Tim Johnson - the man with possibly the best job in the entire universe - posted about three new developments at his place of employment: 1) his recent updates to the “ U Media Archive website adding more content. There are now 745 postings for the Sherlock Holmes Collection,” 2) “Lucy Brusic has been working through a lot of the John Bennett Shaw ephemera and has found some remarkable pieces. I plan on highlighting some of these finds in future postings” and 3) “I want to alert you to the next session of our ongoing program “First Fridays in Andersen Library” on December 2nd. I’ll be presenting material from the Sherlock Holmes Collections, focusing on some of our most important collectors/donors.” If you’ve been a reader of Always1895 for a while you are aware that I am fantastically obsessed (or at least super interested) in the University of Minnesota’s Sherlock Holmes Collection. One day I hope I can spend time conducting research there and/or simply perusing the boatloads of material. At the moment, I’m looking forward to just seeing what new items Mr. Johnson has posted to the online portion of the collection!
[Tim Johnson - the man with the greatest job in the Universe!]
Kieran McMullen continues his ‘The Many Watsons’ series, this week focusing on Claude King who played the part of Watson in the 1910 play “The Speckled Band”, a play authored by ACD based on the original “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (1892). Though little remembered for this minor role, King would go on to great success both in the silent and post-silent era of Hollywood, appearing in 137 films. According to McMullen though, King’s greatest achievement wasn’t acting per se but being “one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild.”
[The cover of the 1912 Samuel French Acting Edition of the playscript, which is “very scarce” according to master Sherlockian Leslie S. Klinger. (Thanks for the correction Mr. Klinger - I had mistakenly called this a “playbill”.]
Tor.com published a rather lengthy review of Horowitz’s The House of Silk which I’m mentioning on here mainly for use as an example of a review that is nothing but sheer unadulterated praise tempered by zero criticism. I review like this makes me wonder what seasoned Holmes pastiche authors must think when reading review after review aimed at making Horowitz look like the (literal) second coming (of ACD presumably). In all seriousness, I’ve started becoming more than a little dubious at the mega-hype surrounding this novel.
Ross K reviews Dan Andriacco’s No Police Like Holmes, on video. I’m not sure how I missed the boat on this one, but Ross K has an entire website called ‘No Place Like Holmes’ (NPLH) which “is a web drama comedy show that is based upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” series.” There’s also a set of video blog-style reviews of various Holmes material (last week he reviewed The Seven Per Cent Solution). I’ve listened/watched the review of Andriacco’s novel twice now and I’m still a little unclear on whether the reviewer is actually criticizing Andriacco’s characterization of Sherlockian’s (“debating silly things”, etc.) or if the reviewer is just kidding. Maybe I just need to spend a little more time getting comfortable with video blogging/reviewing before deciding. Either way, I’ll keep an eye on No Place Like Holmes this set of projects and see how they develop.
[Video blogging reviews from ‘No Place Like Holmes’.]
Sherlock Holmes & the Deadly Necklace (1962) features a very young Christopher Lee as Holmes who has set-out to thwart a very thuggish Professor Moriarty from stealing an ancient necklace once owned by Cleopatra. The film itself is pretty horrible and though Lee attempts to play a decent Holmes, the German director inexplicably had the voices dubbed over (and poorly at that). I took the screenshot below to show that the young Christopher Lee might have cut a worthy Holmes under different circumstances. Later in his career Christopher Lee would reprise the role of Holmes a few times (e.g. Incident at Victoria Falls - 1992) with comparatively better results.
[A young Christopher Lee playing Sherlock Holmes in one of the worst Holmes films I’ve ever seen - Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace.]
[Rathbone perusing a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes with Bruce at his side.]
You Know My Method wins the animated GIF of the week with this subtle yet remarkably expressive clip of Jeremy Brett simply raising an eyebrow.
[Jeremy Brett raises an eyebrow. So simple yet so awesome.]
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