Fwd: Sherlockian Asides
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Begin forwarded message:From: BRENDA <agrrtig@...>
Date: 3 October 2015 04:14:38 IST
Subject: Sherlockian AsidesSherlockian AsidesMembers of Chicago-area Torists heard a stirring lecture, “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson---Were they True Friends?” We live in troubled times and lessons can be learned from 1895 and the friendship of these two men of note. Philosophical musings on morality and on gallantry were presaged with a toast to Murray, the Gallant who transported a wounded Dr. Watson. Parsing Aristotle and his Nicomachean Ethics, the Bible-- Old and New-- we were reminded of true friends and of corrupt companions. Holmes is the detective and Watson his supportive, unquestioning friend. Avoid those whose “feet rush to sin.”(Old Testament, Proverbs, 1:10-19, 4:14-19). Avoid association with those who entice you to do wrong, no matter the appeal of their “friendship.” Does Watson put friendship ahead of morality? Is this indicative of a lack of integrity? How much loyalty is demanded in a true friendship? How does Dr. Watson maintain balance when alerted by Holmes that a game is afoot? Our speaker, the brilliant Tony Citera, concluded that these two were indeed the best of friends, citing from the New Testament, John 13: 15:12-15: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.”reading recommendation: Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy: The Footprints of a Gigantic Mind, ed. Joseph Steiff, and the particular chapter by Ruth Tallman: “Are They True Friends and What is a True Friend,” and The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes, ed. Philip Tallon, David Baggett.Frank Cioffi (1928-2012) an Italian-American from a peasant family is the subject of an interesting book by David Ellis, Frank Cioffi: The Philosopher in Shirt Sleeves. After teaching in Singapore and Kent, he became the founding professor of the philosophy department at the University of Essex in the early 1970s. He was physically large, 6 ft. 4 in. and strong, and wore pajamas underneath his clothes. The pajamas were visible at the edges of his sweater and he held his pants up with a piece of string. In his pockets, he gathered scraps of paper with typewritten quotations from favorite writers like George Eliot, Tolstoy or Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, whom he revered.A Torist guest won a prized collectible: a Valley of Fear paperback upon which the author’s name appears as “A.C. Doyle” on an erotic-themed cover. Thank goodness for small favors--there was never a connection between ACD and erotica. I recall the 2011 Toronto SinS conference where, at 9 am, the audience was regaled with a presentation of Victorian era cheek, including a full frontal monte, images of undone knickers, and British kama sutra (a contradiction in terms, n’est ce pas?). An eminence grise, age approximately late 80s, exhaled sonorously and left in a creaky huff. He must have been familiar with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s riposte on pornography in Jacobellis v. Ohio: "I know it when I see it."the Masterpiece Theater production of “Arthur and George” (based in large part on Julian Barnes’ excellent Arthur and George) concluded with a horsy thump on Sept. 6. Conan Doyle took years to reverse George Edalji’s wrongful conviction for horse mutilation. Letters written by Arthur Conan Doyle in relation to the Edalji case are in the Portsmouth History Center and Conan Doyle Collection.In the north shore of Chicago, horse mutilation was tabloid fodder over the course of many years. It involved the Jayne family’s sibling rivalry and sordid conflicts over money, stables, horses, arson, murders and disappearances, and insurance claims.Cricketers, Authors, and Doctors: Here’s a new book on W.G. Grace: Amazing Grace: The Man Who Was WG by Richard Tomlinson. Famed cricketer/batsman W.G. Grace, himself a physician, preferred playing cricket to tending patients. Wicket-keeper Conan Doyle pitched against Grace in a game, during which Grace gave Conan Doyle an elementary catch because he mistimed a huge whack at a bad ball. Conan Doyle wrote this exultory snippet in Reminiscences of Cricket:"Once in my heyday of cricket/ One day I shall ever recall! I captured that glorious wicket/ The greatest, the grandest of all. The capture of such might elate one/ But it seemed like one horrible jest/ That I should serve tosh to the great one, Who had broken the hearts of the best."reading recommendation: Peter Pan’s First XI: The Extraordinary Story of JM Barrie’s Cricket Team by Kevin Telfer. Conan Doyle said of Barrie’s “Allahakbarrie” cricket team in his Memoirs and Adventures: “Lord help us.” His team, “The Authors,” played together and against one another. Barrie, A.A. Milne and E.M. Hornung (Conan Doyle’s brother-in-law and creator of Raffles, the gentleman-thief) were regulars. Two teammates were Frank Shacklock and William Mycroft. Wodehouse also played. He, as well as C. Aubrey Smith, moved to the U.S. where they helped found the Hollywood Cricket Club (Boris Karloff was wicketkeeper; he was Henry Pratt of Norfolk, and neighbor to a friend of the undersigned.).Music, Music, Music: “His powers upon the violin... were very remarkable but as eccentric as all his other accomplishments...” At this past summer Prom’s concert, BBC featured the music of Sherlock Holmes in all his guises. “Sherlock” co-creator and star Mark Gatiss provided narrative linking the music as well as short readings from the original stories. There were themes from 1942’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror,” 1985’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, “The Mycroft Suite,” two Lassus motets (upon which Holmes wrote a monograph) and a movement of Paganini’s second violin concerto. Fritz Kreisler is my preferred violinist and you might wish to listen to his Paganini variation. Fritz Kreisler was Holmes and Watson’s contemporary, born in Vienna in 1875 and living a good long while...until1962. Mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, in 19th century opera gown, sang two arias that Irene Adler may have sung -- “Una voce poco fa” from The Barber of Seville and “Ah, Tanya, Tanya” from Eugene Onegin. Access the BBC site and listen to much more of the broadcast at www.bbc.co.uk/events/egnrzc.ErrataU.S. Politics and Sherlock Holmes: From the Washington Post: “the internet is a fickle place. For weeks, it lavished attention on the storyline that Jeb Bush was destined to play the role of chief antagonist to Donald Trump — Jeb would be Sherlock Holmes to Trump’s Professor Moriarty,”Bill Peschel of Peschel Press (his books have appeared in Otto Penzler’s shop (per Bill: “Getting an order for books from his store is like being touched by the pope.”) is writing “Sherlock Holmes Parodies and Pastiches II: 1905-1909,” five essays about each year in Conan Doyle’s life. Due out this November.Quote from a newly fit 53-year-old gent. “I take an EL-EM-EN-TARY approach to fitness:That’s EL for Eating Less - I keep up the protein and fiber intake but with a lot less sugar and saturated fats.EM is for exercise more. Get your heart rate up for 20-40 minutes a day. He has completed triathlons and marathons--unthinkable when he was 50.EN is for Extend Nights. The body’s primary fat burning period is overnight – create a 12-hour gap between consuming calories.And the TARY? That’s desired outcome - “Towards A Renewed You!”Calendar of Sherlockian Jauntsthe Toby Jug Museum in Evanston(IL): an immaculate, superb collection of Toby Jugs and Royal Doulton figures---historical, literary, celebrity, political. Included are a smattering of Sherlockian figures: Holmes and Watson. No ACD representations, however. www.tobyjugmuseum.com.Oct. 2-Nov. 15, 2015. The Seven Percent Solution is on stage, dramatized by Terry McCabe--always a reliable Holmesian: City Lit Theatre, 1020 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago; www.citylit.org. Review to follow.From Oct. 23, The traveling exhibition of Sherlock Holmes moves to Denver CO. Highly recommended: sherlockholmesexhibition.com.Sat. Oct. 24, 2015, 9 a.m. Newberry Library in Chicago: the annual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes Symposium. FREE. www.newberry.orgThe symposium commemorates the written works and memorabilia of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the Newberry Library’s C. Frederick Kittle Collection of Doyleana. This year’s event features the following speakers: Jill Gage, Newberry Library, “Introduction to The Adventure of the C. Frederick Kittle Collection; Zach Dundas, Author, Reporter, and Editor. “Cracking the Casebook”--Investigating the epic story of Sherlock Holmes from Conan Doyle to Cumberbatch. Zach will weave interviews, primary-document research, Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories, and his own excursion into the frozen wastes of Dartmoor into a chronicle of Sherlock Holmes’s 130 years so far. In his new book The Great Detective, Zach traces the evolution of Sherlock Holmes in popular culture. He combines reportage, memoir, and occasional outbreaks of scholarship. Tim Johnson, E. W. McDiarmid Curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota Library, will present “Is it Always 1895?” Building library research collections involves many things, including a bit of detective work. Tim will explore past and present adventures in collecting that include elements of detection, heroes and villains. Looking toward the future–and playing on Vincent Starrett’s famous “221B” Sherlockian sonnet–we will also investigate clues that might challenge latter-day detective-collectors.Augie Aleksy, proprietor of Centuries & Sleuths (Forest Park IL) www.centuriesandsleuths.com has provided the Newberry Library administrator with several “Mr. Holmes” movie posters which will be distributed as event prizes.A traveling “Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” staging, from Pennsylvania, to New Jersey, to Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and parts west. www.aquilatheatre.com/touring. On Sat. Oct. 24, this show stops at the FermiLab in Batavia, IL, unfortunately coincident with the Sat. Oct. 24 dinner-meeting of the Chicago-area Criterion Bar Association. Directed by Desiree Sanchez, with a stellar cast of British performers and original music, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson maneuver the twisted web of London's most intriguing cases.October 27, Tim Johnson (aforementioned curator of the Sherlockian collection at the University of Minnesota Library, https://www.lib.umn.edu/scrbm will be giving a presentation at Northern Illinois University Library. http://www.ulib.niu.edu/friends/activitiesprograms.cfm. The NIU library holds a sizeable Vincent Starrett collection. Starrett was the author of "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1933) and of the indelible “221B.” He was one of the founders of the Baker Street Irregulars and a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society in London.Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24-29, at Chicago’s Oriental Theater, David Arquette stars in a national tour of “Sherlock Holmes.” sherlockholmesonstage.com. Mark Trevino plays Dr. Watson. Arquette admits to being a “huge Sherlockian fan” (not sure of his scion society, but I imagine BSI’s instincts will continue to hover over celebrities and chicks). Arquette sees a bit of Sherlock in himself...”a rather strange person with quirks and addictions.” These have been lately represented in the National Enquirer. individual tickets at Ticketmaster.com and BroadwayInChicago.com.The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Tri-Annual Conference: “The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.” June 17, 2016 - June 19, 2016; The Commons Hotel615 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN. www.norwegianexplorers.org.Your Faithful Sherlockian Correspondent,BRENDA ROSSINI
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Begin forwarded message:From: BRENDA <agrrtig@...>
Date: 4 December 2015 02:04:58 IST
Subject: Sherlockian AsidesSherlockian Asides
Trifles:“Hang on to Your Hat” --the Oct. 21 issue of Country Life, countrylife.co.uk, features Britain’s most distinctive headgear. Included is the deerstalker, the 2-flapped hat vital to a Victorian gentleman’s country ensemble and invariably associated with Sherlock Holmes-- thanks to Sidney Paget’s illustrations in the Strand and which first appeared in BOSC in 1891. Other chapeaux with which Holmes may have been familiar: a smoking hat and an opera hat (collapsible so as to be easily stowed ‘neath a theatre seat).
