The Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award 2021


In 2009 the late Mikio Kawamura, a distinguished Japanese Holmesian scholar and long-time member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, founded and sponsored the annual Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award, for the outstanding contribution to the literature of Sherlock Holmes written by a member of the Society and published in the previous year.

Normally the winner would be announced at the Annual General Meeting in May – but these are not normal times, so…

This year, the Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award goes to Maureen Whittaker for her admirable book Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part

We are all familiar with Jeremy Brett’s performances as Sherlock Holmes in the Granada Television series, the brainchild of our late Honorary Member Michael Cox. We may know that Jeremy Brett’s portrayal of the great detective was the culmination of a distinguished career on stage and screen, but we probably aren’t aware of the extraordinary personal and professional life that enabled him to be a truly great Holmes.

In 2015 Maureen Whittaker conceived and organised the siting and dedicating of a memorial bench for the actor, in the heart of his beloved Clapham Common. Then she set herself to chronicling his career – with particular reference to Sherlock Holmes. The result is this outstanding book, of which Nicko Vaughan wrote in an online review: “You couldn’t get a more detailed and enjoyable account of an actor’s career if the man himself was sitting next to you at the dinner table.”

The judges were unanimous in selecting Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part as the winner of this year’s award.

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