Is Sherlockian Scholarship Scholarly?

Photo from Holmes Museum by Alberto Ghione [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]
Sherlockian scholarship has a long and fascinating history, going back more than a century now. From Msgr Knox’s “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes” to our own Watsonian, students of the Canon have analyzed Dr Watson’s chronicles from nearly every conceivable angle.

But is Sherlockian scholarship… well, scholarly? Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) is currently researching this very question, and you can help! This short survey aims to gather information on the current state of Sherlockian scholarship. As with any survey, more participants make for better data. Responses are anonymous; the aggregate data is intended for use in a paper for a Sherlockian journal.

Take the survey: Is Sherlockian Scholarship Scholarly?

A Society Survey

We are conducting a survey of all of the Society’s members. We would appreciate your responses, brief or in more detail.Rex Stout, the creator of the huge Nero Wolfe body of detective stories, (pun intended) was a Sherlockian of great renown. As such, there may well be Sherlockian and Watsonian influences in the Neronian canon.

The survey question is:  How many of our members have read the Nero Wolfe works by Stout, and are you somewhat interested, very interested, or equally interested in the Neronian canon as you are in the Sherlockian canon? Do you regularly read and reread the Nero Wolfe stories?

Thank you for your replies, in advance. They may be left as comments here.

Clarification:  This has nothing to do with the John H Watson Society. It concerns understanding if there are those who see cross-over between Rex Stout’s characters and the Sherlockian characters and related scholarship.  The Society’s focus will NOT change.

What Else Do We Read?

Buttons has been wondering about what other authors we Watsonians read. It may be interesting to have our members write mini-essays on this topic as comments below. We might be surprised by either the variety or the similarity of our reading pleasures. Plus, it is always fascinating to read about the literary interests of our fellow colleagues in literature. Perhaps Buttons may be allowed to start in order to lead the way:

Buttons began reading the Sacred Canon at age 8 and has re-read it completely once every year, either in the winter or the summer, ever since. This year is the 62nd re-reading of the Canon. But, he also re-reads all of the Thomas Hardy novels every fall; all of Dickens every winter; all of Christie’s Poirot every spring; and all of Kenneth Grahame’s novels every summer; plus other things around the edges, such as Solar Pons and Luis Borges in recent years. He has maintained this routine for over 38 years. As such, he seldom ever emerges from the 19th century and almost never is outside British literature, the only exception being his constant reading and re-reading of the ancient Japanese and Chinese poetry he studied at university and the collected poetry of Wallace Stevens each year.

The process of reading, for Buttons anyway, requires a large, comfortable, over-stuffed chair, a footstool, and a proper floor lamp over the left shoulder. A chair-side table is a requisite, in order to manage the coffee, and apple or two, the bowl of nuts, or the odd adult beverage. A black, round #2 pencil and a half-sheet of foolscap is there also in the event a note needs to be made, or a quiz question comes to mind. In fall and winter, a throw is added for the warmth that often precedes the inevitable nap.

Now, what about you? What are your reading interests and habits? Who would care to recommend an author or two who provided you with great pleasure and enjoyment over the years? What is your number one favorite book? Buttons can never read The Hound of the Baskervilles enough, but admits his favorite book remains The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.