Holmes’s long shadow appears The Legendary Detective: the Private Eye in Fact and Fiction by John Walton (reviewed by Michael Dirda in the Wall Street Journal, Sat.-Sun. Nov. 21-22.). It’s a new book about America’s detective agencies, fiction, and short stories wrought from true crime, labor unions, and corruption, thick with dense vocabulary. It all began with the Pinkerton Private Detective agency, founded by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. Another was the William Burns Detective Agency which took on America’s first war on domestic terror--anarchists and bombings that were incident to labor riots and the Red Scare. Conan Doyle called Burns the American Sherlock Holmes, Burns having won acclaim for his investigative successes.Another Pinkerton detective was James McPartland whose undercover investigation of the Irish miners/Mollie Maguires inspired Conan Doyle’s Valley of Fear. Years ago, Chicago’s antiquarian book dealer and Sherlockian scholar Tom Joyce, BSI “A Yellow-Backed Novel,” presented an unforgettable presentation of the Mollie Maguires and the Pinkerton infiltration of the Irish miners in Pennsylvania’s coal fields.
David Acord’s Success Secrets of Sherlock Holmes may be preparatory to presidential campaigning. Donald Trump is described as an exceptional, striving personality, much like Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: “Winners always seek tougher challenges and hunger for new opportunities.” Conan Doyle was “an intellectual genius” who gave up a somewhat comfortable medical practice for the chancy promise of a writing career.
For serious Sherlockian scriveners:The British Crime Historians Symposium, to be held Oct. 7-8, 2016 at the University of Edinburgh, Conan Doyle’s alma mater, has issued a call for papers. The Symposium meets as a forum for discussion and debate on all aspects of the history of crime, law, justice, policing, punishment and social regulation. Proposals to BCH5@... by March 31, 2016. At the last symposium, one of the presentations was “Elementary, My Dear Wilton – Will the Real Dr. Watson Please Stand Up? An investigation into the literary origins of Sherlock Holmes’ biographer,” by David Cox.
The Return of the Beast -- the copyrightA Santa Fe question: Who Owns Sherlock Holmes?In a Nov. 22 article by Howard Houghton, www.santafenewmexican.com, the Santa Fe News took on that festering copyright issue which locus is now centered in Santa Fe.Santa Fe is where Mitch Cullin, author of A Slight Trick of the Mind, was born. He was a neighbor of illustrious, elderly Sherlockian John Bennett Shaw. It is where Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. (note: this is a corporate entity and no longer an “estate” per se) representative Jon Lellenberg, BSI, “Rodger Prescott of Evil Memory,” now resides. Remarkably, Santa Fe is also about 50 miles from the town of Moriarty, New Mexico-- founded in the 1870s by an Irish expat farmer and where one Dr. Wiggins practiced medicine.When Cullin began writing his novel about elderly Sherlock Holmes, he did not anticipate the legal battles to be waged over Conan Doyle’s legacy. Like Odysseus, he has faced a remarkable struggle. 15 years after the publication of A Slight Trick of the Mind, it became Hollywood movie, “Mr. Holmes” --whetting the appetite and a copyright infringement suit.CDE representative and shareholder Jon Lellenberg has himself written or edited numerous Sherlockian books, some less stellar and pastiche-purposed and others quality contributions to Sherlockian literature and history. He is currently working on a multi-volume BSI history.Mitch Cullin is writing a book about his experiences with the copyright odyssey. Nonfiction? roman a clef? From the Santa Fe article, it can be presumed that among the iterations will be the control of the Conan Doyle Estate and Jon Lellenberg over the use of the Sherlock Holmes character in writings, films, exhibits and merchandise. Some have cooperated, while others challenged the extent to which Sherlock Holmes belongs to the “Estate.”“Mr. Holmes ended a 16-week run in the U.S. with a reported $17.7 million gross-- merely o.k.for a movie that catered to an older audience. U.K. box office added another $8.4 million. Mind, these are not huge gross figures. Often good or “artistic” movies don’t return a large gross. query: How much did the movie cost, including advertising and movie-star fees to Laura Linney and Ian McKellen, and what was left for the disciples?
No Infringement nor challenge to Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury). In the 1984 season 1 opener of Murder She Wrote, Jessica attends a costume party in “The Murder of Sherlock Holmes” and finds herself involved in a real-life Holmesian mystery. Some great bygone costars: Arthur Hill, Brian Keith, Ned Beatty, Bert Convy, Herb Edelman, Raymond St. Jacques and Peter Boyle.
Standing on the Terrace:Keith Michell has died, age 88. He was an unforgettable Henry VIII and also played Sherlock Holmes in the 1979 “Crucifer of Blood” (a version of SIGN) at London’s Haymarket Theater, minus the avoirdupois of le roi Tudor. The 70s was a period during which Sherlock Holmes was in flower upon the British stage. read: The Villainous Stage by Marvin Lachman. The movies and BBC have conformed Sherlock Holmes’s legacy into the 21st century.
Death and another Sherlockian dose of estate poison--No copyright issues and no divvying-up issues with estates other than her own, Grace Aidiniantz, founder of the Sherlock Holmes Museum, died Dec. 1 “of a broken heart” amid a long-running, poisonous feud--involving her children over millions in sales. In 1990, Mrs Aidiniantz, then 88, sold her home to buy 221B Baker Street--how about that for a grey-haired entrepreneur? Result of the estate battles? “The wheel that squeaks the loudest gets the most oil.”
Fare thee well:In their Sherlockian e-times, www.sherlock-holmes.com, Joel and Carolyn Senter mark the retirement of legendary Sherlockian/Torist International Steward Don Izban. Dec. 27 will be his final meeting. Don leaves this lyrical message:It was just one of those things,
Just one of the Canon's flings,
One of the TORIST ring-a-ding dings,
Just one of those things.It's been a pers'nal delight,
Quite a Sherlockian flight,
A worthwhile soar on the Master's wings,
Just one of those things.If I thought of it,
'Bout my end to it,
When I began Sherlocking around,
I'd have been aware,
My TORIST affair,
Would someday surely shut down.So goodbye, folks and amen -
I'll not run our meetings again,
It was great fun,
But it was just one of those things.
