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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Carol, I don't doubt that I am projecting a Baker Street mojo onto the Starship Enterprise because it is my fond wish that it be true, and it tickles me. It seems very likely that something of the most famous literary partnership of temperamental opposites ever created influenced, however slightly, Rodenberry when he set about creating the most famous intergalactic partnership of temperamental opposites ever created. "Spock" sounds sufficiently alien and a bit off-putting in its blunt staccato sound--almost sounds like one is hawking a lougie when one spits out that hard word. Still . . .out of all the possible names Gene might have chosen for his half-Vulcan science officer, he picked one just a syllable removed from S-H-E-R-L-O-C-K, the original earth-based Vulcan. At any rate, I think it had to be knocking around in his brain on some level.
  2. I just read David Marcum’s ‘Descent..’ I thought it was very convincingly written. I really liked it. It may have upset some (although I can’t really see why it should?) but I think that’s on the reader rather than the writer. The only time that I ever got angry at something I read that was related to this subject was when a book was released fairly recently proposing Doyle as Jack The Ripper! (adding him to a list which has involved Lewis Carroll, Vincent Van Gogh, Walter Sickert and Henri Toulouse L’Autrec!) If I hear from Mr. Marcum again, I will be sure to pass on your compliments. It was, as I said, a bold theory. His voice for Sherlock was convincingly rendered, although I think the author betrays his basic unfamiliarity with the Russell books with some of his dialogue. The references he has Holmes making to his alleged marriage with Russell are incredibly vague. Holmes would, I think, be capable of being exactly specific--1921 is the proposed year for the Russell-Holmes marriage. Nor is it likely that Holmes would have been so clueless about Russell's pathological romantic attachment to him over a period of a decade-plus that he'd have to have it pointed out to him by a third party--his own kid, no less, who had only just met Russell. Nor do I think it at all likely that a demonstrably suicidal patient in a secure lockdown facility would be so cavalierly be entrusted with a pen, do you? A person bent on self-harming could do all sorts of damage with a pen. Doyle as Jack, eh? Well, it was proposed that the Ripper was possibly a doctor, but this is hardly a likely scenario. Arthur was an athletic guy but as far as we know wasn't he based in Portsmouth during Bloody Jack's reign? I wonder if you would enjoy Graham Moore's "The Sherlockian"--that features a dual timeline narrative--contemporary (2010) and turn of the century (1900). Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his good friend Bram Stoker assume a very Holmesian-Watsonian partnership to assist Scotland Yard with an investigation. This episode was loosely based upon a real-life period in Doyle's career. Oh dear--this didn't turn out right and I don't know how to fix it. I've put my reply inside the quote box. I think you can figure it out, Herlock. Not sure how to fix it.
  3. Hi, Carol, I believe you count as one of the ones I'm conversing with so I wouldn't worry about the others! I don't plan to ignore anybody, but I accept that some are likely to ignore me. By 'how odd', do you mean 'how odd you're a children's librarian' or 'how odd that you're the fourth children's librarian I know?' I never set out to be a children's librarian--my plan was always to be a university literature professor but, you know, life happens and you need a port in a storm. This is my port. It pays the bills, though in all honesty, I'm bored. I used to work with teens and that was a bit more engaging for someone who trained as a secondary English teacher--but my duties got reassigned and now I do a lot of preschool programming. It's a bit challenging to be an intellectual tasked with running toddler playgroup, but I deal. I enjoy Star Trek but I wouldn't call myself a Trekker. Mostly I enjoy ST on account of the similarities I find to Holmes & Watson in the pair of Kirk & Spock.
  4. Caya, My ancestors hail from Prussia, so far as I was able to determine. But we have been Americans since 1888 or thereabouts. I believe my great-grandparents spoke German, but their children didn't speak a word, nor their children's children. Having German ancestry is a bit of a touchy subject, considering world events after my great-great something grandparents came to this country. I ended up in German class in high school because I got shut out of taking Spanish, my first choice. My surname begins with W and we registered for classes alphabetically. Being a W means that I have gotten shut out of many opportunities like this and was always relegated to the back row. I'm sure a psychologist could make something out of this. My oldest niece just started high school this year and she *wanted* to take German--alas, the only German teacher (not the one I had) retired and now it's not even offered. She had to settle for French. English and German are linguistic first cousins, so a lot of the nouns are very similar. What trips up non-native speakers of German are your extremely chewy verbs which seem to contain more syllables than strictly necessary and the der, die, das conundrum. To be honest, I think English is one of the hardest languages to master due to its extreme eccentricity of spelling, pronunciation and grammar rules and the, shall we say, elasticity of our vocabulary. There's a million exceptions to every rule in English and words so often do not sound like they look. I've heard it said that English is the S(rhymes with hut) of world languages owing to all the influences it has borrowed from other languages. Its flexibility makes it a dynamic tongue for sure, but it's tough to get a handle on it as a non-native. Other languages are more staid and rigid in their syntactical rules and tend to be far less promiscuous with their vocabulary. This gives comfort to the student learner navigating it. English is far more precarious a venture for the student. There are few things in which English is 'easy': The verb always immediately follows the subject and it does not ask the speaker to decide if a noun is masculine, feminine or neuter. Our verb structure is hairy enough also without demanding that they also indicate gender! For as flexible as English can be, she can also be rigid and prissy about certain things. This whole trend of 'non-binary' people is causing a linguistic crisis, since English forces a speaker to choose one (1) pronoun to describe one individual, and even in our enlightened 21st century, that's usually 'he', unless the subject is specifically denoted as female. Referring to a person who identifies as equally male and female as 'They' or 'themselves' is very awkward. It sounds like a split personality disorder. This is a minor inconvenience at present but I think it's just going to keep coming up more and more. So apart from moderating this forum, do you have a profession that requires you to speak and write English extensively? I'd be interested to know how you learned English so well. I know your school system introduces it very early but that wouldn't account for your colloquial fluency. Have you studied abroad, or perhaps have a native English speaker in the family? As has been pointed out by others, your English does not read like you learned it solely out of a textbook. Another random question: does your country participate in Daylight Savings Time? We are turning our clocks back in the States tonight (technically at 2AM tomorrow morning). I am looking forward to an extra hour of sleep. I am not looking forward to it getting dark at 6pm, though.
