"...my little bookshop at the corner..." [EMPT]
When we have the opportunity to sit on a couple of sofas and interview some of the most erudite and interesting Baker Street Irregulars of our time, we take it. And it seems that the BSI Weekend serves as just the spot to do that. Two years ago, we had an opportunity to do just that with Michael Dirda (ref. Episode 38: On Conan Doyle), and we were again afforded that opportunity this year.
On January 16, 2014, we had the great fortune to find an upstairs room in The Players in Manhattan, where we plunked our microphones down in front of Ray Betzner, BSI ("The Agony Column"), editor of the 75th anniversary edition of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, and the esteemed Susan Rice, BSI ("Beeswing"), ASH ("Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen"), author of The Somnambulist and the Detective: Vincent Starrett and Sherlock Holmes, and got them to wax poetic about the great Sherlockian and bookman, Vincent Starrett.
While many people are familiar with the names of Edgar Smith and Christopher Morley when it comes to early Irregular history, Vincent Starrett may not be as widely known. He was certainly very well known in his own time, and particularly in his city of Chicago. His contributions to the world of Sherlock Holmes were immense, and his own magnum opus The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is probably the most well known.
But what else was known of this man? How did he become such a great scholar of Holmes? What of his professional life? What mysteries within his own personal life and commitments kept him from attending all but the first BSI Dinner, despite his death some 40 years later in 1974? Our interview subjects delve into all of these topics and many more as they help us explore the multifaceted bookman Vincent Starrett.
We hear from Vincent himself in the opening strains of the show and we close not with a Gas-Lamp, but of a reading of his touching poem "221B." Both of these are available on Starrett Speaks: the Lost Recordings Audio CD, available from the Wessex Press, our sponsor.
Listener comments are back (thank you!), both written and audio, and we give those some airtime. Finally, we have a special item - an article that Starrett wrote for The Observer, the catalog from Oppenheim's from Autumn 1929, titled "Fashions in Fiction" - that is available as a bonus item only for listeners who have downloaded our IHOSE Android app, our IHOSE iOS app, or our IHOSE Windows app.
- Ray Betzner's new website: VincentStarrett.com - including "Have You a Tamerlane?"
- The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes - 75th anniversary edition, edited by Ray Betzner (Wessex Press)
- An excerpt from "Dear Starrett--" / "Dear Briggs--" (BSI Archival History)
- "The Real Sherlock Holmes" in The Golden Book Magazine - available to one lucky collector (Amazon.com)
- The Adventure of the Unique Hamlet (via the Internet Archive)
- Sherlock Series 4: Six Stories We'd Like to See (Hypable)
- Our Flipboard magazine aggregates lots of content for your enjoyment.
Download this episode by right-clicking the icon and selecting "Save As..." or simply click on the file to listen, or on the player above. (File size: 41.7 MB, 1:28:30)
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Image credit: Matthew Zimmer