"Now, I think that with a few missing links my chain is almost complete." - [ABBE]
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.)
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.