Donald B. Izban, BSI, “Market Street”
with thanx (and, perhaps, apologies) to Cole Porter(Meanwhile, along with Don’s Cole Porter refrain, your Faithful Correspondent is listening to Robert Goulet’s glorious “If Ever I Could Leave You.” Recall if you will, in Saturday Night Live, Will Farrell playing Robert Goulet playing Sherlock Holmes.)
Calendar of Sherlockian Jaunts
From Oct. 23, The traveling exhibition of Sherlock Holmes has moved to Denver CO. Highly recommended: sherlockholmesexhibition.com.Dec 9 - Jan 3, 2016-- “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose” in return engagement at Chicago’s Raven Theatre. An hour-long comedy-mystery follows the Holmes and Watson as they track down a mystery in Yuletide London.Jan 7 - Feb 25, 2016--”The Improvised Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” at Chicago’s Under The Gun Theater, www.undertheguntheater.co. Improvisation, my dear Watson! The world's most brilliant detective solves cryptic puzzles and villainous crimes proposed by the audience.Jan. 20-March 20, 2016. “The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes” at Chicago’s Mercury Theater, mercurytheaterchicago.com/sherlock.html. A musical by John Reeger and the late Julie Shannon about Holmes post-Reichenbach.
Criterion Bar Association dinner meetings:Sat. Jan. 9, 2016, 6 pm, Dr. Franklin Saksena will speak at the Criterion Bar dinner meeting on “Victorian Medicine--Not all Brandy.” As had his predecessor doctors, Freud, Conan Doyle, and Watson, Dr. Saksena will invoke the medical discipline of 1895--where even though disease could not always be directly observed, it could be interpreted on the basis of medical clues.reading recommendations on Victorian medicine:An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery, by medical historian Dr. Richard Barnett, titillating with gruesome yet fascinating illustrations and paintings of surgical techniques and instruments from rare,19th-century textbooks.Medical London: City of Diseases, City of Cures, Barnett’s first book (2008) on the role of disease and treatment in London.The Sick Rose, Dr. Barnett’s 2014 book: medicine in London from its beginnings and its roles in contagion, sanitation, homeopaths, naval surgeons, chemists, druggists, wealth and poverty, empire and immigration.A Doctor Enjoys Sherlock Holmes by Dr. Edward J. Van Liere (1959). Essays on medical topics: " 'Brain fever' and Sherlock Holmes." "Doctor Watson, Cardiologist." "Sherlock Holmes, The Chemist," "Genetics and Sherlock Holmes," and "The Therapeutic Doctor Watson." One of the essays is “Doctor Watson’s Universal Specific”-- the Therapeutic Brandy Flask! “ "... with the aid of ammonia and brandy, I had the satisfaction of seeing him open his eyes." Greek Interpreter. Also these essays: "Dogs and Sherlock Holmes" and "Doctor Watson and the Weather." available for reading online or download at: hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015046792662.
---March 19, 2016, “Sherlock Holmes and his Music” presented by Your Faithful Correspondent; musical moments will include a version of Benedict Cumberbatch playing the Stradivarius in the manner and habit of Sherlock Holmes in the Cardboard Box. One of Benedict’s violins is actually Chinese and on loan from Cardiff Violins. cardiffviolins.co.uk. (The shop’s website contains a testimonial from Mr. John H. Watson thanking the staff for its patience with his friend: “He would thank you himself; only, well Sherlock doesn’t really do that sort of thing ...” www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk).Violinist Barry Stohl will play selections from August’s BBC Proms in London, with themes from 1942’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror,” 1985’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, “The Mycroft Suite,” two Lassus motets (upon which Holmes wrote a monograph) and a movement of Paganini’s second violin concerto. This will be Barry’s second venture-- the first being Dr. Watson’s wedding music for Monica Schmidt’s wedding.
---May 14, 2016, Monica “Younger Stamford” Schmidt presents the “DSM-5 and a Canonical Analysis of Sherlock Holmes's Cocaine Use.” The DSM is a diagnostic manual used in the U.S. by criminal defense lawyers, inter alia, in preparation for a defense of mental illness.
Until April 16, 2016, Museum of London Exhibition: “Crime Museum Uncovered: Inside Scotland Yard’s Special Collection”; includes weapons, forgery implements, books and lectures. museumoflondon.org.uk.
The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Tri-Annual Conference: “The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.” June 17 - June 19, 2016; The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis, MN. www.norwegianexplorers.org.
UPCOMING SHERLOCKIAN DISCUSSION GROUPS IN THE CHICAGO-AREA:The BeeSpeckled Band, Tues. Jan. 5, 7:15 p.m., “The Final Problem,” at the Highwood (IL) Library, discussion leader Ernest Giarelli.Devon Street Beggars, Wed. Jan. 6. 6 p.m., “The Final Problem,” at the Edgebrook Library, Chicago. ancillary query for the group: Why do you think the actors who portray Holmes come from wealthy backgrounds?
Your Faithful Sherlockian Correspondent,BRENDA ROSSINI
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Begin forwarded message:From: BRENDA <agrrtig@...>
Date: 25 March 2016 02:28:03 IST
Subject: Sherlockian AsidesSherlockian AsidesWhat an apropos time to recall the nostalgic moment of Vincent Starrett’s 221B:Here dwell together still two men of noteWho never lived and so can never die:How very near they seem, yet how remoteThat age before the world went all awry.But still the game's afoot for those with earsAttuned to catch the distant view-halloo:England is England yet, for all our fears—Only those things the heart believes are true.
A yellow fog swirls past the window-paneAs night descends upon this fabled street:A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.Here, though the world explode, these two survive,And it is always eighteen ninety-five.Terrorists...anarchists..revolutionaries...the overthrow of power institutions...the Kerenskys, sinister forces, “a Nihilist plot”...“No one but an anarchist would go about breaking statues”...”a red Republican...” The societal cataclysms were clearly apparent to Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes at the turn of the century. Their world, too, was in flux.In 1890, Scotland Yard was arresting scores of the buggers. Bomb factories were discovered in Birmingham in 1892, and among the arrested were British, French, and Italian anarchists.England’s initial experience with Irish Fenians led to the Anti-Explosives Act. The Yard grew prepared for all eventualities, centralizing their defensive measures. Along with it grew spy organizations and a network of informers.London was populated with immigrants...strangers from strange lands, many with remembered political and economic grievances. Dangerous “swarthy” sorts traveled through Europe keenly set on assassinations, including plots against the Tsar. “Political assassins are only too glad to do their work and to fly.” STUD. In this roiling stew emerged the legendary, genius detective Sherlock Holmes.In 1891, young Kaiser Wilhelm wrote blisteringly about the mobs, labor riots and immigrants: “liberalism, humanitarian slop, demagogy, and above all the cowardice of parliaments.” In 1905, Santayana winked out a memorable alarm: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Alphonse Bertillon, The Man Behind The Modern Mug Shot, at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, NYC,
Some of the earliest mug shots are on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) in New York City: “Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play.”For over a century, mug shots helped police catch criminals. Photos on CNN, of bombers and such, trace their roots to 19th century Paris. Many were taken by French criminologist Alphonse Bertillon in the late 1800s. His work became so famous that in The Hound of the Baskervilles, a client offends Holmes by calling him "the second highest expert in Europe" — after Bertillon.Using Bertillon’s system, police charts showed rows of eyes, ears, noses and other body parts to help identify suspects and to tell similar-looking people apart--a curve of the ear, a unique (fish?) tattoo, a birthmark), giving rise to the modern mug shot. Bertillon standardized the way photos were taken and added the profile mug shot so police could zero in on a suspect's unique features."Men can grow facial hair to cover their chin, but you can't change the shape of your nose except through surgery. And you can't change the contours of your ear," explained the Met's curator..Bertillon’s reputation faded as police decided that fingerprinting was a simpler means of identifying suspects. a “British official in India expropriated the idea of using fingerprints for identification and turned it to the advantage of the colonial state.”But, even in a DNA age and iris scans, Bertillon's photo legacy is not going anywhere. "A witness still notices a person’s black hair, or a specific tattoo wording. We still live in a visual world.
recommended reading: The essays of Carlo Ginzburg: ''Clues, Myths, and the Historical Record,'' “the Judge and the Historian,” and ''Unus Testis (tsk! The Single Witness)''; and his books on anarchists; the trials of lepers, witches and Jews; and on intellectual sleuths from Sherlock Holmes to Freud...previously set forth in the Asides about Zach Dundas’ symposium presentation at Chicago’s Newberry Library. see also Carlo Ginzburg’s “Morelli, Freud and Sherlock Holmes: Clues and Scientific Method.” In tracing the origins of detective deduction, Ginsburg acknowledged these: the “Morelli” method of classification (in the Cardboard Box, the severed ears refer to Morelli), Sherlock Holmes, and Sigmund Freud (whose his inquiry and analysis produced “Moses and Michelangelo” and Moses and Monotheism). at users.clas.ufl.edu/burt/GinzburgMorelliFreudHolmes.pdf.
