Fall Watsonian Coming Soon

The Fall issue of the Watsonian is headed to press, with print copies expected to arrive later in the month.

The digital version will be released to members over the next few days, so watch your email for an update to your order.

Shop Note

Our Shopkeeper is headed up to Oregon for the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium. While she is away, print publications and the Print+ membership will be temporarily unavailable. Digital editions of publications and the Worldwide Paperless membership will remain available in the Shop.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

Leadership Changes

This month, some changes in Society leadership took effect. I am pleased to introduce our first official Carter (the Treasurer), Tonya Spratt-Williams (JHWS “Mallory”) and Boswell (Membership Secretary), Courtney Powers (JHWS “Destiny”).

In addition, Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”) is handing the reins of Watsonian Editor-in-Chief to Brad Keefauver (JHWS “Calder”). We look forward to the Fall 2019 issue, which will be the first under his charge.

Shop Update

Mrs Hudson (or perhaps Mrs Turner) has completed her housekeeping in the Shop, and print copies of most publications are now available.

Membership for 2019 with print copies of both the Spring and Fall issues of The Watsonian are available until we exhaust our limited supply of the Spring 2019 issue or until December 31, 2019, whichever comes first. (The Spring issue will be mailed upon purchase of Membership, and the Fall issue will be mailed upon publication.) Paperless Memberships will remain available.

Shop Note

While we do some behind-the-scenes work in the Shop, print publications and the Print+ membership will be temporarily unavailable. Digital editions of publications and the Worldwide Paperless membership will remain available.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

Running for the Beacon Society

Andie Stabler writes:

Calling all of my Sherlockian and non-Sherlockian friends out there! Listen up!

As many of you know, the lovely Susan Diamond passed away recently. I adored Susan. She was always good to me and she and her hubby Allen were always willing to help guide this newbie Sherlock Holmes nerd through the ups and downs of Sherlockian society. So I would like to do something to honor this wonderful lady.

For this, I will need some help.

I’m going to be running the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon in the Chicago area on June 9th. What I would like to do as well is raise money for The Beacon Society in Susan Diamond’s name. I think the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon is perfect for this, as we all know that Susan was a superhero in her own right. ?

When I cross the finish line of this race, (which will take a while, I’m sure), I would like to be able to say that through the running of this race, there is at least $500 to be donated to The Beacon Society.

You can help Andie in this effort by donating at her Just Giving page. As of this writing, she has reached the original $500 goal, but wouldn’t it be lovely to make that donation even bigger?

Happy (?) Reichenbach Day

"The Great Falls of the Reichenbach" - Turner, 1804
“The Great Falls of the Reichenbach” (Turner, 1804)

… upon the afternoon of the 4th we set off together with the intention of crossing the hills and spending the night at the hamlet of Rosenlaui. We had strict injunctions, however, on no account to pass the falls of Reichenbach, which are about half-way up the hill, without making a small detour to see them.

It is, indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening, coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring for ever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing for ever upwards, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamour. [FINA]

Plaque marking the location of the final struggle between Holmes and Moriarty, placed by the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland

The fourth of May is a date well known to Sherlockians and Watsonians the world over. On this day, 128 years ago, Holmes and Moriarty fought a final, apparently fatal struggle at the edge of the Reichenbach Falls. What really happened there has been the subject of a number of essays and pastiches over the years.

Today, there are a number of memorial sites one can visit in and around Meiringen. A life-size statue of Holmes, sculpted by John Doubleday, was unveiled by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1988. Nearby, a Sherlock Holmes Museum opened in 1991.

Also in 1991, in honour of the centennial, the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland erected a commemorative plaque near the Falls. There are a few other plaques to be found in the area, including one noting the location of the “Englischer Hof” (otherwise known as the Hotel Rössli, Meiringen).

Have you visited the Falls, either with a group or on your own? The closest I’ve ever been is the airport in Geneva, but I’d love to get there one day!

”Chips” writes that he will be spending the day assembling a puzzle of this iconic illustration:

Paget illustration for “The Final Problem”, 1893

Now We Are Six

Founded April 11, 2013, during a time of burgeoning momentum in “Things Doyle,” the John H. Watson Society seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H Watson, M. D. We are an open and inclusive Society, seeking the collegiality and conviviality of Members worldwide and at all stages of involvement in Watsonian, Sherlockian and Holmesian interests. Really, we are about having fun.

(About the Society)

This month, the John H Watson Society turns six years old. Our members are a glorious representation of the worldwide Sherlockian community. We have now published 11 issues of the Watsonian (with the 12th issue currently at the printer). We will be presenting our seventh annual Treasure Hunt this August, and we are among the sponsors of the inaugural Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October.

As a Society, we have grown and matured, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.

As you know, the John H Watson Society is a labor of love, run entirely by volunteers. Your current volunteers have worked to construct an executive leadership team consisting of a chairperson (Boy-in-Buttons), a treasurer (Carter), and a membership secretary (Boswell). This core group will work with other volunteers to continue the activities of the John H Watson Society. At this time, we are looking for volunteers to step into two of these leadership positions.

Members will soon receive an email with further details about these positions and information on how to apply. I hope that you will consider donating your time to this worthy venture and enjoy the opportunity to become more involved in your Society.

Statement Regarding Allegations of Harassment

The John H. Watson Society was founded as the Open and Inclusive Worldwide Online Sherlockian Society (Really, We’re About Having Fun), but having fun cannot be prioritized at the expense of the safety and security of our members. The JHWS is dedicated to providing a safe space for women, queer folks, and others who have found themselves marginalized in the Sherlockian world. As part of that commitment, we cannot tolerate the harassing behaviors by Chris Redmond that have been documented elsewhere, including those of which some of our members have been victims. This behavior is not acceptable and is not condoned by the JHWS, nor is any level of sexism, racism, ableism, or homophobia. To that end, Mr Redmond’s membership has been ended effective immediately. To anyone who has been affected negatively by this behavior please know that we see you, we trust you, and we believe you.


Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena”), Boy-in-Buttons, and Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Watsonian Editor-in-Chief

Quick Holiday for the Shop

Holmes and Watson seated on a train
Illustration from BOSC by S. Paget

Your Shopkeeper is taking a short holiday, so please be aware that there will be a delay in shipping any print publications ordered through the Shop this week.

Any new memberships purchased this week will be processed next week, after your Shopkeeper returns.

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium Ticket Drawing – Two Days Left!

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky Society members to win admission to this October’s Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium closes to entries in two days, on 15 March. You don’t want to miss this fun weekend of Sherlockian shenanigans! (Sherlockianigans?)

Current members are encouraged to complete the Entry Form with your name, email address, and Society Moniker for your chance to win free admission to this fabulous event! (If you are unsure if you are up to date, please hop on over to our Member Roster to check your membership dates.)

“As We Go To Press”…

The Spring Watsonian is in the final editing stages and will soon be headed to the printer. As physical copies are mailed directly from the printer, that means this is the time to make sure that you will be on the list!

Please check your membership ending date on our Member Roster. If it was 12/18, and you wish to continue your membership (and we certainly hope you do!) and receive the Spring Watsonian upon publication, please renew your membership before the 15th of March in the Shop: Society Membership.

Our opportunity drawing for two lucky members to win tickets to the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium will also close to entries on March 15th, so don’t forget to complete the form if you want to enter.

As ever, if you have any questions or run into any difficulties, please contact Selena Buttons.

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”


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.