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Undershaw: An Update


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Hikari

Hikari

    Detective Inspector

  • 75 posts
  • LocationOhio, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 08 November 2017 - 08:58 PM

Every time I log into the site, I'm seeing the banner ad for "Sherlock's Home", the compilation of fan fiction to benefit Undershaw, the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the place where he wrote many of the Holmes adventures, including "The Hound of the Baskervilles".  I visited the Amazon UK listing for this book (published in 2012) and find that an update is seriously in order.

 

Since this book was published, the Undershaw Trust (patron Mark Gatiss) has been working tirelessly to raise funds in order to restore Sir Arthur's former home to its former glory, as it had fallen into sad disrepair.   In 2015, American author David Marcum launched the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, the seventh volume of which will be released very soon.  (Mr. Marcum favors January 6th, the birthday of Sherlock Holmes, as the day he dedicates a new collection, though in the past he has also used Dr. Watson's birthday, July 7th.) The stories now number well over one hundred. The authors have all dedicated their royalties from these works for the ongoing Undershaw restoration.

 

I'm not sure how many readers here are aware, but the restoration efforts for Undershaw have been a resounding success, and in fact, the site is now in its second year as the home of the Stepping Stones school for children with developmental disabilities.  The school opened its doors at its relocated site on 9 September 2016.

 

In the most-recently published MX anthology of Holmes stories, Vol. VI to date, Mr. Marcum staged something of a coup in obtaining a personal foreword by Colin Jeavons, otherwise known as Jeremy Brett's Inspector Lestrade in the Granada TV series.  Mr. Jeavons, now 88 years old, has close personal friends whose daughter is a current pupil at Stepping Stones.

 

If you would like to see what Undershaw looks like today, in its brand new role, visit:  www.steppingstones.org.uk/Stepping-Stones-is-growing

 


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I am the Stormy Petrel of crime.


#2 HerlockSholmes

HerlockSholmes

    Detective Superintendent

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 10:31 PM

I need to start investigating Mr Marcum’s Holmes stories. Good to see Undershaw looking good. I always wished for a Doyle Museum but you can’t have everything.

Colin Jeavons was for me the best Lestrade. If I left my house now I would only have to walk for 20-30 mins and I’d be at the house that he was born in.
Regards, Herlock
"There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

#3 Hikari

Hikari

    Detective Inspector

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  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 09 November 2017 - 01:29 PM

I enjoyed Mr. Jeavons very much as Lestrade & wished to see much more of him in the role.  Unfortunately the Granada series utilized him even less than did Conan Doyle and he only appeared a few times (2 or 3) during David Burke's tenure as Watson.  I thought he was spot-on; could not have been a better Lestrade.  He was the whole package.

 

Eddie Marsan played Lestrade in the to-date 2 Guy Ritchie Sherlock movies, and I thought he too was born to the role, having an even more ferret-y aspect than did Mr. Jeavons.  His Lestrade was a less-attractive personality, though, highlighting the Inspector's ongoing competition/rivalry/irritation/inferiority complex with the intrusive & condescending consulting detective who abuses him so regularly.  I think this is the common perception of Lestrade . . at least until Rupert Graves came along.  One finds, in the stories themselves, that while yes, Holmes does delight in routinely running down the deficiencies of Lestrade and his Scotland Yard cohorts, there are moments of real camaraderie between them.  On some rare occasions, Holmes actually praises Lestrade.  The Inspector is a regular caller to Baker Street and sometimes he's there because he wants to be.   The BBC show leans toward highlighting this relationship of mutual needs (Lestrade needs Sherlock's insight; Sherlock needs work and an audience to dazzle), and tentative friendship which is genuine even if Sherlock can't remember (or pretends he can't) Lestrade's first name.

 

Re. Undershaw

 

I was a bit (a lot, actually) surprised to learn of Sir Arthur's house's new incarnation as a special-needs school.  The restoration of this cultural and literary landmark has been talked about in Sherlockian circles for years now, long before I got into the Game.  I'm glad this endeavor is finally finished and pleased with the results---though I am shocked that Undershaw was not then turned into the Doyle shrine/tearoom/giftshop/wedding venue/overpriced B&B accommodation for Yuppies from around the globe that I would have expected.

 

We must admit that housing a school for disabled kids is a much more important role than catering to Sherlock enthusiasts, even though that leaves us out.  Undershaw will have a lasting legacy now that is so much more than a tourist destination.  I have not had a chance to read the website in depth, but it was my understanding that at certain times, maybe when school is in recess, that the grounds will be open for visitation from the public.  It seems inconceivable that there wouldn't be a spot on the campus devoted to displaying Undershaw's past history.


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I am the Stormy Petrel of crime.


