Weekly Forum 2015: #11

This week’s Forum asks you to compare the personality, qualities and attitudes of the original literary Dr Watson and the personalities, qualities and attitudes of the various present day screen and TV Dr Watsons. How are they different from the Victorian original, or are they?

Three Days of Canonical Events

Buttons will be out of touch for two days and so “Chips'” observations for March 9-11 are posted:

March 9: nothing found of Sherlockian note on this date but before the Master reaches for the syringe, do any other Watsonians know of any item of note not in this calendar listing?

March 10, 1883: Elias Openshaw received five orange pips (FIVE)

March 11: nothing of Sherlockian note found but the Good Doctor may have invited Holmes to his home for one of Mary’s home-cooked meals on this date in one of those years; or, maybe one of Watson’s other wives might have also prepared a meal for Holmes.

Membership Renewals: A Reminder

Membership Renewals

On January 15, 2015 we sent an email to all 125 Members who are due to renew their memberships in this renewal cycle. To refresh memories:  if you joined before December 31, 2013, you were due to renew in January of 2015.  If you joined after January 1, 2014, you are due to renew in January of 2016.  You can visit the Members Page and see the headings stating when you are due to renew if you are unsure.

To date, we have Members who have not renewed. We believe this is because they did not read the email or it went to their Junk Mail file because they have not listed the Society as an authorized email sender.

It’s simple to renew. Just visit the Membership Page and click on the pull-down menu and select either U.S. or International membership.  This will take you to PayPal where you may pay using PayPal transfer or by credit card. If you prefer, you can send a check. Email to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com for the mailing address for sending checks.

We need all of you to continue to be a stable and active publishing Society.  All of our membership revenues (and then some) go to publishing The Watsonian and The Monograph Series and The Fiction Series. You are important to what we do  and we need your continued support. Please renew today.

Thank you.

Sad Happening on March 7

March 7, 1881: Jefferson Hope’s body was found in his cell. He had gone to the final judgment and reunion with Lucy. One can hope that mercy ruled in the determination of their case. Their suffering and pain on earth was enough. “Chips”

March 6th Events . . .

March 6, 1881: Holmes tested some pills on the landlady’s dying dog. Or, was it Watson’s bull pup mentioned in the conversation that they had about each other and their habits before they moved in at 221B, as some Sherlockian scholars have noted?

March 6, 1881: Jefferson Hope was captured. It seems strange to me that Hope would not recognize the 221B address as one that was in the ad for the ring.


On March 5, This Happened

March 5, 1881: Stangerson found stabbed to death at Halladay’s Private Hotel.

March 5, 1881: an old “crone” retrieved the woman’s wedding ring advertised as ‘found’ in the ad placed by Holmes. By Hope’s own admission, this person was not Jefferson Hope, so who was she or he? Hope took the secret with him to the hereafter. Any idea’s out there?

Today, March 4 . . .

March 4, 1881: Drebber was poisoned and died. Or was it a justifiable retribution? A woman’s wedding ring was found.

March 4, 1881: “What on earth is this?” I cried, for at this moment there came the pattering of many steps in the hall and on the stairs, accompanied by audible expressions of disgust upon the part of our landlady.

“It’s the Baker Street division of the detective police force,” said my companion gravely; and as he spoke there rushed into the room half a dozen of the dirtiest and most ragged street Arabs that ever I clapped eyes on.”  From A Study in Scarlett.

Weekly Forum: 2015 #10 Details . . . Details . . .Details

This week’s forum concerns the nagging details that separate the Canonical masters from the apprentices, and are the hallmark of the Sherlockian psyche.

Throughout the Canon, Dr Watson wrote references to illumination; specifically, lamps.  How many different types of lamps are found in the Canon . . . interior, exterior, celestial . . . .?

March . . . Daily Happenings by Holmes and Watson

Ron Lies “Chips” has provided the Members with a calendar of Canonical events for March.  Check back at “Chips’ Tid Bits” periodically and see if you remember these daily happenings and can name the book or story.

March 3, 1881: Businessmen Drebber and Strangerson bid adieu to Madame Charpentier.

Weekly Quiz: 2015 #10 A True Mystery

RESULTS:  No one successfully plumbed the depths of the quiz question this week.

