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"I am ready to give you any information which may assist you in forming an opinion." [NOBL]

WWJBSD? (What would John Bennett Shaw Do?), IHOSE interviews the minds behind Sherlockology, the high price of living at 221B Baker Street, Peter Blau's Scuttlebutt, things that make a Sherlockian happy, the most Irregular Irregular and a Prince among men, missing pieces from The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, an interview with the actors of the Baskervilles, Holmes' methods in the modern police age, where to spread the compliments of the season, the proper way to kickoff the BSI Weekend, gifts for Sherlockians, the dancing cookies and much more in the latest Weekly Sherlock Links Compendium from Matt Laffey.

The Sherlockian E-Times (Vol.13 No.12 December 2013) from Carolyn and Joel Senter features an essay by Ron from Denver about what he learned from uber collector John Bennett Shaw, BSI ("The Hans Sloane of My Age") in regards to what it means to be a Sherlockian:
"I was fortunate to meet and know John Bennett Shaw, who had the largest individual Sherlockian collection in the United States and was one of the kindest, most decent human beings I had the pleasure to know. In my too few visits by letter and in person, we discussed all things Sherlockian. The following points are concepts I took away from my conversations with John Bennett." 
My favorite point from Ron's list is #1 "If you have one of a Sherlockian collectible, you gloat. If you have two, you share." I have the feeling that within Sherlockian culture we're about to experience a Shaw zeitgeist of sorts as younger Holmes fans who are just discovering the wide world of Sherlockian scholarship and Sherlockian history learn of the role Shaw played in the development and growth of U.S. scion societies. Edgar Smith may have been the chief organizer of early Sherlockian culture, using his General Motors management skills to lay the foundation for the modern BSI, but Shaw was the Johnny Appleseed of scion culture, playing St. Paul to Smith's St. Peter, marching out into the field and inspiring one local chapter after another via a 'big tent' approach where everyone and anyone interested in the Great Detective could/should get involved.
[JBS in his study with non-canonical calabash and book.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere released 'Episode 59: Sherlockology' -
"We can unabashedly say that we’re huge fans of Sherlockology. So it was with great pleasure that we sat down with Jules Coomber and David Mather, two of the four (in addition to Emma and Leif) who run the burgeoning online presence of a site that pays homage to the BBC’s Sherlock and the cast and crew that are responsible for it. It’s been so well done that many think that it’s either an official BBC site or that it’s only about the show." 
Moving on, Scott and Burt implore their listeners to order a gift subscription to the Baker Street Journal - a suggestion I wholeheartedly endorse - for friends, family, strangers, libraries, schools, etc., even offering to reward the gifters with a modest Sherlockian treat if at least 50 gift subscriptions are ordered. In other news, Wessex Press' triennial conference From Gillette to Brett IV: Basil, Benedict and Beyond happening September 12-14, 2014 will feature a Sherlockian Relics of Stage, Screen and Radio Exhibit., just one of the many aspects of this conference you'll be hearing more about right here. Lastly, the 59th IHOSE podcast ends on a Christmas-themed Editor's Gaslamp from the father of Sherlockian culture in the United States, Edgar Smith with his 1959 BSJ Christmas Annual piece "Christmas With Sherlock Holmes" which celebrates that time of year when every Sherlockian worth his or her canonical salt revisits "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" and wishes their fellow Holmes-fanatics the compliments of the season, ending with: "and Christmas is a window too, that opens on the hearts of men, to let the light come shining through, to make them young and glad again.

["The ultimate guide for any BBC Sherlock fan!" Indeed.]

Sherlockology - now that you're thoroughly familiar with the minds behind Sherlockology from their IHOSE appearance above - presents a remarkably in-depth and fascinating look at how much it might cost to be a resident of 221B in the BBC Sherlock-verse via a set of intriguing and creative infographics. Everything from John and Sherlock's wardrobes to the more memorable contents of their flat are itemized and priced. Also discussed are costs associated with home insurance (clearly needed), based on some of the events of Seasons 1 and 2; eg. bullet holes in living room wall (The Great Game), broken windows (ibid.), etc. (Estimates based on Confused.com data). This post is deliciously typical of Sherlockology's creative passion when it comes to discussing aspects of BBC Sherlock well outside the typical 'fan-talk' of the majority of sites one's likely to come across on the internet. In light of Sherlockology's recent appearance on IHOSE Ep. 59, it's no surprise that the site continues to develop creative and original content, ostensibly based around a paltry six episodes (soon to be nine) but robust and clever enough to reach Holmes enthusiasts well outside the limited scope of a single TV adaptation. Finally, make sure to follow @Sherlockology and become one of their 173,000+ followers on Twitter - and not to brag, but I'm terribly proud to point out that @always1895 numbers among their rigorously curated 'Following' list comprised of a magical two hundred twenty-one Twitterers. 

