A Canonical Date

The year 1644 appears in the Canon. What is the year in reference to and where does it appear and who is speaking?

Description of Canonical Time

How does Dr Watson refer to various times of the day? On a 24 hour basis, the 8 quarters of the day are:

  1. Night
  2. Pre-Dawn
  3. Early Morning
  4. Late Morning
  5. Early Afternoon
  6. Late Afternoon
  7. Early Evening
  8. Late Evening

How does Dr Watson refer to these periods of the day throughout the Canon? Is there a repetitive pattern to his descriptions? Is there a “Standard British”  protocol for these period of the day descriptions?

Rack & Riddle

Buttons has been “racking & riddling” (to use the méthode champenoise term) to come up with a question that will generate new research and scholarship. After several pies and several more pints, he stumbled across something:

Who can complete a compendium from the Sacred Canon of all things that burn?

For example, the lighthouse would have a kerosene lamp and that would create a flame; the lamplight would require a gas flame to throw off light into the foggy evening.

When you begin to go through the Canon with an eye to the absolute necessity of flame in 1895, you begin to find a huge new body of inquiry. And, when you add those things that are outside of normal Victorian life, such as the flaming radix pedis diaboli, we have even more to consider. This is a topic worthy of a significant scholarly paper for The Watsonian.

We’ll give you a few days for this one. Now, back to the bacon and tomato sandwich.

Dr Watson’s “ship’s”

Dr Watson states, “I always smoke ‘ship’s’ myself” Anyone care to define ‘ship’s’ which later becomes Ship’s without quotes and a capital “S”? Over a half-century ago, a Sherlockian with the first name of Sherry ploughed this ground, but the definitive answer remains elusive. Are you up to the challenge?

M.D., Dr., Mr., FRCS, ?

The British have their own way of referring to physicians. Some are Mr, some are Dr, some have FRCS after their name, and some have M.D. Our own John Watson was styled: John H. Watson, M.D. and referred to as Dr Watson.  What are the distinctions, the degrees or education indicated, and who can come up with the list of all the physicians and their appropriate professional titles as per the Canon?

Dr Watson’s Moons

Dr Watson writes of moons in about thirty instances throughout the Canon. Has anyone worked out the references, the pattern, or the significance of the moons?

Why a Bearskin Rug?

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson have a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. Anyone care to speculate on this? Would not a bearskin rug be unusual in Victorian England? Were (are) there bears in Great Britain?

On a separate note, Buttons has it on first authority that Vamberry Wine Merchant bottled the First Edition A Study In Scarlet today. He reports that it is something a bit special in a red wine. A case is being sent to Dr Watson for “medicinal purposes.” www.221bcellars.com.

And, now, back to the bear…