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Your Favorite of the Original Four Novels Poll

Your Favorite Holmes Novel  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the four original novels are your favorite?

    • A Study in Scarlet
    • The Sign of the Four
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • The Valley of Fear
  2. 2. And which is your second favorite?

    • A Study in Scarlet
      0
    • The Sign of the Four
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • The Valley of Fear
      0


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Hmmm.....haven't really noticed about the slang. Will have to do some research and pay more attention.

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If I come across any specific examples, I'll let you know.

 

Oh, wait a minute -- what does Klinger say about Watson's "bull pup" in A Study in Scarlet?  (Baring-Gould covers it, but takes it literally.)

 

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As would be guessed, there are some that took the reference to a dog literally. Thinking that it soon disappeared from Baker Street because of Sherlock's attack by a bull terrier while in University. One even put forth the idea that it was not a dog at all but a ferret.

 

   But there were others that pointed out that dogs would not be kept as pets in Afghanistan, they would not have been allowed neither on the ship Watson sailed home on nor the hotel where he was staying once he reached London.

 

W. E. Edwards, George Fletcher, J.R. Stockler and R. N. Brodie all thought Watson may have been referring to a military revolver or rifle.

 

A couple other thinks maybe Watson was warning Holmes that 1) He had a very hot temper. or 2) He was a heavy drinker. "Bull cup" not "pup".

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A ferret?!

 

I'm thinking along the lines of your middle two paragraphs.  In fact, aptly-named forum member Webley Bullpup has me pretty well convinced that Watson was referring to his pistol.  Those of you who've joined the forum since that discussion can see it here.

 

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In fact, aptly-named forum member Webley Bullpup has me pretty well convinced that Watson was referring to his pistol.

And it would seem Gatiss and Moffat agrees with you and the four scholars mentioned since John carried his service pistol into 221B Baker Street and not a dog.

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Whereas the Guy Ritchie crew seem to have opted for the dog (though that could be an in-joke).  (And I assume their Watson also carries a pistol -- been a while since I saw the movies.)  The Jeremy Brett series avoided the entire question by never doing "A Study in Scarlet."

 

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The Jeremy Brett series avoided the entire question by never doing "A Study in Scarlet."

Which I have thought rather sad and I don't remember Jeremy's Watson much on guns. Though Jeremy's Sherlock may have used one at least once. Will have to watch some episodes during my three week lay off from work to make sure.

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In all honesty, I have never been a fan of A Study In Scarlet. It knocks Mormons a good deal too much. I had to stop reading it before the pristine pedestal upon which ACD and Holmes sit in my mind was dirtied any further.

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As with all of the ACD stories, it's necessary to read "Study" as a period piece in order for it to make sense.  ACD's Watson is, after all, a Victorian-era Englishman.  We can bewail his lack of certain modern sensibilities, but if Watson had been written as a 21st-Century man, he would have been a very peculiar anachronism to the Victorian reader.

 

Perhaps that's one appeal (among many!) of the updated Watson in Sherlock.

 

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 I usually skip that part any way. The story still very readable without it.

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Much more readable, actually.  (I skipped most of John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged, too.)

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I love it when you can do that and not feel like you have missed a thing.

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I used to think I knew what you were talking about...and now, I'm not sure. :sherlock:

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I used to think I knew what you were talking about...and now, I'm not sure. :sherlock:

A little off topic, are we? ;)

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How can you tell?  :huh:

 

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Not sure, it must be my amazing powers of deduction running a little high over here.

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My favorite novel by far is the The Hound of the Baskervilles. First of all, I think it is one of the best pieces of Conan Doyle's overall rather weak writing. I like that it is told from Watson's point of view all through without some stupid rambling chapters about people I have no interest in except as factors in the case (yes, I know, that is a pretty Sherlockian attitude).

 

The case is pretty cool. The reader has the opportunity of making his / her own deductions along with Watson for some time without Holmes rushing around and being ahead of us. There are several suspects you can examine and choose from.

 

It was also the first SH story I ever read. I was given the novel as a birthday present and gobbled it up in one night. I got totally caught up in the scary atmosphere. And when Holmes finally showed up and dispelled the shadows with his intelligence and calmness and mocking humor, I was so relieved and glad to see him. Better than any knight in shining armor.

 

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It's been many years since reading the novels, but I know Hound and Study are the last of the four in my estimation.  I remember liking Valley, although I can't remember why.  I guess that means it needs re-reading.  I rank Sign as number one.  That one I do indeed remember, not only the novel itself but also the so very excellent Granada production. 

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This is a very interesting topic! At first I wanted to vote for HOUN. But I wrote an article about VALL and had to read it several times. I really got into it. ACD knew Pinkerton, he met him on a sea voyage, and most of that story is based on Pinkerton's Book 'The Molly Maguires and the Detective" and stories Pinkerton told ACD. I really like Jack McMurdo. It reminds me of a fanfiction crossover like Sherlock meets Detective Pinkerton. I like it because it brings America and Sherlock together. (And it mentions Michigan) And it has the Book code and Moriarty. Yep, it's now my favorite.

The "Bull Pup" discussion was fascinating. But I wonder... Watson is based on a real Doctor ( Surgeon Major Preston) who was wounded in the battle of Maiwand (same as Watson) and he had a rather famous little dog  Bobbie, who stood by the soldiers. The dog was honored and there is a famous painting of him in the battle. I wonder if ACD was thinking of that little dog?

 

Ahhhh, the virtual snow is falling, and the real snow is falling outside my window, and I must get some sleep! Thank you all!

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Was Bobbie a bulldog (or anything similar)?

 

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So that's another possible explanation for the "bullpup" but nothing so far is really a slam-dunk.  Which means we get to keep discussing it!  :D

 

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We never hear of Watson's dog again, do we? I wonder whether Doyle originally had the idea that they should meet the way Holmes later says he met Victor Trevor, his only friend at university: His "bull terrier" bit Holmes on the ankle.

 

(And while we're at it, I was wondering some time ago whether when Sherlock says "I need an assistant" in the first episode he means he's had people running around with him to crime scenes before. I wonder whether Moffat, Gatiss and Co have any ideas about Trevor in the back of their heads.)

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Or maybe Billy the skull?  :P

 

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You mean the scull was the assistant - or might be what's left of him? I really like the latter idea, but I doubt it's correct in the minds of the writers.

 

Oh dear, I have pulled this thread off topic - "Billy" has nothing to do with the original four novels, does he, and Victor Trevor neither. Sorry about that...

 

How to get back on topic? Um... is there a scull mentioned anywhere in the books? I don't recall one.

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