According to William S Baring Gould, in his biography of Sherlock Holmes, today is Mycroft’s birthday. As with all facts in the Canon, you are welcome to believe or not. One can deny, accept, or create one of your own.
February 10, 1932:Barrie Ingham was born in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.
Who is that, you say? He was the voice of the character Basil the Great Mouse Detective in the Disney animated feature movie, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, adapted from Eve Titus’s novel, Basil of Baker Street. I loved this movie.
This note is not Sherlockian, but is a note about the best non-Sherlockian tale written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. That is, in my opinion, THE LOST WORLD. The silent film of the book premiered on February 8, 1925 for an industry audience at the Astor Theatre. Though silent, the dinosaur models were filmed in stop action motion and were fantastic, and still are to me.
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, golden-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. [CHAS]
This use of the name Mr Pickwick in “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton” brings the Canon and Charles Dickens together. Mr Charles Dickens, who created the jolly Mr Pickwick, was born on February 7, 1812.
February 6, 1922:Patrick Macnee was born Daniel Patrick Macnee in London, England.
He played Sherlock Holmes twice and Dr John Watson three times. You can have fun looking up where and when in film books, or I recommend A Curious Collection of Dates, a book by two JHWS members, Leah Guinn (“Amber”) and Jaime Mahoney (“Tressa”).
The phrase “Peeler” or “Bobby”, used to describe the London police constables, are a result of our next Birthday.
On February 5th, 1788, Sir Robert Peel was born.
He was appointed Home Secretary in 1822. He reorganized the criminal code, which had become too complex and bowed under to be effective. He had a fascinating, interesting, frustrating career well worth reading about. I recommend you pick up a copy of the book, A Curious Collection of Dates, by Leah Guinn and Jaime N Mahoney, both members of our group. [“Amber” and “Tressa” -Selena] They have written a very informative and interesting volume to read. Leah has given me permission to quote from her book for my column for our enjoyment.
February 3, 1825: The birth of General Edward Mounier Boxer, Inventor of the Boxer Cartridge which by all sources was a definite improvement in 19th Century ammunition.
The cartridges were used by Holmes when he “in one of his queer humours would sit in an armchair, with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks” [MUSG].
This information as well as the previous two days’ posts came from a new and great informational book, A CURIOUS COLLECTION OF DATES by Leah Guinn, JHWS “Amber”, and Jaime Mahoney, JHWS “Tressa”, two talented and dedicated researchers who have created a great reference material volume that all will enjoy. Leah has graciously given me permission to reprint information from this volume for our enjoyment.
The Spring 2016 issue of The Watsonian and the newest edition of the Fiction Series, “The Adventure of the Doctor and the Duellist” (written by Elinor Gray, JHWS “Misty” and illustrated by Basil Chap, JHWS “Bee”), are headed to press. The print run for each is limited, so if you would like a copy of either or both for your shelves, the time to order is now!
Members of the John H Watson Society as of Sunday, 3 April, will receive a copy of each as part of the membership dues, so there is no need to place a separate order (unless you would like a second copy, of course). If you are not currently a member, now is an excellent time to join!
Non-members wishing to order print editions must do so by Sunday, 3 April to ensure availability. After that date, electronic (PDF) copies will still be available for purchase, but there may not be extra print copies.
The newest volume of the Monograph Series, “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Blank Page”, by Leah Guinn, JHWS “Amber”, is also headed to press. This book is not included with Society membership, and the print run will be limited, so anyone wishing to order a print copy must do so by Sunday, 3 April. As with the other titles, the electronic (PDF) version will remain available for purchase after that date.