On April 26th…

April 26th 1887
Holmes found a note fragment in Alec Cunningham’s dressing gown. (REIG)
Inspector Forrester arrested the two Cunninghams for the murder of William Kirwan.

On April 25th…

April 25th 1887: William Kerwin was murdered by Alec Cunningham. (REIG)
April 25th 1891: Holmes and Watson left for the Continent and arrived in Brussels. (FINA)

New Publications from the John H Watson Society

Hello Everyone!

As we are nearing the end of April, you may be wondering if the Spring edition of The Watsonian will be delayed. The circumstances were certainly not ideal for us and there were some surprises along the way… but I’m very happy to say that the latest Watsonian is being mailed out just as you’re reading this!

I think everyone is in for quite a treat. Our dear Buttons was very ambitious this volume and I believe the hard work and warmth he put into this edition can truly be felt. It’s over 200 pages of content and filled with fascinating contributions from our fellow John H Watson Society members.

This volume features a heartfelt memorial from Don Yates “Pal” concerning our friend and mentor beyond the terrace. I really believe that Button’s influence can be found throughout the book and it is all of the more lovely as a result.

I could tell you more about its contents, but I’d rather you experience reading it for yourself. You’ll find this special package in the mail in the course of the next few weeks, depending on the post. I hope it will arrive safely and in good speed.

However, that isn’t going to be the only book to enjoy. We are also sending our members the first volume of a series that Buttons had inspired and cultivated over the course of the past year. The first installment of The Fiction Series will be a pastiche that draws a great deal from Italian art and history: “The Adventure of the Duke’s Study” by Luca Sartori “Victor”

Our dear “Victor” put a great deal of thought and effort into his tale and his hard work shows. His mentor, Alessandra Calanchi “Bianca”, asked for me to convey this message to everyone:

“I am overwhelmed with emotion since I wish I could thank Don for this gift he has made to my student and myself. I do miss him… I would like everyone know my gratitude. Thanks a lot to everybody and congratulations for the wonderful work you all make.”

Also, you will find one more volume in the package once it arrives. Due to the difficult challenges we’ve had to face this past month, this particular book had not gone out nearly as early as originally intended and for that I apologize deeply. However, I think this work is well worth the wait, as it is a very carefully thought-out piece and an absolutely wonderful read. I’m speaking, of course, of the latest edition of our Monograph Series: “Some Observations Upon the Early Writing of John H Watson, MD, 1887-1894” by James C O’Leary “Pippin”

If you are intrigued by the title of this Monograph, you will be even more interested to know that our friend James “Pippin” shall be the new Editor-in-Chief of the Watsonian. We have assembled a talented editorial team around him composed of (but not limited to): Stephan “Dalton,” Elinor “Misty,” and Harrison “Dash,” in addition to helpful advisers such as Bob “Willow,” Andrea “Asta,” and Joanne “Sandy.” (I will continue to do design and layout for all JHWS publications.)

I would like to thank “Pippin” and the new JHWS Editorial team for their willingness to take up such a momentous task. Also, if anyone has ideas to contribute for the next Watsonian (coming this October!), then please contact our new Editor-in-Chief at pippin[at]

Now you may have noticed that I said the Monograph is one more volume in the package heading your way. Yes, that’s a total of three books! Although the Monograph Series is meant to be sold and distributed separately, we have been blessed with an incredibly generous gift for this one very special occasion. For this one time, all current members will receive a free copy of the latest volume in the Monograph Series.

In a sense, this is the final gift from our good friend Don “Buttons” as well as a heartfelt act of generosity from the lovely Andrea “Asta.”

I don’t have words powerful enough to express the full extent of my gratitude to you, “Asta,” but I hope you understand how much this amazing gift means to me. I hope my fellow members will join me in thanking you for going above and beyond to ensure the prosperity and happiness of the John H Watson Society.

I hope all of you will enjoy the new publications!

IMG_20150423_005211~2With Love,
“Carla Buttons”
A Boy in Buttons

Weekly Forum 2015: #16

Today’s topic is from our fellow JHWS member “Willow.” Thank you!
If you wish to offer an idea for a Weekly Forum topic, please contact me at

Enjoying the Canon

When you sit down to read the Canon purely for the pleasure of doing so (not counting research or studying for a quiz), which version do you read:

Doubleday, Baring-Gould Annotated, Klinger Annotated, Oxford, John Murray, Limited Edition, an illustrated version, paperback edition, something else? …and also, why?