  5. To Arcadia, Yes, the good Doctor is fond of games of chance, the ponies mostly. Bereft of the excitement of the war, he has a tendency to waste far too much of his wound pension at the track. There is one story that makes reference to him having given Sherlock his chequebook to keep locked in Holmes's desk drawer so as to avoid temptation. It's a habit which was not injurious to his person in the way that shooting cocaine for example, would be. As far as we know, Watson was far too much of a bourgeois gentleman to not make good on his debts, so he never ran afoul of gangster types threatening to break his legs. But during periods when there wasn't much else going or he was particularly low in spirits, Watson was a familiar feature to his turf accountant. There were quite a few times when he was skint as a result, but he never got in too terribly deep where he couldn't dig himself out. Among Watsonian scholars, in some quarters anyway, there rages an ongoing debate over exactly how many wives the good Doctor ended up with. Myself, I am content with the answer '2'-- Mary Morstan was, though certainly not his first romantic affair, the love of his life, and after grieving her loss for some 8 years, he married again in 1902. Other persons more preeminent than I argue the case for 3 wives--one early marriage prior to Mary, and perhaps even before he'd met Holmes, seeing as this proposed nameless lady was American, allegedly. I do not hold with this theory, since Watson never at any time gives us an American sojourn in his autobiography, He does say that he qualified as a doctor in 1878 and went directly into the Army, so I'm not sure where they are supposing that he could have shoehorned in a sabbatical in the Colonies, long enough to meet, woo, wed and lose an entire wife. There is a smaller cohort still that insist that Watson had as many wives as Henry the Eighth, with the late Miss Morstan being no less than his *fourth* wife. Essentially, they believe that nearly every time Watson mentions an unattached female in admiring terms in one of the cases that he married her . . .or at least cohabitated with her for some brief period. Some crackpot 'scholars' really stretch the 'facts' to fit their theory, to the point where the offhand mention of 'the steamship Norah Creina' was Watson's veiled reference to one of his amours. Tosspots to that, say I. Watson did appreciate a finely-turned ankle a great deal, but he was a proper Victorian gentleman through and through--and a Calvinist Scot besides. After his oats-sowing youth at medical college and perhaps a dalliance or two in India, he was entirely respectable when he returned to London. I am content to say that he properly wed only *two* wives and those are the only two there is actual evidence for. I think the theory of Wife #1 being an American comes out of that slight bit of macho braggadocio he indulges in when he says of himself 'I have knowledge of women on three continents'. England aligns itself with Europe last time I checked; the Indian subcontinent is another. Australia and Africa seem a bit far afield for our man so that leaves the Americas. I still think it's more likely that a British army officer might have gone to Africa than he made love to some floozy in San Francisco or Buenos Aires but I could be wrong. If, in true Victorian fashion, Watson regarded England as a continent entire unto herself as the seat of the Empire, then the 'third continent' could be as simple as one dirty weekend in Paris. There doesn't have to be a phantom wife involved. But the theory as to the short-lived nature of his domestic associations with females among those who attribute a half-dozen of these liaisons to him is that these women kicked him out due to his gambling habit and the resultant being short of money all the time. So they say. I don't believe a word.
  6. Having just discovered I'm Basil Rathbone, I took the 'Which BBC Sherlock Character Are You?' quiz and the answer I got is: Dr. John 'Three Continents' Watson, M.D., that stand-up bloke. I was kind of gunning for Irene Adler, but oh, well . . . I aspire to write so this is appropriate, I think. I am percolating several ideas for Holmes pastiche stories to submit to my spirit guide David Marcum eventually . . .I would be honored to be able to do justice to channeling Doctor Watson's voice in my efforts. I am proud to be like Dr. Watson, with a few tweaks: 1. I have never been to India, nor have I much desire to go. "The noise . . the . . .PEOPLE!" And the truly scary virulent diseases. 2. I do not have a gambling problem. 3. If I've ever tasted brandy in my life, I've forgotten it. 4. Needless to say, smoking Shipp's in any sort of a pipe does not appeal. 5. I do have an appreciative eye for the other sex--blokes, in my case. Never been married, however, even once. 6. Watson keeps his quarters far more regulation-ready than I do. I am a slob. More Sherlocky there. 7. I've never fired a pistol either, but I am willing to learn. 8. If one aspect of the fine Dr. Watson irritates me, it's most likely the somewhat cavalier attitude he displays toward the practice of medicine. He expects the sick people just to wander around Paddington or Kensington or wherever until they stumble upon the tiny nameplate outside his house and present themselves as patients. It's called 'marketing', man . . .look into it! For a guy who was so stellar at marketing the exploits of his flatmate, he did next to nothing to market himself as a physician. He needed the stronger (one should rather say 'supremely bossy') personality of Sherlock Holmes to goose him into action. But when that call came, the Doc answered it, no matter the inconvenience or the hour. "And I said 'dangerous' . . and here you are."
