BSI Archival History blog posted two new tidbits of irregular information: the first from Mr Lellenberg’s own ‘Ask Thucydides!’ column regarding a question posed by Michael Dirda - book critic for The Washington Post and author of the recently published, charming little tome On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling - on a possible connection between A.J.A. Symons and Elmer Davis’s ‘Constitution & Buy-Laws’ of the BSI (Think: (5) “There shall be no monthly meeting.”). The second bit of information can be found in Lellenberg’s The Editor’s Gas-Bag regarding Ronald Mansbridge, BSI - to which Lellenberg’s ”Certain Rites, and also Certain Duties”: Unsuspected Sources of Baker Street Irregularity Vol, 7 of the BSI Archival History series (2009) is co-dedicated - and an “article about this very exceptional Irregular from his home town of Weston, Connecticut.” Among a plethora of accomplishments, Mr Mansbridge lived to be 100 and “was at the time the sole survivor of the last BSI annual dinner at Christ Cella’s in 1936, and of the first dinner at the Murray Hill Hotel in 1940” - in short, living history! Between Mr Mansbridge’s piece in Certain Rites as well as the linked article about him, I very much wish I could have met the man and listened to his stories. Lellenberg eulogizes him succinctly at the end of the Mansbridge chapter in Certain Rites: “Ronald Mansbridge was the last of the first Irregular generation.” Here, here!
[“Certain Rites, and also Certain Duties”: Unsuspected Sources of Baker Street Irregularity - Volume 7 of the BSI Archival Histories.]
The Serpentine Muse’s newest issue (Fall 2012, Vol.28, No.4) arrived this week and features pieces by Susan Z. Diamond, Robert S. Katz, Karen Murdoch, Warren Randall, Bill Vande Water, Judith Freeman, Laurie Manifold and some guy named Matt Laffey (!). Having been instructed to never rank modesty among the virtues, I invite you to take a glance at the toast and raise your glass to mark my very first published piece in a Sherlockian journal - an event I find overwhelmingly exciting in that particular way that seeing one’s own name in print for the first time in a location graced by one’s intellectual heroes can generate. Apart from my contribution, Dr Bob Katz’s piece, also delivered at the ASH Spring Luncheon, is particularly insightful and deals with instances of certainty and uncertainty in both the Canon as well as our personal (Sherlockian) lives. This is also an excellent time to remind you to subscribe to The Serpentine Muse (four issues per annum at only $15/year!) - which is currently co-edited by Susan Z Diamond and Marilynne McKay - as well as support your local scion(s), which can be done by checking out the always useful Sherlockian Calendar. [Note: My only minor complaint is that in the Corpora Delicti I am listed as “master of Always1895.com”, which should of course read Always1895.net - though it’s hard to quibble when you’ve been publicly called “master of …” anything.]
[The Serpentine Muse - Fall 2012 (Vol.28, No.4) featuring my toast Watson: His Limits given originally at last Spring’s Sons of the Copper Beeches meeting and then at the ASH 2012 Spring Luncheon. It was truly an honor to be included in both those programs as well to have been published in this season’s SM issue.]
USA Today published a piece on Elementary which was probably most notable for featuring quotes from Leslie S. Klinger and Kristina ”Curly” of the Baker Street Babes. Both delivered thoughtful, objective responses to the question of whether or not (they thought) CBS’s Elementary is “a misstep or a stroke of genius”. Klinger even goes so far to say: “Every vision of Holmes is a legitimate one.” Hmmm…really? For the long time readers of this blog, you know that I hold Mr Klinger in the highest regard, but in this instance I must respectfully and whole-heartily (and without hesitation!) disagree. Yes, Elementary has yet to air so condemning it now might seem premature (if not immature), but based on previews, interviews and the like, CBS’s stab at capitalizing on the current hype surrounding the Great Detective does not sound promising. But more importantly, to say that “every vision of Holmes is a legitimate one” puts one on intellectually shaky (if not untenable) ground as well as opening the floodgates for extreme aesthetic relativism, going against 100 years of Sherlockians making strong and well reasoned arguments regarding which Holmes adaptations make the cut (and which do not). Every vision of Holmes is not legitimate; though there might not be an Ideal Platonic Sherlockian Vision, there is certainly a set of criteria which would allow one to reasonably dismiss/condemn a variety of Holmes adaptations - and alternately, allow one to be reasonably confident that this or that Holmes adaptation is cut from remarkably better cloth. (/End Always1895 rant!)
