The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Summer 2019


The Sherlock Holmes Journal is published twice a year, usually in June 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 2019 issue is now out!

You can download the book reviews here: I Am an Omnivorous Reader (SHJ Summer 2019)

And here is a summary of this issue’s contents:

Editorial by Heather Owen
The Production Editor introduces the new-look SHJ.

Editorial Notes

  • At the Annual Dinner, the Tony Howlett Award was presented to Ashley Mayo, and Honorary Membership was conferred upon Guy Marriott. The winner of this year’s Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award is Brian W Pugh. At the Baker Street Irregulars’ Annual Dinner, nine new BSIs received the Irregular Shilling.
  • We know of three Holmesian societies that celebrate their 40th anniversary this year – and one that rejoices, like Jack Benny, in being 39 years old.
  • Peter E Blau, Secretary of the Baker Street Irregulars, received his investiture in 1959. The BSI marked his first 60 years as an Irregular with a Festschrift.
  • It’s been reported that US troops in Afghanistan have purloined items buried with British soldiers killed at the Battle of Maiwand.
  • In May the National Police Dog Memorial was unveiled in Chelmsford by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The bronze statue is the work of our Honorary Member John Doubleday.
  • Paul Gillings has discovered that Ristorante Granaio at the Criterion now features a life-size seated statue of Sherlock Holmes.
  • When The New York Times asked for readers’ accounts of petty crime in London, one response was rather unexpected.
  • This year, for the first time since 1963, the calendar matches that for the golden year of 1895.
  • Sherlock Holmes has been celebrated on British stamps; now the Royal Mint has struck a commemorative 50p coin.

The Moonstone and Conan Doyle: An Underestimated Influence” by Vincent Delay
The Sign of Four has echoes of The Moonstone, but the Holmes canon owes a greater debt to Wilkie Collins’s novel.

“The Case of the Two Coptic Patriarchs” by Simon Smyth
In the late 1890s there really were two Coptic Patriarchs – but who called Holmes in, and why?

“The Adventure of the Mahratta Minister’s Sister (and Her Pig): a story for which the world is not yet prepared” by Nicholas Dunn-Meynell
A rather skewed look at that letter from Porlock.

“The Adventures of Norman Collie” by Anthony Butler
Some have claimed that Professor J Norman Collie – tall, gaunt, a mountaineer, an outstanding chemist with an acute analytical mind – was the real Sherlock Holmes.

“The Adventure of the Missing Tail” by Paul Thomas Miller
Sherlock the Pooh solves the case, with a little help from Dr Piglet.

Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four reviewed by Ashley Mayo and Kevin Teasdale
A cast of six in a spectacular production. Nick Lane’s play keeps close to the canon with a few embellishments, and is always faithful to the spirit.

The Hound of the Baskervilles reviewed by Roger Johnson
Thomas Moore’s play is a comic delight, with pantomime chestnuts and “Carry On” vulgarities.

“The Red-Headed Heist”
The name of this year’s Annual Dinner, held at the House of Commons on the 19th January, was inspired by an episode in Bob Neill, MP’s former career as a barrister. Mr Neill was both our Parliamentary sponsor and our Guest of Honour. The Second speaker was our Honorary Treasurer, Ashley Mayo.

Transactions by Valerie Schreiner and Roger Johnson

  • Michael Crumplin, retired consultant surgeon and specialist in the history of military surgery, gave the 2018 Richard Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture: “Doctors, Detectives and Disasters”.
  • At the Annual Film Evening, entitled Subtitles Provided, Matthew Elliott presented an episode from the recent Japanese TV series Miss Sherlock, followed by The Sign of Four, Eille Norwood’s last film as the great detective.
  • In March the Honorary Librarian of the National Liberal Club, Dr Seth Alexander Thévoz, spoke about “Clubs and the World of Sherlock Holmes”.

“ ‘For the Game’s Own Sake’ – Lord’s Cricket Ground, Friday March 29th” by David Jones
A visit to Lord’s is a must for any cricket enthusiast, but this one had a specific purpose: to see the bat – now restored, thanks to the Society – with which Arthur Conan Doyle scored a century at Lord’s.

“It Seems to Me…” by Auberon Redfearn
Dr Redfearn envisages a really radical updating of the canon.

“It Is With a Heavy Heart…” Obituaries by Jean Upton and Roger Johnson
Those we have lost include Vice-Admiral Sir Barry Wilson, husband of the former Georgina Doyle; actors George A Cooper, Dame June Whitfield, William Morgan Sheppard, Albert Finney and Shane Rimmer; producer and designer John Wulp; and Holmesians Roy Upton-Holder, David L Hammer, Peter Calamai, Jan Chris, François-Michel Zavez and Susan Z Diamond.

Der Hund von Baskerville
The last silent feature film, made in Germany in 1929, with an international cast, has been restored and released on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s worth seeking out.

“I Am an Omnivorous Reader”
Book reviews by Lisa Burscheidt, Paul Gillings, David Jones, Paul Thomas Miller, Valerie Schreiner, Nicholas Utechin and Roger Johnson.

“Overrun by Oysters” by Julie Cohen
Our resident cartoonist strikes again.

“Wigmore Street Postbag”
Letters to The Sherlock Holmes Journal.

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