  7. Well, here's a new member to bump this thread. I got Basil Rathbone in "Hound of the Baskervilles". I think I am happy about this, so long as I am nothing like his Watson! Mr. Rathbone is the average person's conception of Sherlock Holmes, or I should say, the average person who hasn't actually read any Conan Doyle. On the upside, he's very handsome. But he also time-travelled to the Second World War in his deerstalker get-up and all, when according to Mr. Baring-Gould, he would have been in his nineties. Very well-preserved, then. I am not the quirkiest, the sexiest or the most active, but I dominate situations with panache, I accept!
  8. Guten Tag, Mistress Caya. I hope you won't take offense if I compliment you on the flawlessness of your English. I had to inquire if you were, in fact, Austrian because there is no evidence at all in your writing of what Sherlock Holmes referred to as the German discourteousness to verbs (SCAN). I am interested in other people's facility in other languages. I taught English to Japanese speakers for several years . . but despite studying, let's see . . four foreign languages . .five, if a few go-rounds with "Learn French in Your Car' counts as 'formal' . . I cannot claim fluency in any. I went to Japan at 25 only knowing the most basic greetings and without even the ability to feed myself, so I got a real immersion course tout suite. I got by for 5 years but let's just say the UN will never call upon my linguistic services. The first foreign language in my brain sandwich was German. I spent three years in high school studying the language of my ancestors, but I wouldn't claim to be able to speak much of it, not then, and certainly even less now. Anyway, your writing is outstanding. In fact you could teach English to Americans and probably should. The state of our public education is a sorry mess.
  9. View Halloa to the Sherlock Forum! I have been an avid follower of BBC Sherlock since its inception in 2010 (though we didn't get it until 2011 on my side of the Pond.) I consider myself to be the #1 Cumber . . .cookie in the United States of America and plan to retain that title even though he had to go and get himself married to somebody else. As far as I'm concerned *Sherlock* is still single, and the Friends of Mary Russell can put *that* in their calabashes and smoke it. I come here as a refugee from the now-defunct Amazon Discussion forums, where we enjoyed our own cosy Detectives lounge for a number of years. It was there that I exercised (exorcised?) my Sherlock BBC mojo and made some dear cyber-friends who also thought it was one of the Greatest Things on Television Ever (at least until Season 3, when it became Still Above Average.) TPB at Amazon have stripped their site of any and all features that did not contribute directly to the free market economy by generating sales and forcibly retired all of their forums, forcing me out likewise onto the cold cyberpavements in search of a new cyber-home. I wish I would have discovered this site back in 2012 and my eviction wouldn't have stung nearly as much. With the end of the BBC show seemingly upon us, I decided it was time to become a true, legitimate Grown-Up Sherlockian and search further afield for my Sherlock fix. Since earlier this year, I have read the entire Conan Doyle canon (okay, I confess that I bailed on 'The Valley of Fear', and a couple of the later stories which were excreble, but I have read the rest of it), and, still hungry, I have amassed a pretty sizeable collection of Holmes pastiches for someone who's only been at this for 7 or 8 months. I have loved Sherlock Holmes as a character since my first encounter with the Great Detective (HOUND and selected stories from the Adventures) in my middle school library, now too many years ago to be comfortable mentioning. I've nursed a crush on him for years before the world had ever heard of Benedict Cumberbatch . .but now I feel like I really *know* Sherlock Holmes. There's always more to learn, and my deerstalker is off in awe of the multitudes of very talented people, past and present, who labor to keep the Great Detective and his eternal sidekick alive for our enjoyment in the 21st century (and far beyond, one feels certain.) When I'm not reading or watching something to do with Sherlock Holmes, I never stray very far from my go-to genre of crime thrillers. I am a particular nerd for British mysteries in print and onscreen, and my book collection is only surpassed by my DVD collection. I also read widely in Scandinavian crime and am a collector of anything having to do with Japan. The Japanese turn out some very compelling crime fiction. Being the Stormy Petrel of Crime is my secret superhero identity. By day (and some evenings and Saturdays, as contractually required) I work as a children's librarian. It probably wouldn't surprise many of you to know that the Great Detective can be found in many guises in various children's books, and I don't just mean abridged versions of Conan Doyle. Never too early to suck in the next generation of Baker Street Irregulars. Thanks for the warm welcome I have so far received and I look forward to conversing with many of you!
