A Dickensian Tidbit: The Answers

Last week, Chips asked:

In my readings, I have found two editors working together who came up with 3 possible connections between Dickens and Sherlock Holmes and/or Arthur Conan Doyle.

One connection involves a quote.

Of the other two, one requires some comparisons and the other requires a visit from the Afterlife. 

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand, 1904

The answers are:

The quote, from The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton (CHAS): “Charles Augustus Milverton was a man of fifty, with a large, intellectual head, a round, plump, hairless face, a perpetual frozen smile, and two keen gray eyes, which gleamed brightly from behind broad, gold-rimmed glasses. There was something of Mr. Pickwick’s benevolence in his appearance, marred only by the insincerity of the fixed smile and by the hard glitter of those restless and penetrating eyes.”

The comparisons, from the entry for February 7 in A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes, by Leah Guinn and Jaime N. Mahoney: “Sherlockians can also thank Dickens for Bleak House‘s Inspector Bucket, the first police detective in English literature who, in his various investigations, provides the template for Inspector Lestrade and every policeman who consults the detective at 221B.”

The visit from the Afterlife, also mentioned in the same entry: During at least two seances Arthur Conan Doyle attended, Dickens’s spirit allegedly made contact and said that Drood (of his unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood) was not dead, but he still didn’t provide the answer to the mystery.

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