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”

Goals

Cover of 1930 edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes

At the end of 2017, I decided that I would read my copy of the 1930 Doubleday edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, cover to cover, during 2018. I started on January 1st with the preface by Christopher Morley, and I finished “The Retired Colourman” in the evening of December 31st.

I wrote out a schedule for the year that broke the reading down more or less evenly over 52 weeks, though I ended up reading it in bigger chunks less regularly. It was an interesting experience, immersing myself in the Canon in approximate publication order, having read some stories many times before, and others only once or twice.

This year, I’m going to explore the Canon from a different angle, and read through my Baring-Gould annotated edition.

Do you have any Sherlockian goals for 2019?

Renewals for 2019

The digital version of the Fall 2018 Watsonian was released to Paperless and Paper+PDF Members over the last week. (The digital version of our journal has been bundled with the print edition memberships/subscriptions since January 2016.)

If your membership is scheduled to expire on 31st December, this was the final Watsonian issue in your subscription. We hope that you will renew your membership and join us for 2019 at this link: 2019 Membership. (If you are unsure of your membership dates, please check our Member Roster.) Prospective members are welcome to join at the same link.

We apologize for the confusion resulting from the notes that appeared with some of the digital edition notifications. Formal renewal emails will be sent after the New Year to those whose subscriptions have lapsed.

In the meantime, we hope you are having a lovely end of year, keeping warm (or cool, for our friends down under!) and happy.

Compliments of the Season!

On behalf of the John H Watson Society, I wish the very warmest compliments of the season to you and yours.

Last year, “Chips” posted a photo of his copy of the BSI-published edition of “The Blue Carbuncle” with preface by Christopher Morley. In July, I ran across a copy in my local used bookshop, and found this lovely inscription inside:

To Ernie Baumgarth, at Christmastime, as a sort of keystone for a Sherlockian library. With all affection,
Russ McLauchlin
“Let me recommend this book, one of the most remarkable ever penned.”

Dec. 25, 1948

(My thanks to Chris Redmond (JHWS “Buster”) and Chris Music for deciphering the names.)

Knowing that this book was once given as a token of friendship from one Sherlockian to another makes it even more special to me.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

The third Gregsonian Quiz received four responses, and it proved really difficult to stump this crowd.

Congratulations to Michael M. Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Shiela Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”), Margie Deck, (JHWS “Mopsy”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena Buttons”)!

  1. In the popular 2013 series Шерлок Холмс many of the classic Canonical stories are remixed.  For instance, whom does Watson marry in this show?  Mrs. Hudson.
  2. A Study in Scarlet first appeared in November of 1887 in what periodical?  Beeton’s Christmas Annual.
  3. What is the alternate title of William Gillette’s famous 1899 play Sherlock Holmes?  The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner
  4. What was Shinwell Johnson’s nickname?  Porky Shinwell.
  5. What was the occupation of Watson’s friend Lomax?  Lomax, was the sublibrarian.
  6. If we were never to leave the Canon, we would know very little about Mrs. Hudson, not even her first name.  In fact, the Mrs. Hudson we now know was largely created not by Conan Doyle but by this popular Sherlockian author in the 1933 essay “The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson.”  Vincent Starrett.
  7. Sesame Street has its own “great” detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes.  What is his name?  Sherlock Hemlock.
  8. Robert Downey, Jr, disguised as a chair In the final scene of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows we see Holmes in a very unusual disguise (One that is echoed in BBC Sherlock).  What is the disguise? A chair (near where Watson types)– Holmes’s “urban camouflage” blends with the fabric, design, and color of the chair.
  9. What is the most remarkable component in Professor Presbury’s rejuvenation serum?  Serum of Black-faced langur.
  10. What real life criminal organization are the Scowrers of The Valley of Fear based upon?  The Molly Maguires.

May all of your carbuncles be blue this holiday season!  If you would like to see more Gregsonian quizzes in the future, please let us know at quizmaster@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Gregsonian Quiz Reminder

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

There are just a few more days to send in your answers to the third Gregsonian Quiz. Give your brain attic a rummage and see what you can come up with!