  10. Herlock, It has long been my belief that Gene Roddenberry modeled his primary Star Trek duo on the Baker Street pair--with the addition of Bones essentially splitting the salient features of Doctor Watson into two individuals. On the Starship Enterprise (representing London in its totality, and the bridge being '221b in space') we have an emotional, human, eye for the ladies, prone to temper and other emotional foibles that at times compromise his ability to think and lead rationally Captain Kirk, and his first mate, the half-Vulcan, usually emotionless Spock, who can be tripped up (albeit rarely) by his pesky Human side, but which for the most part he is able to squelch except in times of great stress. I would draw your attention to the similarities between the names Sherlock and SpOCK, and to the enduring partnership of these two completely temperamentally disparate individuals which, though Spock might struggle to articulate in such terms, represents a relationship of best friends who have each others' backs no matter what. The dynamic is altered from Conan Doyle insofar as the more flawed and human one of the pair is the more dominant personality, but in other respects I think the comparison holds up very well. In both partnerships, each man (or half-man) brings qualities to the relationship that makes each more whole and functional together than each individual by himself, and these complementary strengths rub off on one another. Hence, Watson/KIrk learns to behave more rationally and Sherlock/Spock becomes marginally more emotional in close association with his warmer, more emotional friend. As to what Sherlock would attempt to dismiss or attribute vis-a-vis his motives toward the fairer sex . . .I will just say there is the sound bite one releases for potential publication when one happens to live with a Boswell who is documenting his every move and utterance for posterity . . and then there is a man's private thoughts. In the story "A Case of Identity", Dr. Watson has to intervene to stop Holmes from *literally* horsewhipping a cad who had played around with a lady client's affections and broken her heart. The lady herself did not ask him to do this and in fact was bearing up quite well under these humiliating circumstances. It was Holmes who spontaneously intended to inflict serious bodily harm to this man because SH was so very livid on the lady's behalf. Dr. Watson stopped him before he could be arrested for GBH. Does *this* sound like a man who is nothing but dispassionate and manipulative toward women as a matter of solely professional detachment? There are several other incidents, too, where Holmes is profoundly touched by the plight of a female client, one feels, not simply as a 'matter of interest' in an ongoing investigation, but to the level of deep concern and ongoing thoughts for her welfare long after the case was concluded. There's Elsie Cubitt in "The Dancing Men", Lady Brackenstall in "The Adventure of Abbey Grange", the wronged lady in "Charles Augustus Milverton" . . and, of course we cannot fail to mention The Woman, who appears in the third case that ACD ever wrote up and remains as a kind of spirit Muse throughout the remainder of SH's career. Just saying that SH is not nearly as disengaged from matters of the human heart as he likes to pretend for the benefit of Watson and his reputation as a Thinking Machine.
  11. Hello, Mistress Caya, I see you are based in Vienna. Are you Austrian? I am interested to hear how the BBC Sherlock phenomenon played out in other countries besides the two biggest English-speaking markets. Sherlock Holmes is a truly international man, so I know the show was a monster hit worldwide and reignited book sales all over the globe of the original Conan Doyle casebook. I work in a public library and am amazed at how vital the Sherlock Business is . . . every month sees dozens of new releases centered around the Great Detective in some form--novels, short story anthologies, graphic novels, TV shows, film, audiobooks, adult coloring books, children's books . . .it's staggering. Not bad for an old guy of 163 years! The Sherlock boom is not a cottage industry . . .it's a massive Mind Palace. When BBC Sherlock began, I was confident that it'd run for 10 years at least, given the amount of potential material they had for inspiration, but no one could have predicted, least of all themselves, how super-nova our actors would become, particularly Benedict. We also underestimated Steven Moffatt's penchant for growing bored relatively quickly and also underestimated his mystifying attachment to writing for 'Doctor Who'--a show whose appeal eludes me completely. There's a place for both in the universe, but to me Doctor Who has so much less *content* or heft than Sherlock. Who is a intergalactic visual romp for kids or kids at heart, but Sherlock has meat on it. Or used to. My Sherlockian guide David Marcum despises BBC Sherlock, which is why you will never, ever see him darkening these cyber-doors. There are few people alive who are more knowledgeable about Conan Doyle's Holmes than he--really, it's been a lifelong passion and study for him of more than 40 years, ever since he was a kid. He does not and will not entertain any versions of Sherlock Holmes which place him out of his 'proper' sphere in time and place. Therefore, there can be no contemporary Sherlocks, no female ones, no exploits of SH going to Mars and suchlike. I respect his commitment to continuity and 'realism' but his approach does leave out a lot of the fun sometimes. For me Sherlock Holmes, like St. Nicholas, is a beneficent Eternal Spirit who is not required to be bound by the conventions of space and time the way we mere mortals are. He can merrily transcend such arbitrary boundaries and be his glorious self wherever he, and we, chooses to plunk him down. That said, I don't envision Sherlock Holmes as a woman, (lesbian or no), a spirit animal, an intergalactic being, a non-binary or whatever else is non-human, non-male. As long as that condition is met, SH does not have to stay trapped in the Victorian age as far as I'm concerned. However, whatever potential BBC Sherlock had in its first two seasons as a 'true' rendition of a modern Sherlock Holmes, Mofftiss pretty well blew up in their last two years. To my eternal disappointment. I hope we can keep this forum going and talk about more substantial contributions to the ongoing Joy of Holmes, for sure.
