On March 20th… A Scandal

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand magazine [July 1891]

One night – it was on the 20th of March, 1888 – I was returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. [SCAN, emphasis added]

In A Curious Collection of Dates, Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”) write about this opening sentence:

“Although Watson is (atypically) quite clear on the date for ‘A Scandal in Bohemia,’ it’s a puzzling one. First, he describes a Lenten wedding – a Victorian faux pas. More bizarrely, however, he claims to be married, when – if the dating of The Sign of the Four is correct – he has yet to meet his wife.”

Over the years, of course, Sherlockians have tried to reconcile this puzzle in various ways. Baring-Gould puts the case in May of 1887, while Zeisler argues for March of 1889. Whenever it happened, I think we’re all glad that it did.

Information provided by A Curious Collection of Dates by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”)

Posted by The Dynamic Duo: “Chips” aka Ron and “Selena Buttons” aka Beth.