Answers will be posted Monday, 3rd December.

The Gregsonian Quiz #3

Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) returns with another…

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 2nd December. Answers will be posted in three weeks, on the 3rd of December.

  1. In the popular 2013 series Шерлок Холмс many of the classic Canonical stories are remixed.  For instance, whom does Watson marry in this show?
  2. A Study in Scarlet first appeared in November of 1887 in what periodical?
  3. What is the alternate title of William Gillette’s famous 1899 play Sherlock Holmes?
  4. What was Shinwell Johnson’s nickname?
  5. What was the occupation of Watson’s friend Lomax?
  6. If we were never to leave the Canon, we would know very little about Mrs Hudson, not even her first name.  In fact, the Mrs Hudson we now know was largely created not by Conan Doyle but by this popular Sherlockian author in the 1933 essay “The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson.”
  7. Sesame Street has its own “great” detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes.  What is his name?
  8. In the final scene of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows we see Holmes in a very unusual disguise (One that is echoed in BBC Sherlock).  What is the disguise?
  9. What is the most remarkable component in Professor Presbury’s rejuvenation serum?
  10. What real life criminal organization are the Scowrers of The Valley of Fear based upon?

Shop Correction

Thank you to those eagle-eyed members who let me know that the 2019 Membership options available in the Shop were showing up as memberships for 2018 instead. That has been corrected.

I’ve also learned that PayPal may not be showing the option to pay by credit card without a PayPal account in some locations. If you encounter this, please let me know.

2019 Memberships Now Available

Society memberships for the 2019 calendar year are now available in the Shop: 2019 Society Membership.

New and renewing members may choose the Paperless Membership, which includes the Spring and Fall 2019 issues of the Watsonian, or the Print+PDF option with domestic or international postage.

Please note, if you are a renewing member, your membership may already include 2019! See our Members Page to check on your membership dates.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Congratulations to those who grappled with the sophomore Gregsonian Quiz!

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

In all three responses were received, from Michael Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”).

There were two perfect scores and one 9 out of 10.

The players somehow knew that the name of the third Holmes brother in the Asylum film was Thorpe. I was just looking for the much pithier “Spring-Heeled Jack.”  Everyone also went above and beyond in naming all three types of Canonical pipes.

  1. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly aren’t the only comedians to take on the roles of Holmes and Watson. What is the name of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, played by Gene Wilder?  Sigerson Holmes
  2. 221B Baker Street was NOT Sherlock Holmes’ actual address. How can we be sure of this?  “At the time the Holmes stories were published, addresses in Baker Street did not go as high as 221.”
  3. Holmes is a master of baritsu, likely the real-world bartitsu, an eccentric martial art form invented by Londoner E.W. Barton-Wright. In what story do we first hear of baritsu? The Adventure of the Empty House
  4. The shortest Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle is a mere 503 words long. What is the title? How Watson Learned the Trick
  5. One of the inspectors Holmes worked with had a rather eccentric appearance, with a peaked cap, “frogged” (braided) coat and a large bushy beard. Who was that inspector?  Bradstreet
  6. Black Peter’s cabin had one of these devices named after a figure from Greek mythology. Contrary to popular belief, this is never specifically mentioned as existing at Baker Street. Tantalus
  7. Marshall Stoddart, editor of Lippencott’s magazine, commissioned two famous novels at the same dinner. Sign of Four was one. What was the other? The Picture of Dorian Gray
  8. Watson’s eyes sparkle when he thinks of this American war, and Holmes waxes poetic about the gallantry shown on both sides. Which American war holds a romantic fascination for them? The (American) Civil War
  9. The 2010 Asylum film Sherlock Holmes is notorious for its dinosaurs. However, the true villain is just as improbable. What is his moniker and relationship to Sherlock Holmes? Spring-Heeled Jack aka Sherlock Holmes’ brother, Thorpe
  10. Sherlock Holmes is associated with the Meerschaum pipe (or perhaps vice versa) but that style of pipe is never mentioned in the original stories. Three other pipes are. Name at least one of them. Black clay pipe, a long cherrywood pipe, and an old brier pipe.

-Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”)

A Legend

“Chips” sends in this tidbit that originally appeared in the Baker Street Journal vol. 16 no. 2 (June 1966) by Chris Redmond (JHWS “Buster”).

A LEGEND

by Chris Redmond

“The Naval Treaty” illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine, October & November 1893.

Observe the famous profile. See the pipe—

Traditionally curved, though really straight—

On which he puffs, as men of every type

Narrate their strange experience or fate.

That famous phrase of “Elementary,

My dear Watson,” was one he never spoke;

But he is known for it in every

Discussion of him, each pastiche, each joke.

Popularly, he crawled across the rug,

In deerstalker and cape, viewing with care

Through magnifying glass each thread or bug,

Each ash or bit of mud, which he found there.

It’s fiction, or else legend—but forsooth~

Since we believe it, isn’t it the truth?

The Gregsonian Quiz

Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) returns with another…

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 31st October. Answers will be posted in two weeks, on the 1st of November.

  1. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly aren’t the only comedians to take on the roles of Holmes and Watson. What is the name of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, played by Gene Wilder?
  2. 221B Baker Street was NOT Sherlock Holmes’ actual address. How can we be sure of this?
  3. Holmes is a master of baritsu, likely the real-world bartitsu, an eccentric martial art form invented by Londoner E.W. Barton-Wright. In what story do we first hear of baritsu?
  4. The shortest Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle is a mere 503 words long. What is the title?
  5. One of the inspectors Holmes worked with had a rather eccentric appearance, with a peaked cap, “frogged” (braided) coat and a large bushy beard. Who was that inspector?
  6. Black Peter’s cabin had one of these devices named after a figure from Greek mythology. Contrary to popular belief, this is never specifically mentioned as existing at Baker Street.
  7. Marshall Stoddart, editor of Lippencott’s magazine, commissioned two famous novels at the same dinner. Sign of Four was one. What was the other?
  8. Watson’s eyes sparkle when he thinks of this American war, and Holmes waxes poetic about the gallantry shown on both sides. Which American war holds a romantic fascination for them?
  9. The 2010 Asylum film Sherlock Holmes is notorious for its dinosaurs. However, the true villain is just as improbable. What is his moniker and relationship to Sherlock Holmes?
  10. Sherlock Holmes is associated with the Meerschaum pipe (or perhaps vice versa) but that style of pipe is never mentioned in the original stories. Three other pipes are. Name at least one of them.

The Soldier Named Murray

Royal Horse Artillery and the 66th Foot before the Battle of Maiwand – ‎Richard Caton Woodville, Jr (1856-1927)

“Chips” sends in this poetic toast by Jody Baker (AKA Insp. Baynes, and who in turn gives thanks to Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”)) to he without whom our dear Dr Watson would have perished before ever meeting Holmes.

On the Afghan side of a mountain pass
In the land that’s ruled from Kabul,
Our assistant regimental surgeon
Was a kid just fresh out of school.

He had spent some time at Netley, though;
And they’d taught him mighty well
How to patch up battered infantry troops
Who had fought their way through hell.

Now the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers
Were safe back in Candahar,
And he could’ve stayed back there with them,
If he’d wanted to sit out the war.

But he cast his lot with the Berkshires,
And he joined us in the fight
As we neared the village of Maiwand,
Troops deployed both left and right.

Then those murd’rous stinkin’ Ghazis
Soon filled the air with lead.
And when a slug hit the doctor’s leg,
My Gawd, — how that man bled.

Since I was the doctor’s orderly
I was fightin’ by his side;
And when he fell, I picked him up.
Lor’ — I thought the man had died.

So I slung him over my shoulder
And was headed toward the rear,
When another slug from a Ghazi gun
Brought an end to his career.

It split the spine of his scapula,
And it pierced his body too.
I knew he was hit, and I knew it was bad,
And I thought that he might be through.