BOOKISHNESS:On the eve of Justice Scalia’s untimely passing, “The Sherlock Holmes Canon” has been published in the George Washington Law Review by Prof. Anita S. Krishnakumar (of St. John’s University). In it, she explores one of the late Justice’s theories--“The Canon of Canine Silence.” Scalia used it to capture a “phenomenon under which courts may refuse to believe Congress’s own words unless they can see the lips of others moving in unison.”A few of the article’s iterations:----”In the famous Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze, Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the case of a missing racehorse, based in part on the “curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” That is, Mr. Holmes infers that the thief must have been someone with whom the stables watchdog was familiar, because the dog did not bark as the horse was stolen. Mr. Holmes reasons: when an unfamiliar person enters the stables, the watchdog barks; the watchdog did not bark; thus, no unfamiliar person entered the stables.Courts have applied Mr. Holmes’s “dog that did not bark” logic when construing the meaning of statutes. If a new law or statutory amendment would significantly change the existing legal landscape (i.e., introduce something unfamiliar), Congress can be expected to comment on that change in the legislative record; thus, a lack of congressional comment regarding a significant change can be taken as evidence that Congress did not intend a change in the law.”Professor Krishnakumar writes that in recent years, the Supreme Court has applied the Canon of Canine Silence with increasing frequency, yet with little attention to the reasons behind Congress’s failure to comment. She concludes that the Justices view their attentiveness to congressional silence as part of their duty but instead they end up using the Canon to guard against the problematic.
SHERLOCKIAN DISCUSSION GROUPS AND JAUNTS IN THE CHICAGO-AREA upcoming and relevant nuggets:
Standing on the TerraceIt is with great sadness that I report the death of Nick J. DeLeonardis, Sunday, March 20. He was in life a formidable Sherlockian, inspiration to younger Sherlockians, traveler, conversationalist, retired professor, U.S. Marine who served in Korea, government consultant a la Mycroft Holmes, author, friend, husband, father and grandfather, emeritus founder of the Devon Street Beggars. May his memory be for a blessing. R.I.P., dear Nick.
----Sun, March 27, 8 p.m. The Torists meet at Kappy’s Restaurant in Morton Grove for an informal coffee klatch.For the second time in Torist history, the March meeting date falls on the Western Christian celebration of Easter. There will be no formal presentation but all things Sherlockian will be open to discussion. Outgoing Chief Steward Don Izban will offer an Exercise in a Canonical Easter Egg Hunt. A Triumvirate-- not unlike Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus-- will fill Don Izban’s Torist sandals: Phil Cunningham, Al Shaw, and Your Undersigned.
---The BeeSpeckled Band, Tues., April 5, 7:15 p.m.“It was early in April in the year '83 that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed.”at the Highwood (IL) Public LibraryEmpty House led by Allen Cohen. Questions shall be forthcoming.Sherry and snacks. Thanks much to Ron Levitsky who brought us non-alcoholic beverages + raspberry kringle with which to toast and celebrate the 162nd birthday of Sherlock Holmes. “Which is it today,” Watson asks, “morphine or cocaine?” For us, twas a sugar high.
---Sun. May 1, 2 p.m. Cri Bar member and indie book store owner Augie Aleksy hosts a Crime Scene Investigation.Retired police detective/mystery author, Michael Black, will compare the 19th Century vs. the 21st Century C.S.I. and the forensic style in Doyle’s premier mystery novel, Study in Scarlet in the examining scene at Enoch Drebber's death with modern scientific methods. rsvp.Centuries and Sleuths Book Store,7419 Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130, (708) 771-7243. www.centuriesandsleuths.com.(In operation as an Independent Business/Bookseller for over 25 years. Remember, loving a fine bookstore doesn't keep it alive. Buying its books does.)
----Devon Street Beggars, has postponed its gatherings upon the death of founder Nicholas J. DeLeonardis.The next discussion, the Crooked ManWed. May 3, 6 p.m. Edgebrook Public Library, Chicago.
----Scotland Yarders,Tues. May 10, 6:30 p.m. place and program TBA. for further info about the Scotland Yarders: jlweiner@....
---Sat. May 14, 2016, 6 p.m. Criterion Bar AssociationRuby Tuesday Restaurant, 5203 Old Orchard Rd, Skokie, ILTake a chance at complexity with Dr. Franklin Saksena’s original Sherlock Holmes’ crossword puzzles--sent with each CriBar newsletter. Winners are announced for prizes at the Criterion Bar dinner. Dr. Saksena’s books (other than the cardiovascular) are available at Augie Aleksy’s Centuries and Sleuths, and include: 101 Sherlock Holmes Puzzles, Another 101 Sherlock Holmes Puzzles, and the brand-new Nerve and Knowledge: Doctors, Medicine and the Sherlockian Canon. Criterion Bar Association is on Facebook.Monica “Younger Stamford” Schmidt presents the “DSM-5 and a Canonical Analysis of Sherlock Holmes's Cocaine Use.” The DSM is a diagnostic manual used in the U.S. by criminal defense lawyers, inter alia, in preparation for a defense of mental illness.
---Sun., May 15, 10 a.m.at Graceland Cemetery, Irving/Clark--4001 N. Clark.
Join me, your self-appointed tour guidefor a trek of the tombstones; start time is 10:15 a.m. on the dot
Graceland Cemetery is a horticulturally splendid death oasis containing the remains of literati, the filthy rich, the weird, the notable, the Sherlockian-connected and Dickens too.
Eat a light breakfast at home or your exertion might earn you a spot at the cemetery. A lanyard and informative guide will be provided each walker.
dining thereafter, at Calo's Restaurant. 2 p.m. 5343 N Clark St, Chicago, IL.rsvp at your earliest convenience.
----Hugo’s Companions, Sat. May 21, 6 p.m. Ridgemoor Country Club.Al Shaw, Sherlockian wit and creative designer (treading the artistic footsteps of retiring Ed Letwenko), is assuming the helm of Hugo’s Companions for the 2016-2017 season, and expanding the welcome mat from standard hams to the glazed variety. Hugo’s rituals and rules, agendas, tactics and maybe a secret handshake are unclear and hidden from this observer--whether it seeks world domination or global happiness. Caesar may have remonstrated: “ Let me have men about me that are fat, Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights. Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.”
AND THE OUTLIERS---Opening 03/25/2016 — The traveling exhibition of Sherlock Holmes opens in Edmonton, Canada. Highly recommended: sherlockholmesexhibition.com. Check out the pub crawl. Take a moment to listen to Jim Cornelison sing both the U.S. and the Canada anthems at a hockey game!Heard at Toronto’s 2011 SinS Conference, this repartee:Canadian woman (griping): “Americans are boastful, belligerent, and bombastic.”American (responding with bombast): “Perhaps, but we defend Canada.”Canadian (surly): “We don’t need your help!”American (engaging and boastful): “Yes, but then China would be here in four minutes.”
---Until April 16, 2016, Museum of London Exhibition: Crime Museum Uncovered: Inside Scotland Yard’s Special Collection with 600 items that include weapons, forgery implements, burglary tools, grisly memorabilia (human remains, books and lectures. museumoflondon.org.uk. The items on display were long secreted in Scotland Yard’s “Black Museum closet. Roger Johnson, Editor, “The Sherlock Holmes Journal,” www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk, and celebrity London Sherlockian (featured in the Smithsonian), adds that the Exhibition also has a visitors' book in which you can see the signatures of Arthur Conan Doyle, Jerome K. Jerome, Allan Pinkerton, W. S. Gilbert and H. B. Irving. Reporter Tom Bullen’s signature is there too. Who? He was once suspected as being Jack the Ripper. Another “who dat?” display is that of Charles Peace. In his youth, he was known as “the modern Paganini.” Conan Doyle’s choice of Paganini in the Illustrious Client may have been prompted by the notorious Peace. He had the complex mind of all great criminals. Peace transitioned from music to cat burglary; his hinged ladder is at the Exhibition. A cat burglar career is transformed to that of sophisticated prosperity in the Cary Grant movie, “It Takes a Thief” on the Cote d’Azur. Peace, was not so fortunate. Called an “arch criminal” by Lord Birkenhead, he was hanged in 1879.
