t be too harsh on him now.]
Sherlock Peoria begins “Watsons Through Time and Gender” by commenting on the above 221B podcast ”Watsons Through Time”: “It’s a good podcast for anyone to listen to, but I’d especially recommend it to those who think the new Sherlockians are all airheaded Cumberbatch swooners. A lot of good thoughts can be heard there from the panelists and the audience, as well as the recognizable voice of Howard Ostrom, Sherlockian film expert extraordinaire.” Brad Keefauver's foray into the topic of 'Watson and Gender' is motivated by a phenomenon he noticed occurring during the 221B panel discussion: “Watson was being defined by his relationship with Holmes as much as any other characteristic, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the charm of a given Watson didn’t prejudice the view of that relationship just a tad…” Read on for Keefauver’s insights into the changing role of Watson, and in particular how said changes might be motivated by a gender shift within the Holmes world.
[Confirmed bachelor John H Watson?]
221B: The Sherlock Holmes Web-Series is developed by Filmmaker Carter deLaat and features, for all intents and purposes, the first Sherlock Holmes adaptation featuring a female Sherlock: “It’s 1891 and military doctor, John Watson has returned home to England after a long and dangerous Afghanistan campaign. Seeking lodgings at an affordable price, he finds himself at 221B Baker St. Where he meets a young, volatile, brilliant and eccentric woman…named Sherlock Holmes…While not the grand Sherlockian mystery most are used to, 221B emphasizes the domestic side of the mystery solving duo, often leading to comedic, puzzling and dangerous results. Giving a fresh perspective to the English Icons.” Episode One: No Place Like Holmes was released on Vimeo (a free video streaming site like YouTube) on July 23, 2013 and Episode Two: Fire Trap was released this week. The series will consist of five episodes total each with a running time between 5 and 8 minutes. Check out 221B: The Sherlock Holmes Web Series blog for new episodes, bios, extras and more.
[Promo poster for 221B: The Sherlock Holmes Web Series.]
Leslie Klinger, scholar, attorney, annotator, editor, liberator of the Canon and Sherlockian celebrity “was asked today to suggest my favorite books for a beginning Holmesian collector/scholar. Here’s the list that I created for my UCLA Extension class on “Sherlock Holmes and His World,” which will be on October 26 this year. Click to download a PDF of Klinger’s: The Cornerstones of a Definitive Collection - which seems to be a condensed version of The Shaw 100 - and includes many of my personal favorites such as D. Martin Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary (1972) and Edgar Smith’s Profile by Gaslight: An Irregular Reader About the Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1944). In related news, Klinger just officially announced his next publishing project: The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, set to hit bookstores (and my shelves!) in the Fall of 2014.
[The day I found Profile by Gaslight for the insane price of $5 was one of my happiest book buying days ever.]
Dan Andriacco posted reviews of his two most recent releases: The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore reviewed by The District Messenger, newsletter of the venerable Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and The Amateur Executioner reviewed by fellow mystery author Kathleen Kaska. I have yet to read Andriacco’s novella about Mr James Phillimore (“who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this world” from THOR), but I have had the pleasure of reading The Amateur Executioner (co-authored with the equally talented Kieran McMullen) which can best be summed up as a virtual who’s who of London during the Edwardian era. On a side note, for a ranking/discussion of some of the most intriguing sounding untold Holmes cases, see the website of Mr Randall Stock and his The Top 10 Untold Tales of Sherlock Holmes. Also, congratulations to Dan ‘Dutch’ Andriacco for having received his official John H Watson Society certificate of charter membership - my mailbox and I (ie. Baron) were also recently honored with a JHWS certificate.
[Cover of Dan Andriacco’s The Disappearance of Mr James Phillimore on MX.]
Better Holmes & Gardens reviews Paul D Gilbert's “The Annals of Sherlock Holmes, (2013, Robert Hale Press) a collection of three stories inspired by canonical references (to both unpublished cases in Dr. Watson’s dispatch box at Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, and fringe characters from published stories).” The first story is “The Dundas Separation Case”, a tale inspired by a reference made in “A Case of Identity”; the second story explores just what the meaning is behind those famous lines “the depth to which the parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day” in ”The Abernetty Mystery" from "The Six Napoleons;" and in the final tale we see Watson reunited with Mrs. Cecil Forrester, former employer of Mary Morstan, in ”The Adventure of the Reluctant Spirit." Gilbert’s previous, well-regarded pastiches include The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes, The Chronicles of Sherlock Holmes and The Giant Rat of Sumatra. Ms Jaime Mahoney in her review gives high marks to Gilbert’s latest dive into Watson’s (seemingly infinite) Tin Box: “Gilbert has summoned a Sherlock Holmes who is in full possession of his powers, and does not hesitate to use them completely. His Watson is at equal turns admiring and exasperated, but always at the Detective’s side. Everything about them is authentic and familiar, as comfortable as a visit to Baker Street and an old dressing gown."
[Gilbert’s distinct cover art in a style that can be seen on many of his books.]
