Shop Note

While we do some behind-the-scenes work in the Shop, print publications and the Print+ membership will be temporarily unavailable. Digital editions of publications and the Worldwide Paperless membership will remain available.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

Running for the Beacon Society

Andie Stabler writes:

Calling all of my Sherlockian and non-Sherlockian friends out there! Listen up!

As many of you know, the lovely Susan Diamond passed away recently. I adored Susan. She was always good to me and she and her hubby Allen were always willing to help guide this newbie Sherlock Holmes nerd through the ups and downs of Sherlockian society. So I would like to do something to honor this wonderful lady.

For this, I will need some help.

I’m going to be running the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon in the Chicago area on June 9th. What I would like to do as well is raise money for The Beacon Society in Susan Diamond’s name. I think the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon is perfect for this, as we all know that Susan was a superhero in her own right. 😊

When I cross the finish line of this race, (which will take a while, I’m sure), I would like to be able to say that through the running of this race, there is at least $500 to be donated to The Beacon Society.

You can help Andie in this effort by donating at her Just Giving page. As of this writing, she has reached the original $500 goal, but wouldn’t it be lovely to make that donation even bigger?

Hearing voices? It’s okay!

The Watsonian Weekly hit the podcast airwaves last week, as the John H. Watson Society added one more medium to its societal output. Its first week was a bit of a “soft” opening, just to make sure it was working, but this week, with episode two, the secret’s out!

So just what is the Watsonian Weekly? Well, as the name says, it’s Watsonian and it’s weekly. Beyond that? We’re starting with an audio magazine format of news and features, put together every Sunday night for your Monday morning listening pleasure. The format gives us a great flexibility of content so we can make sure and get something out every single week, and try to fill a half hour of content to start your week.

As time passes, however, you can expect special episodes when a number of Watsonians gather at some weekend function like the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium, interviews that the other podcasts may not have gotten to, or . . . who knows? It’s a very flexible medium, and Watsonians have a wide range of ideas.

In fact, we’re already welcoming Watsonians to try their hand at becoming featured voices on the podcast. Have some basic device like an iPhone with a voice memo feature that will e-mail a minute or two of talk? Have an idea that might fill as little as a minute? Or just want to send in a written note or question to add to our weekly content? The e-mail address “podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com” should reach us.

Good podcasts grow and evolve with the community they serve, and the John H. Watson Society has done quite a bit already in its six years of existence. Now we have one more outlet to celebrate John H. Watson, and share our love of him just a little more. Join us, won’t you?

You can find the Watsonian Weekly at http://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/ and coming soon to iTunes.

Brad Keefauver
Podcast anchor and editor, as well as JHWS “Calder”

Happy (?) Reichenbach Day

"The Great Falls of the Reichenbach" - Turner, 1804
“The Great Falls of the Reichenbach” (Turner, 1804)

… upon the afternoon of the 4th we set off together with the intention of crossing the hills and spending the night at the hamlet of Rosenlaui. We had strict injunctions, however, on no account to pass the falls of Reichenbach, which are about half-way up the hill, without making a small detour to see them.

It is, indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening, coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring for ever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing for ever upwards, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamour. [FINA]

Sherlock_Holmes_plaque
Plaque marking the location of the final struggle between Holmes and Moriarty, placed by the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland

The fourth of May is a date well known to Sherlockians and Watsonians the world over. On this day, 128 years ago, Holmes and Moriarty fought a final, apparently fatal struggle at the edge of the Reichenbach Falls. What really happened there has been the subject of a number of essays and pastiches over the years.

Today, there are a number of memorial sites one can visit in and around Meiringen. A life-size statue of Holmes, sculpted by John Doubleday, was unveiled by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1988. Nearby, a Sherlock Holmes Museum opened in 1991.

Also in 1991, in honour of the centennial, the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland erected a commemorative plaque near the Falls. There are a few other plaques to be found in the area, including one noting the location of the “Englischer Hof” (otherwise known as the Hotel Rössli, Meiringen).

Have you visited the Falls, either with a group or on your own? The closest I’ve ever been is the airport in Geneva, but I’d love to get there one day!

”Chips” writes that he will be spending the day assembling a puzzle of this iconic illustration:

Sherlock_Holmes_and_Professor_Moriarty_at_the_Reichenbach_Falls
Paget illustration for “The Final Problem”, 1893

TH7: Second warm up quiz – Answer

Dear fellow Watsonians,
we didn’t receive a great response to the second “Appetizer” quiz. In fact, we only had one. I suppose that the Easter holidays kept many people away.

“An excess of frankness could make it sink. What?”

Answer: Sherlock Holmes’s “poor little reputation”.

«“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining. ‘Omne ignotum pro magnifico,’ you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid.”» (REDH, 177)

Congratulations to Cameron Brandon on behalf of The Sound of the Baskervilles who sent the only and correct answer.

See you for the next preliminary quiz. Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”

Now We Are Six

Founded April 11, 2013, during a time of burgeoning momentum in “Things Doyle,” the John H. Watson Society seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H Watson, M. D. We are an open and inclusive Society, seeking the collegiality and conviviality of Members worldwide and at all stages of involvement in Watsonian, Sherlockian and Holmesian interests. Really, we are about having fun.