So, I held him even closer
And kept on running to the back,
Where I grabbed the Company work-horse
And strapped the doctor to its pack.

We dressed the wounds. We stopped the blood.
And we did what we could do;
But the man was hurt – he was hurt real bad;
And he needed surgery, too.

So we sent him east to Candahar,
Where he joined with several more
To form a train, and then move
North to our base in Pesh’war.

In the base hospital in Pesh’war
Where they nursed him back to health,
They said that our treatment in the field
Saved the man from certain death.

Watson has praised me for my courage,
And for my devotion to the deed,
And for risks I took in saving the life
Of the man whose tales we read.

So pull your chairs up close to the hearth fire,
When it’s cold and the snows are a-flurry.
As you talk about Watson and marvel at Holmes,
Drink a toast to the soldier named Murray.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Congratulations to those who endured the inaugural Gregsonian Quiz!  In all six responses were received, from Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Bill Mason (JHWS “Billy”), Michael Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Ron Lies (JHWS “Chips”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”).   There were three perfect scores, two 9 out of 10s, and one valiant effort.  There was only one minor item of controversy (a couple of people correctly noted that Lord Saltire ultimately rode away on a horse, not a bicycle.  The quiz apprentice had intended the answer to be Dunlop.  Either Dunlop or horse were marked as correct.).  Expect another quiz in honor of our man Gregson soon.

  1. Sherlock Holmes is not the only great detective to reside at 221 Baker Street at the end of the 19th Century. Another simultaneously called 221 ½ Baker Street home. What was his name?  Basil, the Great Mouse Detective
  2. In “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, Mr. Merryweather complains that he misses his rubber. What is it that he misses?  Whist, a card game, an early version of bridge
  3. Irene Adler had been prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, where she became involved with the King of Bohemia, but from where did this adventuress originate?  New Jersey
  4. What are two good reasons to believe that there was never a blue carbuncle in the crop of Mr. Henry Baker’s goose?  “A goose does not have a crop” and carbuncles aka garnets are not blue, at least no blue garnet has yet been found.
  5. In “The Adventure of the Priory School”, Holmes claims to be familiar with the impressions of forty-two types of bicycle tyres, and even to be able to tell the direction in which the bicycle was travelling. What brand of tyre did Lord Saltire ride away upon?  Heidegger’s tyres were Palmers, James Wilder had a Dunlop tyre with a patch, but Lord Saltire did not ride away upon a tyre, he rode a led pony with special shoes to look like a cow’s hoof.
  6. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, my dear Data” a rogue hologram of Moriarty is accidentally created after Data frustrates his crewmates by instantly solving a Canonical story. Which story did Data recognize?  A Scandal in Bohemia
  7. What is the improbable first name of Professor Moriarty’s brother?  James
  8. In the original Canon, who is the only character to refer to Holmes as “Sherlock”?  Mycroft Holmes
  9. The UCLA Film Archive restored many of the Rathbone/Bruce films, but much of this work was funded by a private individual. In particular, the majority of the funding for The Scarlet Claw came from this one person. What was their name? Hugh Hefner
  10. Only three detectives have chapters named after them in the Canon: Sherlock Holmes, Birdy Edwards, and this Scotland Yard Inspector. Who? Tobias Gregson

-Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”)

The Oenologic Holmes

Chips writes: I read this book,  The Oenologic Holmes, by a former member and Chief Surgeon of Dr. Watson’s Neglected Patients. (He now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and he is in a scion group there.)

It is quite interesting even to a Coca-Cola man like me.

I recommend you obtain a copy for fascinating reading.

The author, Steve Robinson, sells copies through his eBay storefront, Wolf Mountain Books. His very appropriate username there is “Vamberry”. You can also find him through FaceBook at Wolf Mountain Books. Some of you may know first-hand what a fascinating man he is to talk to, especially about wine in Sherlock Holmes stories. This book continues that. You will enjoy it.

Selena says: That book does sound interesting. Looking through the storefront, I have fallen a little bit in love with this 1895 Lupton edition of A Study in Scarlet. That cover! Hmm, the holidays are coming up….