USA Today Gallery posted ‘The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes’ gallery (as a companion to their main article on Elementary) which runs through all the usual suspects starting of course with Elementary star Jonny Lee Miller (though is it really fair to even call JLM a ‘face of Holmes’ since the show A) hasn’t even aired yet and B) seems so distant from actually being a Sherlock Holmes adaptation opposed to a detective show with a character called “Holmes”?) to Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Matt Frewer (!), some rather obscure Holmes’ and then BC and RD Jr. All of which are eclipsed by this little guy:
[“Wishbone (PBS) Episode: “The Slobbery Hound” (1996) Wishbone, a Jack Russell Terrier (voiced by Larry Brantley), got to play the famous literary figure on his kids’ show, outfitted in a bespoke tweed costume.” Seriously though - they couldn’t find a Basset Hound dressed as Sherlock Holmes?]
Watson and Holmes is now on sale for the criminally low price of 99 cents! For more information click here. The Examiner published a lengthy review of the first issue as well as the concept and creators behind Watson and Holmes.
[Pay close attention to the street sign…]
E!Online, as well as Shortlist, A.V. Club, Uproxx, etc. has been trying desperately to start some static between Benedict Cumberbatch and Elementary. Failing at almost every turn (BC and Jonny Lee Miller appear to be good enough friends who have no interest in trashing each other publicly) various entertainment media outlets have resorted to the weakest of ploys: finding a BC quote with just a vague whiff of criticism and then blowing said quote up ridiculously out of proportion (usually as a headline). My favorite so far is the E! headline: “Sherlock Smack Talk: Benedict Cumberbatch “Cynical” About CBS’ Elementary” - need I even comment? Seriously though, if the media is looking for controversial or decisive quotes from a Sherlockian about Elementary, they need look no futher than Sherlock Peoria’s Brad Keefauver: “ I can’t help but notice a similarity between presidential candidate Mitt Romney and CBS’s new Sherlock: a certain lack of true enthusiasm.”
[Photoshopping together two separate images of BC and JLM looking super serious may be as close as the media gets to a Cumberbatch vs. Miller face-off.]
Sherlopalooza is a word that either does or doesn’t roll off the tongue, depending on both your approach to the Queen’s English as well as your disposition toward the idea of a ten hour long screening event focused just on BBC Sherlock Season 2. Scheduled for November 17th, 2012 in London, you can be sure you’ll hear much more about this event as the date draws nearer. For now, here’s the teaser flier:
[Eight hours of BBC Sherlock - are you fan enough to handle it?!]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Mollociraptor posted this excellent image of the Canon in paperback form. Though all of my ‘collectible’ copies of the canon are in hardback, I do enjoy having a few paperback canon versions around for everything from taking notes in to traveling with sans fear of damaging them (Thanks to Lyndsay Faye for the tip!).
[The Canon in paperback form.]
Dan Andriacco answers a question which may be obvious to the seasoned Sherlockian/Holmesian but more than a little confusing to the budding Sherlock Holmes-fan: “What is a Pastiche, Anyway?” Surprisingly Mr Andriacco begins his explanation by stirring the pot a little more: “Newcomers to the world of Sherlockiana may be surprised to know that there’s more than one way to define the word “pastiche.”” If you’ve never thought critically about just what the range of works covered under “pastiche” might be, give this article a spin.
Newberry Library presents Jon Lellenberg and Dan Stashower in a talk on ACD’s Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure in Chicago on September 29th, 2012 at 9am in Ruggles Hall in an event that is free and open to the public.
Alistair Duncan suggests that if you “Want to understand Sherlock? - Try understanding his creator” - by which I assume he means Arthur Conan Doyle. Removing our game faces for a moment, Mr Duncan’s suggestion may sound prima facia overly simple but his examples make for a pretty good case. Barthes may have murdered the author, but ACD still lives. I think most Sherlockians/Holmesians would agree: even if you’re hardcore ‘game’ player, being well-versed in the life/times of the Literary Agent (aka ACD) is both beneficial and necessary.
Sash-Kash drew this deliciously racy picture of BBC Sherlock’s Molly Hooper and Irene Adler commenting on Sherlock’s ‘weapon’ of choice, the riding/hunting crop. Instead of taking a cold shower, might I suggest reading an early Always1895.net piece I wrote entitled Hunting Crop Addendum if you need to ‘calm down’? (Thanks to Addcited To Sherlock for the tip.)
[“The Adventure of the Missing Hunting Crop”.]
Barefoot on Baker Street, in one of the more even tempered essays on - to some earth shattering and soul shaking - “Three Little Words” delivered by Moffat, begins by considering last year’s three: “last series was summed up by the words – Woman, Hound and Fall. So, what can we deduce about series three from this new information?” Ms Walters methodically considers each obvious and less obvious (possible) interpretation for: Rat, Wedding and Bow, though of course only time will tell.
Sherlockian E-Times, one of the longest running Sherlock Holmes mail-outs, delivered up their August 2012 issue and it’s packed full of interesting things to buy, read and mull over. As always, keep up the great work Carolyn & Joel Senter.