[Just a portion of this unique and amusing set of infographic charting the 'cost' of being a denizen of 221B Baker Street in the BBC Sherlock universe. I had no idea that the iconic Sherlock/Cumberbatch coat was in the Duke of Holderness price range at £1350 (or $2,209)!]
Scuttlebutt From the Spermaceti Press from Peter Blau is available and chocked full of Holmes-related information including BSI Weekend events, info on the quirky yet entertaining recent (re)appearance of 'Sherlock Holmes' on Murdoch Mysteries "Return of Sherlock Holmes" (7x04) which also features a cameo by literary agent Arthur Conan Doyle portrayed as an idea 'borrower', a reminder that the "Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul" exhibit is still running at the Morgan Library in NYC (until January 26, 2014), remembering recently departed Sherlockians Gerald N. Wachs, BSI ("Sir James Saunders") and Barbara Hicks (who among other accomplishments played Emily Garrideb in Granada's 1994 3GAR adaptation), an update on Moriarty, N.M. where the legendary Moriarty Un-Happy Birthday and Moriarty Memorial Manure Pile led by John Bennett Shaw took place (watch scenes of the mid-1980s event in this recently posted doc The Case of Sherlock Holmes (1987) - a must see!) and much much more. A special thanks to Mr. Blau for mentioning my Always1895.net post "Full Recording of 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes'." in his November 13, 2013 edition of Scuttlebutt
["Black Peter" has been publishing his Scuttlebutt From the Spermaceti Press newsletter since 1971, just 6 years before I was born.]

The Consulting Detective created a list entitled "Top 5 Things that Have Made Sherlockians Happy" featuring such items as Canonical Easter-eggs in the two Robert Downey, Jr. films (e.g., "Come at once if convenient...if inconvenient come all the same."), Titan Books re-release of a myriad of classic pastiches, recent Sherlock references on Doctor Who, and more. Personally, none of these items would make my Top 5 - maybe a few would linger somewhere around the lower end of my top 30 - but this list is something that makes me happy as a Sherlockian because it stresses the interest the author Nick Cardillo has in the Canon, even if it's the Canon in the context of the Warner Bros. films, the 11th Doctor donning a deerstalker or BBC Sherlock. There's no denying that 2014, or at least the first quarter of 2014, will be awash (some might say drowned) in BBC's adaptation of the Master - but as long as the real and the true (and the forever sacred) inspiration (ie. the original 60 stories) for this or any Holmes adaptation remains relevant, his memory shall remain green and "these two survive." 

[The classic note written by Holmes to Watson from CREE.]
Sonia Fetherston has alerted me to one of the most exciting bits of Sherlockian publishing news I've heard all year: Ms. Fetherston has just completed her draft of a biography on legendary Sherlockian Bliss Austin, BSI ("The Engineer's Thumb"): Prince of the Realm: The Most Irregular James Bliss Austin (2014) - "the book features new material, new interviews, newly revealed letters and other documents and photos" and is being published on the BSI Biography Series imprint (general editor Les Klinger). You may recall Fetherston from her 2012 BSJ Christmas Annual Barrymore In Baker Street: "The Great Profile" Meets "The Great Detective," and They Both Get Their Names Up In Lights, a terrific look at actor John Barrymore who played the Great Detective in Sherlock Holmes (1922). Bliss Austin, an executive for US Steel, amassed one of the finest collections of Japanese woodblock prints as well as collections of Sherlockiana at the time. Jon Lellenberg, BSI ("Rodger Prescott"), in his 1988 obituary of Austin, sums up rather succinctly the role Austin played in Sherlockian culture: "If the Baker Street Irregulars represent Sherlockiana's aristocracy, Bliss was a gracious and courtly Prince of the Realm. He exemplified for others what it meant to be an Irregular of the old school." Stay tuned for more information about Fetherston's Prince of the Realm as well as a future post on Bliss Austin's various publications.