Free Sherlock, Sherlockian annotator and defender of the faith Leslie S Klinger's blog devoted to updates regarding Klinger vs the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., summarized the latest legal developments in this historical case and posted a variety of related documents (Eg. for a good time click to download a PDF of Stamped Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment): “Following the entry of a default order against the Defendant, Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd., Leslie Klinger has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment asking that the Court enter a judgement against the Estate” - which I assume cam only mean that we’re very close to seeing just where future pastiche authors and other creators of Holmes -related and -inspired content stand in relation to the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. For a variety of opinions regarding this case from around the internet, see Free Sherlock’s Opinions page.
Peter Cushing Blog and the related Peter Cushing Facebook contain a wealth of information and pictures, as well as contests and other fan-related hijinks, on the late, great Peter Cushing. Sherlockians of course know him best for his adaptation of the Great Detective: first in 1959 for the Hammer films’ adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, then in the late 1960s for BBC’s Sherlock Holmes and finally his 1984 Sherlockian swan song The Masks of Death. In 1971, Cushing also recorded an unabridged version of The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Mr Cushing was also in a little movie from 1979 called Star Wars as Grand Moff Tarkin.
[Peter Cushing has a posse!]
[Part of me really loves this image, but another part of me can’t help but feel a little creeped out by the scene - which kind of makes me love it even more.]
Sherlock Holmes For Dummies's Steve Doyle dug up this old newspaper ad: “I love vintage advertising like this, which is a 1970s-era magazine ad for the airing on WHAM-TV (Rochester, New York) of the Basil Rathbone Holmes films. The Rathbone films syndication package was pretty common back then, and many Sherlockians of a certain age credit their entree into the hobby with weekend TV viewings.”
[“Sherlock Holmes: Is the old man as harmless as he looks? Could he be guilty of a hideous crime? Be in on the excitement when Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr Watson (the late Nigel Bruce) solve even the most baffling mysteries….Every Sunday [in] your living room!”]
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (July 20 - July 26, 2013)
A Requiem For Sherlock Holmes announced dates for a staged reading happening this coming weekend August 8th - 10th, 2013 at WorkShop in NYC by PGM Productions. More about PGM: “One could say the ‘creative trust’ of PGM was informally born over a friendly glass of Scotch. On the evening of January 18, 2012, WorkShop Theater Company members, Paul Singleton, Greg Oliver Bodine and Michael Selkirk met at The Players on Gramercy Park to discuss partnering on a Sherlock Holmes play that Greg would write, with Paul and Michael in the iconic roles of Holmes and Watson….it was agreed that Greg should adapt two Sherlock Holmes stories, “The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of The Empty House”. Learn more by following PGM on their Facebook page. And for a preview, check out A Requiem For Sherlock video. Lastly, those Sherlockians who attended The William Gillette Memorial Luncheon during BSI Weekend 2013 were treated to a short but brilliant five minute teaser featuring the epic scene when Holmes and Moriarty first meet (ie. “All that I have to say has already crossed your mind…” FINA). To be clear, this weekend’s performance is not the final play, but simply a read through - the actual performance is scheduled for sometime in 2014.
[Note that the flier features a depiction of a black arm band reportedly worn by Londoners after “The Final Problem" appeared in The Strand (December 1893); to find out more about black mourning arm bands, the ‘death’ of Sherlock Holmes and whether or not they are “apocryphal”, check out the next link re: Peter Calamai.]
Baker Street Journal - for those that missed the actual letter from Peter Calamai regarding post-FINA ‘apocryphal’ black mourning bands in the BSJ Spring 2013: “The first person offering proof (as judged by your Editor) of Londoners wearing mourning bands upon the publication of “The Final Problem” in response to Sherlock Holmes’s ‘death’ wins a year’s free subscription to the Journal.” Peter Calamai’s (the 2012 Morley-Montgomery Memorial Award winner) challenge has inspired many of us to conduct searches through various online newspaper archives starting from December 1893 - the publication date of FINA in The Strand - but so far it’s all been for naught. It appears that John Dickson Carr's reference in his The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to men wearing mourning bands post-FINA, is in fact apocryphal and/or some sort of literary urban legend.
[Cover of the BSJ Spring 2013 issue wherein Peter Calamai dropped the proverbial mourning band gauntlet.]
Dan Andriacco recently picked up three issues of the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine: “SHMM is a blend of mystery fiction and non-fiction, some but not all of which has Sherlockian connections. It is edited by veteran mystery writer and anthologist Marvin Kaye, who recently agreed to buy for the magazine an article that I wrote on Rex Stout and Sherlock Holmes.” I’ve been seeing advertisements for the SHMM quite a bit recently and have wondered if I should add it to my current stable of Sherlockian-centric subscriptions (ie. Baker Street Journal, Sherlock Holmes Society Journal, The Serpentine Muse). Mr Andriacco’s review is the first SHMM review I’ve read so far, and it’s positive enough that I might have to at least pick up an issue or two. So far, my favorite SHMM cover I’ve seen is the below illustration of Holmes, the hound and a young maiden who is probably supposed to be the daughter of the yeoman from HOUN.
[The SHMM Shop is having a special at the moment where one can buy six issues for $55.00.]
Westminster Libraries by way of announcing the recent move of the Sherlock Holmes Collection from the Marylebone Library to the Westminster Reference Library, published an irregular observation ”The Case of the Leicester Square Furniture Van”. Their tale begins: “[it] was in July ’13 that Sherlock Holmes and I left our old rooms near Baker Street for the last time. Impending redevelopment and building work would bring major improvements for habitués, but we had to move elsewhere. It was not without a tinge of sadness that I surveyed the 150 crates into which our books and artefacts were packed, re-locked the 6 massive bookcases and checked the other furniture ready to be loaded on to the lorry…” Visiting the Sherlock Holmes Collection, now housed at Westminster, is definitely on my Sherlockian bucket list.
