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The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Winter 2020
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.
Editorial: “As to Your Dates, That Is the Biggest Mystification of All” * Why do we celebrate Sherlock Holmes’s birthday on the 6th of January?
Editorial Notes: * The King of Bohemia wore a mask. Right now, we have better reason to do so!
* This year’s Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award goes to Simon Smyth for his excellent article on “The Case of the Two Coptic Patriarchs”.
* Mr Ohki Minoru of the Japan Sherlock Holmes Club has created a delightful bilingual miniature edition of “How Watson Learned the Trick”.
* To promote the Netflix film, a statue of Enola Holmes was temporarily sited beside her brother Sherlock outside Baker Street Station. Enola now resides at the nearby Francis Holland School, Regents Park.
* Lion’s Mane Extract can help improve memory, creativity and motivation – but this Lion’s Mane is a mushroom, not a jellyfish.
* Look out for the new quarterly periodical, Sherlock Holmes Magazine.
* Two of the Society’s late Honorary Members, Peter Cushing and Douglas Wilmer, feature on the new Sherlock Holmespack from Bird Playing Cards.
* We welcome no fewer than three new Honorary Members: Peter Blau, Michael Cox and Bob Ellis.
“Stamp of Approval” * The Royal Mail has issued two exceptionally attractive sets for Holmesian philatelists: four stamps illustrating classic tales from the canon, and six depicting crucial scenes from the BBC/Hartswood series Sherlock.
“The Sherlockian Durbar Room of Arthur Conan Doyle” by Donald Zaldin * A Study in Scarlet begins with John H Watson’s return from military service in India, and the influence of India is evident throughout the canon.
“Why Holmes Went German at St James’s Hall: The Reason Behind His Musical Taste” by Katherine Karlson and Dr Alexander Katz * Holmes declared, “There is a good deal of German music on the programme, which is rather more to my taste than Italian or French. It is introspective, and I want to introspect.” But what did he mean by that?
“Can ‘Thinking Machines’ Feel?” by Nicholas Dunn-Meynell * If Mycroft Holmes was a pure “thinking machine”, Sherlock was something less than that – and something more.
“The Devil’s Foot and Tredannick Wartha” by Paul Thomas Miller * A new and very persuasive identification of the Tregennis family home.
Three Minute Problems: Papers presented at the Society’s first Online Meeting, 21st July 2020 (part 1) * What should have been the Spring Meeting, held as usual at the National Liberal Club, was conducted via Zoom. Thirteen speakers each gave a talk of no longer than three minutes. In this issue we present those by Heather Owen, Marcus Geisser, Andrew Parker, ShirleyPurves, Arthur F Davis III, Robin Rowles and Simon Smyth. The rest will follow in the next issue.
“Sherlock’s Bar, Southsea” by Paul Thomas Miller * At 17 Clarendon Road, a short walk from the site of 1, Bush Villas, where Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, Debbie Moorhead and Richard Peckham have opened a bar dedicated to the great detective.
Enola Holmes reviewed by Nicholas Utechin * Our reviewer, unfamiliar with Nancy Springer’s novels about Sherlock and Mycroft’s younger sister, and with Millie Bobby Brown, the teenage star and producer of Enola Holmes, found the film very entertaining! (As did your Editors…)
The Richard Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture, 2019: “Forensic Geology”, reported by Valerie Schreiner * Could Sherlock Holmes be a good geological investigator today? Dr Laurance Donnelly, founder and first Chair of the Forensic Geoscience Group of the Geological Society of London, says, “Yes!”
“It Seems to Me…” by Auberon Redfearn * The subtitle is “#WeAlso (Part 1)”. “Certain female clients are indignant that Irene Adler alone should enjoy the accolade of an italicised definite article, and request the same privilege for themselves. Their representative organisation “The Pink Circle” has written to Mycroft addressed to the Misogynes Club, urging him to intervene. Now the ever-chivalrous Watson has researched the later history of certain lady clients and their male associates.”
“It Is With a Heavy Heart…” Obituaries by Jean Upton and Roger Johnson * Among those we have lost are Professor Neil McCaw, Academic Director of Portsmouth’s Arthur Conan Doyle Collection; our members Sheila Holtgrieve, Jessie Hinrich, Marilyn MacGregor, John Pforr and Susan Rice (one of the first women to be invested with all rights and privileges into the Baker Street Irregulars); actors Graham Martin, Julian Curry, Diana Rigg, Yuko Takeuchi (star of Miss Sherlock), Frank Windsor, and Dave Hawkes, who played Dr Watson in the audio plays written and produced for the Society, accessible as podcasts on the website).
“I Am an Omnivorous Reader” * Book reviews by Alistair Duncan, Mark Mower, Sarah Obermuller-Bennett, John Sheppard, Jean Upton, Nicholas Utechin and Roger Johnson.
Wigmore Street Postbag * Letters to The Sherlock Holmes Journal.