Markings posted a must-read article entitled ”The Singular Interview’ with Professor Moriarty’ which uses a comment by Steven Moffat regarding ACD’s ability to create villans of substance as a jumping off point to discuss some of the remarkable aspects of Moriarty qua Napoleon of villainy!
Philip K. Jones rated (five stars!) and gave a glowing yet insightful review to A Case of Witchcraft by Joe Revill: “This book is deceptive. A reader may expect some descent into barbarism and mumbo-jumbo or a tale of horror and madness. Instead, one finds people coping with inherited Cultural positions and striving for control (`Power’ is such a Nasty word) over their lives…Over all there remains the story of Cinderella, told from the viewpoint of the `wicked stepmother.’ It is a sharp and cogent tale, not just a case from Late Victorian times, but also a microcosm of large parts of Human History.” I personally enjoyed this novel very much so it’s nice to see other Sherlockians whose opinions I respect discover a book that’s been tragically overlooked.
Tracy Revels author of Strictly Sherlock was interviewed this week on Wisconsin Public Radio: “Joy Cardin’s guest will help deduce the reasons for the ongoing appeal of Holmes and Watson.” For those that have heard Prof Revels speak (I recently saw her at Scintillation of Scions V), you know what an excellent Sherlockian prosthelytizer she is and this interview is no exception. Stream the interview here.
Sherlockian.net posted a review of The London of Sherlock Holmes by John Christopher (Amberely Press). Though ultimately giving the book decent marks, I couldn’t help but chuckle at Mr Redmond’s wry observation regarding the title: “This 96-page paperback volume….goes onto the shelf next to books with such interchangeable titles as Sherlock’s London Today, Finding Sherlock’s London, Sherlock Holmes’s London, Sherlock Holmes in London and several others.”
PopMatters throws their hat into the ‘History of Holmes in Media’ slash ‘Holmes as Action Hero’ ring and manages to deliver an article that’s at least in the top percentile of said genre. Statements such as “the “perennial nature of Holmes’s heroism renders him a force of cutting-edge global modernity rather than, as most critics see him, nostalgia for the bygone days of Victorian England” pepper an article that seeks to harness the inherent ‘interpretability’ of the Great Detective and, as Pop Matters tends to do, neatly shelve Sherlock Holmes a bit under highbrow culture but significantly above lowbrow - significantly enough so that intellectuals of the Cultural Studies variety feel comfortable “engaging the text” of Holmes with gleeful abandon.
Sherlock Peoria, in a sincere attempt to save younger readers from a fate which so many Sherlockian collectors have succumbed, discusses some of the pitfalls when it comes to acquiring and maintaining a collection of Sherlockiana. Simply put, avoid the ‘I need everything that’s even tangentially related to Sherlock’ impulse and learn to become a discerning collector early on. Mr Keefauver apparently speaks from experience, relating to us a story about a ‘Sherlockian Garfield’ that just won’t go away.
Tea Rose posted my favorite animated GIF of the week: JB concentrating on the story of a client.
[Click on image of JB for a larger, more animated version.]
Yahoo Sports published a piece arguing that ACD was, for all intents and purposes, the inventor of the modern marathon race. Um, say what? This is a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story/theory that I have never heard so let’s unpack the article and see what’s what: “As exhausted runners enter the final stages of men’s and women’s marathons at the London Olympics they may silently curse Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of fictional [sic] detective Sherlock Holmes, and a pastry chef who was disqualified from the race in 1908.” Apparently, ACD qua journalist covered the 1908 London Olympics, and his most memorable piece was about an Italian pastry chef/runner named Dorando Pietri who maintained the lead in the 26 mile and 385 yard race (a distance that later became the official distance of a marathon, based on this 1908 London course) until the very end when he fell directly before the finish line and was then helped over the line only to be disqualified under a no “outside assistance” rule. “Conan Doyle, working as a journalist, turned the gallant Pietri into a hero through his writing about the race for London’s Daily Mail.” The excitement generated by ACD’s reporting encouraged the idea of the marathon as the apex of strength, stamina and glory in the mind of the public, as well as assuring that the new ‘London version’ (26 miles & 385 yards) would be the official distance (opposed to the traditional ~ 25 miles of the ancient road from the scene of the Battle of Marathon to Athens). Does the above qualify ACD as the inventor of the modern marathon? You make the call.
[Image from the London Olympics of 1908.]