[Westminster Reference Library is a specialist public reference library in London’s West End and is the new home of the Sherlock Holmes Collection, Third Floor, Westminster Reference Library, 35, St. Martin’s Street, London, WC2H 7HP.]
My Tin Dispatch Box reviewed Death on a Pale Horse: Sherlock Holmes on Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Donald Thomas. Quite a promising sounding pastiche, the grandiose titled Death on a Pale Horse is described as a “thrilling military adventure which pits Colonel Rawdon “Hunter” Moran, elder brother of Colonel Sebastian Moran, against Sherlock Holmes and presents danger to Dr Watson. We see both Holmes take on Moran from the safe confines of Baker Street to continental Europe, culminating in a climatic showdown in the English Channel.” The British Government aka Brother Mycroft makes an appearance in the guise of the British Secret Service, essential to defeating Moran and restoring a piece of honor back to the British army and the British Empire.
[Death on a Pale Horse by Donald Thomas.]
Barefoot on Baker Street muses on the differences between BBC Sherlock and Granada’s Sherlock Holmes and compares and contrasts the two shows by framing them through the brain of her 15 year old stepson who enjoys reading the Canon (via his Kindle) and BBC Sherlock but for whom “the gentle world of Victorian London with its telegrams and steam trains couldn’t be further from his modern life…” Ms Walters accepts some of the inherent, quasi-generational differences between the two shows, but concludes: “I’m not making comparisons and happily love both interpretations, but it’s my Granada box-set I turn to when I really need a Sherlock Holmes fix." Indeed!
Granada Brettish Holmes, speaking of getting one’s Granada Sherlock fix, posted one of my favorite ‘modern’ Sherlock posters of all time. This particular poster, designed by artist Paul Davis, was used for Granada’s The Master Blackmailer (1993). I’ve seen a few of these posters in real life and they’re very large and even more arresting in the proverbial flesh.
[Click the above image for the full sized, two part awesomeness that is this modernist rendering of Grananda’s Sherlock Holmes!]
Culture Shot, who clearly gets their Sherlockian fix via BBC Sherlock, might have published the last word on BBC Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch in “Feed your Ben-addiction with this comprehensive guide to Cumberlovin’” by Cumberbitchin’ fangirl Caitlin Kelley, who is a staff writer for The Daily Californian. Ms Kelley points out that “fangirling over Benedict is not just about adding the prefix “Cumber-” to any word until it loses any meaning it already didn’t have. Being a fangirl is about appreciating every aspect about him that you can glean from his public image. And I’ve done in-depth, ahem, research to help you develop your Cumbercrush…” And she’s not lying. Cumber-punning aside, this article features BC in various states of undress (and even in a dress), video interviews of BC being “serious”, clever, ridiculously charming, hilarious and any other trait one might find in a denizen of Mt Olympus. If you’re going to read just one article all year about the guy that plays Holmes in the BBC modern adaptation of the Sherlock adventures, let this be the one.
[Personally, I think Robert Downey Jr. looks better in a dress than BC, but that’s just one Sherlockian’s humble sartorial opinion.]
Sherlock Peoria considers the day-to-day experience and surprises of living with your post-pruned Sherlockian library - specifically about how it is practically impossible for a Sherlockian library to be 100% Christopher Morley-free. Like Tribbles, the books by “the first Sherlockian super-fan, Christopher Morley" - Keefauver’s post is worth reading just for that apt description - are always lurking somewhere in or near the library of a Sherlockian (eg. Parnassus on Wheels). Having written considerably more non-Sherlockian material than actual books about Sherlock Holmes, it’s easy to find yourself with a mini-Morley library of books that really have nothing to do with Holmes yet due to said ‘first super-fan’ status, are tacitly allowed to live in the general vicinity of the Sherlockian neighborhood. Well, Mr Brad Keefauver took a stand and tried to liquidate all his Morley books (“to live with a fellow Sherlockian who is enjoying him anew”), only to trip over four overlooked Morley books a few days later - lending credence to the notion that the bookshop is haunted.
[I’ll never tire of saying this, but one book no Sherlockian should be without is Steven Rothman's collection of essential Morley writings on Sherlock Holmes The Standard Doyle Company.]
Sherlock Holmes Society of St. Charles discovered artist Larry Gosser whose Drawing Room project hosts his series “Sherlock Holmes Casebook: Famous Crime Scenes” featuring really incredible renderings of Holmes’ most famous cases, or more specifically, illustrations depicting the main scene of the main crime from a given story. For example, the Silver Blaze Crime Scene depicts John Straker’s body sprawled out on the moor with key features carefully labeled (eg. “horse shoe tracks”). As a bonus, Sherlock Holmes has been drawn into most of the scenes where he is usually smoking a pipe and/or making that scowling ratiocination face one might employee while viewing a crime scene. One of Mr Gosser’s best pieces in the series is his Hound of Baskervilles Crime Scene which is framed by the giant footprint of a gigantic hound. (Update: Larry Gosser is the artist of this fabulous work, and John Foster is the the proprietor of the Sherlock Holmes Society of St Charles.)