  12. Hi, Carol, I had noticed that we are practically neighbors! I'm only an hour east of Ft. Wayne Since I'm so late to this party I have a lot of catching up to do and I look forward to reading in the archives. For now I am just relieved to hear that I haven't run afoul of any rabid Russell fanatics on this, my third day here. Not that I wouldn't be up for a brisk challenge, but I don't want to go out of my *way* to alienate a huge segment of this community during my first week. If it happens in the course of things . . well, I gotta be true to my truth. Sherlock would want it that way . .(provided my truth is the same as *his* truth). I'm the new kid, just trying to make some new friends. David M. received some vicious hate mail from Russell fanatics in the wake of his story. I can't recall if he specifically said 'death threats' or not . .but these Friends of Mary Russell are serious, y'all. Like the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad if you don't fall in with fawning on their Head Girl. While Russell is a narrator I have always held at arm's length (and sometimes wanted to slap vigorously around the face), I think Mr. Marcum's dealing with the 'problem' of her existence was too harsh. He admits that he has not finished all the books due to his balking at their core premise. It is unclear if he read past Book #2 (ie, the introduction of the odious marriage idea) after penning his 'expose' of Russell's mental health or lack thereof. After I read his story, I wrote a rebuttal of sorts to him endeavoring to show that the Holmes-Russell marriage need not be incompatible with the Sherlock Holmes we know. Theirs is a weird, chilly, undemonstrative domestic arrangement, with a distinct element of competitiveness (all stemming from Russell's side, I hasten to add--Sherlock acknowledges no competition, even from his own wife.) Holmes does not pay any sort of courtly or amorous attention to his young wife; he doesn't even call her by her first name. That suits Russell just fine. We have the proof of 'the Woman' that at least for one person, Sherlock Holmes was not solely an asexual calculating machine. He may have used up his allotment of libido on Adler because he certainly doesn't pursue his nubile 21-year-old wife with the passion that normally drives guys of super middle age who take 20-year-old trophy wives. Insofar as SH is interested in Russell, it seems to be solely her brain and her amusing feminist high dudgeon that has his (sporadic) attention. Frankly, theirs is not an arrangement that would satisfy most 'normal' people. Including yours truly. If Sherlock Holmes were married to me, by God, I'd see to it that it was more than a union on paper, even if I had to use some force to make my point. (That's my Inner Adler speaking . . .but really, I wouldn't stand for being treated with less forethought than the furniture.) Russell is perfectly happy to be left alone to her books. Asexual, that one. The Holmes-Russell marriage is more or less a business arrangement on both sides, not a grand passion. She gets the 'respectability' of being a married woman (despite refusing to use her married name); he gets an audience, when she can be bothered to listen . . .they both get opportunities to Not Be Bored together and globe-trot. Dirty weekends abed were never part of the deal. Indeed, Laurie has all the scruples of a Mennonite schoolmistress when it comes to giving us even a sodding *crumb* of physical affection between the spouses. This, I tried to explain to David Marcum, is how Sherlock Holmes makes marriage work: By treating his young wife exactly as he treated Doctor Watson for all those years. Most likely down to the separate bedrooms. They are two great minds cohabiting . .alone, together. If we can accept this, then there's no reason to make Russell barking mad and lock her up in an asylum. She's the least romantic person going--even less romantic, I add, than Sherlock Holmes. There are no features of this union that would reflect any sort of normal marital behavior that exists in his own relationship--hence, SH can be Married and still be Himself, unadulterated. I think my stance is utterly valid--though perhaps tellingly, I haven't heard back from him since! P.S. As far as Laurie's retrofitting of Holmes's age to suit . . . it's kind of hazy. His actual age is never referred to. Russell was born in 1900, which, if we use Holmes's traditional birthday for calculation, made him 46 when she was born. So Holmes would be 61 years old in 1915 when they 'meet'. He had to wait another 6 years for her to be legally adult before the marriage. Purists would say then that he's 67 to her 21--well old enough to be her granddad. I think that Laurie has shaved off a decade from Holmes's age, pushing his retirement to the Downs back by 10 years. Hence, a 15 year old Russell trips over a 51 year old Holmes in 1915, when he was 51 back in 1905, a year after his official retirement to Sussex. Sherlock Holmes defies age, absolutely, and I agree that the age gap wouldn't matter for him like it might to a mere mortal man. I believe that the Holmes - Russell union may reflect a similar age gap in King's own marriage. She was widowed in 2009, when she was in her early 50s, so I assume that her late husband was a lot older than she. It also does not escape notice that Russell has many physical characteristics of her author . . or an idealized 21-year-old version of Laurie. So I have, fairly or not, decided that Russell is King's alter ego in personality as well. Which makes the series one huge vanity project, as far as I'm concerned.
  13. Actually, with respect, I think the historical dates of the Second Afghan War bolster the argument for Mr. Morley and Mr. Baring-Gould's 1854 birth year for Holmes. The war lasted from 1878 -1880, with the disastrous Battle of Maiwand occurring 27 July 1880. We know that Doctor Watson was back home in London some months later and met Sherlock Holmes in the New Year, 1881. If we take Mrs. King's birthdate of 1861, then that means that SH would have been some days shy of his 20th birthday on January 1, 1881. Sherlock was a prodigy but seeing as he spent nearly three years in the pursuit of university studies and had a period of time after that on his own in digs in Montague Street, 20 years of age is too young to have done all that and already have built some reputation as a consulting detective. If he were nearly 27, though, it is possible. Doctor Watson did the full medical degree plus additional training for Army surgeons plus a year in uniform before returning home to London with his health irretrievably ruined. It is suggested that he was about 18 months older than Holmes, making him 28 and a half when he meets his new flatmate. We might be able to shave a year off that possibly but again, were Watson still in his early 20s in 1881, he wouldn't have had time to qualify as a doctor and also serve in uniform. Easier to say that Laurie fudged her dates for her own purposes. A Holmes of 50, 51 is a more plausible potential romantic object for a teenage girl than one nearer 60. Anyway, according to the Ur-text, Holmes is 'a man of 60' when undertaking his last canonical case for the Crown on the eve of WWI in 1914. That is as solid as it gets.
  14. Yes, Mr. Marcum loves Solar Pons *almost* as much as he loves Sherlock Holmes. I confess, until I read Mr. Marcum's blog I was completely ignorant about this Solar Pons. I had heard the name bandied about but I was under the impression that it referred, not to a person, but to some astrophysiclogical phenomenon like the Van Buren Supernova or something. I had NO idea it has anything to do with Sherlock Holmes--it sounded more like Asimov territory to me. I have been schooled by Marcum-sensei, my Sempai in Matters Sherlockian. There are others, but only he has made me privy to his personal email address. He's a very busy man, though. He doesn't post on his blog often (a few times a year) but the posts he does do are essay-length and worth the wait. See for yourself! The most recent entry is all about Solar Pons. http://17stepprogram.blogspot.com
  15. January 6th seems to me to be the best and only possible birthday for Sherlock Holmes. It is 'Twelfth Night', yes, and there is textual evidence to support Sherlock being fonder of that Shakespeare play than any others. But for those like me who follow the church liturgical calendar . . January 6th has a very special meaning. It is the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating the visitation of the Magi to the Christ Child with their gifts. The Child that was sent to be 'a Light to Lighten the Gentiles', which the Magi represented. Now we know that Sherlock Holmes is not a 'religious' man in the conventional sense but 'epiphany' is also defined as 'the appearance of a divine or supernatural being' and also as 'a moment of sudden inspiration or insight'. I'd say the first describes Holmes's singular intellectual powers and the second often described his method of deduction. So voila! And yes, the hard-headed Ram of Capricorn is also deeply appropriate.