#4 Hikari

Hikari

    Detective Inspector

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  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:01 PM

I'm back to query when David Marcum sleeps, because the man is in*SANE* for Sherlock Holmes.

 

His own personal flagship, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Adventures is now officially up to VIII (that's 8 for us non-Romans) volumes.

 

2015 saw the release of Vols. I - III, 60 cases arranged chronologically into three time periods:  1881 - 89; 1890 - 95; 1896 - 1929.

 

In 2016, Mr. Marcum followed these up with a '2016 Annual'- Vol. IV and a 'Christmas Adventures', Vol. V.

 

Vol. VI was the '2017 Annual' collection-- but wait!  David was not done!  He was busy beavering away at editing his next gifts to 'the Great Holmes Tapestry' as he calls it:

 

Just released this Halloween:

"Eliminate the Impossible"-- Vol. VII  (1880 - 1891)

 

AND

 

"Eliminate the Impossible" -- Vol. VIII (1892 - 1905)

 

Truly, Mr. Marcum and his collaborators are determined to not leave a single moment of the Great Detective's gloriously prolific fictional life undocumented.  Now I know why he hasn't answered my e-mails for many weeks now--he was probably in London at the launch (again).

 

Well, if anyone here fancies trying their hand at a pastiche for David's collection from the seemingly bottomless Tin Dispatch Box, I encourage you to go for it.  I myself am percolating a few ideas.  Mr. Marcum is a very kind personality (Southern) and very encouraging of new author talent.  Many of his contributors were first-time authors, and once he finds a talent he likes, he tends to call on them for subsequent collections, as well as continuing to give new names their shot at the brass ring.   Anthologies by their nature tend to be a mixed bag but I can testify that Mr. Marcum has an eye for talent, and I have been very happy with the quality of his selections.  Compared to lots of other 'fan fiction' collections I have read, the MX books do not read as though they are full of amateurs.    I have a few quibbles with the proofing and print quality of some of the pages, but I think that is out of the realm of Mr. Marcum's control.  On the whole, you won't get more Sherlock Holmes for your money than Mr. Marcum gifts you with in even one of these chock-a-bloc volumes.

 

Perhaps you can suggest some of these as Christmas gifts when people want to know what they should get you--or gift them yourself to an avid Sherlockian in your life.

 

As always, all proceeds from the authors' royalties go to the benefit of the Stepping Stones school at Undershaw, because running a school is an expensive enterprise.  So your purchase also supports a good cause.

 

Cheers!

 

You can email your submissions to David at www.thepapersofsherlockholmes.com

 

Check out his blog at: 17stepprogram.blogspot.com

 

Aha.  I see how else David has been keeping himself busy--his latest entry is a very lengthy (with photos) essay on his love affair with Hercule Poirot, with thoughts on the new Kenneth Branagh "Murder on the Orient Express" and Sir Ken's mustache.  (Not keen.  Nor I.  That 'stache needs its own billing, if not its own marquee.  A bit . . .recherché for my taste.)

 


I am the Stormy Petrel of crime.


#5 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:14 AM

Truly, Mr. Marcum and his collaborators are determined to not leave a single moment of the Great Detective's gloriously prolific fictional life undocumented.  Now I know why he hasn't answered my e-mails for many weeks now....

 

I take it you're referring to Mr. Marcum, rather than the Great Detective himself?  :P  (Though it sounds like they're both pretty busy of late.)


-- Carol

 


#6 Hikari

Hikari

    Detective Inspector

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  • LocationOhio, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode:The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode:A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode:The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Lying Detective

Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:14 PM

That's affirmative. 

 

Though what I wouldn't give to have Sherlock Holmes's email details and actually  have him answer me!

 

If there's a vacancy in the 'Boswell/blogger' department, I'd like to put myself forward as a candidate.  The original John Watson was a crackerjack chronicler of SH's exploits.  Let us say the 21st century dummy blog entries by Mofftiss (or Mofftiss staffer) purporting to be from John's blog are lame.  Entirely lacking in Watsonian 'esprit'.


I am the Stormy Petrel of crime.


#7 Carol the Dabbler

Carol the Dabbler

    Consulting Detective

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  • Favourite series 4 episode:The Abominable Bride

Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:42 AM

Let us say the 21st century dummy blog entries by Mofftiss (or Mofftiss staffer) purporting to be from John's blog are lame.  Entirely lacking in Watsonian 'esprit'.

 

I won't argue.  Mostly I think they're too short for any real development to be possible, but that limitation may have been imposed on the staffer (whose name is no secret, but escapes me at the moment), so I'm not inclined to blame him.  They certainly do not seem to have been anybody's high priority, which is a shame, since they could have been used to document "footnotes" to the episodes, among other things.


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-- Carol