[“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”]
Sherlock. Everywhere. reposted an item from Cracked.com’s ‘If 40 Famous Movies Had $50 Budgets’; imagine Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows if Guy Ritchie's budget was cut down from $125,000,000 (yes, that's 125 millions of dollars) to $50 (via @pawkysherlockianhumor).
[Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows via @pawkysherlockianhumor.]
Sherlock Prom is happening this Saturday July 27, 2013 for those in the NYC area: “The event is Sherlock Prom, a Sherlock Holmes themed prom event right here in New York City! There will be music and dancing, food, a small viewing area which will be playing various Sherlockian shows and movies, a photo booth, and more! It’s generally a prom party, but the theme is Sherlock Holmes, and that will be reflected in a lot of the decorations and activities….Tickets are $15 for General Admission, and $25 for VIP.” And it’s not all fun and games afoot, because proceeds from Sherlock Prom will go towards the non-profit Pathways to Housing NY.
[Click to get your tickets for Sherlock Prom 2013!]
Priory Scholars of NYC still has 4 or 5 seats available for their Sunday meeting ‘Summer Session 2013’ (July 28, 2013), but please RSVP if you plan on attending. Come prepared to get deep into “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League" and win prizes ranging from a Sherlock t-shirt to comics to books.
Jamie Mahoney, during this week’s #GranadaHolmes watch along Twitter session, co-hosted by @Sherlock_DC and friends, punctuated a discussion about Jeremy Brett's performance in The Boscombe Valley Mystery with the below image that’s best left to speak for itself. If you’re interested in joining in on the virtual Granada watching hangout session, mark your calendar for Thursdays at 8pm (EST) and look for the #GranadaHolmes - and click to see what else my fellow Granadianphiliacs and I had to say about BOSC.
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (July 13 - July 19, 2013)
The Baker Street Journal's Summer 2013 issue recently appeared in our mailboxes bringing joy to Sherlockians the world over, and for those with a particular fascination for the Altamont phase of Holmes’ career, an extra special treat lay within the familiar yellow wrappers illuminated with a gorgeous portrait of Holmes/Altamont which originally appeared on the cover of Collier’s Weekly Magazine (September, 1917) from the brush of my favorite Canonical illustrator Frederic Dorr Steele. As always you can read an online version of Steve Rothman's latest “Editor’s Gas-Lamp” to wet your appetite. If you’re not a current subscriber to the BSJ, I strongly suggest procuring the very reasonable $38.50 yearly subscription rate and treating yourself to the greatest (ir)regular Sherlockian publication on the market (since 1946).
[Baker Street Journal Summer 2013 (Vol. 63, No. 2).]
I Hear of Sherlock released Episode 54 of their IHOSE podcast featuring an interview with columnist and psychologist Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind, on ‘mindfulness’ and other related mental techniques employed by Holmes in the course of his adventures. Ms Konnikova is an excellent spokesperson for Psychology, particularly when conveying some of the fundamental concepts of Cognitive Psychology by way of the Canon. Make sure to subscribe to Konnikova’s Scientific American column ‘Literally Psyched’. Next, Mr Wolder and Mr Monty discuss one of my favorite collections of early 20th century, pre-BSI/BSJ era writings - in this case 1895 to 1933 - on Holmes and the Canon, Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle and The Bookman, edited by noted Sherlockian scholar S. E. Dahlinger and annotator extraordinaire Leslie S. Klinger on Gasogene Books. Following their chat about The Bookman, it is announced that IHOSE’s sister website The Baker Street Blog has begun syndicating the Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (ie. what you are reading right this very moment!) and that in future episodes of IHOSE, listeners can expect to hear Matt Laffey (he wrote in the third person…) deliver a range of short audio segments on everything from summaries of recent Sherlockian news items to hard hitting, on the ground reporting from various Sherlockian meetings, soirees, conferences, parties and hootenannies. Episode 54 ends with a traditional reading from the BSJ’s “Editor’s Gas-Lamp” though instead of dusting off a decade’s old issue, Steve Rothman's piece from this Summer's issue (Vol. 63, No. 2) is used. Another great episode made even more memorable by Monty and Wolder’s extremely kind and generous praise of Always1895 as well as the announcement that I’ll be contributing regular audio pieces to the podcast - an honor that’s particularly amazing considering IHOSE was one of the primary gateways into contemporary Sherlockian culture.
[Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle and The Bookman (2010) ed. by S.E. Dahlinger & Leslie Klinger published by Gasogene Books.]
BBC News announced what might truly be one of the final nails in the coffin of the Victorian Age: “India’s last telegram will be sent on Sunday night as the country’s state-run telegraph service shuts down….The telegraph service started in 1851 when the British East India Company built a 30-mile (48km) electric telegraph line from the city of Calcutta to its suburb of Diamond Harbour, primarily for official use. Over the next few years, telegraph lines were expanded to cover the entire country and in 1855, the service was opened for public use.” Unsurprisingly, India’s not the first country to stop offering telegram service: Australia shut down it’s telegram service in 2011 (though “in the Victorian town of Beechworth, visitors can send telegrams to family members or friends from the Beechworth Telegraph Station.”), along with Ireland in 2002, New Zealand in 1999 and Nepal in 2009. Surprisingly, one can still send telegrams in the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, the United States and Mexico (where “telegrams are still used as a low-cost service for people who cannot afford or do not have access to e-mail.”) Check out the worldwide status of telegram services for a complete listing. We of course know how Holmes would feel about this sad state of affairs, Watson once having remarked that Sherlock “never been known to write where a telegram would serve" (DEVI).