  16. I am a brand-new member and I noticed right away that many of the thread topics were started back circa 2012 and had not had any recent posts. It seems I came here too late for the heyday. Crummy timing--story of my life. Until recently (Oct. 2nd, to be precise) my go-to forum was the Movie Lounge on the Amazon Customer Discussion forums. We had a very lively British Detectives lounge there and I exercised my Sherlock fangirlness with a few like-minded people there. It's fair to say that my dearest cybercorrespondent who I consider a real friend despite never having met her in 'Real World' bonded over BBC Sherlock initially. Sherlock brought us together. And lots and lots of Sherlock fandom videos on YouTube. In the wake of Season 4 and those developments, and just the passage of time . . Bendi is not the fresh-faced New Face that I assumed was like, 26 years old in 2010 when he was actually 34 . .and my face is no fresher, either--those heady days when "Sherlock" was a heady new discovery and The Best Thing I'd Ever Seen in Television seem like a distant memory. I feel so jaded now, with no prospect of a new Sherlock season to look forward to. I really believe that the show is over, though if Mssrs. Cumberbatch and Freeman could be coaxed back into harness to do a holiday one-off episode (perhaps a revisit to Dartmoor, this time in Victorian guise?), that'd be something. With the end of the show, I was forced to look beyond it and acquaint myself better with the Original. I blew through the entire Canon in a few months and that has been a springboard into all sorts of apocryphal Adventures from Doctor Watson's Tin Dispatch Box, some delightful, some mystifying . .some plainly bogus . . but I've discovered that Sherlock Lives indeed--not on the BBC but in reams and reams of stories created by people devoted to keeping him and his Boswell alive. To be honest, the BBC show disappointed me sorely in the end . . but there is comfort out here for the brokenhearted and disillusioned BBC Sherlock fan, and you don't have to look for it--it's literally everywhere. Sherlock Holmes is more prolific now, at 163 years of age, than he's ever, ever been. Sir Arthur hardly kept him busy at all compared to what he gets up to these days. I hope to find some other folks who likewise want to Go Beyond the BBC show. Truly, there is so very Much More to Sherlock. The show was a bit of delightful, homage-worthy fun . . .until it wasn't. We have to search for deeper reasons to keep this forum going. So Herlie . . there's a very long answer to your brief question. Cheers!
  17. Post with abandon? I'm overwhelmed with the heady possibilities! Well, now that I'm 'official', perhaps I can afford to court a bit of controversy. The following link relates the 'real' truth behind Mary Russell and her purported marriage to Sherlock Holmes, as discovered and related by David Marcum. My thanks to the author for introducing me to it, and for his tireless work on behalf of the Great Game. And also for rocking a deerstalker as daily head gear in our modern world. http://sherlock-holmes.com/Marcum_Descent.html The author was in communication with Mrs. King, who was at first bemused and tolerant of his application of his Game principles to her signature character. Those who read on will see that she had reason to become swiftly disenchanted the direction Mr. Marcum was taking her character and severed communications with him forthwith. Much like Michael Dibdin did in his infamous Holmes pastiche, Mr. Marcum goes boldly into his audacious, original vision and dismantles some beloved truths clung to by Sherlockians. Such audacity is guaranteed to make some (powerful) enemies, but he's not backing down. For my part, I'm content to say that in his sixties, Sherlock Holmes surely could have taken to wife a 21-year-old proto feminist bluestocking young woman with intellectual capabilities that didn't embarrass her in his company. But it was never any kind of marital union which regular folk like us would recognize. No sex, for one thing. Ignoring each other for months on end for another, whether they are sharing the same cottage or on two different continents. Essentially how Holmes treated Doctor Watson during their long association. The mere fact of Russell being a female need not intrude at all, and for those two, it really doesn't seem to be a factor. This might sound like a not-bad arrangement for some. I confess that personally, I'd find the 'no sex' thing too difficult to cope with. A husband isn't supposed to be a platonic roommate. Not for nothing is my favorite 'Sherlock BBC' episode of all 'A Scandal in Belgravia'. My inner Adler, she is strong. I welcome any discussion on this if anyone feels so led.
  18. Sorry for waiting, Hikari - welcome to the forum and if it helps, only one more post and the forum will recognize you as the fine poster you are and will allow your posts to go live instantly. Only one more? Have I been fast-tracked? You probably decided that you've seen quite enough words from me on this, my second day. Well, this earns a 'Like' and my humble thanks to the Moderators. I knew I liked it here.