----The weekend of May 27th to 29th – Sherlock Holmes Jubilee Celebration at MeiringenOn May 4th, 1891, the alleged last battle between Sherlock Holmes and his arch enemy Professor Moriarty took place at the Reichenbach Waterfall, during which both of them may or may not have fallen to their deaths in the thundering waters. On the weekend of May 27 to 29 – 125 years thereafter-- a jubilee celebration will take place in Meiringen to commemorate Sherlock Holmes. Apart from the anniversary of his purported death, the celebration will also involve the 25th jubilee of the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen. contact: Christine Winkelmann, Christine.Winkelmann@... or christine.winkelmann@....
----June 17 - June 19, 2016The Norwegian Explorers 2016 Triennial Conference “The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.”The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis, MN.The conference will welcome a stellar group of Sherlockian presenters: Marino Alvarez, Soren Eversoll, David Haugen, Bill Mason, Steve Mason, Charles Prepolec, Michael Quigley, Betsy Rosenblatt, Monica Schmidt, Vince Wright, and Donald Zaldin. There will be vendor tables, an exhibit of rare and unique materials from the Collections, a dramatic performance by “the Red-Throated League of the Norwegian Explorers,” and the Annual Meeting of the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota -- the world’s largest collection of Sherlock Holmes-related material.Here you can view Dr. Philip Hench’s journals. In the 1950s, Dr. Hench traveled to the then-uncharted path and ledge at Meiringen and Reichenbach. The fateful edge had not yet been identified. Nor, for that matter, was there recognition by the village of Meiringen of this timeless spot. Had Moriarty’s henchmen reduced the spot to peat and firewood? Dr. Hench's journals, maps, measurements, topography, and sketches zoomed towards the path of the Reichenbach, from top to bottom. Because of his efforts, in 1957 the Norwegian Explorers of Minneapolis and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London commemorated the spot with a plaque at Meiringen---now beneficiary of and host to hordes of Sherlockian tourists, walkers, hikers, and skiiers.----Through July 31, 2016“Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play.” Alphonse Bertillon, The Man Behind The Modern Mug Shot, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2016/crime-stories
PAST PARTICIPLE---March 8, Scotland Yarders presented a recurring seminar with legendary antiquarian and Sherlockian scholar Tom Joyce.Case of Identity (1891) and Dying Detective (1913) were discussed.How eccentric was it for Holmes to wear “a brilliantine” ring as he did in Case of Identity and his possession of the gold and amethyst box. A simulation of Oscar Wilde?Among the scintillating errata were varied illustrations of Sherlock Holmes in convalescing recline for his supposed ailment in Dying Detective. Both Paget brothers, Sidney and Walter, were artists and illustrators. Sidney was not the Paget which the Strand originally had in mind. One day, the editor sent a letter, intended for Walter, to “Mr. Paget” at so and so street, not recalling the first name. Sidney received the letter and promptly accepted. He went on to illustrate 37 Sherlock Holmes stories and one novel. In 1908, he died, age 46. from a metastatic lung tumor. Then Walt took over. He incorporated quirky Conan Doyle representations, as in the arresting officer, Inspector Morton. In a painting that appeared over Holmes’ bed--it may have been Conan Doyle in his pajamas. Was this a psychic phenomenon or coincidence? Perhaps we could arrange a seance for a determination? Such artistic license is not unusual; Toulouse Lautrec, Alfred Hitchcock, Colin Dexter, and John Le Carre are among the many creators fused into their famous creations.In Dying Detective, published in 1913 with Walter Paget’s illustration, there appears a wooden box containing a viper's tooth--Culverton Smith’s poison trap-- for which Richard Lancelyn Green unearthed the inspiration: its origins were from Ceylon (Culverton Smith, a Moriarty-type villain, was from Sumatra) and made by Boer War p.o.w.s held in Ceylon. The information was gleaned from prisoner correspondence. Presumably, Conan Doyle saw these missives.In 1911, Monsignor Ronald Knox wrote Studies in the Literature
of Sherlock Holmes reflecting on Doyle’s expository style. He said it involved a routine introduction-- Holmes discussing with Watson his prior case and how it was solved. Dying Detective was published in 1913 without that particular routine. Was Doyle making sure not to follow his script because of Knox’s wry critique?
recommended reading:Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes, by Monsignor Ronald Knox.Richard Lancelyn-Green: The Uncollected Sherlock Holmes (1983) anthologized Doyle's non-canon Sherlock Holmes writings. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1985), a collection of pastiches and parodies. Letters to Sherlock Holmes (1985).Dec. 13, 2004 New Yorker on the “Mysterious Circumstances of the Death of Richard Lancelyn Green, Foremost Sh
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Begin forwarded message:From: BRENDA <agrrtig@...>
Date: 31 May 2016 02:23:29 IST
Subject: Sherlockian AsidesSherlockian AsidesLITERARY DIVIDENDS1914 the Great War, “Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!”It was nine o'clock at night upon the second of August—the most terrible August in the history of the world. One might have thought already that God's curse hung heavy over a degenerate world, for there was an awesome hush and a feeling of vague expectancy in the sultry and stagnant air. The sun had long set, but one blood-red gash like an open wound lay low in the distant west. Above, the stars were shining brightly, and below, the lights of the shipping glimmered in the bay.The Last BowConan Doyle wrote a serialized “The British Campaign in France and Flanders” for Strand Magazine, beginning in 1914.The 1916 Battle of Verdun is remembered, 100 years later. The Germans believed they could bleed the French dry by attacking their forts. Falkenhayn thought this battle would make the French lose their will. But the French held on in this monster battle, for months and months. The cost and loss was so great that the French needed England’s help.Thus entered the English into the Battle of the Somme, to take the pressure off the French. The Brits figured the Huns would be too tied up at Verdun. The problem with attacking the Germans at that point was their machine guns, huge ammunition and accurate positions all along the front. Charging the German guns was a strategy similar to the Napoleonic wars or the American Civil War. However, at the Somme, the German guns had greatly advanced technology. In the first day of battle, there were over 50,000 British casualties.1 in 5 young British aristocrats were killed. 1 in 8 British soldiers were killed. The immeasurable losses-- family, heirs, friends, companions--threw many in the damaged nations to the paranormal realm. Soldiers reported seeing ghosts and apparitions. Families, including Conan Doyle’s, held seances and spun ouija boards to dredge back their departed. When our group wandered Graceland Cemetery on May 15 (see ”Past Participle” below), the mausoleums, Corinthian columns, stone beds, air-conditioned shelters, reading benches reflected the poignant delusions, superstitions and afterlife beliefs of dead magnates and their families.Are you familiar with Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911)? Doubtful. He was an artist and illustrator--of Shakespeare and such---during Conan Doyle’s era, when both attended mutual society dinners and both were published in Strand Magazine. Abbey’s English estate became a summer respite for Conan Doyle, the Artists Cricket Club, and for sketching parties. Abbey was also a team member of the Allahakbarries. The Unfinished Pageant is a collection of Abbey’s brilliant illustrations and paintings.Author/historian Allan Massie writes about fascism, corruption in Naples, and a brief history of detectives in the Wall St. Journal May 28-29, “The Mysteries of Naples”: “...Successful detectives used to be eccentrics. Sherlock Holmes established the pattern, followed by Agatha Christie’s conceited and fastidious dandy Hercule Poirot, Dorothy L. Sayers’ scholarly and barely credible Lord Peter Wimsey and Rex Stout’s superbly absurd Nero Wolfe.” Detectives are identified or personified within a particular locale...a loner in a big city, for example. at www.wsj.com/articles/the-mysteries-of-naples-1464373831. Though Holmes went on an extravagant hiatus post Reichenbach, he was denied Naples’ magical charm where Conan Doyle and family found a healthful and sunny respite.Lord Acton, familiar to many for the phrase “Power corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely,” was an eminent Victorian scholar, academically active 1895-1902. To whom can he be compared with this description: “Lord Acton was the consummate historian: dispassionate, calm, objective, logical and moral.” (from Lord Acton: A Study in Conscience and Politics by the brilliant Gertrude Himmelfarb). He is further acknowledged in The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes, ed. Philip Tallon and David Baggett.A note about bad writing by Toby Litt in the Guardian:On recreating previous books: "Bad writers often want to rewrite a book by another writer that was written in a different time period, under completely different social conditions. Because it’s a good book, they see no reason why they can’t simply do the same kind of thing again. They don’t understand that even historical novels or science fiction novels are a response to a particular moment. And pretending that the world isn’t as it is – or that the world should still be as it once was – is disastrous for any serious fiction.”ERRATAIn Judge John Deed, season 4, “Separation of Powers,” you’ll hear from a Professor Moriarty on the witness stand and also a reference to Sherlock Holmes. This is an excellent series on British law, litigation, the courts, dirty tricks, and a good bit of rumbledy tumbledy. Martin Shaw stars with magnetic gravitas, no less so than his character in the Gently series. This might be attributable to his birthday being Jan. 21, an Aquarius by way of cusp, and falling on the same date as that of two Torist Triumvari. Shaw played Sir Henry Baskerville in The Hound of the Baskervilles and acted opposite Ian Richardson's Holmes and Donald Churchill's Dr. Watson.From the Conan Doyle Encyclopedia:“Basil Rathbone always refused to be a BSI”:Basil Rathbone hated Sherlock Holmes fans and The Baker Street Irregulars particularly. He thought the role cost him his career. He couldn’t stand that people recognized him in the street, shouting: "Good morning Sherlock, how is Dr. Watson?" For this reason, several times, he refused BSI dinner invitations. Against his will, he was nevertheless appointed as honorary member of the BSI in the early 40s.