[“An answer had arrived to Holmes’s telegram before our Surrey officer had returned. Holmes read it and was about to place it in his notebook when he caught a glimpse of my expectant face. He tossed it across with a laugh. “We are moving in exalted circles,” said he. The telegram was a list of names and addresses…” from “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”]
Sherlockology and BBC America both reported on the first ever BBC Sherlock panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con: “To a packed out crowd of over 4,000 people in the huge Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center, producer Sue Vertue and co-creators / executive producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss discussed the peculiarities of their take on Conan Doyle’s famous novels, the increasing popularity of the show across the globe and the gratification of working with actors who have, since the series began, gone on to become major Hollywood stars.” First off, that attendance figure is not a typo - a reported four thousand (4,000) SDCC attendees were present to hear Vertue/Moffat/Gatiss flex their wit, praise ACD and elevate question avoidance (eg. “How did SH survive the fall…”) to an art form. To make up for the conspicuous (or inconspicuous, depending on how you see the world) absence of Cumberbatch and Freeman, the crowd was shown a specially recorded video featuring the dynamic duo.
[Mark Gatiss, Steve Moffat and Sue Vertue ‘hanging out’ with 4,000 of their closest friends at SDCC this past week (July 2013).]
Baker Street Babes' Kristina Manente posted a highly entertaining review of her SDCC experience, specifically the Sherlock Panel and the SherlockeDCC party. Ms Manente's post is packed with links related to the SDCC Sherlockian madness as well as some great photos of attendees and some very special surprise guests.
[Mark Gattis wearing a crown and Kristina of the Baker Street Babes at the SherlockeDCC party.]
MTV Geek - an MTV ‘subsidiary’ I didn’t know existed until just now - ran their own odd little Q&A with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue regarding BBC Sherlock Season 3. The interviewer seems a bit overly focused on getting Moffat and Gatiss to ‘react’ to various ‘crazy’ and ‘wacky’ BBC Sherlock fandom stuff (eg. Mystrade), while also seeming not to realize how ‘in touch’ Moffat/Gatiss/Vertue are with the Tumblr/Twitter/etc. world. One particularly odd tentative de provocation seems to be the interviewers total misunderstanding of Sherlock fans’ use of “feels” (eg. “Reichenfeels”) coupled with the BBC fandom’s habit of affectionately referring to Moffat as a Troll: MTV Geek: “Obviously fans get very into Sherlock. Many have accused you of “destroying their feelings”. What would you like to say to those fans?” Gatiss: “Well, I haven’t. We haven’t. Conan Doyle made everyone wait ten years to find out what happened to him. We left it five minutes between saying he was dead and saying he’s not dead. I think that’s not cruel. I think it’s actually quite kind.” Check out the (BBC) Sherlock Fandom Glossary and learn things you never knew existed.
We Recycle Movies announced that July would be Sherlock Holmes Month and that “in honor of my favorite detective, and with extreme personal bias, here are the three great adaptations that will consume the rest of July:” 7/13: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1942), 7/20: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) and 7/27 BBC Sherlock. “In order to best compare these films, I decided to create a game of my own: Sherlock Bingo! Each square has a trope of the Sherlock story, so we can tick off the various allusions as they appear.”
Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes maintained by Glenn Schatell, son of Norman Schatell, the author of The Lighter Side of Sherlock Holmes: The Sherlockian Artwork of Norman Schatell (2013) on MX, has a ton of artwork samples and info about Mr Schatell who passed away 30 years ago. But due to the dedication and handwork of his son Glenn, this labor of love is finally seeing the light of day.
[Thirty plus years in the making.]
Peter Blau's Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press June 2013 issue is available for perusing and overflowing with Sherlockian news/info from far and wide including: crime writing festivals, Holmesian theater adaptations, books on Victorian clothing patterns, scion events and much, much more. Bookmark Mr Blau's Scuttlebutt from the Spermacetti Press site if you haven’t already.
Buddy2Blogger explores various Canonical references (42 points in total) from BBC Sherlock Season 1, Episode 2 The Blind Banker. For example, in point # 6, ”The character of Sebastian [Wilkes] seems to be based on Reginald Musgrave, based on his body language and dressing sense. Here is how Sherlock describes Musgrave in “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”: “He had changed little, was dressed like a young man of fashion - he was always a bit of a dandy - and preserved the same quiet, suave manner which had formerly distinguished him. You can follow @Buddy2Blogger on Twitter and/or read his blog at Buddy2Blogger.blogspot.com. (Thanks to Mr Ray Wilcockson for the tip!)
[On the left is Sydney Paget's illustration of Reginald Musgrave from MUSG and on the right is Sebastian 'Seb' Wilkes from BBC's The Blind Banker.]
