Once again, I was able to go to a meeting of the Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem, the local Sherlockian society here in Nashville, Tennessee. It was an enjoyable time, chatting with other fans about Sherlock Holmes, and other things. In fact, the conversation turned to Shakespeare for awhile, and some of us talked about film versions of Hamlet. Also, a newbie in the group was a Doctor Who fan, which related both to Sherlock Holmes (Moffat and Gatiss, the writers of Sherlock also write for Doctor Who) and to Shakespeare (my favorite Hamlet on film is David Tennant, a former Doctor). There was Show & Tell time (I passed around a book I had acquired a few years ago) and a quiz (a very funny one this time). The discussion centered on the story entitled "The Adventure of the Red Circle." (Not my favorite Holmes story, but not bad.) It was nice not to be "the new guy" this time around, even though I have felt quite welcome from the very first moment.
If you live in the Nashville area and are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I certainly recommend that you consider attending a meeting. A more friendly and welcoming group of readers would be hard to find. You can find more information about the group at their official website.
In preparation for a meeting of The Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem that I'm attending tomorrow, I just read the Holmes adventure entitled "The Adventure of the Red Circle." (You have to be prepared for these meetings, I've found...there are quizzes and everything!) As I came to the scene where Holmes comes across Inspector Gregson, I was chuffed to see Holmes quote (actually, misquote) from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night:
“Why, Gregson!” said my companion as he shook hands with the Scotland Yard detective. “Journeys end with lovers’ meetings. What brings you here?”
This is actually the second time Holmes uses the exact same quote from Twelfth Night; he greets Colonel Sebastian Moran with the same phrase in "The Adventure of the Empty House." It is Holmes's fondness for this quote that has led many Sherlockians to conjecture that the great detectives birthday was, in fact, on the "twelfth night," i.e. January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. Pretty flimsy, I know, but this is the type of trivia that gives Sherlockians almost endless joy.
Reading the Shakespeare quote gave me the idea of cross-posting on this blog and another blog that I started a little while back--Willy Wigglesticks: a Shakespeare Blog. There are two other canons besides that of Sherlock Holmes to which I return again and again: Shakespeare and the Bible. I have blogs for each of these canons, so I thought this little quote from "O Mistress Mine, Where Are You Roaming" would be the perfect excuse to share some content. I recently decided to attempt to revive the Willy Wigglesticks blog, so this is a chance to do that. Readers of the Baker Street Babble blog may find that blog interesting as well. Thanks for reading!
As I write this on my first tablet, a Dell Venue 7, I am thinking about Sherlock Holmes and technology. We all know that the recent TV adaptations feature Holmes using modern technology, such as cellphones, laptops, etc. But we often overlook, in our fondness for Victorian nostalgia, how tech savvy Holmes was in his day: telegrams, train tables, medical laboratories, all feature prominently in the original stories. So it's not a big stretch of the imagination to picture the great detective taking advantage of all the resources at his command. Meanwhile, his main resource has been, and will continue to be his deductive prowess.
P.S. Unlike Holmes, it takes me awhile to figure out some technology. It took me forever to figure out how to get the picture above into the blog post using the app on my tablet. But I did it, and in the end, it was...elementary.
Not only have I gotten a bit behind on the Baker Street Babble blog, but I've also gotten a bit behind on my viewing of CBS's Elementary. I note (with pleasure, I think) that the series has been approved for a third season. So now I'm playing catchup.
I just watched episode 16 of the second season, "The One Per Cent Solution." A little reference to Holmesian history there, although whether it was intended as a nod to Sherlock Holmes's cocaine use in the canon, or to Nicholas Meyer's book The Seven Per Cent Solution, I don't know. I'm not sure, either, exactly how the title relates to the plot of the episode. (If anyone would care to illuminate me on that point, I'd certainly appreciate it.) What I do know is that, although I was a little excited initially to see that they'd brought back Gareth Lestrade as a character, I was less pleased to see what an annoying douchebag the character had become. I spent much of the episode wishing that Sherlock would punch him out...which, of course, never happened. Oh well...I do enjoy Sean Pertwee's performance as Lestrade, anyway.
I shall be trying to catch up on Elementary over the next few weeks, and will try to share some of my thoughts on the show as I go along.
My intention to get back to my blog this week was thwarted a bit by my 7-year-old daughter coming down with a virus yesterday. She's still home sick today, but feeling much better. Anyways, having a sick kid, and thinking of my Sherlock Holmes blog, got me thinking about the Holmes case in which he feigns sickness in order to get a criminal to confess: "The Adventure of the Dying Detective." I've always thought Holmes treats Watson rather shabbily in this story. He claims to be doing it so Watson could get Culverton Smith to come to 221B, and he needed his friend to be sincere in his dealings with Smith. Doesn't he have any faith in Watson's abilities? Hasn't Watson proved himself in numerous cases by this point? Pretty crappy, really...badly played, Mr. Holmes!
Incidentally, this case is one that is greatly expanded in the Granada TV adaptation. They took a very short story, and built it into an entire 50 minute episode, in which the actual events of the Doyle story happen towards the very end. Downton Abbey fans may be particularly interested in watching the episode, though, as it features a young Hugh Bonneville (a.k.a. Lord Grantham on Downton), credited in those days as "Richard Bonneville." You may watch the episode below:
It's been exactly three weeks since my last post here at Baker Street Babble. If I have any readers left, they're probably wondering if I've plunged into the Reichenbach Falls! No, my dear readers, I'm still very much alive, but I've been ridiculously busy over the past few weeks: singing and conducting on a Nashville Symphony Chorus concert, visiting with family in Illinois, preparing for a rehearsal that I had to conduct, and various and sundry other tasks. But here I am, back for another little post. I shall try to be more conscientious about presenting material here more regularly, although I can't guarantee that I will be able to return to daily posting, as I did when I first created the blog.
I suspect my frequent posting "in the old days" was partly due to the fortuitous timing of the genesis of my blog: I began blogging on Sherlockian topics at a time when Sherlock was airing in Great Britain, and anticipation here in the States was running high; I was catching up on Elementary (a task to which I need to return); and I had been attempting to watch the mess that was the second Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes film. Meanwhile, I had just "discovered" the Nashville Scholars of the Three Pipe Problem, the local Sherlockian group here in Nashville. Ah, life was grand, and the game was afoot!
Once "real life" had a chance to absorb much of my free time, things got a little more difficult. The beautiful thing is, though, that no matter how busy a would-be Sherlockian such as myself might get, Holmes and Watson are always there, just waiting for me to pick them up again. The Canon never goes away; when I come back to the rooms at 221B, the correspondence is still jack-knifed to the mantel, and the tobacco is still stuffed into the Persian slipper.
Speaking of real life, I deduce that my blood sugar is getting a bit low, and I must take a break to boost it back up again...the life of a diabetic Sherlockian! So have faith, dear reader, I shall return with more Holmesian fun quite shortly, and the game will, once more, be afoot! Thanks for reading.
I'm a stay-at-home dad, and Director of Music Ministries at a United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN. And a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes.