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The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Winter 2022
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. If you’re missing back issues of the Journal, check what’s available from the Society’s shop at https://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/shop/archives/journal-archive/. There are issues back as far as 1972, for just £3.00 each!
Guest Editorial: “An Acknowledged Authority” * Memories of Nicholas Utechin, by Elaine & Jonathan McCafferty
Editorial Notes * Six months ago we celebrated 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and 70 years of The Sherlock Holmes Journal. Her Majesty died in September, but the Journal still flourishes, and we wish King Charles III well. * Nick Utechin’s last (?) article, a tribute to Jay Finley Christ, BSI, was published in the Summer issue of The Baker Street Journal. See https://bakerstreetirregulars.com/the-baker-street-journal/ * Gunnersbury in West London is the home of the BSI! True – but it’s the British Standards Institution. If you’re interested in the chronology of Sherlock Holmes, you should consider joining the Sherlockian Chronologist Guild. The website is at https://bkeefauver5.wixsite.com/sherlockchronoguild/biol * Erika Kobayashi, artist and novelist, is the daughter of Akane Higashiyama and the late Dr Tsukasa Kobayashi, co-founders of the Japan Sherlock Holmes Club and internationally respected Holmes scholars. Erika’s memories of growing up in a household of Holmesian enthusiasts were published in the Autumn issue of Sherlock Holmes Magazine. See www.sherlockholmesmag.co.uk * Colin Blakely, a memorable Dr Watson in the 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, is commemorated by a blue plaque in his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland.
“Sherlock, Jupiter, Peter and Bob!” by Mark Mower * A crime historian and novelist re-reads the stories of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators – the books that helped kindle his love of Sherlock Holmes.
“A Medical Look at the Use of Catalepsy in ‘The Resident Patient’,” by Nick Howlett * Why did Conan Doyle choose this rare medical condition as a key plot device, and how accurately is it portrayed?
“An Experiment in Stereophonic Sound,” by David Robert Parker * BBC Radio was experimenting with stereo broadcasting as early as 1925, but the earliest recording known to survive dates from 1958 – and it features extracts from William Gillette’s play Sherlock Holmes.
A Sherlock Carol reviewed by Heather Owen * Last year’s off-Broadway hit has been successfully revived in both New York and London. The story combines elements and characters from both A Christmas Carol and “The Blue Carbuncle”. Your co-Editor would “be happy to see it revived in London in the run-up to Christmas every year.”
Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear reviewed by David Jones and Roger Johnson * Luke Barton and Joseph Derrington return as Holmes and Watson in Nick Lane’s second excellent canonical adaptation for Blackeyed Theatre.
“‘Ships, Spies and Ghosts in the Windy East’: The Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s trip to Harwich,” by Rakshita Patel * Our long-delayed return to “His Last Bow” country, including a film show at one of Britain’s oldest purpose-built cinemas, was a triumph.
Transactions, by Chris Seymour and Roger Johnson * The annual May Weekend began on Thursday the 19th with dinner at the Little Ship Club, followed by The Sign of Four-and-Twenty Questions, a challenging and occasionally fiendish quiz, devised and hosted by Chris Seymour. * The next day, the erudite and amiable Richard Burnip led a walking tour, following the trail of Mr Henry Baker and his goose, from the corner of Goodge Street to Covent Garden (well, Bow Street, where the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden faces the former Bow Street Police Station). * The 2022 Annual Dinner was originally scheduled for the 8th January, but was understandably postponed until Saturday the 21st May. It was a pleasure to return to the House of Commons for “The Professorial Provender“, named in tribute to our Guest of Honour, Professor Michael Moriarty. The second speaker was our President, Jonathan McCafferty.
“Played the Game for All It Is Worth”: The 2022 Victorian Cricket Match vs the “Gold Bats”, by Paul Gillings and Peter Horrocks * A welcome visitor at the West Wycombe ground was Jack Russell, the former England and Gloucestershire wicket keeper and batsman, now a respected artist, who immortalised the match in a splendid painting. Under the laws of 1895, the match ended in a draw, and the Sherlock Holmes Society remains one up in the series.
Nicholas Utechin, 1952-2022 * Memories of our late Historian and Honorary Member, who died in August. Nick was only fourteen when joined the Society, and 24 when he became Editor of the SHJ (a post he held for a remarkable 30 years). The following year he received his BSI investiture as “The Ancient British Barrow”. Nick’s knowledge, humour and wisdom are greatly missed, but his legacy will last as long as the Society.
“It Is With a Heavy Heart…”: Obituaries by Jean Upton and Roger Johnson * Others we have lost include our members Dr Tim Healey, June Kinnee and Richard Wein; the crime-writer June Thomson; actors Angela Lansbury, David Warner and Kenneth Welsh; director Igor Maslennikov and Sherlockian author Arthur Liebman.
“I Am an Omnivorous Reader” * Book reviews by Catherine Cooke, Matthew J Elliott, Mark Jones, Guy Marriott, Paul Thomas Miller, Mark Mower, John Sheppard, JeanUpton and Roger Johnson
“Wigmore Street Postbag” * Letters to The Sherlock Holmes Journal