Barnes & Noble Blog in “Six Books to Fill the Sherlockian Void” attempts to ease the withdrawal pains of the vast legion of BBC Sherlock fans who have been waiting for an eternity (at least in Tumblr years) for (“the mythical, unicorn-status”) Season 3 by suggesting six Sherlock pastiches. My two favorite pastiches listed on here are Kim Newman's Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urberville (basically, the Canon seen from the perspective of Sebastian ‘Basher’ Moran) and Lyndsay Faye's Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson (a pastiche which could only be written by a seasoned Sherlockian). On a related note, I hope it goes without saying - since the author of this piece never mentions it - that those afflicted with an idée fixe regarding BBC Sherlock should, first and foremost, read the entire Canon if he/she has yet to do so. And if you’ve read all the stories once or still have a few unread stories to go (lucky you!!) I highly suggest re-reading the Canon using one of the four main annotated editions: Baring-Gould’s Annotated Sherlock Holmes (2 vols), Oxford Sherlock Holmes (9 vols), Klinger’s Sherlock Holmes Reference Library (Gasogene, 10 vols) or Klinger’s New Annotated Sherlock Holmes (Norton, 3 vols). If you’re on a tight budget, you can probably find the Baring-Gould two volume set used (VG/G condition) for $10 to $15. If you need a second opinion, check out the first comment from one Leslie S Klinger: “When in despair, read the Canon! Certainly Mr. Moffat is! What better time to start all over again, with A Study in Scarlet?”
[A typical page from Baring-Gould’s Annotated Sherlock Holmes.]
Wear Sherlock announced the release of recreations of the BBC Sherlock Series 2 striped set mugs, which are now available to purchase at the Wear Sherlock Mug Store. What on earth are the ‘Series 2 striped set mugs’ you ask? The Beginners Guide to the Sherlock Fandom has the somewhat disturbing answer: “The stripey mugs nearly broke Tumblr as a result of the sheer volume of crack that they produced. During the filming of series two, this photo [see below] was taken on the set and at some point ended up on Mark Gatiss’s Twitter. Showing Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman’s matching mugs full of tea (and revealing that Martin Freeman apparently takes milk in his). With the hiatus getting to them rather pitifully, the fandom spun this photo into its own universe of mug-porn, mug-fanart, mug-replicas, and mug jokes. There is literally fanfiction written about these mugs. It is beyond reason…” This is precisely where the ‘Sherlockian Kool-Aid’ was meant to be drunk from; and even if you think the BBC Sherlock Tumblr fandom is insane, these still make handsome mugs.
[Above is the recreation of Benedict’s Mug. Click to see the recreation of Martin’s mug.]
Top Gear - UK car show and “the world’s most widely watched factual television program” - recently featured Mr Benedict Cumberbatch in a ten minute segment whose conversation ranged over BC’s first car (it was a British made Mini) to the proper way to fake a punch for the cameras as well as a fascinating factoid about BC’s actress mother, Ms Wanda Ventham, who played Colonel Virginia Lake in the cult 1970′s science fiction television series UFO (1970-73) among a myriad of other TV shows and movies. Incredibly, she appeared in 13 episodes of Doctor Who from 1967 to 1987, playing three different characters, a different one in each decade (1967, 1977 and 1987). The segment ends with BC driving around a race course in a segment called “The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car”. Overall, an entertaining, if slightly surreal, ten minutes of TV.
[Wanda Ventham, Benedict Cumberbatch’s mom, in a super fancy car as seen on Top Gear.]
[Captioned image from the Sherlock Holmes story “The Naval Treaty.”]
Tea at 221B posted a great illustration by Charles Raymond Macauley from a 1905 edition of “The Adventure of the Priory School”: "I must have a peep through that, Watson. If you bend your back and support yourself upon the wall, I think that I can manage." An instant later his feet were on my shoulders. But he was hardly up before he was down again. "Come, my friend," said he, "our day’s work has been quite long enough. I think that we have gathered all that we can. It’s a long walk to the school, and the sooner we get started the better." (PRIO)
[Charles Raymond Macauley’s illustration for “The Adventure of the Priory School”.]
Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (July 6 - July 12, 2013)
Inspector Lestrade’s Blotter Page's Don Hobbs gave a special talk on Collecting Sherlock Holmes at a recent Mensa meeting in Fort Worth, TX to about 75 attendees, many of which weren’t Sherlockians but none-the-less: “The attendees could not have been more responsive. They laughed in all of the right places, asked intelligent (pun intended) questions and showed genuine interest. My allotted time of seventy-five minutes flew by so fast that I actually skipped over a few of the paragraphs of my talk. Afterwards, one of the attendees told me that it was the best and most interesting talk he had heard so far at this meeting. Considering that some of the talks included “Has the Onion Outlived its Usefulness?”; “Spiritual Exercise Light”; and “Friendly Delicate Bridge” I am not sure if this was a compliment or an insult. Another one said that when a room full of Mensa Member all clap, that is a great accomplishment. I was pleased.” And though I would like to know if the onion has in fact outlived it’s usefulness, I would very much like to read/hear Mr Hobbs’ entire talk - let’s hope he decides to post the contents of ‘Collecting Sherlock Holmes’ sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy this interview with Don Hobbs on collecting Sherlock Holmes translations. Q: How did you first get started collecting? Hobbs: “I have always been a collector. I believe one either has the collector gene or not. I am the former.”
[Don Hobbs addressing 75 brainiacs on the finer points of collecting Sherlockiana.]