“The resignation of Isaac Asimov”:Isaac Asimov was BSI investitured in 1973 but left in 1990 after the death of Julian Wolff with regrets, he wrote in his memoirs. “Everything was not peachy keen at the BSI.” In so doing, Asimov was not unlike Groucho Marx who informed the Friars Club: “I don’t wish to belong to a club that would have me as a member.”On Groucho and Holmes from a 1941 newspaper report: Groucho reportedly considered a proposal to star with Chico and Harpo in a Sherlock Holmes production. Christopher Morley was favorably disposed “as Groucho was known to have been a reverent student of Sherlock Holmes for many years.” As far back as 1914, a friend, fellow poker player and comic strip reader gave the Marx brothers their names as a takeoff on the popular strip “Sherlocko the Monk,” a parody of Sherlock Holmes (“Groucho” was attributable to Julius’ sour personality). With a tradition carried by today’s copyright protectors, “Sherlocko” was scrapped after Conan Doyle threatened legal action; Sherlocko's bumbling partner Watso also did did not survive the renaming. Sadly, Groucho’s reverence for Holmes also didn’t translate to reality, and he and the brothers inclined instead to their comic films--perhaps the inclination borne of reaction to Sherlockian parody and infringement.SHERLOCKIAN DISCUSSION GROUPS AND JAUNTS IN THE CHICAGO-AREATues. June 7, 7:00 p.m. The BeeSpeckled Band, at the Highwood (IL) Public Library Norwood Builder, discussion leader Ron Levitsky.One Norwood-related legal issue not covered in the Klinger Annotated nor the Lawyers Annotated of the Norwood Builder is the story’s newspaper narrative and pretrial publicity. The admittedly overwrought solicitor John Hector McFarlane was likewise oblivious. Freedom of the press yes. Censorship nichts. But there are sanctionable violations as well as civil damages recourse for libelous defamation and false accusations: leaks; drawing hypothets and conclusions about rumors, hearsay, and supposed evidence in a criminal case; access to premises where a crime occurred (restricted generally to the Yard, Holmes and Watson).Today’s defense lawyer would move for a change of venue as the jury pool in both Norwood and Blackheath, and at the Old Bailey where McFarlane would have been tried for a capital offense, would have been irremediably prejudiced. And, as Holmes says in Norwood Builder, “ British juries have not yet attained that pitch of intelligence when they will give preference to my theories over Lestrade’s facts.” Another lawyerly annotation to Norwood might be as to Holmes’ sharp discernment of the act which occurred prior to the murder...”the curious will, so suddenly made, and to so unexpected an heir.”On the reference to “Hyam” as Oldacre’s tailor, read “Conan Doyle’s Real-Life Model for Jonas Oldacre’s Tailor” by Leslie Katz at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2011458. A prolific and erudite Sherlockian author, Katz includes an 1876 advertisement for a “Hyam” tailor on Oxford St. “Hyam” is erroneously referenced in the Klinger Annotated. The full surname, “Hyams,” is also catchy because memorable movie Inspector Lestrade, Dennis Hoey, was at birth in 1893 one Samuel David Hyams of Brighton.Additional papers on Sherlock Holmes by Leslie Katz at papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1164057.June 10-11, 9:30-4. If you’re a needlepointer, the Classic Stitch, in Winnetka IL, offers a stitching workshop of a Beehive canvas...an apt commemorative for retired beekeeping detectives, travelers to Sussex, readers of Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, or just a birds-and-bees lover-- in whatever context. Check the shop and the workshop on Facebook. www.theclassicstitch.com. www.facebook.com/The-Classic-Stitch-165739706790883.“Exactly, Watson. Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years.” He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen.’ Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days, when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London.” (The Last Bow)In Doyle’s time, and in 1895, it’s hard to believe how common were Beekeeper schools and associations, Beekeepers journals, lectures, demonstrations. Jan Dzierżon was the father of modern apiology and apiculture. Beehives are descendants of his design--and that includes the Beehive canvas set for needlepointing. Conan Doyle took advantage of a beekeeping pursuit for the Great Detective. The Feb. 2, 1903 American Bee Journal (buzzingly active in my locale along the western shore of Lake Michigan, Northwestern University, Evanston IL) cited a report from the British Bee Journal that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “is to cease writing after this year, retiring to some quiet country place where he will ‘go in for bee-keeping.’”June 11-12, Chicago’s largest outdoor literary festival at Printer’s Row, in the south Loop. printersrowlitfest.org. Sherlockian offerings include author Michael A. Black, Centuries & Sleuths Books, and Canterbury Classics. The latter has published Sherlockian books, including a newly-designed The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and a leather-bound set; a memoirist’s journal with gold-embossed title--a Conan Doyle quote-- There is Nothing More Deceptive Than an Obvious Fact; and a children’s series Sherlock Holmes: Color in Classics.Through July---at the Mt. Prospect (IL) Library, the Sherlock Holmes collection of local Sherlockian Claudine de Kastner. Illustrations, an antique set of Sherlock Holmes’ books, a goodly number of classic mugs, and other impressive collectibles are on display. If you’re an out-of-towner, just request an email of the display.Monday, June 27, 6 p.m. The Torists meet and dine at the Ridgemoor Country Club, led by Torist Triumvirs: Phil Cunningham, Al Shaw, and Your Faithful Correspondent/the Stormy Petrel and saucy Torist Triumvirago.WHERE: at the elegant Ridgemoor Country Club, 6601 W. Gunnison St; Chicago, for a Buffet dinner replicating the traditional red-white-and-blue White House Lawn Barbecue (circa the Administration of Pres.Dwight D. Eisenhower. When in conversation Ike was disinclined to share with a reporter the contents of his letter to Soviet General Georgi Zhukov, and said he felt he was being questioned by Sherlock Holmes. The late, great Christopher Hitchens remarked that the Sherlock Holmes stories had influenced both him and Pres.Eisenhower.Who were the original Triumvari? Holmes, Watson and Doyle. Who are the founding Torist Triumvirs? Anthony Citera, Donald Izban and Fred Levin (z’l).NOTE: Torist dinner meetings are held on the 27th, four times/year, come rain, come shine, come snow, come hither.What is a “tor”? It is referenced in the Hound of the Baskervilles. Be advised to wear wellies whilst traversing said tor.PROGRAM: Phil Cunningham, BSI and redoubtable scholar of both Vincent Starrett and Christopher Morley, shall present a history of the BSI Crossword Puzzle, its structure and use, with an accompanying visual for those of us generally flummoxed by crosswords. Traditionally, one Torist meeting a year is dedicated to a game. Thus the Torist motto: “For the Sake of the Game.”Frank was brother to Christopher Morley (1890-1957); their parents were a mathematician and a violinist, Christopher was a member of the Algonquin Round Table and a founder of the BSI (Baker Street Irregulars). While editor of The Saturday Review of Literature, he recruited members with a Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle created by brother Frank -- in the smoking room of a Cunard ocean liner, no doubt smoking a long meerschaum. These smoking rooms weren’t coed, and involuntarily protected ladies from the gents’ errant tobacco juice and nicotine fumes.Wed. July 6, 6 p.m. Devon Street Beggars, Edgebrook Public Library, Chicago. discussion, the Five Orange PipsThrough July 24, Death of Harry Houdini runs through July 24 at the Chopin Theatre,1543 West Division, Chicago. Thanks to Devon Street Beggar John Considine for the heads up: “A ringmaster leads us through the events of Houdini’s life, its stunning magic, poignant dialogue and original music. All the while, Harry feels Death closing in at his heels (or his manacled hands). Harry will walk on broken glass, swallow razor blades and otherwise risk his life in the Water Torture Cell, but will he pull off an escape from Death? Note that last month, the FOX channel premiered “Houdini & Doyle” in which the two investigate the paranormal...which is what I and my group of trekkers did along Graceland Cemetery. Like Houdini, we were remained cynical of the afterlife. After Houdini’s death, his widow, Bess, held a yearly seance, hoping that Harry might make contact. He was always a no-show.We’re all familiar with the yiddishkeit that accompanies the story of the Harry Houdini mamma seance. Here’s a Jewish take on a Holmesian deduction by way of Odessa:In a negotiation with the authorities, a Talmudist from Odessa was granted permission to visit Moscow.He boarded the train and found an empty seat. At the next stop a young man got on and sat next to him.The scholar looked at the young man and thought: This fellow doesn't look like a peasant, and if he isn't a peasant he probably comes from this district.If he comes from this district, then he must be Jewish because this is, after all, a Jewish district.On the other hand, if he is a Jew, where could he be going? I'm the only Jew in our district who has permission to travel to Moscow. Ahh?But just outside Moscow there is a little village called Samvet and Jews don't need special permission to go there.But why would he be going to Samvet? He's probably going to visit one of the Jewish families there, but how many Jewish families are there in Samvet?Only two -- the Bernsteins and the Steinbergs. The Bernsteins are a terrible family, so a nice looking fellow like him must be visiting the Steinbergs.But why is he going? The Steinbergs have only daughters, so maybe he's their son-in-law.But if he is, then which daughter did he marry?They say that Sarah married a nice lawyer from Budapest, and Esther married a businessman from Zhitomer, so it must be Sarah's husband.Which means that his name is Alexander Cohen, if I'm not mistaken.But if he comes from Budapest, with all the anti-Semitism they have there, he must have changed his name.What's the Hungarian equivalent of Cohen? Kovacs.
