“First of all will it fit into that space in your bookshelf? Well, it measures 14x22 cm, is about 15mm thick and has 235 pages crammed with information. The book is divided into three sections. Part One contains all the names of characters appearing in Holmes’ cases. Part Two has all the place names, and Part Three has all the ‘Props’. So, whatever it is that you are looking for, you will find it in this book. Not only will you find out which case the character was involved in but a lot of relevant information, and sometimes the author’s opinion on a particular action. This is a book I would thoroughly recommend to all Holmes enthusiasts –and even those who are not but are just curious about some of the most well-known characters in the world of fiction.”
Posts tagged Molly Carr.
Christopher Lee turned an impressive 90 years old this past week. The Huffington Post published an article re: Lee’s birthday and epic career - so happy birthday to the actor that has played everybody awesome (basically)! In the Sherlockian world, Lee played Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962) and then many years later as a ‘retiring’ Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991) and Incident at Victoria Falls (1992) - and Lee even played Mycroft Holmes once in Wilder’s masterful The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970).
[Have you birthday drink Sir Christopher Lee!]
Christopher Morley Park is, if all goes as planned, where I will be this weekend. I had no idea there even was such a park. I was searching for Sherlockian sites of interest for a weekend trip to Long Island, NY and instead of finding Christopher Morley’s old house, I found a park that has been named in his honor which also contains his old writing cabin (called the Knothole, cf. image below). Expect a full report next week!
[Chris Morley’s old writing hut, the ‘Knothole’, now residing at Christopher Morley Park in Long Island, NY.]
The Guardian announced the good news many Sherlockians and Holmesians have been hoping to hear: Undershaw Saved! Summarizing the plot up to now: “In 2010, Waverley Borough Council decided to allow the owner, Fossway Ltd, to divide up the property. Campaigners [read Save Undershaw] trying to save the house as a single entity launched a judicial review, and have now won their case at the high court in London. Mr Justice Cranston said legal flaws meant that the council’s decisions to grant planning permission and listed building consent must be quashed.” (I assume “quashed” is an arcane British legal term?) So this is all good news right? Sadly yet predictably the ‘losers’ (Bryn Morgan, a councillor responsible for planning at Waverley council) in the case made the fairly ominous prediction: “Sadly, the decision by the high court places the future of the building back in doubt once again. The poor condition of the building will now only get worse a result of this decision.” Sounds more like a threat than an objective prediction. For further details check out the solicitor’s article on the case here.
[Undershaw today. Photo from Save Undershaw.]
Ribbonrain, someone I don’t know on Livejournal, has a post entitled “Leonard Nimoy artical and pictures of him as Sherlock Holmes stage performance”. The writer’s English might not be perfect, but for those of you that don’t know about one of the greatest Sherlockian ’secrets’, check out all these wonderful pictures/article scans of Spock Leonard Nimoy as the Great Detective - a match-up that’s always seemed very ‘logical’, opposed to say Charlton Heston playing Holmes (even if Jeremy Brett was his #2 in the Los Angeles stage production of The Crucifer of Blood). Click the teaser image below for more images of Captain Kirk’s BFF in the role of Sherlock Holmes. (P.S. Since I’m not sure how long this post can exist on LiveJournal I’ve decided to add the four hi-res scans to my Always1895 image account starting with http://twitpic.com/9r1kex - for posterity!)
[A match made in heaven!!]
Kieran McMullen, speaking of slightly off-color Holmes portrayals, takes a look at They Might Be Giants star Joanne Woodward who is a doctor and whose last name just happens to be “Watson”. First off, if you haven’t seen They Might Be Giants (1971), I chastise you then implore you to sit down and watch it (TMBG was added to Netflix streaming a few weeks ago). OK, now that we’ve all seen it I’m wondering why it’s actually taken this long for Mr McMullen to include it in his ‘Many Watsons’ series? In a way, the timing is perfect because it’s yet another chance to remind the world that, contrary to what is becoming popular belief, Lucy Lui is/was not the first female Watson! It’s debatable if Joanne Woodward is the first truly female Watson, but nitpicking aside, she’s a fantastic and clever and vivacious sidekick to Sherlock Holmes, or at least a deluded man who is pretending to be Sherlock Holmes in 1970s NYC. This film blew my mind in so many wonderful ways. Lyndsay Faye, in her now infamous ‘Open Apology To CBS‘ on why Sherlockians mistrust CBS’s Elementary, started of by discussing TMBG: “for all its Sherlockian iconography, isn’t a Sherlock Holmes reimagining. In fact it’s a Don Quixote pastiche, and an admirable one - it’s about defying reality when reality is too grim or too dull or too heartbreaking, about falling in love with heroism and refusing to be told that the world no longer needs justice served up by brilliant vigilantes.”