The Newberry Library in Chicago will host ace Holmesian/Doylean scholars Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower on Saturday, September 29, 2012 for a talk on their recently released Dangerous Work: Conan Doyle’s Diary of Arctic Adventure. You may recall that the Literary Agent, before attempting to establish his first medical practice, served as an on-board doctor of a whaling vessel (c.1880) which traversed the Arctic. Having an inclination towards the written word, young ACD kept a journal, and now 132 years later, you can read it thanks to the hard work and editing skills of Team Lellenberg & Stashower - responsible for last year’s release of ACD’s The Narrative of John Smith and the very essential Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters. Though I haven’t received a review copy of Dangerous Work yet, visions of ”The Captain of the Polestar” immediately jumps to mind - a short story by ACD that can be read here - definitely one of the spookier Victorian ghost stories out there. Stashower and Lellenberg’s talk is part of a day long ACD symposium at the gorgeous Newberry Library which will also feature Carter Lupton on Prof. Challenger and Todd Rosenthal discussing a project that, if you haven’t heard about, sounds like it could be quite the experience: a “new exhibition entitled Sherlock Holmes: The Science of Deduction….[is an] 8,000-10,000 sq. ft. interactive exhibition for science and history museums [which] will immerse visitors in Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, the investigation and solution of crime in both Victorian London and today, and how Dr. Conan Doyle foresaw many later forensic methods in the Sherlock Holmes stories.” I’ll be posting more information on this insanely huge sounding exhibit as I come by them, but for now if you are in or near Chicago on September 29th, don’t miss this event! (Big thanks to Gary Thaden of The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota, for the tip!)
[A great looking cover for what I’m guessing will be a whale of a tale.]
Calabash Press - the Sherlock Holmes-centric imprint run by Christopher and Barbara Roden - recently announced the release of an ebook version of William Baring-Gould’s classic Holmes ‘biography’ Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street: A Life of the World’s First Consulting Detective. In another fine example of Sherlockian serendipity, I just happened to finish re-reading (in physical book form) this excellent take on the life of the Great Detective. Digitizing and making easily available this Sherlockian classic will no doubt turn on an entirely new generation to the work of Baring-Gould (the original annotator of the canon). Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street is also an excellent introduction to playing The Game the way it should be played: “as solemnly as a country cricket match at Lord’s” but with an undeniable yet subtle sense of wicked playfulness. Three cheers for Calabash Press!
[The publisher expects the release date to be sometime in September 2012, so fire up your Kindle/Nook.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s July 2012 newsletter The District Messenger (edited by Roger Johnson) features a number of interesting ‘Holmesian’ (since they are British) links and bits of information but my favorite is to an article/interview with actor David Burke (Granada’s first Watson until “The Final Problem” after which Edward Hardwicke took over) called “The Changing Face of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson” - for some reason the actual link on the District Messenger is broken, but it can be found here.
Baker Street Babes on the Today Show…say what?! That’s correct: Kristina and Kafers of the Baker Street Babes along with venerable Holmesian Roger Johnson of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London all appeared in a short segment dedicated to Sherlock Holmes for the Today Show’s London Olympics coverage. It’s kind of surreal actually.
Sherlock Peoria provided commentary regarding the Today Show Sherlock segment starting rather appropriately (ominously?) with “Day four of Sherlock Holmes Week began with Matt Lauer on Today mispronouncing our hero’s name as “SherLICK Holmes.”“
Alistair Duncan not to be outdone by the TV appearances of two Baker Street Babes and Mr Johnson posted a segment from NBC: “I appear at about 4 minutes and 45 seconds.”
The Baker Street Blog reviews a recently published, very unique sounding monograph which is all about “picture puzzles in which Sherlock Holmes invited the reader to make sense of a number of clues (or, “clews”) found in the picture. He appeared in a variety of situations, and all of the puzzles rely on the double meaning of words. The Musgraves Sherlock Holmes Society in the UK has now compiled twelve of these puzzles, along with answers and explanatory notes, into a 26-page monograph by John Addy.” Check out the full article to try one yourself!
Barefoot on Baker Street ranks her three favorite BBC Sherlock episodes - gold, silver and bronze, of course!
Smithsonian Magazine continues their very excellent series on Sherlock Holmes with an article entitled “The Deerstalker: Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From”, a topic partially inspired by the current exhibition of Glen S. Miranker’s Sherlockiana collection at the Book Club of California in San Francisco (mentioned previously on Always1895) and is liberally peppered with some of the best examples of Sherlock Holmes art and illustrations. Though the article doesn’t contain anything terribly groundbreaking, it’s a well-written and lively piece which has me looking forward to more Smithsonian articles on the Great Detective in the coming weeks.
My Little Bazaar posted my favorite Sherlock Holmes-themed, totally awesome and over-the-top painting of the week. Can you tell which story is being depicted by the artist Robert Fawcett?
[Click for much larger version which is the only way to do this illustration justice. Very nice work from Robert Fawcett.]
Buzzfeed - to conclude this set of links that started with a note about ACD as the ‘inventor’ of the modern marathon - has a classic video that’s worth re-watching right about now: the ultimate convergence of ‘running’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’….if you’re thinking the most obvious thought, “A Basset Hound Dressed As Sherlock Holmes Running In Slow Motion,” then sit back, click on this video and feel the Glory!