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Begin forwarded message:From: BRENDA <agrrtig@...>
Date: 8 July 2016 at 20:05:39 IST
Subject: Sherlockian Asides
Sherlockian AsidesLITERARY DIVIDENDSAt a recent gathering of the Historical Society of the New York Courts, www.nycourts.gov/history, a trio of legal minds mixed literature with copyright in a presentation entitled “Shaw, Shakespeare and Sherlock.”George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion has had its share of copyright contests, so have a listen to the artful presenter, Carol Kaplan.Albert Rosenblatt’s lecture on Sherlock Holmes, William Gillette, Conan Doyle and early copyright disputes is likewise engaging; who can tire of this topic?? Gillette chose the curved pipe because it helped him articulate better than did the straight pipe in the first Sherlock Holmes stage production. The play was staged in Buffalo N.Y. Litigation records--copyright infringement and contract disputes (involving separately Gillette, Eille Norwood, John Barrymore, Samuel Goldwyn) while Conan Doyle was yet alive-- are held under lock and key at the N.Y. County Clerk’s Office. The record includes Conan Doyle’s 1923 deposition.The Elizabethan age, no less litigious than our own, never sparked a Shakespearean copyright suit--either “Shake-speare” the playwright died young or he and/or his estate were not so inclined. These hot days, these salad days, the mad blood is no longer stirring: Shakespeare is in the public domain and can no longer be litigated for copyright infringement. Speaker Daniel Kornstein applies the Bard’s masterpiece “Merchant of Venice,” Shylock’s predicament, and the legalistic hairsplitting that brought Shylock a defeat incomprehensible. (BTW, “Merchant of Venice” is coming to Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater this August) Here’s a link to the video of the proceedings of “Shaw, Shakespeare and Sherlock”: video.nycourts.gov:8080/HistoricalSociety/20160217-litigation-literature-prog-vid_sm.mp4.
Michael Dirda, Washington Post columnist and contributor to the Weekly Standard and Lapham’s Quarterly, among others, in his “Homage to Poe” on May 30, writes of being mesmerized by Basil Rathbone’s recorded recitations of “The Telltale Heart” (the one with the sound of a beating heart ‘neath the floorboards) while in grade school. He wasn’t familiar with that voice as being the voice of Sherlock Holmes. That transformation was yet to come. Cited is Howard Haycraft’s observation, in Murder for Pleasure, that Edgar Allan Poe invented “the transcendent and eccentric detective; the admiring and slightly stupid foil; the well-intentioned blundering and unimaginativeness of the official guardians of the law; the locked-room convention; the pointing finger of unjust suspicion; the solution by surprise.”
Ron Levitsky, a BeeSpeckled Band stalwart recalls that despite Basil Rathbone's dislike of being typecast as Sherlock Holmes, when he performed a reading at Northern Illinois University (the Harvard of the Midwest) in the late 1960s, he graciously signed a copy of one of Ron’s Sherlock Holmes books. A young woman ran up to Rathbone and kissed his hand (or ring), saying, "Oh, Mr. Rathbone, you'll always be Sherlock Holmes to me." He responded with grace and courtesy. No bodyguards attacked.
“Do we need still another book about Sherlock Holmes or his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle? is another Dirda review. With candied pen and tongue, he informs that Mike Ashley, author of Adventures in the Strand, is an authority on British magazines published between1880 and 1940. The book is a comprehensive account of Conan Doyle’s 40-year relationship with Strand Magazine. At the time, it was the most famous periodical and Conan Doyle its miracle contributor. Conan Doyle’s starting pay in 1890 was £100 for Sign of Four and by 1901, £4,795 pounds to serialize The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Baseball and Boxing: A baseball, held in a private antique collection, sports the signatures of Conan Doyle, Babe Ruth, the first black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, and Clarence Darrow. Reference to these gents, and to Conan Doyle’s admiration for American baseball and to Holmes’ expertise in bare-knuckled boxing, is included in my upcoming booklet Graceland Cemetery of Chicago: A Sherlockian Walk Midst the Tombstones.
Conan Doyle and horses: Conan Doyle’s pursuits were enthusiastically healthful and sporty. Look around the pub and your second pint. Are you in the company of the hale and hearty? Though he took proper caution, horses being “dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle,” hoofbeats were important to Doyle and to his fiction and poetry. When Doyle built Undershaw, with the help of an architect, stables were built for his horses. He corresponded with his mother about his horse “Brigadier.”Among Doyle’s horse poems and the distant view halloo:A Hunting Morning...Then lead round the mare,For it’s time that we began,And away with thought and care,Save to live and be a man,While the keen air is blowing,And the huntsman holloing,And the black mare goingAs the black mare can.
Another poem is aptly titled, “’Ware Holes” (either “beware” or je vare, French, as in “I see”), cautioning riders about rabbit holes along the stony paths and fields.Read Silver Blaze (1892) to get an idea of Conan Doyle’s love of the equine, horse racing, stable life, and ”the most remarkable horse in all of England.” In Silver Blaze, as in the George Edalji case (1903), there is reference to maiming horses with, in Straker’s instance, the use of a cataract knife. Doyle’s equineibrium marked his course in pursuing Edalji’s wrongful conviction of having mutilated horses. There are whinnies of the Edalji case also in Peter Shaffer’s 1973 play “Equus.”When next I conduct a Chicago-area walk---searching for Sherlockian connections--it will be to horsey Lake Forest, Illinois...including the true-crime instances of insurance fraud involving horse maiming, lonely widows, greedy gigolos, and the plague of venal stablehands.In 1929, Doyle suffered a heart attack--in circumstances picked up in the movie Godfather’s garden demise. Doyle survived another year and died July 7, 1930. In a cartoon he drew of his convalescence, he depicted himself as "The Old Horse" hauling a heavy cart that contained his life’s achievements and reduced to the care of three doctors cum veterinarians.In today’s horsemarket: Conan Doyle maintains resonance in the ostler world. For sale is an Oldenburg gelding named “Sir Conan Doyle,” aka Smoothie. Imported from Germany in 2010, it’s up for $89,000.Refresh your horseback impulses further and turn your attention to the related films. The 1937 “Silver Blaze” was released first in Britain, with Arthur Wontner as Holmes and Ian Fleming as Watson, and in the U.S. as “Murder at the Baskervilles.” In the 1977 “Silver Blaze,” Christopher Plummer starred as Holmes (as he did in “Murder by Decree”) and Thorley Walters as Watson. In 1988, Jeremy Brett starred with Edward Hardwicke. The film “The Edwardians” has an account of the Edalji case, further explored in the recent filming of Julian Barnes’ Arthur and George, which starred Martin Clunes, another horse lover, in the role of Conan Doyle.
Standing on the TerraceMonica “Younger Stamfords” Schmidt recently posted a poignant passage about the many admired, revered, oft beloved Sherlockians as they cross the Reichenbach. Life is a series of lessons, “with the greatest for the last.”
