IHOSE header

“But why do they want to intimidate you?” [3GAB] 

Bullying is nothing new. Amid the latest anti-bullying campaigns, it's instructive to note that humans have been dealing with bullies and aggressive behavior since our earliest days.

Even in the animal kingdom, we see instances of alpha male behavior and even exclusion of some weaker members of tribes by certain groups.

A quick glance at the Sherlock Holmes Canon will turn up any number of mentions of bullies: *

  • Ronder was remembered as "A huge bully of a man" and "a coward as well as a bully." [VEIL]
  • "A more perfect compound of the bully, coward, and sneak than Master Silas Brown I have seldom met with" was how Holmes referred to a suspect. [SILV]
  • Moriarty was perhaps even more intimidating than a bully, as his conversational style had "a conviction of sincerity which a mere bully could not produce," according to Holmes. [FINA]
  • Jack Woodley was "a dreadful person, a bully to everyone else," according to Violet Smith. [SOLI]
  • When cornered by a victim, Charles Augustus Milverton, one of the greatest bullies-by-blackmailing that London knew, countered with a weak and eventually ineffective "Don't imagine that you can bully me." [CHAS]
  • When instructed that one of his officers may have allowed a citizen into a crime scene, Inspector Lestrade demonstrated his authority: "a few moments later his bullying voice sounded from the back room." [SECO]
  • Very effective at keeping visitors away, Colonel Emsworth "was sometimes a bully." [BLAN]
  • And we can't forget Watson himself, who in his schoolboy years, participated in the bullying of Percy 'Tadpole' Phelps, the nephew of a great conservative politician. Watson admitted that "it seemed rather a piquant thing to us to chevy him about the playground and hit him over the shins with a wicket." [NAVA]

Because children are pretty much the same all over the world, it should be no surprise that we find some bullies at Baker Street Elementary. But we may also find their protectors there as well.

* For a quick reference of the four-letter abbreviation of the stories, please see our guide.

Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.