[A true canonical athlete!]
BSI Archival History Blog by Jon Lellenberg (BSI, “Rodger Prescott of Evil Memory”) announced that he “shall endeavor to keep the website up to date from now on” which is excellent news for anyone interested in the history of the Baker Street Irregulars and related scion societies, as well as Mr Lellenberg’s erudite commentary on various aspects of Sherlockian culture and the like. For those unfamiliar with the BSI Archival History blog and/or Jon Lellenberg, I suggest first bookmarking or adding this site to your RSS reader. Next, absorb the notion that Mr Lellenberg is responsible for the multi-volume, definitive history of the Baker Street Irregulars as well as early Sherlockian culture in the U.S.A. starting with early letters of Vincent Starrett (c. between VS and St. Louis physician Gray Chandler Briggs 1930-1934 just prior to publishing The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes), through the founding of the BSI by Christopher Morley and the dramatic ‘rescue’ of the BSI by Edgar W. Smith up until the late-1940s when the fate of the Baker Street Journal was still a tenuous one. Tragically hard to find, the Archival History of the Baker Street Irregulars (History Series, Volume 1 - 5; + 3 supplemental volumes) have become my bible, my history and even to a certain extent my finishing school, and I suggest hunting all/any of the individual volumes down and buying them ASAP. (I purchased all five volumes as a set for the very reasonable price of $125.) Whether you own them or not, make Lellenberg’s bsihistoryblog.blogspot.com and his website bsiarchivalhistory.org essential stops in your online Sherlockian readings. UPDATE: I just noticed the following in the Books (‘To Come’) section: 1) Edgar W. Smith: Prolegomena to Any Future Biography and 2) The 1950s Volumes (picking up where Vol. 5 left off). As I count Edgar Smith among the giants who walked the earth during the ‘golden age’ of Holmesian Studies, there’s no question that I will be looking forward to both releases more than any other Sherlock Holmes-related material, period.
[Cover for Irregular Proceedings of the Mid ‘Forties - edited by Jon Lellenberg.]
Dunmow Broadcast 24 in ‘Sherlock Holmes Sale Makes Online Record’ reported on a recent auction of ACD material which had previously been in the family of Mary Jakeman, a maid who had a position in the home of ACD from 1909 to 1932. An early edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles, signed by ACD, was part of a “collection [that] also included letters, articles and photographs connected to the Conan Doyle family. They were sold as 11 lots totalling more than £8,600.” Sworders released a catalog description back in June and held the auction on July 10, 2012. Based on the catalog, HOUN appeared to be the only Sherlock Holmes item available. Selling for nearly 10 times the list price, “Sworders’ managing director Guy Schooling, said: “The sale price of [HOUN] was a genuine surprise. It’s early, but not a first edition, and it’s not in perfect condition.”” Click on their Facebook page for images of the items that were for sale.
[An early edition of HOUN - signed by ACD.]
Examiner announced that “Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat’s Sherlock (BBC) amazes with 13 Emmy nominations.” Included are: “A Scandal in Belgravia” (PBS) for Best Miniseries or TV Movie; Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” for Best Lead Actor; Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson in “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” for Best Supporting Actor; Steven Moffat, “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia” for Best Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special; click here for all thirteen of the Sherlock nominations. To see what sort of competition Sherlock is facing, the LA Times has a complete list of nominees in all categories - I would assume judging from the list that Sherlock has a pretty good chance in almost every category. Go Team!
SherlockNYC is hosting a Sherlock-themed scavenger hunt on August 4, 2012 at 10:30am at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC in order to celebrate Sherlock Holmes Week (30th July - 5th August 2012). It has come to the attention of the staff of SherlockNYC that “Jim Moriarty has been a busy boy. He has swapped a priceless artifact in the Museum of Natural History for a forgery. While Sherlock and John are hot on his trail it is up to you to play Moriarty’s game and solve the problem, our problem, in under two hours…or else.” It costs $5 per person to participate in the hunt and does not include price of museum admission (cost of admission = your susceptibility to guilt-drenched stares delivered by docents at the door). According to the invite, the great hunt will consist of “a series of question and riddles that will take you through the museum. You must answer all questions in order to solve the final problem. There will be prizes for the first place scavenger hunters. It will be necessary that at least one person on the team have a camera phone or camera.” SherlockNYC asks that you RSVP using their online form - I just submitted mine along with a proposed team name: “The 1895ers”. Get up-to-date info about the scavenger hunt, Sherlock Holmes Week and more from @SherlockNYC on Twitter.