Romantic Chamber of the Heart re-posted (originally in Russian) a set of photos and some information about the upcoming Sherlock Holmes (Russian 2013 TV Series): “This series will return the Russian audience to 221b Baker Street, where we meet Holmes and Watson. Their roles will be played by Igor Petrenko and Andrey Panin…The writers of the show decided to add to the outline of the story their amusing details. For example, Holmes doesn’t smoke a pipe, Watson just came up with it for his notebook. Professor Moriarty (Alexei Gorbunov) and charming Irene Adler (Lyanka Gryu) confront the genius investigator.” For those surprised that a brand new adaptation of the Great Detective is being produced for a Russian audience, I suggest familiarizing yourself with the original (and totally brilliant) Russian Sherlock Holmes series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979-1986) featuring two of the best Holmes and Watson team-ups of all time: Vasily Livanov and Vitaly Solomin; Mr Livanov’s interpretation of Holmes was so admired that in 2006 he “became an honorary member of the Order of British Empire for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.” For an excellent introduction to the original Russian series as well as a detailed episode guide, make sure to read through the Russian Sherlock entry at Baker Street Dozen. If the 2013 Russian Holmes adaptation is any where close to being as good as the original Russian Holmes, then we’re in for a treat indeed!
Sherlock. Peoria. shares his sincere delight in this review of the latest Baker Street Babes podcast, Episode 42 - Lestrade Appreciation. “There are great little stories on actors who played Lestrade, the evolution of prostitutes in Ripper movies, the historical perspective on the Scotland Yard inspector, and “an audio description of a painting of a statue.” For those who think the Babes are overly fond of BBC Sherlock, I would note that they make it fifty minutes into the episode before that particular topic even comes up. But they quickly get back to the Canon and Paget drawings of Lestrade and their contribution to the characters." For a full transcript of the Babes’ 42nd episode, click here.
Sherlock DC announced that “Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary) will be screening Monday January 6, 2014 and Monday January 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.” Just what exactly does it mean that they are ‘screening a play’? The National Theatre Live project is a four year old program consisting of HD broadcasts of National Theatre plays projected onto cinema screens around the world. The presentations were originally performed live in London and filmed in high definition, and subsequently edited/produced for presentation exclusively by the Shakespeare Theatre Company. To learn more about NTL visit NationalTheatre.org. Tickets for the Sherlock DC sponsored screening of Frankenstein go on sale Monday July 29, and there are planned Sherlockian DC meet-ups (details TBD) after both showings. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and offer any meet-up logistics input. For readers unfamiliar with the original Boyle play, the roles of Dr Frankenstein and his Monster were played by the two contemporary actors who are each currently portraying the Great Detective in their respective Sherlock series’. Frankenstein's world premier was on February 5, 2011, prior to casting for Elementary, leading to this bizarre coincidence, made even stranger by the fact that either role is interchangeable, meaning the two Sherlockian heartthrobs take turns playing either the doomed Doctor or the ill-fated Monster with each other.
The Norwood Builder often responds to reader’s questions with lengthy and knowledgeable replies on various Canonical and supra-Canonical subjects. Recently a reader asked about the various disguises employed by Holmes over the years, and the Norwood Builder rose to the occasion with an extremely thorough response: “firstly, I’ll have a look to all the main canonical episodes in which Holmes impersonated this or that other figure, and then I’ll close with some general considerations about Sherlock Holmes’ acting abilities.” The following disguise categories are used to organize his response: 1) Clergymen, 2) Manual labourers, 3) Women, 4) Old and/or sick characters, 5) Seamen and 6) Foreigners. One of the great pleasures of the Canon is imagining Holmes donning one of his numerous disguises, his mastery and virtuosity causing Watson to remark in “A Scandal In Bohemia" "The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when [Holmes] became a specialist in crime."
Markings run by Ray Wilcockson recently took a look at the Holmes adaptation that many Sherlockians, even in the age of Cumberbatch, consider to be the apex of Sherlock on screen: “I know I am not alone in often spotting some little treat I hadn’t noticed before in a repeat viewing of one of Granada’s classic episodes of Sherlock Holmes. They are truly evergreen. The artistry of Jeremy Brett has much to do with this, but honours must surely be shared with some inspired screenplays and production values. Together they created what are at times masterpieces. As Holmes observes in the Epilogue to Valley of Fear: ‘You can tell an old master by the sweep of his brush.' The closer you look at this series the more authentic and well-executed it appears. With this post I am opening a place to collect some of this fine detail. I'll add to it as and when, advertising new entries.” I look forward to reading Mr Wilcockson's observations regarding Jeremy Brett's genius in his portrayal of the Great Detective.
Bartitsu Club of NYC is co-hosting their ‘Third Annual Antagonistics Weekend’, July 27-28 - Join the Bartitsu Club of NYC as we learn about 19th century fighting arts in North America in both the cities and the frontier. Topics include the Bowie knife and how it got its name, and the fierce Irish faction fighting of the mid-19th century - the infamous “Gangs of New York.” 19th-century civilian combatives, including Bartitsu and pugilism, will also be explored. The seminars will be taught by historic combat expert Mark P. Donnelly, Professore di Armes. Attend either or both days as well as our Saturday Evening Social in historic Lower Manhattan. No martial arts experience required. A study in self-defense and in history! More info at NYC Steampunk.