  19. Man, it's tough waiting on the moderators' decision to see if I've been deemed Acceptable! What do they think, they are entitled to lives outside of this forum or what? According to my new Senpai in all matters Sherlockian, David Marcum, Mrs. Laurie King's induction into the Baker Street Irregulars solely on the basis of her Mary Russell books has been pretty controversial in certain quarters. As appealing as some of the stories are, and while by sheer page count Mrs. King is extraordinarily prolific, Sherlock Holmes has withdrawn so much into the background, the Russell books would barely seem to meet the criteria for a Holmes pastiche/homage, never mind 'Sherlockian scholarship' that is the stated requirement for membership. Less high-profile candidates have labored for decades on less flashy projects and have been passed over. If anyone is interested, enter 'MX Sherlock Holmes' into any search engine and see how prolific Mr. Marcum has been in spreading the gospel of Sherlock Holmes in the last few years. He's still awaiting his tap. Mrs. King was nonplussed at David's jab at her sacred cow. I don't suppose that if she and Leslie Klinger have any say in the voting that Mr. Marcum will be made a BSI in their lifetimes. He is a lot younger and can afford to be patient. His magnum opus is all in benefit of the restoration of former Conan Doyle estate Undershaw, which has been renovated from sad disrepair and now functions as a school for children with developmental disabilities. Well worth checking out and supporting, if anyone has a mind to.
  20. Can I call you Herl? lol Yes, I suppose you could say that we are guilty of that. I'll put my hand up to that being my expectation going into this series. Laurie herself set that expectation by labeling our precocious teenage heroine 'the Beekeeper's Apprentice'. Just as Dr. Watson was, despite his medical pedigree, Holmes's apprentice in the art of deduction--never quite mastering the lessons his teacher set him, if we are to go by Conan Doyle--so along came this young female student/disciple to fill the Watson-sized hole in Holmes's life. So we thought. Maybe Laurie even thought so too, back in the mid-1990s when she got this ball rolling. Russell is, I think we can agree, a top-notch intellect, and so we knew she'd have a fast learning curve, and posited that she might actually turn out to be a more satisfactory intellectual companion for Holmes to cross swords with than our dear, beloved but sometimes a tad slow on the uptake good Doctor was. It was Russell's extreme youth relative to Holmes, more than her gender or any presumptive intellectual abilities that cast her in the 'junior' role . .one that I presumed she'd retain, seeing as this version of Sherlock Holmes is 40 years her senior and would always be so. (Turns out that Laurie shaved several years off of Holmes's age to make the age gap of this April - December union not quite so squicky.) Less than halfway into Laurie's series (Book 6 or thereabouts), her true feminist world domination agenda was revealed as, increasingly, any pretense that Russell was still Holmes's student/inferior in any way was dropped in favor of making her his co-equal, or, to go even further, his presumptive *superior* . .seeing as the old boy is starting to have his age catch up with him. Russell concedes that Sherlock still excels her at picking locks, even with his 65-year-old eyesight and incipient rheumatism . . but that's about the only area she will accord him superiority. In all else she seems to regard him with the bemused/irritated tolerance which has always been the purview of Mrs. Hudson. Really, the cheek! So it's not clear exactly when I went off Russell for getting too big for her britches (we know how much Russell favors menswear) but it was somewhere around Book 5. Though Russell is our narrator and as such enjoys first billing, rightly--still, I feel that the character of Holmes is not accorded the heft of presence which he deserves as his due. After all, this series wouldn't be so popular, nor Russell much of a matter for interest in her own right without her connection to Sherlock Holmes. The ingénue may get more screen time, but Holmes is the veteran legend we have all paid our admission to see and it's *his* scenes we live for--or else what is the point of this? Mrs. King's objective seems now to have been, not to provide a new 'Watson' for Sherlock Holmes's later years, but to create Mary Russell as the new and improved Sherlock 2.0, Enlightened Femme Version. I'm a femme myself but this just sits all kinds of wrong with me. And there is my Russell manifesto!
  21. Hello, Boss (Because you are a Detective Chief Inspector and I'm only a lowly Trainee Detective Constable) I am here as a refugee from the Movie Lounge on the now defunct Amazon Forums, where we had our own cosy British Detectives room for a number of years. I am bereft of that but hoping to find some new friends who share my enthusiasm for Sherlock Holmes. So far I am quite optimistic that this is the place! I can't recall the exact date I encountered 'Beekeeper's Apprentice', but it was, at the earliest at least 10 years after it was published. I thought it was fantastic--it was like Sherlock Holmes lived again. The next few were not as captivating but they were solid, as Russell grew from gawky young teen into a more self-assured and worldly young lady of her majority, and came into her fortune and into possession of one singular husband. Of this early batch, I seem to recall "The Moor" (#4) fondly, wherein the newlyweds return to Dartmoor and the scene of 'Snoop Sherlock's' greatest triumph, some 30 years before. As his assistant/spouse in tow, Russell is christened 'Snoop Mary'. Which is a compliment among the moor folk. Then followed 2 obscure and for me, unreadable ones which saw King wading in heavily to her and Russell's pet interest of esoteric medieval Jewish theology/history. I do not share their pet interest and had to concede defeat when it seemed that we were going to be trapped in the desert forever. "Locked Rooms" ought to have been captivating, seeing as it's set in my favorite American City of Dreams, San Francisco, but what a snorefest that one turned out to be. Felt very perfunctory. "The Game" is probably my favorite of the latter adventures, seeing as SH is uncharacteristically on the scene for the duration and the setting (India) is interesting. Rudyard Kipling's Kim is a featured character and that was droll. "The Pirate King" was one I unexpectedly liked--a minority view based on some scathing reviews it received. As it happens I have seen 'The Pirates of Penzance' on Broadway--but I liked it for other reasons. On the downside, SH is practically a no-show . . but on the upside, the setting (Morocco) is once again interestingly wrought by Laurie and, for once Russell is actually performing a function (PA for a movie company) that could actually be performed by a human girl of 24 years old with some clerical skills. She is not called upon to learn a foreign language in a week, juggle knives, ride camels, bust anybody out of prison or in other ways act superhuman, or as Sherlock Holmes's equal, which amounts to the same thing. After this fairly fluffy outing came two more unreadable ones--the low point of the series, I'd say. Holmes's son by Irene Adler is introduced . . but while this should be interesting, the unlikely Papa is practically invisible for the length of two (VERY LONG) books. Once I got to this point, I was so ready for it to be over and for Laurie to put us all out of our misery. Maybe she will come back from this little break with recharged energies. We can hope. By the way, author David Marcum, who plays the Game with deadly seriousness (his own words) deals with the Russell Problem by suggesting that Russell was, yes, the apprentice to Sherlock Holmes when she was a young girl . . . but that any events subsequent to the first book are the delusions of a deeply mentally-disturbed young woman who invented a relationship between herself and her venerable teacher which never, ever happened. An 83-year-old Holmes bluntly informs the chief of the mental asylum to which Russell has been committed of this. I said the Russell-philes wouldn't like it. Mr. Marcum cannot assimilate a 20-something *wife* into the gestalt of Holmes with any level of comfort. I am somewhere in the middle ground. I enjoy the idea of SH having a companion for his later years . . one with a good brain and skills who happens to be a woman. The marriage between these two is nearly 100% platonic from what I can see . .no icky canoodling is to be found on a single page of these 14 books. That seems very Holmes-authentic to me. If anything, Russell is an even colder fish. Certainly, she is no Adler, and we know that, regardless of what Mrs. King says, for Sherlock Holmes there was only ever One Woman who perhaps appealed to more than his Great Brain.