[Sonia Fetherston's 2012 Xmas Annual on Holmes actor John Barrymore.]

Cinephilia and Beyond discusses Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, particularly the discrepancy between Wilder and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond's original 3 hour script versus the final, studio mandated 93 minute version:
"Billy Wilder spent 7 years with his co-writer I. A. L. Diamond working on the script of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. The finished film originally lasted over 3 hours, but the studios panicked over the failure of such long form films and demanded cuts. The film was hacked down to an acceptable 93 minutes. Diamond didn’t speak to Wilder for almost a year....The film was originally structured as a series of very specifically structured linked episodes, each with a particular title and theme. The opening sequence was to feature Watson’s grandson in London claiming his inherited dispatch box from Cox & Co. and there was also a flashback to Holmes’ Oxford days to explain his distrust of women....he episodic format made the pruning process relatively simple, so cut were the opening sequence, the Oxford flashback and two full episodes entitled 'The Dreadful Business of the Naked Honeymooners' at 15 minutes and “The Curious Case of the Upside Down Room' at 30 minutes. We can only hope that the full footage can one day be restored, although a full print is not currently thought to exist." 
As long time readers will recall, the masochist in me enjoys reading about 'what could have been' when it comes to Wilder's The Private Life - contained in at least one commercial release of the film (the laserdisc release) is the audio for one or two of the cut scenes, along with stills from "The Upside Down Room".

[Luckily the above scene from the first act of the film featuring an inebriated Watson wondering “what happened to the girls” was not cut.]
Q&A With the Cast of the Hound of the Baskevilles features a transcript plus video highlights with Director Tom Ridgely and actors Brennan Caldwell, Sean Harris and Rich Hollman. The Hound stage adaptation
"runs until Dec. 22 2013 at Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, Connecticut. The play offers a funny take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story. We sat down to talk about the show... Q: What is the screenplay like? What can the audience expect to see as you bring this to life from the novel? Tom: It’s a three actor adaptation from a British company called: People Like Us. A lot of the fun is watching the actors take on the challenge. There’s a virtuosity required in taking on the play and seeing the actors rising to the challenge."
For more information and tickets, check put the Playhouse on Park. For a review of the play, see The Examiner.

[If you live in or near Hartford, CT you should try to check out what sounds like a fun take on The Hound of the Baskervilles.]

Sherlock Holmes Society of St. Charles considers the age-old dilemma of whether the ends justify the means:
"In BLUE we see Holmes not only being the investigator, but also the judge and the jury of Ryder, allowing him to go free at the end. We will never know if it was the right decision, it never came up again. Did Ryder stay on the straight and narrow and leave the country, go to America where he made good and eventually his descendant's started the Ryder truck rental company and are now wealthy?" 
Taking this question a step further, we're asked to consider events in a recent episode of Elementary "Tremors" (2x10) wherein certain courses of action made by Elementary's Holmes leads semi-directly to a colleague getting shot:
"I think it is brave of Elementary to take the examination of Holmes' methods a step further by examining the methods under the light of someone getting injured that is not the story-teller. We see a police force a little more intelligent than Lestrade and his peers, one that recognizes the need for restraint when you are hired as a consultant. It asks; Would Holmes methods work in a modern police age?" 
Sherlockians have been debating questions related to Holmes' somewhat unorthodox techniques for decades. Is Holmes truly a special case, hence allowed to occasionally work above/beyond the law - or should he, regardless of the successes achieved, be chastised or censored after cases like BLUE or CHAS, the latter being perhaps the most extreme example of Holmes' above-the-law tendencies? 

[Ryder at the mercy of Holmes.]
CultBox announced that to "celebrate the return of Sherlock next month, we've got sets of BBC Books' new official tie-in editions of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic stories - Sherlock: The Return of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock: His Last Bow - to give away to 4 of our Twitter followers! For a chance to win, just follow CultBox on Twitter and tweet the following text....Follow @cultboxtv and RT for a chance to win 4 x sets of 'Sherlock' books." The Return of Sherlock Holmes features an introduction by Mark Gatiss and His Last Bow features an introduction by Steven Moffat.