On April 19th…

April 19th 1888
Holmes, Watson and Athelney Jones chase the Launch Aurora down the Thames (SIGN)

Tonga was shot by Holmes or Watson, or both.
Watson finds the true treasure of the tale, his beloved Mary.

An ode added by Chips in honor of beloved Mary:

Limerick to Sign of the Four
by Isaac Asimov, BSI and Sherlockian extraordinaire

Muttered Sherlock, “Never mind Cocaine’s pleasure,
Let us seek the famed Agra Treasure.”
Answered Watson, “No pearls,
for myself only girls,
And its Mary that’s made to my measure.”

On April 18th…

April 18th 1888
The Baker Street Irregulars started their search for the Launch Aurora. (SIGN)

April 18th 1887
The Acton House was broken into. (REIG)
Holmes and Watson arrived in Baker Street from Lyons.

April 18th 1897
Dr. Sterndale murders Mortimer Tregennis. ( DEVI)

On April 16th…

April 16, 1888: Holmes,Watson and Mary Morstan went to Pondicherry Lodge. (SIGN)
April 16, 1896: Brenda Tregennis was murdered and two brothers lost their sanity. (DEVI)

On April 15th…

April 15, 1876: The Worthingdon  Bank Gang was sent to prison. (REIS)
April 15, 1887: Watson arrived at Holmes’s bedside in Lyons. (REIG)
April 15, 1888: Toga kills Bartholomew Sholto with a poison dart. (SIGN)

On April 13th…

Chips’s Tid Bits returns with new canonical events to mark on your calendar…

April 13, 1890: Violet Hunter sat in the window seat a second time. (COPP)

Weekly Forum 2015: #14

Another one of our members was kind enough to contact me and anonymously offer an interesting topic for us to discuss. If you wish to offer an idea for a Weekly Forum topic, please contact me at

The Detective’s Capacity for Love

In SCAN, Watson notes of Holmes:

“It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen; but, as a lover, he would have placed himself in a false position” (emphasis added).

Yet, one or two years later (depending upon which chronologist you consult), Watson seems to have hopes that Holmes will find a match in Violet Hunter of COPP. The good doctor notices how Holmes is favourably impressed by the manner and speech of his new client.” Watson also notes that Holmes calls Miss Hunter an “exceptional woman.” Then, at the story’s end, the good doctor says:

“As to Miss Violet Hunter, my friend Holmes, rather to my disappointment, manifested no further interest in her when once she had ceased to be the centre of one of his problems…” (emphasis added)

According to Klinger, TWIS, IDEN, BLUE, FIVE, BOSC, STOC, NAVA, ENGR, HOUN, CROO, and REDH occur between SCAN and COPP. Is there something about Holmes that Watson observed or discovered during these cases that would cause him to change his mind about the Great Detective’s capacity for love or, at the very least, his ability to find and keep a suitable mate? Or, are the good doctor’s musings in COPP merely a reflection of his hopeful character and perhaps his misguided wishes for his friend’s marital happiness? What evidence (or lack thereof) leads you to your conclusions?

The Saga of Holmes and Watson Endures

(“Chips’s Tid Bits” returns with a very special message from our dear friend, Chips. – Carla Buttons)

Hello to my fellow Society members,

The passage of our beloved Don hit me hard as it did all of us. As I am want to do in times of turmoil I submerge my self in rereading the Canon and the Scholarship about those tales. I found a passage that reminded me of Don. In the words of Christopher Morley:

What other body of modern literature is esteemed as much for its errors as its felicities? The saga of Holmes and Watson endures as a unique portrait of a friendship and of a civilization. It is not strange that in our recent years of turmoil and dismay there has been so keen a nostalgia for the shape of things gone by. The Victorian age had many cruel faults yet in some phases it reached the highest accomplishment and assurance human beings have known. When Watson is talking we know where we are. Right is right and wrong is wrong; an aristocrat always looks like an aristocrat; he has a high beaky nose, wide-open haughty gaze, and sags a little at the knees. Mrs. Hudson’s joint of cold beef is on the sideboard (no one dreamed of an icebox in those days), and Holmes is smoking the cherrywood pipe which he reserves for disputatious mood. Let us enter the argument. So, in Vincent Starrett’s phrase, we revisit a world ‘where it is always 1895.'”

I can see Don with Holmes and Watson sitting and discussing the Case.

I miss him so much.

“Chips” aka Ron in Denver