(About the Society)

This month, the John H Watson Society turns six years old. Our members are a glorious representation of the worldwide Sherlockian community. We have now published 11 issues of the Watsonian (with the 12th issue currently at the printer). We will be presenting our seventh annual Treasure Hunt this August, and we are among the sponsors of the inaugural Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October.

As a Society, we have grown and matured, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.

As you know, the John H Watson Society is a labor of love, run entirely by volunteers. Your current volunteers have worked to construct an executive leadership team consisting of a chairperson (Boy-in-Buttons), a treasurer (Carter), and a membership secretary (Boswell). This core group will work with other volunteers to continue the activities of the John H Watson Society. At this time, we are looking for volunteers to step into two of these leadership positions.

Members will soon receive an email with further details about these positions and information on how to apply. I hope that you will consider donating your time to this worthy venture and enjoy the opportunity to become more involved in your Society.

Statement Regarding Allegations of Harassment

The John H. Watson Society was founded as the Open and Inclusive Worldwide Online Sherlockian Society (Really, We’re About Having Fun), but having fun cannot be prioritized at the expense of the safety and security of our members. The JHWS is dedicated to providing a safe space for women, queer folks, and others who have found themselves marginalized in the Sherlockian world. As part of that commitment, we cannot tolerate the harassing behaviors by Chris Redmond that have been documented elsewhere, including those of which some of our members have been victims. This behavior is not acceptable and is not condoned by the JHWS, nor is any level of sexism, racism, ableism, or homophobia. To that end, Mr Redmond’s membership has been ended effective immediately. To anyone who has been affected negatively by this behavior please know that we see you, we trust you, and we believe you.

Signed,

Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena”), Boy-in-Buttons, and Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Watsonian Editor-in-Chief

TH7: Second Warm Up Quiz

Dear fellow Watsonians,
here’s the second “Appetizer” quiz that will be published before the Hunt. I hope that it will be challenging and stimulating.

“An excess of frankness could make it sink. What?”

Since it’s a busy period for many of us, what with Sherlockian conventions and other things (221B Con starts in Atlanta tomorrow) you have time until after the Easter holidays to submit your answers to: treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.
Please send your email within April 23rd, Tuesday.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Quick Holiday for the Shop

Holmes and Watson seated on a train
Illustration from BOSC by S. Paget

Your Shopkeeper is taking a short holiday, so please be aware that there will be a delay in shipping any print publications ordered through the Shop this week.

Any new memberships purchased this week will be processed next week, after your Shopkeeper returns.

Two Watsonians nab tickets for Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium

‘There were some figures also upon a sheet of paper, with the names of some club friends…’

With the use of a John Watson Bowler hat and some slips of paper, the names of two Watsonians were drawn this morning to receive the admission tickets for the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium in Portland, Oregon, this October. The lucky recipients are:

Bruce Parker, JHWS ‘Oxford’

Robert Perret, JHWS ‘Sampson’

Many congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all the Watsonians participating in the contest. Our winners will receive registration instructions via email.

Registration is on-going for the symposium. It is sure to be an excellent weekend of Watsonian, Sherlockian, and Holmesian fun. Information can be found at leftcoastsherlock.com.

The JHWS will be well represented at the symposium. Won’t you join us?

Margie Deck/ ‘Mopsy’



Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium Ticket Drawing – Two Days Left!

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky Society members to win admission to this October’s Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium closes to entries in two days, on 15 March. You don’t want to miss this fun weekend of Sherlockian shenanigans! (Sherlockianigans?)

Current members are encouraged to complete the Entry Form with your name, email address, and Society Moniker for your chance to win free admission to this fabulous event! (If you are unsure if you are up to date, please hop on over to our Member Roster to check your membership dates.)

“As We Go To Press”…

The Spring Watsonian is in the final editing stages and will soon be headed to the printer. As physical copies are mailed directly from the printer, that means this is the time to make sure that you will be on the list!

Please check your membership ending date on our Member Roster. If it was 12/18, and you wish to continue your membership (and we certainly hope you do!) and receive the Spring Watsonian upon publication, please renew your membership before the 15th of March in the Shop: Society Membership.

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky members to win tickets to the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium will also close to entries on March 15th, so don’t forget to complete the form if you want to enter.

As ever, if you have any questions or run into any difficulties, please contact Selena Buttons.

TH7: First Warm Up Quiz – Answer

So, here is the answer to the first Warm Up Quiz in preparation for the Annual Treasure Hunt 2019.

Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?

Tredannick, in Cornwall. Brenda, Owen and George Tregeniss lived in Tredannick Wartha, and Mortimer Tregennis lived in Tredannick Wollas. In Cornish language, Wartha means “Upper” and Wollas means “Lower”.

“The nearest of these was the hamlet of Tredannick Wollas, where the cottages of a couple of hundred inhabitants clustered round an ancient, moss-grown church. …we […] had come to know, also, Mr. Mortimer Tregennis, an independent gentleman, who increased the clergyman’s scanty resources by taking rooms in his large, straggling house.” (DEVI, 956)
“…his two brothers, Owen and George, and of his sister Brenda, at their house of Tredannick Wartha, which is near the old stone cross upon the moor.” (DEVI, 956)

«The “Wollas” in the village name comes from the Cornish word goles, meaning “lower”; similarly, the “Wartha” in Tredannick Wartha means “upper”. The real village of Predannack was split into upper and lower manors owned by different families in medieval times.»
https://bakerstreet.fandom.com/wiki/Tredannick_Wollas

Congratulations to John Gehan, Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy”, and Ron Lies “Chips”, who all gave the right answer!

I received three correct answers from three participants, so perhaps this question wasn’t so hard after all. Well, we’ll see with the next!
Regards,
Michele aka “Reggie”

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium Ticket Give-Away

The Society is proud to be a sponsor of the upcoming Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October. It’s going to be a fun and educational weekend, full of interesting talks and social events. And we have admission tickets to give to two lucky Society members!

The drawing will close to entries on March 15th, and it is limited to current Society members. (If you are unsure if you are up to date, please hop on over to our Member Roster to check your membership dates.) Just fill out the Entry Form with your name, email address, and Society Moniker for your chance to win free admission to this fabulous event!

TH7: First Warm Up Quiz

“Well, it begins to define itself.” (3GAR)

So, fellow Watsonians, here we are. In about six months we’ll have our seventh Annual Treasure Hunt. I’m proud and happy to announce that I’ll be returning this year as Treasure Hunt Master.

The task, as usual, won’t be easy. Trying to make up a satisfactory set of questions means being caught between “the Scylla and Charybdis” (RESI) of making the quiz difficult enough to challenge the resources and the brains of the participants, but not too complex or convoluted, lest people lose interest and throw the towel in, wishing the quiz maker to the bottom of the Reichenbach.
Some informations: the quiz will consist of 60 questions (a Canonical number!) and part of them will probably be chain questions like those devised by our “Mopsy” for last year’s Hunt. As always, the use of a good Sherlockian Encyclopadia is recommended (Jack Tracy’s Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana, Orlando Park’s Sherlock Holmes, Esq. and John H. Watson, M.D.: An Encyclopedia of Their Affairs, Martin Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary), as well as a good annotated version of the Canon (Les Klinger’s, Baring-Gould’s, and/ or the Oxford Annotated).

In order to raise your interest, and to test and balance the level of the challenge, here’s the first of the “Appetizers” that will be published before the Hunt. Warning: this is a difficult question. It requires not only knowledge of the Canon, but also a certain amount of Internet research and/or the use of a good encyclopedia. If I am judging correctly, this is about the highest difficulty level that you will find in the questions of the Hunt. (But then again I may be wrong and you’ll all breeze through it…) The subject here is geography.

“Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?”

(N.B. The answer must be the exact name of the place, not a generic one. E.G. if the answer was “Florence”, “Italy” or “Tuscany” would not be acceptable answers.)
Please submit your answers to: treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com within February 22nd, Friday. Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Seeking Associate Editor for the Watsonian

Greetings Watson-ian friends! The next issue of the Watsonian is in production, and the team of editors is seeking another pair of eyes. We would like to extend an invitation to members of the society to submit their name for potential associate editorship. Below are the expectations for an associate editor:

  • Familiar with using Google Docs to make suggestions/edits to submissions, or willing to learn;
  • Available twice a year (February and August) to participate in the editing process;
  • Able to edit for style, clarity, spelling, and grammar (American and British English are both accepted, MLA citation style preferred);
  • Willing to help make judgment calls on accepting some or all submissions, as necessary;
  • Excited about a variety of forms of scholarship: essays, fiction, puzzles, poetry, etc.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, or if you have further questions, send an email to publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com with your qualifications as they pertain to the list above. As with all roles in the society, this position is strictly voluntary. Looking forward to hearing from you!

What’s Wrong with a Deerstalker Bike Helmet?

“Chips” writes to share a tidbit from an article written by Russ Bengtson for Complex (in 2013, but it was shared on the Hounds of the Internet recently).

In 11 Bike Helmets You Should Never, Ever Wear, Bengtson includes:

The Sherlock Holmes

You know why Sherlock Holmes could get away with wearing a deerstalker cap? Because it was the 1800s, he did cocaine, and he was A FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

“Chips” says:
 I disagree with this selection. Strongly. I have worn a Sherlock Holmes cap while riding my bike and now while riding in my wheelchair and my mobility scooter every day. And I have no ill effects. Folks tell me how dashing I look. 

“Selena” adds: I would quite like a deerstalker bike helmet. I might have to get one if I ever ride a bike again. To you cyclists out there, please do wear a helmet, no matter what style! Though if you happen to wear a deerstalker helmet, we’d love to see photos.

BSI Honours 2019

A hearty congratulations to the newest investitured members of the Bakers Street Irregulars, including two of our current members:

  • Michele Lopez (JHWS “Reggie”) – “Attenta, Pericolo”
  • Monica Schmidt (JHWS “Margaux”) – “Julia Stoner”