[Click for details on how you can win these two new 'BBC Editions' of Return and Last Bow.]

Den of Geek posted part 2 of their 3 part interview with BBC Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (totally spoiler-free):
Q: Why do you think that relationship [between Sherlock and John] has worked so well, you’ve really bulked it up from the books, haven’t you?
SM: I think it’s actually very, very faithful to the books. It’s just that oddity of a very close male friendship, which of course is very hard to write about because men don’t talk about relationships ever, and certainly two blokes who are friends with each other will not sit down and talk about their relationship.

Sherlockian Scion & Event Links:

The Three Garridebs of Westchester County hosts their Annual Blue Carbuncle Luncheon on December 29, 2013 at An American Bistro, Tuckahoe, NY. Join fellow Sherlockians from upstate New York and the surrounding area as the 'compliments of the season' becomes the phrase du jour for the duration of the afternoon - along with talk of the proper colour of carbuncles, crop physiology and exactly how much one can conceivably deduce from a seedy felt hat.
[What can you deduce from this old "seedy and disreputable hard-felt hat"? (BLUE)]

The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH) will, per venerable custom, usher in the 2014 BSI Birthday Weekend with an informal gathering on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, dubbed 'a special ASH Wednesday', at 6:30 PM upstairs at O'Casey's. "This will be a happy occasion to meet with (and eat with and drink with) kindred spirits from around the globe. As usual, there is no set charge - we each pay for what we consume. If you can attend, please advise either Eveyln Herzog (herzogbaesch[at]aol.com) or Susan Rice (susan221bee[at]gmail.com). All are welcome!" This organization and this event holds a special place in my heart since the Special ASH Wednesday of 2011 was not only my first BSI Weekend event, but my very first Sherlockian event ever. Now, only four years hence, walking into this BSI Weekend kick-off event is the equivalent of attending a family reunion, as Sherlockians from near and far meet, re-meet and make plans for the days ahead. If you're a first time BSI Weekend attendee, Special ASH Wednesdays is the perfect place to introduce yourself and become acquainted with your Sherlockian comrades in the relaxed and welcoming environs of an Irish pub adorned with portraits of famous Irish authors and packed with a hundred or so gregarious and excited Sherlock enthusiasts.

The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence runs through December 29, 2013 at Playwrites Horizon in NYC. You can still purchase tickets here (enter code WATPBE for discount). One of the three actors in the play is David Costabile, which fans of A&E show Breaking Bad will recognize as Season 4's wacky though ultimately doomed chemist Gale Boetticher. On a related Sherlockian note, Costabile guest starred in the Elementary episode "Lesser Evils" as well as a recent episode of Ripper Street. I had the pleasure of seeing The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence last month and though there's only a few cursory Sherlockian references, the Dr John Watson character is well adapted and should please most Watson fans.

[Click to watch 'Gale Boetticher' (David Costabile) belting out a karaoke version of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom" complete with amazing rocket/space/animals/etc video FX and Hindi (?) subtitles - a truly magic moment from Breaking Bad.]

Sherlockian Holiday and Gift Links:

The Best of Sherlock Holmes' Randall Stock, BSI ("South African Securities") released his annual Top 10 Best Sherlockian Items of 2013, including books and DVDs for beginners and for the more seasoned, books like The Wrong Passage by Andrew Solberg and Robert Katz (eds.) and the terrific reference guide on ACD A Chronology of the Life of Arthur Conan Doyle (revised edition) by Brian W. Pugh on MX.

The Sherlock Holmes Exhibit has an online gift store for the International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes featuring tote bags, scarves, tshirts and the like which are sure to please the sartorial needs of most Sherlockians. 
[$20 Sherlock Finger tote bag for carrying around your Sherlockian monographs and journals.]

Le Cercle Holmesien de Paris baked and posted these delicious looking Canonical cookies adorned with the "Dancing Men" cipher. An excellent gift idea, unless of course your name is Elsie Cubitt and the dancing men symbols happen to spell out "ELSIE PREPARE TO MEET THY COOKIE!"

[Another possible arrangement: "ELSIE I THOUGHT YOU WERE ON A DIET" Certainly no phrase would be in 'bad taste'.]