ANSWER: Peregrine Phillips was from Bristol.  He invented the process to distill H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) commercially at low cost.  He was, therefore, considered the 19th century “Father of H2SO4” which was called commonly “vitriol.”  From there, you can quickly get to Kitty Winter, the pain of Baron Gruner, and ILLUS.  Vitriol is also mentioned in BLUE.  The real Baron Gruner died in 1860, well before the story, but he apparently was borrowed by Watson for authenticity.

Okay. You don’t care for genealogy.  Here is a deductive mystery for this week:

This Bristol Peregrine was indirectly the cause of pain to a European nobleman who died in 1860.  Identify the nobleman, the Peregrine, the link, and the story or book in which the reference occurs.

Please submit solutions to this very difficult quiz question to Buttons by noon Wednesday, March 4.

Good luck!

Le Guide du Film Sherlock Holmes by Thierry Saint-Joanis

The Society has received a copy of the astounding new publication detailing the research accomplished by our esteemed Member and Leader of Societe Sherlock Holmes de France, Thierry Saint-Joanis “Tristan” with the collaboration of Society Member Alexis Barquin “Olivier,” Bernard Oudin, and Stephen Almaseanu, and with thanks to la Cinematique Francaise.

Essanay film

The large-format, 66 page publication provides in-depth articles, reviews, original documents, profiles and a plethora of photos of the various actors, clips, sets, and a wealth of additional information on the recently discovered 1916 film originally made by Essanay and starring the incomparable William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes and Edward Fielding as Dr Watson. One must believe that reading the book may just be more enjoyable than watching the movie; it truly is that good.

As this film was only recently discovered, the publication is absolutely masterful for its scope and coverage, as well as detailed documentation of the film, in so short a period of time. Our French colleagues have demonstrated their remarkable scholarship as well as publishing skills with this magnificent book.

The Society extends its admiration and congratulations to Societe Sherlock Holmes de France, and to Thierry Saint-Joanis, Alexis Barquin, and their associates for producing this seminal work on this milestone film in the Sherlocian milieu.

Requests for information on obtaining a copy may be sent to:  http://www.sshf.com/boutique.php

Weekly Forum: 2015 #9

This week’s forum asks you to name your favourite character from the Canon in a film or TV series.

henry baker

For instance, Buttons’ all-time TV series favourite character is Mr Henry Baker as played by Frank Middlemass from the Granada Television series “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke in the 1984 production of “The Blue Carbuncle.”  Frank Middlemass (d.2006) was the quintessential British Museum antiquarian, pub tippler, and wearer of a bowler hat. The equanimity with which he meets life’s misfortunes shows his wonderful British resolve and hopeful positiveness or, as Dickens’ irrepressible Wilkins Micawber says, “Something will turn up.”

Who is yours?

A Discovery?

Our valued Member, Kumar Bhatia “Bobbie” from UAE, sends us word in The Guardian of the discovery of a new story, potentially written by the Literary Agent, and found in an attic in Scotland. Already, there has been an outpouring of media attention to this event from across the geographical and the Sherlockian worlds.

In a number of discussions by noted Sherlockians on respected blogs, the weight of the proof would seem to necessarily fall on the side of proving its authenticity; most comments cite numerous reasons for doubting its provenance as being written by the Agent.

Here at the good doctor’s consulting rooms, we will await the definitive diagnosis, doubtless to come from the hobs and nobs of the Sherlockian milieu. Instead of declaiming, we have decided to have a nice meat pie and a pint, sit quietly on our stool, and await further news from the Scottish Borders.

As always, we are indebted to Kumar Bhatia, our “Bobbie” and a proven “bloodhound” for breaking news in the world of Baker Street.

And Finally on This Day

1886 February 22: The beryl coronet was reclaimed by its owner.  The remainder of February days have no references in the Canon.

Dear Watsonians;

While watching a rerun of the Show “In The Heat of The Night” I heard  Police Chief Gillespie say to his chief of Detectives, “All right, Do you want to be Sherlock Holmes?’ Just once I would like to hear Dr. Watson referred to with the respect he is due.


Ron Lies “Chips”

Today . . . This Occurred . . .

1886 February 19 1) Alexander Holder asked Holmes to find the missing part of the Beryl Coronet;  2) Holmes followed the footprints that Arthur Holder and Sir George Burnwell made in the snow; 3) Mary Holder elopes with Sir George Burnwell.