- Time to care for our Bullpups and have an important discussion
Hello all, I am very happy to be the Buttons of JHWS, the fun Watsonian society. In that role I haven’t felt a need to address you formally as Sampson Buttons. Today one of our own, Chris Aa Bakkane, published this essay and I am asking you to read it, to give it serious consideration, and to join me in finding concrete ways we, as a Sherlockian community, can do better. Because we need to do better. Let’s begin doing the work.
- Happy Birthday Norman Shelley!
Shelley was born on February 16, 1903. For Brits of the early 20th century, his was the definitive voice of Winnie the Pooh. However he played Doctor Watson on the radio from 1952-1969 alongside Carleton Hobbs.
- A Dickensian Tidbit: The Answers
Last week, Chips asked:
In my readings, I have found two editors working together who came up with 3 possible connections between Dickens and Sherlock Holmes and/or Arthur Conan Doyle.
One connection involves a quote.
Of the other two, one requires some comparisons and the other requires a visit from the Afterlife.
The answers are:
The quote, from The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton (CHAS): “Charles Augustus Milverton was a man of fifty, with a large, intellectual head, a round, plump, hairless face, a perpetual frozen smile, and two keen gray eyes, which gleamed brightly from behind broad, gold-rimmed glasses. There was something of Mr. Pickwick’s benevolence in his appearance, marred only by the insincerity of the fixed smile and by the hard glitter of those restless and penetrating eyes.”
The comparisons, from the entry for February 7 in A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes, by Leah Guinn and Jaime N. Mahoney: “Sherlockians can also thank Dickens for Bleak House‘s Inspector Bucket, the first police detective in English literature who, in his various investigations, provides the template for Inspector Lestrade and every policeman who consults the detective at 221B.”
The visit from the Afterlife, also mentioned in the same entry: During at least two seances Arthur Conan Doyle attended, Dickens’s spirit allegedly made contact and said that Drood (of his unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood) was not dead, but he still didn’t provide the answer to the mystery.
- Have you made your Valentine for Watson yet?
We share them at tomorrow’s meeting! Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need the link!
- Wonderful Watsonians: Teri White
Name: Teri White
Bull pup Moniker: Piper
Who is your favourite Watson and Why? I do love both Burke and Hardwicke, but in a way I see them as two halves of the same character. Burke was very much the soldier and Hardwick the doctor, in my view. Which is why my favourite is Martin Freeman, who seems to embody both the soldier and the physician in one man.
If Watson were writing a story about you what would It be titled? The Case of the Obsessed Fan. Because I have been fanatic about Holmes and Watson since I was about 10, which is nearly 65 years ago, I think the appellation fits.
Give us an improbable fact about yourself: Many people I know do not realise that I actually won an Edgar A. Poe award from the Mystery Writers of America way back in 1983, for Best Original Paperback. Now I mainly write fan-fiction, in both the modern and the Victorian universes.
Why did you join the JHWS? Because I can never get enough of the good doctor and his detective. Although I am more of a lurker than anything else and I do not like to use Zoom, etc. I do enjoy reading everything from the society. And I hope that one day there might be some actual meeting up to be enjoyed.
Thank you, Teri! We love all of our wonderful Watsonians and we want to feature each and every one of you! Just respond to the questions above and send your answers to email@example.com!
- Happy Birthday Nigel Bruce!
Nigel Bruce was born on February 4, 1895 and his portrayal of Doctor Watson defined the character for generations. He starred in a long-running series of films alongside Basil Rathbone and recorded hundreds of radioplays as the good doctor.
- Wonderful Watsonians: Maria Fleischhack
Name: Maria Fleischhack
Bullpup moniker: Ettie
Who is your favorite Watson and why?
That is such a hard question to answer. I think, in terms of affective engagement, it’s Martin Freeman’s Watson. I love how dangerous he is, and how he lets Sherlock know exactly what he thinks. A wonderful sounding board for Sherlock. I do really, really love Vitaly Solomin’s Watson, too. He gives the best side eye and is so human. I love his portrayal. Another Watson I love is Jude Law, for similar reasons. He keeps Sherlock in check when he goes off where he shouldn’t go. I really like the dynamic between a capable Watson who also has a life outside of the immediate relationship with Holmes and a Holmes who allows himself to depend on Watson in more than just a connection to work. It seems most canonical to me.
If Watson was writing a story about you, what would it be titled?
“The Adventure of the Disoriented Lecturer” – Just, as a reflection of my general being. It would possibly involve the disappearance of a to-do list which would lead to utter and total chaos which then, as if by a miracle, is resolved again because I accidentally do, in fact, get all he things on the list done, but possibly in a slightly altered order with with a couple of glasses of wine in between.
Give us an improbable fact about yourself!
I am dyslexic (though not severely) and hold a PhD in English Literature.
Why did you join the JHWS?
Because I love John Watson so, so much! And what could be better than to be a member of a group of people who feel the same way?! Also, the Watsonian is a truly wonderful publication and I love to read it.
Thank you, Maria! We want to feature all of our Wonderful Watsonians! Especially you! Please respond to the questions above and send your reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Fall 2020 Watsonian and Digital Back Issues
The Fall 2020 issue of the Watsonian is now making its way to 2020 Paper+ members. There was a bit of a delay, but we hope you’ll find it worth the wait.
The digital PDF edition of the Fall 2020 Watsonian and all previous issues are available for members to download now. Log in and visit the Member Resources page for the links.
- We feel you, However Improbable Podcast
- Happy Birthday Bryan Coleman!
Born January 29, 1911, Coleman played Doctor Watson in a 1959 production of The Sign of the Four.