[What are you doing for Sherlock Holmes Week? A worthy option is the Sherlock Holmes scavenger hunt taking place on August 4, 2012 (10:30am) at the American Natural History Museum of NYC.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
But, Darlings, The Show Must Go On posted this fine still of Jeremy Brett from Jeremy Paul’s wonderful The Secret of Sherlock Holmes. Though no film still exists of the play (sadly the reels are lost), you can listen to an audio recording of JB and Edward Hardwicke by downloading it from here.
[What I wouldn’t give to jump in a time machine and spend an evening (or ten!) seeing a live performance featuring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke, both at the height of their theatrical powers.]
221 Baking Geeks, a new blog that is a - you guessed it - Sherlock Holmes-centric blog with recipes for cakes and cookies and other sweets.; or in their own words “a geek-inspired baking blog”. It’s a fun blog to add to your Sherlock Holmes RSS reader and, after assuring myself by reading through their content, it still leaves the way open to create The Vegetarian Restaurateurs scion/cookbook with fellow vegetarian/vegan Sherlockians. Anyway, keep up the baking Amy and Rachel!
SoCal Sherlockians, a group of LA Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts, are planning Murder at the Natural History Museum Scavenger Hunt on Saturday August 4, 2012 - another interesting sounding Sherlock Holmes Week event. If you live in or near Los Angeles, check out their Facebook or follow them on Twitter for more information and updates.
Baker Street Journal sent out their Summer 2012 issue (Vol. 62, No. 2) which includes pieces by Leslie S. Klinger, Burt Wolder, Michael Pollak, Nicholas Utechin, a few of the Baker Street Babes (T. Blumenberg, J. Eeker, A Thomas), Lisa Sanders MD, Robert A. Moss and Barbara Rusch. Tying it all together is BSJ editor Steve Rothman and his “Editor’s Gas-Lamp” column which notes the simple and perennial joy of experiencing 221B re-creations (life-size or miniature), an uncontroversial observation we can all agree - departing for a moment from the more contentious musings of last issue.
[Another stunning color cover of the BSJ.]
Dan Andriacco’s blog featured a piece by guest blogger Amy Thomas (Girl Meets Sherlock) of the Baker Street Babes and author of The Detective and the Woman on “The Importance of John Watson”: “Watson admires his friend, but he’s not in awe of him, and he isn’t afraid to make light of Holmes at times. Sherlock Holmes is a superhero of sorts, but John Watson is everyone.”
Tea at 221B published images of the famous Turf Cigarettes Sherlock Holmes character cards (by Alexander Boguslavsky, Ltd. 1923), both front and back. New fact: I always assumed they were included as ‘prizes’ (like Cracker Jacks, but for carcinogens) or advertisements, but “from the late 19th century to early 20th, cards were included in cigarette packs as a way to ‘stiffen’ the packaging.”
[The University of Minnesota Sherlock Holmes Collection has scans (from their originals) of all of these I believe.]
Markings’ Ray Wilcockson announced that he will be guest blogging on The World of Joe Riggs (subtitled: Mentalist & Consultant) during Sherlock Holmes Week 2012 with a piece entitled ‘“Some deep organizing power” – Professor Moriarty and Conan Doyle’s Imagination’. Both Mr Wilcockson (@RayWilcockson) and Mr Riggs (@JoeRiggs) can be found posting with regularity on Twitter and are worth following.
Sherlock Peoria posted a thoughtful piece which begins by considering the recent Colorado movie theater Dark Knight Rising shooting spree which left 12 dead (as of writing this) and a considerably more seriously injured. Moving on from tragedy, Mr Keefauver asks: “when you think of Sherlock Holmes, do you think of him as an avenger or a defender?” I’ll let you read the rest of the article in order to properly give a context both to Mr Keefauver’s question as well as any eventual answer he, you or I might give regarding Holmes’ defender/avenger status.
[Holmes & Watson vs. Cat and Hedgehog, just one of many images tagged #cat!sherlock on Tumblr.]
Geek Art published this fine piece of fan art featuring a face-off between Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man done in a clean, subtle, ‘steampunk’ style. Hopefully someone will create a Sherlock Holmes vs Julian from Less than Zero or Terry Crabtree from Wonder Boys or any number of interesting characters from the oeuvre of Robert Downey Jr.
[I AM SHERLOCK HOLMES as well as IRON MAN!]
Scientific American Blog continues their Lessons From Sherlock Holmes column by guest blogger Maria Konnikova. This post explores the notion that too much thinking can be just as damaging to one’s sleuthing as too little. Considering events from “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place” Ms. Konnikova illustrates just why this is the case by considering the process of sorting out the various details of the case: 1) Shoscombe spaniels - special pride of the Lady Beatrice, 2) Shoscombe Prince - last hope of Sir Robert and 3) the Crypt reported by Sandy Banes to have “a bad name among us.” One needs “to learn to divide them in my mind in order to maximize productive reasoning. I have to learn when not to think of them as well as when to bring them in.” Holmes obviously did a good job since he solved the case. “Holmes’s message is one of focus. Learn to concentrate on one thing at a time, to develop a single idea in a sitting; otherwise, you may end up by getting exactly nowhere on any of the myriad ideas floating through your head.”
