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Carol the Dabbler

The Sign of (the) Four

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OK, so I see from this thread that I should not expect the story The Sign of Four to at all resemble the episode.  lol

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Actually, I think the story far more closely resembles "The Blind Banker."  Which is coming up next for group rewatch.

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I was reading on the train ride home and I already found the Watson equivalent of Molly's slapping scene... :)

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Oh?  I haven't read TSot4 since before Series 3 aired.  Maybe I'm due for a re-read!

 

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OK, so I see from this thread that I should not expect the story The Sign of Four to at all resemble the episode. lol

You will see at least 1 bit from TSOT that is from TSO4 but you'll have to figure out what it is. :)

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Hello, I've a question: in the book it has been said that major sholto died 6 years before the investigation. But When Jonathan Small tells Sherlock Holmes his story, he said that he returned in London 3 or 4 years before, and than he saw the major's death from the window. So there is an incongruence in this Sherlock Holmes' story. What do you think about?

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That's a good question, Alessandro.  It's been a while since I read the novel, so I can't answer you right off the top of my head, but I'll be looking for that information next time I do read the book.

 

Maybe some of the other forum members have read it more recently and can answer you sooner.

 

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you're right, Allesandro; looks like one of the many inconsistencies in the canon. Theddeus Sholto describes his father's death in "1882" - as Mary and Watson both says "about six years ago" (giving us 1888 for the apparent/supposed date of the story). So for Small to witness/cause Sholto's death three or two years after 1882 is clearly impossible.

 

solutions? Small, in his wretchedness and lowly existence, lost track of all time and/or was misremembering; or in writing up earlier portions of the case Watson is relying on his notoriously faulty and mistake-ridden notes.

 

(incidentally, thanks for asking this question; I've opened up my copy of the story for the first time in too long.... looking forward to rereading it properly now!)

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Wow I haven't noticed this incongruence even if I've finished the book some weeks ago! Maybe I'll read it again, I must pay more attention to the dates ahaha :D

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it's interesting, because when Allesandro asked the question i leafed through my copy of the Annotated SH, and although there is a *lot* of notes about the dating in this story, apparently nobody has previously noted the discrepancy in Small's statement.... slipped through the net? or is the basic assumption that he was rounding down?

 

so Allesandro, you are a true detective :)

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it's interesting, because when Allesandro asked the question i leafed through my copy of the Annotated SH, and although there is a *lot* of notes about the dating in this story, apparently nobody has previously noted the discrepancy in Small's statement.... slipped through the net? or is the basic assumption that he was rounding down?

 

so Allesandro, you are a true detective :)

 

Indeed!

 

I don't know which annotated version you have, but I've just about given up on finding the answers to any of my questions in my father's old Baring-Gould.  As you say, they seem to spend a whole lotta time figuring out what the date was, but none whatsoever on things I'd actually like to know.

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Baring-Gould for me

 

I tend to think that the earlier/earliest Sherlockian books are the best... there's a sense of freshness and humour to them, before the same topics had been covered a million times; later generations seem to take it a tad too seriously, fighting over themselves to be given invites to the BSI...!

 

 

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I tend to think that the earlier/earliest Sherlockian books are the best... there's a sense of freshness and humour to them, before the same topics had been covered a million times; later generations seem to take it a tad too seriously, fighting over themselves to be given invites to the BSI...!

 

What books would you suggest?

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Baring-Gould, Bell's 'Baker St Studies', Starret's 'Private Life' and '221b', Brend's 'My Dear Holmes', Blakeney's 'Sherlock Holmes: Fact or Ficton?', Holroyd's 'Seventeen Steps to 221b' and 'Baker St ByWays', Harrison's 'In The Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes' and 'The World of..'; Trevor hall's 'Ten Literary Studies', 'The late mr Sherlock Holmes' and 'Sherlock Holmes and His Creator'..... plus the collected Lord Donegal's 'Baker St and Beyond'..... if you can find an affordable copy of Dorothy Sayers' 'Sherlockian Studies' get it!!... I did used to own Bell's 'Chronology' but as lovely an item as it was to have, chronology in detail bores me rigid so i gave it to a friend's charity auction.

 

it's a compact little library but infinitely rich :)

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