Journal – Summer 2015

The Sherlock Holmes Journal is published twice a year, usually in July and December. It is the official voice of the Society and contains its transactions, news and reviews, letters and editorial notes. It is also home to the most erudite scholarship, publishing learned articles from Holmesians world-wide who have something to say on any aspect of Sherlock Holmes and his world. It has been appearing without a break since the first issue in May 1952.
        The Summer 2015 issue is now out. You can download the book reviews here – 
http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/I-Am-an-Omnivorous-Reader.pdf
       And here is a summary of the contents:

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EDITORIAL: “YOU MAY PLACE CONSIDERABLE CONFIDENCE IN MR HOLMES”
        Mr Holmes, based on Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind and starring Ian McKellen, is set in 1947. Holmes is 93 years old and long retired. His mental powers are not what they were, but there’s a case from the past that haunts him, and he is desperate to solve it. McKellen and the supporting cast are on top form, the film is a visual delight, and the result is both moving and uplifting.

“OVERRUN BY OYSTERS” by Julie Cohen
        Our resident cartoonist strikes again!

EDITORIAL NOTES
        Congratulations to those who received the Irregular Shilling at the Annual Dinner of the Baker Street Irregulars, and to Mary Ann Bradley, who received the Two Shilling Award. And we salute Peter Calamai, MBt, BSI, appointed to the Order of Canada for his achievements as a science journalist and for his contributions to the cause of literacy.

        Terry and Alan Rettig took the “Agra Treasure Brooch” all the way to Agra, and we have photographs to prove it.

        In his autobiography My Life and Times, Jerome K Jerome tells of his first encounter with the William Gillette method of acting.

        We thank Carrie Chandler for her eight years’ work reporting the Society’s activities in the Journal, and we welcome Valerie Schreiner, who has been persuaded to take over from Carrie.

        The winner of this year’s Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award is Richard Burnip, for his excellent piece “‘All London Shivered’ — Saintsbury, Harding and The Speckled Band” in the Summer 2014 issue of the Journal.

        We mourn the loss of the actor Leonard Nimoy, writer and publisher Don Libey, novelists P D James and Ruth Rendell, and our member John Hoath.

THE TANGLED SAGA OF GILLETTE’S CELLULOID SHERLOCK HOLMES by Russell Merritt
        How William Gillette came to make his only film, and how an amazing discovery at the Cinémathèque Française means that ours is the first generation in many decades to see Gillette play the great detective.

WHERRIES, SKIFFS AND THE SIGN by M Kenneth McQuage with Andrew L Solberg
        How credible is Watson’s description of Mordecai Smith’s wharf and the waterfront at Lambeth?

THE WRONG END OF THE STICK
        By courtesy of “the Trustees of the Watson Estate”, Sherlock Holmes’s own views on the Whitechapel murders of 1888.

THE WORST MAN AND THE WOMAN – 2: ST JOHN’S WOOD by Catherine Cooke
        In May last year Catherine Cooke took a score of members (not forgetting the dog) around Hampstead and St John’s Wood, in search of Appledore Towers, residence of Charles Augustus Milverton, and Briony Lodge, Irene Adler’s bijou villa. In this paper she describes her research and the results. (Part 1: Hampstead was published in the previous issue.)

SHERLOCK HOLMES IN POP CULTURE ILLUSTRATIONS by John Lockwood
        John Lockwood’s collection has an unusual theme – newspaper and magazine advertisements, and political cartoons. “Truly, one hears of Holmes everywhere.”

EXHIBITION: FORENSICS – THE ANATOMY OF CRIME by Wendy C Fries
        Simultaneous with the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London, there was a smaller but similarly fascinating exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, where the visitor could trace the development of the science – with an emphasis on criminal pathology – that is so essential to the detective.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE CLASSIC BBC TV SERIES reviewed by David Jones
        Fifty years on, the performances of Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock as Holmes and Watson have lost none of their power. The eleven complete episodes have been restored and the two partial ones reconstructed by the British Film Institute, and the whole released with extras as a DVD boxed set.

MRS HUDSON’S CHRISTMAS CORKER reviewed by Roger Johnson
        Not quite a pantomime, the seasonal entertainment at Wilton’s Music Hall was a glorious mad comedy based – loosely – on Mrs Hudson’s Diaries by Barry and Bob Cryer.

“IT SEEMS TO ME…” – THAT AULD LANGHAM SIGN by Auberon Redfearn
        What would have happened if our two famous authors at that Langham Hotel Dinner had written each other’s books? Part 2: “The Picture of Four”.

“THE GILLETTE JOLLIFICATION” by Carrie Chandler
        The theme for this year’s Annual Dinner was inspired by the re-emergence after many decades of the 1916 silent film Sherlock Holmes, adapted from William Gillette’s play and starring Gillette himself as Holmes. The Guest of Honour was our member Russell Merritt, supervising editor of the restoration of the film. Also present were Céline Ruivo of Cinémathèque Française and Robert Byrne, President of The San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Philip Porter paid tribute to his friend, the late Sir Sydney Chapman, honorary member of the Society and our long-term sponsor at the House of Commons. The Chairman, Bob Ellis, welcomed our newest honorary member, Shirley Purves, and read messages of greeting from our former President, Freda Howlett, and from Douglas Wilmer. The second speaker was Roger Johnson, the recipient of this year’s Tony Howlett Award.

SILENTLY THE ENGLISH INVADE PARIS by Judi Ellis
        Judi and Bob Ellis were among the privileged few from England who attended the annual Repas de l’Oie of the Société Sherlock Holmes de France, which was followed by the first screening of the newly restored Sherlock Holmes of 1916.

“SOMETHING A LITTLE CHOICE” by Roger Johnson
        On 31 March, our member Wang Chong, three-time Pol Roger Wine Challenge Cup champion, presented an evening devoted to the wines that might have been served at a large formal dinner in the 1890s. The wines were chosen (and a frustratingly clever quiz set) by Ian McLaren, Chairman of the Central London Wine Society.

SOME OBSERVATIONS by Nick Dunn-Meynell
        Reflections on tobacco, and a cogent argument for redating “The Solitary Cyclist”.

“I AM AN OMNIVOROUS READER”
        Book reviews by Lisa Burscheidt, Carrie Chandler, Catherine Cooke, David Stuart Davies, Matthew J Elliott, David Jones and Roger Johnson

WIGMORE STREET POSTBAG
        Letters to The Sherlock Holmes Journal.

“THERE CAN BE NO QUESTION AS TO THE AUTHORSHIP”
        Contributors to this issue of The Sherlock Holmes Journal.

 

 

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