Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…
Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.
We were lucky to have Elise Elliot join our ranks this past year. Her excellent book reviews are a welcome addition to our site. I am delighted to share Elise’s interview; I think you will enjoy reading it.
Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’
1. Name/with bull pup moniker—
Elise Elliot, ‘Lucy’
2. Current (city,state, country) location—
3. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?
I found the stories when I was twelve, during a bout of insomnia that lasted for almost a week. I picked the biggest book I could find from the library to keep me company during the night, and that happened to be the complete collection of canon. I’ve been a fan ever since.
As for Watson, I will admit that it took me a little longer to come around to the Good Doctor’s virtues. That happened in the past seven years or so, when I was twenty-one. We thank Bert Coules’ radio adaptations for that revelation.
4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?
Is it cheating to have a few? Probably… REGI, ILLU, and DEVI. There are great friendship moments in all of them, and in the latter two, wonderful depictions of compassion from Holmes and Watson, as well as a focus on what justice means to them.
5. What is your favorite quote from the canon?
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”
6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?
Kitty Winter. I confess an immense sympathy for her, a woman who found no justice in the justice system and so took her own revenge. I’m endlessly fascinated by what made her finally break, and how Holmes and Watson treated and viewed her. I think she would be an extremely interesting person to meet, and I’d like to hear her life story, from her. The story also indicates that she received a relatively light sentence, and I want to know what she does afterwards.
7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?
So many! I love adaptations, and what they choose to keep, what they choose to discard, what they highlight, etc. I love Elementary and would be thrilled if more Holmesians and Watsonians would watch it- they highlight different aspects of the characters that sometimes aren’t as obvious in other adaptations. The radio dramas by Bert Coules, both the complete canon and the original stories; Merrison and Williams, and then Sachs, are as close to canon as it comes for me. I also have thoroughly enjoyed both of Sheldon Reynolds’ takes on the characters, the 1954 series starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and H. Marion Crawford as Watson, and then the 1979 series starring Geoffrey Whitehead as Holmes and Donald Pickering as Watson. Those series are a comfort watch for me; I like to watch them on stormy, gloomy days.
8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?
Unfortunately, no. I work in theatre, and much of my spare time is eaten up by that. I want to join one someday, but that won’t happen until I slow down a little!
9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?
I have been having a blast writing book reviews for the John H Watson Society website! I love reading pastiches, and it’s been so great to take that passion and transform it into something potentially useful for others.
I am a freelance copy editor as well, and recently began working with some Holmesian authors, looking over their work before it goes to print. It has been an honor to be trusted with their work, as well as a fun challenge.
10. If you had a magic wand, and could add, subtract, or change anything in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?
You know all those adaptations that have been lost to time? And all those adaptations that only available in certain countries because of Region differences in DVDs and the like? I want ALL of those adaptations in my eyeballs. I want them on my shelves. I want to be able to see them all the time, and none to have ever been lost or made unavailable.