  22. Apropos of my last post, I am back with a revision. Apparently Laurie R. King is NOT done with Holmes and Russell but just took a year's hiatus to write in another genre. The 15th novel in the Holmes-Russell series, "Island of the Mad", slated for release in March 2018 takes Russell and Holmes to Venice on the trail of a missing heiress. I was a bit confused by the pre-release jacket photo that labels this as a 'story'. I was under the impression that it was a short story in the manner of "Beekeeping for Beginners", which is Laurie's most recent work dealing with Holmes and Russell. That is a good story, by the way. It retells salient portions of "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" from Sherlock's point of view, including a new and rather shocking explanation of how and why SH happened to be on the cliffs that day to be tripped over by a gangly 15-year-old youth with her face in a book. Except that Russell is so devoid of feminine features, even the Great Detective mistook her for a boy. This story is contained in Laurie's short story collection, "Mary Russell's War", prefaced by a glowing (one might say 'fawning') introduction by eminent Sherlockian and King-bestie, Leslie Klinger. I found this collection of largely re-warmed bits and pieces disappointing, apart from Beekeeping for Beginners and one other offering, "The Marriage of Mary Russell." Russell's longtime readers will recall that after Sherlock startled our heroine (and the reader, forsooth) by taking her in his arms at the end of "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" and proposing marriage and planting a big old smackeroonie on her . . . the next (#3) installment opens with the newlyweds already married and on their first case together, with zero mention of the nuptials--a disappointing omission. Laurie does have Russell make one (insufferably coy) reference to Sherlock Holmes proving adept at 'certain husbandly duties rendered legal by a piece of paper'--and, infuriatingly, that's all either one of them have to say 'bout DAT. King revisits the (extremely memorable, chaotic, verging on disastrous, and really can there be any other kind when SH is involved) Holmes-Russell Wedding in this story, and the results are charmingly madcap. 'Uncle John' puts in an appearance, and we get some snippets of the Great Detective's elusive childhood upbringing. As it happens, Laurie is almost entirely wrong about the backstory she envisions for Holmes as to the location of his childhood home and even his legal name . . .but I will concede that Sherlock's nameless mother (Mr. Baring-Gould favored 'Violet') was dark-haired and beautiful and lives on in the features of her younger, brilliant son. So take heart, Russell-philes . . .Laurie's not done.
  23. Hello, all, New member here--I just joined yesterday. Here's a View Halloa to my slightly senior fellow 'newbie', Herlock Sholmes. I will introduce myself properly in the New Members thread but I wanted to contribute to this discussion. To the best of my knowledge, the Holmes-Russell series stands at 14 books, with the most recent one being "The Murder of Mary Russell" (2016). I don't know if anything has 'officially' been said to this effect, but it was my impression that this title may represent the end of the series. KIng's project immediately following TMoMR was a stand-alone contemporary thriller about a school shooting called "Lockdown". I could go on at some length about my rather complicated feelings about Mrs. King and her creation, but I guess I will wait and see if I get approved by the moderator for this comment! "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" was a truly outstanding debut and a wonderful pastiche. None of the subsequent 13 books were able to live up to its high bar, in my opinion. I liked some of them pretty well, and in all honesty, there were at least three that I found nearly unreadable. Mary Russell becomes less and less sympathetic as a narrator-heroine as the series wears on. Her Teflon self-assurance veers into a form of overweening narcissism in the opinion of this reader, but Mrs. King is so enamored of her that Sherlock Holmes takes a very distant back seat to the self-preoccupation of this snit of a girl. And 'girl' she remains--over the course of 23 years and 14 books out here in 'real' world, in the world of the novels, 10 years have passed, taking Russell from 15-year-old schoolgirl to 25-year-old postgraduate-scholar-about-town (and many far-flung reaches of the globe.) The travelogue aspects of the series are interesting and exhaustively researched, along with the historical milieu. Too bad the main protagonist is such a buzz kill. I have recently struck up a correspondence with American Sherlockian author-editor David Marcum, editor of the MX series of new Sherlock Holmes adventures, and he has a unique perspective on what he terms 'The Problem of Mary Russell'. He's not a fan, either. I will share this theory in my next post. Russell-philes are not going to like it one bit.
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