Baker Street Babes released their 27th podcast: “On New Year’s Day 2012, a facebook post stopped The Baker Street Babes in their tracks. Amanda Abbington was asking how to become a Baker Street Babe. After we recovered (it took some time), we began a delightful conversation with Amanda about Sherlock and beyond. After a few months of schedule dancing, work, school, and New Zealand, The Babes and Amanda were finally able to meet up and what you’re about to listen to and read is what came of it.” Kind of cool. Much better than the time a guy who looked like Mark Gatiss asked me for a cigarette.
[Proof that this is not a weird elaborate hoax!]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Sherlock Quotes - in celebration of the Queens’ Diamond Jubilee (that’s 60 years!) - posted one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes quotes ever. I of course mean the one about the quartering of Old Glory and the Union Jack and the bygone blundering of monarchs and ministers. God Save the Queen!
[Sherlock: “It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.” (NOBL)]
Alistair Duncan on the anti-Undershaw backlash: “This was not just a fight about saving a home of one of our country’s greatest writers. It was wider than that.” Here here!
Barefoot on Baker Street’s take on the Undershaw Victory. “A massive “well done” to the Undershaw team and all those who supported them.” Three cheers!
These Books Are Older Than You posted an excellent collection of obscure or foreign (non-English) The Hound of the Baskervilles covers. Click the image for the full set:
[Der Hund von Baskerville]
A Case of Witchcraft considers what the Preface to the second edition of one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes pastiches should be. If you haven’t read Joe Revill’s excellent A Case of Witchcraft on MX, pick it up today!
Better Holmes & Gardens reflects on one of my favorite characters in the canon Reginald Musgrave (from “The Musgrave Ritual”).
Re: Sherlock posted a piece entitled ‘The Man Who “Bested” Sherlock Holmes’ about the very early Holmes ‘pastiche’ by Joseph Baron. Swedish Sherlockiand Mattias Bostrum BSI has been doing a lot of interesting research into ACD and I look forward to reading the fruit of his labour one day soon!
Macleans.ca posted an article entitled: ‘Sherlock’s cliffhanger has viewers stumped’ about the internet’s micro-obsession with figuring out how Holmes pulled it and/or what the elusive clue (cf. below) is that Moffat and crew placed in the “The Reichenbach Fall”: “Though the sequences that reveal how Sherlock Holmes survived were filmed at the same time as the cliffhanger, the participants remain mum. All Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of Masterpiece, which co-produced Sherlock, will acknowledge is that “there is definitely a clue” in the final episode.”
Russian Sherlock Parody is a kind of amazing Russian SNL-style skit that features/lampoons Russian Sherlock’s Vasily Livanov (Sherlock Holmes) and Vitaly Solomin (Dr. Watson) along with Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. “I need to look at everything with my subtitled gaze” really takes the cake though! (Thanks Howard Ostrom for the tip!!)
Criminal Element published Sherlockian and novelist Lyndsay Faye’s kerb grinding, honest as sin piece entitled ‘A Holmes Fan’s Mistrust of Elementary: An Open Apology to CBS’ which plots out rather nicely just what Holmes fans don’t (whether they know it or not yet) like about CBS’s Elementary along with an open apology that’s anything but! This article is a case study in how one engages the insipid though heavily promoted philistine world’s attempt at - let’s be frank now - cashing in on that “whole Sherlock Holmes thing”. Ms Faye, with killer one-two punch of wit and erudition, clears the playing field which has been rather muddled since the announcement of CBS’s adaptation (or usurpation) of the Master (and/or his name). On the one side, level headed Sherlockians are suggesting that we just give Elementary a chance because who knows, it might be good? On the other, the assassins of Moffat/the berserkers of Cumberbatch have swooped down to violently condemn any encroachment on Moffat’s turf. Though they may have a point in this case, my worry is that any future attempt (legitimate or otherwise) at adapting Sherlock Holmes will have to face the Sherlock Tumblr blog firing squad, regardless of the quality of the adaptation. Anyway, I’ve digressed a tad here, but Ms Faye nails a majority of the ‘deeper’ points as to why Elementary is an institution to be feared and mistrusted and her piece is an absolute must read.