Lyndsay Faye will be speaking at Gotham Center on Mystery Fiction and NYC. If you’re in the area I strongly suggest checking out noted author and Sherlockian Lyndsay Faye (Dust and Shadow and the upcoming The Gods of Gotham) along with Joseph Wallace, and Edgar-winner Stefanie Pintoff as they explore topics associated with setting their novels in historic NYC. More information about this event can be found here.
[The Gods of Gotham has a release date of March 15th 2012.]
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere just released Episode 35: ‘Sherlock Holmes in the News’. I’ll probably listen to the soothing voices of Burt Wolder & Scott Monty as I fall asleep tonight so expect a more content-full review on Friday’s Sherlock Holmes Links Compendium.
London 24 reports on a plan that’s, um, “afoot”, to “turn one of London’s most iconic but underwhelming roads into a thriving business quarter.” Of course they’re talking about Baker Street. Let’s hope “thriving” doesn’t mean “disney”. And also: ”because Baker Street is one-way“…wait what? Was I supposed to know that Baker Street is a one-way street? Is that canonical? I don’t see why being a one-way street is bad for business though. There’s a one-way street in NYC called “Broadway” that can be said to be ‘thriving’. What do I know?
[“This is Baker Street not Harley Street!”]
The Newberry Library Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes Symposium is happening October 1st 2011 in Chicago. “The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) are co-sponsoring this program that highlights the collection of written works and memorabilia of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle held in the Newberry’s C. Frederick Kittle Collection of Doyleana. This symposium is open to the public and no reservations are required.” Speakers include: Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower, “Alas for the Thing that Happened”: Conan Coyle’s Lost Novel, Jacquelynn Morris, ASH “The Pressure of Public Opinion”: The Campaign to Save Undershaw and Henry Zecher, William Gillette, America’s Sherlock Holmes.
[For an impressive list of ACD-related items, check out the Inventory of the C. Frederick Kittle Collection of Doyleana, 1836-2000 at Newberry.]
Barefoot on Baker Street’s Charlotte Anne Walters has decided, now that she’s finished with her novel Barefoot on Baker Street, to tackle all 56 Sherlock Holmes stories in 56 days: “Now that my novel is complete, I do miss my daily dose of writing about Sherlock Holmes and have decided to take on the challenge of reading and blogging about one short story every day until I have covered all 56.” A challenge indeed! I’ll be looking forward to reading about and reporting on her progress regularly here at Always1895.net.
The Apiary Society posted a rather personal essay by Bernard J. Schaffer, the author of Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes, about the unhappy state of his life while writing Whitechapel as well as his debt to British mopey crooner Morrissey. Moz and Sherlock might appear to be an unlikely paring, but the union of these two English staples, albeit generations apart, worked for Mr. Schaffer since he was able to both complete and publish his book. I haven’t come across Whitechapel yet but from the following description, it sounds worth reading: Whitechapel: The Final Stand of Sherlock Holmes “depicts London’s infamous East End in a stark, brutal fashion that does not flinch away from the realities of the times. Picking up where Arthur Conan Doyle left off with Holmes’ increasing dependence on cocaine and morphine, Bernard J. Schaffer has delved deeper into the characters of the canon than any author would dare.” As a fun/morose added bonus the post ends with Mr. Schaffer’s ”Top Ten Mozzer/Whitechapel Playlist.” (FYI; “Moz” or “Mozzer” is the nickname used by fans to refer to Morrissey.)
[An ominous cover that sets the tone for what sounds like one of the darker pastiches to be released in a while.]
la berceuse posted a set of animated David Burke (qua Watson) GIFs that, frankly, should be less seen and more worshiped. Here’s a teaser but click on the image for the amazing ‘The Many Expressions of David Burke’:
[For the David Burke die-hard only!]
The Napoleon of Crime posted my favorite animated GIF of the mid-week. Holmes and Watson, just two bachelors living, alone, together. Here’s an animated picture of Holmes strumming the strad…definitely my ‘glass of tea’.
[The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes has one of my favorite 221B sets of all time.]
Tor.com weighs in on the CBS-planned contemporary Sherlock doppelganger thingy. There’s some words in the article, but the following image really says it all:
[Captions don’t exist to comment on things this amazing….]