[You can RSVP on their Facebook page here.]
Video Tribute to Moriarty ‘Let It Rock’ was brought to my attention via Brad Keefauver's 'Jim Moriarty & Living in the Future’, a post that not only celebrates the genre of fan ‘video tributes’, but also argues the point that we live in the best possible of all Sherlockian worlds: “Well, here’s the even cooler thing about this day of Sherlockiana we live in. If you get out on YouTube and start browsing, eventually you’re sure to find something that you do agree with…Our world has gotten that expansive. And I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time.” Fan video tributes - essentially, edited clips from a TV show set to music - can be an acquired taste, but every now and then a truly remarkable one appears on the scene. ‘Let It Rock' may not be your style, but I'm willing to bet there's at least one fan video out there that would float your Aurora.
[Moriarty and Holmes relishing the last moments of their final dance.]
Doyleockian posted a translated version of his recent interview for French paper Le Figaro: What do you think of Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock? Alistair Duncan: “Every actor brings something different to the role of Sherlock Holmes and Cumberbatch is no exception. Although his Holmes is more abrupt than the Holmes of the books it is, perhaps, a more apt portrayal for the setting than the original Holmes would be. I think for a contemporary Sherlock he is perfect.” Read the entire translated interview here.
Better Holmes & Gardens thoroughly reviewed Granada’s The Man With the Twisted Lip: “in the original short story, after a few hours of sleep at the St. Clair residence, Watson (and therefore, the reader) is awoken by Holmes’s shout of revelation, to find the Detective still smoking and in much the same contemplative position as he was before the Doctor drifted off. Holmes has solved the case, but the readers do not get to witness the actual epiphany. Granada’s adaptation remedies this omission by having the audience witness Sherlock Holmes while in the midst of his method. Immersed in the golden light of a slowly rising sun and subtle clouds of tobacco smoke, the Detective sits in a meditative state.”
[Jeremy Brett portraying one of Paget’s greatest illustrations from “The Man With the Twisted Lip" - click image for the original.]
Dan Andriacco continues his musings on Holmes and the Press, this time reflecting on the surprisingly few times Holmes actually placed advertisements: “Sherlock Holmes doesn’t place advertisements in newspapers as often as you might think — and certainly not nearly as Nero Wolfe. I count only five times in which he took out an advert, from key actions in A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four to an ad that finds no takers in “The Naval Treaty,” to a passing mention in “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax.” Most memorable for me is the scene in “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle…” Another excellent post from the author of the McCabe/Cody cycle.
Tea at 221B dug up this very obscure yet very cool Granada Television Postmark which apparently was “a special postmark which was used specifically for all correspondence about the Sherlock Holmes series.”
[How cool would it be to receive a letter with the above postmark affixed to the envelope?]
The Baz, the Tumblr version of The Baz: a Basil Rathbone blog, posted this fantastic illustration of Rathbone as the Great Detective. You can also follow this most excellent Rathbone-themed blog on Facebook. Click image below for a much larger version:
[Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes.]
The Game is On, a Sherlock pub quiz, happens this weekend on Saturday July 13, 2013 from 2pm to 7pm at the Way Station in Brooklyn, NYC. Fill out their RSVP form to join in on the fun - and if I can move a few obligations around I might even be in attendance for what sounds like an excellent way to while away an afternoon.
Priory Scholars of NYC is nearing ‘sold out’ territory for their Summer Session 2013 meeting happening on July 28 at East of Eighth in Manhattan. Contact Headmistress Judith Freeman ASAP to reserve your spot at the intellectual smorgasbord that is the PSNYC discussion and quiz. REDH is the assignment, so re-read and come prepared.
The John H Watson Society continues to expand announcing a number of exciting additions to their ledgers (to name a few): Dan Andriacco of Baker Street Beat blog, Steve Rothman editor of the Baker Street Journal, Don Hobbs collector and blogger, and Kieran McMullen pastiche author and blogger who I believe has actually been to Afghanistan in a soldiering capacity. Exciting times to be a fan of the one fixed point in a changing age! Read Dan ‘Dutch’ Andriacco’s recent post about the JHWS.
[The man, the myth, the legend…Dr John H Watson.]
The Denver of the Secret Nine - celebrators of “PG Wodehouse at altitude” - announced that the “second meeting of The Denver of the Secret Nine will be July 14th at 12:30 p.m. at Pints Pub in downtown Denver,” which is of course on Bastille Day.
The Sound of the Baskervilles is a scion society of the BSI based out of Seattle, Washington - and also happens to have one of the cleverest Sherlockian pun names, imo - whose next monthly meeting is August 18, 2013, though they have a John H Watson Picnic planned for July 20th (see all events here). The SOB’s (as they affectionately refer to themselves) monthly newsletter, Ineffable Twaddle, is packed with Sherlockian bits of info, news, trivia and happenings.
221B Con assured attendees of the first annual 2013 221B Con in Atlanta, GA. as well as those interested in partaking in future 221B Con activities to “fear not over our recent radio silence! We have been working hard on your 2014 221B Con experience and hope to have some exciting announcements for you in the near future.” Make sure to follow @221bcon for up-to-date announcements leading up to opening day April 4, 2014.
[2014 221B Con happening on April 4 - 6, 2014.]