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!

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”)

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.

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”)

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?

“If the cycle of nine days holds good” [CREE]

Prepare your thinking cap and get out your favorite Sherlockian reference books. Nine days from today, we will begin the Sixth Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt.

Our “Mopsy” has designed this year’s Hunt as a special edition of 50 questions, the answers to all of which form a chain from one to the next.

Several teams have already let our Treasure Hunt Master know they’ll be competing, but individuals and teams around the world are welcome to jump in any time during the month of August!

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

On July 3rd…

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn.)

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

July 3, 1895: At 2 a.m., Patrick Cairns killed Peter Carey with a harpoon. [BLAC]

And there in the middle of it was the man himself, his face twisted like a lost soul in torment, and his great brindled beard stuck upwards in his agony. Right through his broad breast a steel harpoon had been driven, and it had sunk deep into the wood of the wall behind him. He was pinned like a beetle on a card. Of course, he was quite dead, and had been so from the instant that he uttered that last yell of agony.

Holmes in the Heartland

Later this summer, the very first Holmes in the Heartland conference will take place in St. Louis, IL. It promises to be a welcoming gathering for all sorts of Holmes fans and lots of fun. A number of Watsonians are planning to attend; I wish I could be there, too!

Rob Nunn (JHWS “Beacon”) shares the details:

Holmes in the Heartland will be happening on August 10-12, as we celebrate the installation of the new St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection at the St. Louis Public Library and highlight the city of St. Louis. We will celebrate with a weekend full of BBQ, blues, tea, history and plenty of Sherlockian discussion! The weekend’s schedule includes:

Friday, August 10:

Welcome to St. Louis 221BBQ and Blues Carbuncle Night

Tour of the National Blues Museum and dinner at Sugarfire Smokehouse

Saturday, August 11:

A Curious Collection: The St. Louis Sherlockian Collection

We will be displaying the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and have a full day of Sherlockian presentations at the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library. Speakers include:

  • Tim Johnson, Keynote Speaker, curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota
  • Mary Schroeder, ASH, founder of the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and longtime St. Louis Sherlockian
  • Bill Cochran, BSI, donor of a complete run of the Baker Street Journal to the Sherlockian Research Collection
  • Bill Mason, BSI, author of “Pursuing Sherlock Holmes” and former Head Light of The Beacon Society
  • Tassy Hayden, fan fiction writer and former co-host of the wildly popular The Three Patch Podcast
  • Brad Keefauver, BSI, ASH, blogger at Sherlock Peoria and author of “The Elementary Methods of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Don Hobbs, BSI, ASH, owner of the largest foreign language Sherlockian book collection
  • Black Knights Fighting Group, displaying Baritsu and recreating the fighting techniques of Victorian London
  • Plus a surprise guest speaker linking Sherlock Holmes to Missouri!

​Dinner Saturday night will be at historic Favazza’s on The Hill.

Sunday, August 12:

Medical History and Afternoon Tea

Tours of The Bernard Becker Medical Library with a focus on Victorian era medical treatments starting and 9:00 and an afternoon tea at The London Tea Room following.

You can register for one, two or all three days of Sherlockian fun! More information can be found at https://parallelcasestl.wixsite.com/home/holmes-in-the-heartland. We would love to have you! Come at once if convenient!