Midweek Sherlock Holmes Links Roundup (September 10 - September 13, 2011):
Baker Street Beat in his edifying series ‘Quintessential Quotes’ takes on one of the more challenging and controversial lines from the Canon: “I would not tell them too much. Women are never to be entirely trusted—not the best of them.” (Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four) Please read the post for Mr. Andriacco’s (or Kate McCabe’s, a character from his new book No Police Like Holmes) full explication for why one might conclude: “[a]t some point in his unrecorded past Sherlock Holmes loved well but not wisely. He was, in short, ‘burned.’” As an aside, I’d like to compliment Mr. Andriacco’s ‘fairly honourable dodge’ (to paraphrase Iris Murdoch) in using one of his own literary creations to give voice to the above explanation. For a more straightforward approach to dealing with the Great Detective’s implicit (or explicit depending on how you look at it) misogyny, I encourage everyone to read (and re-read) Susan Rice’s (BSI, ASH) delightfully engaging ‘Entirely To Be Trusted’ wherein she argues quite forcefully for a rational approach to thinking about Holmes’ thinking concerning women. Similar to Mr. Andriacco’s own arguments in ‘Quintessential Quote #12’ concerning Holmes’ “immense and well-earned respect” for Irene Adler, Mrs. Susan Rice-Fromkin’s (née Rice; or soon to be) ultimate conclusion rests in a commonsense approach to reading the Canon and taking at face-value Holmes’ stated desire to “abjure women in order to become the best detective, a perfect reasoning machine.” (Rice, p.6)
[Holmes caught in the act of abjuring. (from REDH)]
Deadline reported on…wait what!? “the famous 19th century British detective is headed for a commercial TV series update. CBS has bought Sherlock Holmes, a drama project from CBS TV Studios and studio-based Timberman/Beverly Prods., which is described as a modern take on the cases of the pipe-smoking private eye created by Arthur Conan Doyle.” Um…seriously? *Sigh* Watson the needle!
Baker Street Blog posts a plea for Undershaw, the legendary and unfortunately decrepit former domicile of ACD where many of his greatest works were conceived/written including Hound of the Baskervilles. There’s quite a bit of information about the history of Undershaw and what’s been done regarding it’s preservation/restoration packed into this post, so I suggest re-linking and re-posting it as much as possible. There’s also a link to a new petition (sign by Friday, September 16th!!) that’s now open to Americans.
[BSB posted current photos (Sep 2011), courtesy of Catherine Cooke, BSI (“The Book of Life”) - click on the above photo for a much larger, and sadder, version of Undershaw in it’s present miserable condition.]
Baker Street Babes released their seventh podcast, this time focusing on ‘Villains, Bad Guys, & Adversaries’ in the Canon. The usual suspects are covered: Moriarty, Charles Augustus Milverton (note: if you’re looking for a nickname for Milverton, try “CAM” or “CAM Devil”, which are out of the story, opposed to “Milvey”), Rucastle and Dr. Roylott. Absent from their rogues gallery were Mortimer Tregennis and, oddly enough since she’s said to be quite the “babe” herself, Isadora Klein of The Three Gables.
You know my methods - Apply them recounts Holmes’ dramatic re-appearance in EMPT: ”My dear Watson, I owe you a thousand apologies. I had no idea that you would be so affected.” There’s no doubt that this is the animated GIF of the week:
Midweek Sherlock Holmes Links Roundup (September 3 - September 6, 2011):
Baker Street Beat considers one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes quotes: Watson: “I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained. — A Study in Scarlet, Chapter 1.”
SantaCruz.Com has an extremely positive review of Laurie R. King’s Pirate King. I have yet to fully immerse myself into the Laurie King-verse, but from the review: “Pirate King is as intelligent as it is entertaining; you get pirates of all stripes and some though-provoking perspectives on piracy itself. You’ll get as much and more from King herself; you can count on her to make you think as often as she makes you laugh. The book may be about pirates, but the writer is truly the treasure.”
[So many good potential pirate jokes…]
Baker Street Blog is hawking some amazing writing utensils in the form of the head of the Great Detective. I wonder if Watson would have used one of these? Possibly to compose The Sussex Vampire? From BSB: “it was designed after a sketch by Tom Richmond and made for sale by David Ian Davies.”
[A singular writing utensil.]
You Know My Methods - Apply Them posted my favorite Sherlockian animated GIF I’ve seen in a while. I can only describe this at Jeremy Brett at his most relaxed. If you have a moment, check out the logo for You Know My Methods - Apply Them; it’s super elegant and classy.
[JB chillin’ like a villain.]
Better Holmes & Gardens is hosting a contest! How and what does one win? The prize package consists of two amazing CD sets full of recordings by the legendary Edward Hardwicke (mentioned on this blog before). And to win? Simply “tell me about your favorite Holmes and Watson pairing, on stage or screen. For example, do you prefer Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce? Jeremy Brett and either of his Watsons….” The deadline is September 24th 2011. Click here to get started!
The Quotable Sherlock Holmes posted one of Sherlock’s more infamous quotes from The Norwood Builder regarding London sans the Napoleon of Crime.
[Except in pastiches….]