[“The problem is that we fear the ethos of our beloved characters will be ignored in favor of market research and general Los Angeles willy-nillying, and we already have a bit of a sugar high from all the Holmesian brilliance of late, and from over here, it looks like you made your potato salad with daikon radish, and that isn’t what a potato salad is, CBS.”]
Vanity Fair’s latest issue published one of their best long form essays I’ve read in a while which is actually more of a reflection piece on the legacy of Manhattan ‘club life’ - “club” in this case referring to storied old gentlemen’s clubs based on the British model (a good reference to the authentic English species is Anthony Lejeune’s The Gentlemen’s Clubs of London). The majority of these institutions were or are on 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and the author, due to a variety of circumstances, has had access to a few of the more revered clubs as well as the people who have frequented them. In a refreshing move this piece tactfully avoids (truly a sign of good breeding) any talk of privilege, class and elitism so as to simply concentrate on an illustration of ‘club life’. This approach gives it a very Joseph Mitchell (of Up In the Old Hotel fame) feel but instead of writing about down-on-their-luck, unhappy drunks we get to read about…well, sort of down-on-their-luck, unhappy drunks, but in a more blue-bloody, nostalgic way. Early on Alexander Woollcott is name checked - if you’re familiar with the story of the very first Baker Street Irregulars dinner involving Vincent Starrett, two hansom cabs, a stolen deerstalker and the notorious Woollcott (called “the Vicious Circle’s most vicious zinger slinger” in this piece) this should help give you a partial idea of the caliber of people under discussion - along with a dizzying array of characters and personages of either the New Yorker writer-type or the progeny of 19th century railroad barons, both of whom seem to gravitate toward ‘club life’ and it’s trappings. A truly fascinating article. (Thanks to John Baesch, BSI (“State and Merton County Railroad”) ASH, SBB, SHSL, SSHB, WRI, etc. for the tip!!)
[Outside the Algonquin - home of the Algonquin Round Table, the celebrated group of New York City writers, critics, actors and wits, including Woollcott, Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross and occasionally Harpo Marx.]
Re: Sherlock Holmes’ (as mentioned briefly in an earlier post) Mattias Boström posted a top 10 list of Sherlockians who “have had the biggest influence on the 125 years of Sherlock Holmes? Persons whose decisions – positive or negative – and deeds have changed the future of the detective” (barring ACD of course). You should read Mr Bostrum’s post in it’s entirety but oddly enough I find that I agree much more with his ‘Top 10 runner’s up” versus his primary Top 10 list. Though his main Top 10 list features Christopher Morley and Jeremy Brett, many of the other names are, I feel, less important, particularly in the sense of having “the biggest influence on the 125 years of Sherlock”. On the other hand, Mr Bostrum’s Top 10 runners-up list includes: Frederic Dorr Steele, Vincent Starrett, Edgar W. Smith, William S. Baring-Gould and John Bennett Shaw. With the notion of ‘most influential Sherlockians’ at the front of my mind, I realized that the list of attendees of the 1949 BSI Dinner contains about 90% of the most influential Sherlockians I would choose - which kinda shows which way my bias goes. Another great post from Mr Boström that gets the ol’ brain engine running.
[Princess Nina Mdivani Conan Doyle Harwood (widow of Denis Conan Doyle) is #6 on Boström’s list - she ended up involved with a lot of later copyright disputes involving the ACD estate. Now that I’m re-reading his list maybe I agree with him more than I originally had.]