Introducing: The Gregsonian Quiz

Ready for a new Canonical Challenge? Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) gives us:

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

The Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 30th September. Answers will be posted in two weeks, on the 1st of October.

  1. Sherlock Holmes is not the only great detective to reside at 221 Baker Street at the end of the 19th Century. Another simultaneously called 221 ½ Baker Street home. What was his name?
  2. In “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, Mr. Merryweather complains that he misses his rubber. What is it that he misses?
  3. Irene Adler had been prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, where she became involved with the King of Bohemia, but from where did this adventuress originate?
  4. What are two good reasons to believe that there was never a blue carbuncle in the crop of Mr. Henry Baker’s goose?
  5. In “The Adventure of the Priory School”, Holmes claims to be familiar with the impressions of forty-two types of bicycle tires, and even to be able to tell the direction in which the bicycle was travelling. What brand of tire did Lord Saltire ride away upon?
  6. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, my dear Data” a rogue hologram of Moriarty is accidentally created after Data frustrates his crewmates by instantly solving a Canonical story. Which story did Data recognize?
  7. What is the improbable first name of Professor Moriarty’s brother?
  8. In the original Canon, who is the only character to refer to Holmes as “Sherlock”?
  9. The UCLA Film Archive restored many of the Rathbone/Bruce films, but much of this work was funded by a private individual. In particular, the majority of the funding for The Scarlet Claw came from this one person. What was their name?
  10. Only three detectives have chapters named after them in the Canon: Sherlock Holmes, Birdy Edwards, and this Scotland Yard Inspector. Who?

2018 Treasure Hunt Six Results

‘The ideal reasoner,’ he remarked, ‘would, when he has once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it, but also all the results which would follow from it.’

Hello Watsonians—

The month of August is, as always, Treasure Hunt month for the John H Watson Society. Knowing the many hours required to finish the Treasure Hunt, we are always gratified to see the number of entries submitted. After many hours of scoring today with the help of Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS ‘Daisy’), I am happy to announce the results of TH6: Every Link Rings True.

Individual Competition 

For the third consecutive year, High Honors in the difficult Individual Category goes to Michael Ellis with 70 points of the 74 available. Denny Dobry earns Honors in this category with 66 points.

Two competitors new to the individual category earned our O.V.E. (Order of the Valiant Effort) Award: Brad Keefauver with 52 points, and Carmen Savino with 50 points.  Honorable Mention to first time participant Paul Thomas Miller and returning competitor Gerry Turnbull who each earned 35 points before their time ran short.

Team Competition

Returning team ‘Experience of Canon’ earns High Honors in the team category with 66 points; team members are Beth Gallego, Paul Hartnett, and Ron Lies.  Honors go to the ‘Uno Studio in Holmes’ team with 65 points; team members include Stefano Guerra, Michele Lopez, Vera Mazzotta, Gianluca Salvatori, and Enrico Solito.

O.V.E. awards in this category go to ‘The Retired Beekeepers of Sussex’ with 60 points, and the ‘Sound of the Baskervilles’ with 58 points.  The Beekeepers team members are Elinor Gray, Rowan MacBean, and Cheryl LeBlanc-Weldon.  Cameron Brandon, Lauren Messenger, Sunny Even, and Francis Bond represented the SOBs.

We send a Shout-Out to our Treasure Hunt friend Anne Nelson who managed 16 points while traveling across South Korea; she said she plans to finish it just for the fun of it after she returns home.  “Just for the fun of it” is music to the Treasure Hunt master’s ears.

Thank you all for joining in the fun.  I send many thanks to Sheila Holtgrieve for her proof-reading and scoring research assistance; as always, her good humor and phenomenal Canon knowledge made the work enjoyable. I will be contacting all the participants concerning addresses for the delivery of the small mementos.  You will find the answers attached.

I have enjoyed serving as Treasure Hunt Master this year. I appreciate your participation, patience and good humor.

Margie Deck

JHWS/ ‘Mopsy’

2018 TH6 Answers