Just this past April, Andrea Reynolds Plunket, highly public competitor to Sherlockian licensing and indestructible thorn in the hide of the Conan Doyle Company Estate Ltd. et al died, age 81. She was predeceased by her 4th husband, Shaun Plunket, a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth. After husband Shaun’s death and until her own, Andrea lived in London, near daughter and grandchildren.Andrea’s father was a banker, and her stepfather, a Pfizer heir, financed the Sherlock Holmes’ film rights purchase for her then-husband, movie producer and raconteur Sheldon Reynolds. See fur-coated Andrea and Sheldon filming a Holmes movie in Poland at www.arthurconandoyle.com/copyrights.html. The record of Sherlock Holmes’ rights’ transfer from then-owner, Baskerville Trust to Sheldon Reynolds in 1976 is at that site as well as Andrea’s version of ownership.Andrea, of mittelEuropa heritage (born in Budapest, circa 1937), was educated in Switzerland and reportedly spoke seven languages. She mingled with Britain’s aristocrats. She was genuinely fearless, and appeared as character witness for Claus von Bulow in the attempted murder trial of his wife/coma victim Sunny von Bulow.Andrea persisted in her challenges to the Conan Doyle estate and encountered no little hostility during litigation--where gentlemanly traits turned malignant. The background was that when Sheldon Reynolds and Andrea divorced, she received a percentage of the Conan Doyle copyrights as part of the marital settlement (a decree which must be available somewhere??) with Sheldon as manager. A subsequent lawsuit in N.Y. dealt with the managerial issue between Sheldon and Andrea.Riveting, to say the least, and with the New Yorker’s Lancellyn Green article on your bedside, you’ll be unable to sleep. “As long as all these questions were unsolved, I felt that sleep would be no easy matter, either for Holmes or myself.”
Sherlock Holmes and the GentlemanHolmes and Mycroft, descendants of country squires, were gentlemen endowed by birthright, but of modest means. In the course of his investigations, Holmes was treated with respect and deferential courtesy. Holmes visits Mycroft at the Diogenes Gentleman’s Club, affords and is accustomed to dining out, attends operas and violin concerts. Watson identifies clients, witnesses and victims by the manner of their dress. My own father would say that a gentleman was in possession of these: a pocket handkerchief, a fine watch, and buffed leather shoes.Though Holmes has no inheritance and engages Dr. Watson as a roommate when first they meet, Holmes is reluctant to discuss money. He often rebuffs the offer of a fee for his services.What were the Victorian attributes of a gentleman--a time when even cricketers were formally distinguished as whether gentlemen or players? From a 16th century High Church author and clergyman, here is this qualification: “He cannot be a gentleman which loveth not a dog.”Before WWI, when Britain’s young men went out in the tens of thousands and did not return, the gentleman-aristocrat was prosperous, nurtured, admired and respected. He was patriotic to Queen and country, refined in manner and demeanor, and accommodating of the gentler sex. Holmes and Watson, like Conan Doyle, were gentlemen who were decent and incorruptible. A gentleman was educated at the best schools---though Holmes’ schooling admittedly was an eccentric self-education. (For further edification so far as a sound Victorian education, see the conversation at the Torist table, which appears below).Holmes’ lesson in the Bruce Partington Plans: “How an English gentleman could behave in such a manner is beyond my comprehension.” In that case, Holmes remarked about a gentleman resorting to murder.Are you a Sherlockian gentleman or one in decline-- touching forlornly your knotted silk scarf, knocking back your fifth Glenfiddich before noon, grasping tightly to your Canonically-intellectual handrail as you head towards your pipe and slippers? Or do you cherish the manly standard set out by Conan Doyle--out on horseback, or skiing through a line of fir trees between Davos and the Engadine, or engaging in bare-knuckled fisticuffs with a feisty opponent?
reading recommendations from Sherlockians“Sherlockology,” a 1975 article in the New York Review of Books, by Clive James, who reviews a series of Sherlockian books with introductions by famous authors, and with a marvelous David Levine illustration of Holmes in his mouse-colored dressing gown, at www.nybooks.com/articles/1975/02/20/sherlockology.The Feb. 2016 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, “It All Began on Baker Street.” In its “Jury Box” section, new Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes’ books are reviewed, followed by a note that the issue is dedicated to the Baker Street Irregulars.author Frank Thomas, who starred as Tom Corbett in the Nancy Drew film mysteries (early chick lit), turned to writing Sherlock Holmes pastiches: Sherlock Holmes and the Golden Bird, Sherlock Holmes and the Sacred Sword, Sherlock Holmes and the Treasure Train, and more.Cracking the Code of the Canon, by Sherlockian Diane Gilbert Madsen.The Summer 2016 issue of the Proceedings of Pondicherry Lodge, courtesy of the Sherlock Holmes Society of India is available, at: http://www.sherlockholmessociety.in/2016/06/proceedings-of-pondicherry-lodge-summer.html.In the Pondicherry highlights--and the issue is beautiful indeed--comes the announcement that the first Indian BSI investiture was awarded in NY this past January to “Jay” Jarantika “The Great Agra Treasure” Gangulay. Congratulations! There are stories, photos, crosswords, quizzes, limericks and more. Keep Calm and Mind Pondicherry.Pondicherry: Life of Pi and Sign of Four include reference to this French colony situated on India’s southeastern coast, at the Bay of Bengal. Graham Greene, another literary wallah, reportedly said that never far from his literary mind was the atmospheric of “that dark night in Pondicherry Lodge, Norwood” --the house built near Conan Doyle’s estate by Maj. Sholto where he’d brought with him the tokens of his Indian prosperity: “a considerable sum of money, a large collection of valuable curiosities, and a staff of native servants...” (SIGN).A map of the London of Sherlock Holmes, at: www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=11hi6OwDoifyUI4kFsg7suBQm1t8&hl=en_US.The Oenologic Holmes: the role of wine in the life and times of Sherlock Holmes, by Steve Robinson. Beautifully written with photography--lush, like its wines. Publisher George Vanderburgh, the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, www.batteredbox.com.
SHERLOCKIAN DISCUSSION GROUPS AND JAUNTS IN THE CHICAGO-AREA---Wed. Sept. 7, 5:45 p.m. Devon Street Beggars, at the Edgebrook Public Library, Scandal in BohemiaThe Devon Street Beggars met July 6 for “Five Orange Pips”. We read of the letter that arrived with a Pondicherry postmark, marked “KKK”, with 5 orange pips enclosed. Holmes checked the sailing records of ships which had been at Pondicherry and Dundee, and recognized the sloop “The Lone Star” (a very active scion society). Sherry, orange crush, snacks, and great Sherlockian conversation led by Jim Sheridan.
---Through July 24, Death of Harry Houdini the Chopin Theatre,1543 West Division, Chicago. Thanks to Devon Street Beggar John Considine for the heads up: “A ringmaster leads us through the events of Houdini’s life, its stunning magic, poignant dialogue and original music. All the while, Harry feels Death closing in at his heels (or his manacled hands). Harry will walk on broken glass, swallow razor blades and otherwise risk his life in the Water Torture Cell, but will he pull off an escape from Death?” The FOX tv channel has premiered “Houdini & Doyle” in which the two investigate the paranormal...what I and my fellow trekkers did at Graceland Cemetery. Like Houdini, we remained cynical of the afterlife. After Houdini’s death, his widow, Bess, held a yearly seance, hoping that Harry might make contact. He was always a no-show.
---Tues. Aug. 7, 7 p.m. The BeeSpeckled Band, at the Highwood (IL) Public Library Dancing Men. discussion leader Francesca Nielsen
---Wednesday evening, August 17, You’re the Top!: Cole Porter’s 125th Birthday Celebration Ravinia, in Highland Park ILChicago Symphony Orchestra
gates open 5 PM, concert start, 8 PMCocaine was Holmes’ drug of choice---a 7% solution intravenously injected to Dr. Watson’s consternation. In the 1930s, Cole Porter’s "I Get a Kick from Cocaine... Beer, Alcohol, doesn’t thrill me at all...” was a massive hit. Don’t overlook the smooth-throated rendition in Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles” sung by the railroad workers.
An evening picnic on the lawn ($10 admission). Mimosas, of course. Syringes still illegal.
---For the horsey set, on Sun. Aug. 21, 1-5 Polo and Pimms, at the Oak Brook (IL) Polo Grounds, hosted by The English-Speaking Union, Chicago@... and www.ESUUS.org/Chicago.---Sept. 27, 6 p.m. the Torists meet at the Ridgemoor Country Club, Chicago. “The Second Afghan War” presented by Dr. Franklin SaksenaDr. Saksena books include: 101 Sherlock Holmes Puzzles, Another 101 Sherlock Holmes Puzzles, and the latest Nerve and Knowledge: Doctors, Medicine and the Sherlockian Canon.