Quick Sherlock Links:
Alistair Duncan in anticipation for Undershaw’s day in court posted a photo of “the High Court where, on Wednesday, the latest round of the battle to Save Undershaw will be fought.” Dan Andriacco also posted his last minute suggestions for how you can still help Save Undershaw! So many people have worked tirelessly to save Undershaw I can only hope that the Wednesday (today) hearing goes well for our side. UPDATE: according to @alistair221b & @BakerStBabes “Reserved decision.” Apparently the end of July is when the final verdict will be given. Check in with @Save_Undershaw for up to the minute details.
The Norwegian Explorers of MN announced the dates for next tri-annual conference: Aug 9-11, 2013. Visit the venerable Norwegian Explorers here on FB for more info. Please note that’s 2013 and not 2012!
LA Times mentioned the “Hammer Readings event dedicated to the great detective Sherlock Holmes. Led by untiring Holmes annotator Leslie Klinger, and including mystery writer Denise Hamilton, filmmaker Nicholas Meyer and private eye Sarah Alcorn, this evening – like Broad’s – will surely be more than just …. elementary.”
Press Association announced that Steven Moffat - you know that guy who runs those two shows - has won via the BAFTAs the ingeniously titled “Special Award” which will be given to him “at the [BAFTA] event at the Royal Festival Hall in central London on May 27.” Bahhh, I could have won ‘The Special Award’ if they had picked me to run Doctor Who and Sherlock; what’s the big deal? A little clever dialogue here, some complicated explanation of a complicated explanation over there, a bespoke wardrobe and a fez, a dash of rabid fandom culture and a heart of gold masked by shadowy yet heartbreaking occurrences which happened prior to events on the show - so easy!
The Independent ran some hard-hitting journalism that investigates “Sherlock Holmes and the mystery of the missing eight minutes. A painful cut to the BBC’s reinvention of the classic detective has left US fans in uproar.” And that’s just the sub-headline! This is actually a pretty good article from a UK news source writing about BBC Sherlock’s reception in the U.S.A. Can’t you feel that we’re getting that much closer to that happy day when a “quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes” eliminates the need to mercilessly cut 8 previous minutes of Cumberbatch.
Wear Sherlock won a design contest at Qwertee: “Thanks to your amazing number of votes our B&W recreation of the H.O.U.N.D. Liberty, In[diana] shirt as seen in Sherlock S2E2 will now be printed at qwertee.com!” I’ll be purchasing two of these excellent items myself and I recommend that you do the same before they sell out.
[A version of the H.O.U.N.D. shirt seen in Season 2, Episode 2 “Hounds of the Baskerville.”]
Baker Street Babes flexed their Google Translate muscles and picked up a little nugget of information regarding the new Russian Sherlock - and the director plans to only “use the motives of the original stories, and will recreate the stories almost from scratch. The series will also assume that Watson’s descriptions of the crimes have been embellished. Later he will try to adjust reality to his fantasies.” At this point it sounds hit or miss, but still better than Elementary (how do you say “oh snap!” in Russian?).
Altamont Markings in a fun, rather free-wheeling essay which attempts to show how “The Empty House”, via the “imaginative use of cultural metaphors in common currency”, sets-up a ”credible re-establishment of Sherlock Holmes at the centre of Edwardian life”, having returned from the dead and all. It may seem a little muddled on your first try, but on your second reading you can begin teasing out a few interesting threads which help to contextualize the world in which Sherlock Holmes now found himself (ie. 10 years after FINA).
The Guardian as well as PBS Masterpiece on Monday both hosted live chats with the arguably the man of the hour Steve Moffat. Transcripts are available for both sessions, but I’m a little sad that the question I posed was not chosen. Maybe next time Steve old buddy?
Molly Carr posted this rather nebulous and mysterious image + text: Beware the Mastiff!
[Description of the mastiff Carlo: “I was standing, rapt in the peaceful beauty of the scene, when I was aware that something was moving under the shadow of the copper beeches. As it emerged into the moonshine I saw what it was. It was a giant dog, as large as a calf, tawny tinted, with hanging jowl, black muzzle, and huge projecting bones. It walked slowly across the lawn and vanished into the shadow upon the other side. That dreadful sentinel sent a chill to my heart which I do not think that any burglar could have done.” from “The Adventures of the Copper Beeches”.]