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The private life of Sherlock Holmes (movie)

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Although I’ve read many Doyle biographies I can’t recall where the name ‘Touie,’ came from? Doyle met the Louisa and her mother on a train. They later met him because of Louisa’s brother Jack who was seriously ill with Cerebral Meningitis. Doyle offered to care for him at Bush Villas. Unfortunately he didn’t live long. Doyle then began seeing Louisa.

 

I was wondering if the name ‘Touie’ came from a childish pronunciation of Louise (possibly by Jack) that stuck as a nickname? The origin of the name Touie might already have been explained and I might have just missed it (or forgotten it) so if anyone knows for sure or has any other suggestions I’d be glad to hear them

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I believe that it's communicable, but not highly contagious. Sort of the AIDS of past centuries.

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Because it’s lung/breathing related I assumed that it was like asthma or emphysema (which my dad unfortunately has.) You live and learn. This forum is enjoyable AND educational

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Although I’ve read many Doyle biographies I can’t recall where the name ‘Touie,’ came from? Doyle met the Louisa and her mother on a train. They later met him because of Louisa’s brother Jack who was seriously ill with Cerebral Meningitis. Doyle offered to care for him at Bush Villas. Unfortunately he didn’t live long. Doyle then began seeing Louisa.

 

I was wondering if the name ‘Touie’ came from a childish pronunciation of Louise (possibly by Jack) that stuck as a nickname? The origin of the name Touie might already have been explained and I might have just missed it (or forgotten it) so if anyone knows for sure or has any other suggestions I’d be glad to hear them

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Although I’ve read many Doyle biographies I can’t recall where the name ‘Touie,’ came from? Doyle met the Louisa and her mother on a train. They later met him because of Louisa’s brother Jack who was seriously ill with Cerebral Meningitis. Doyle offered to care for him at Bush Villas. Unfortunately he didn’t live long. Doyle then began seeing Louisa.

 

I was wondering if the name ‘Touie’ came from a childish pronunciation of Louise (possibly by Jack) that stuck as a nickname? The origin of the name Touie might already have been explained and I might have just missed it (or forgotten it) so if anyone knows for sure or has any other suggestions I’d be glad to hear them

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Unfortunate title

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Snrk. 

 

I mean, uh ... ahem.

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On 2/3/2018 at 5:22 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

I’ve just finished reading ‘Knight Errant,’ which is an autobiography of Robert Stephens that I picked up on eBay for less than £3. An enjoyable book. Stephens is one of those people that you’d like to have as a dinner guest. Pretty much liked by all and best friend of Jeremy Brett. Plenty of great thesp-related anecdotes here but there’s only a short chapter on ‘The Private Life....’ but it was a difficult time for him. His marriage to Maggie Smith was breaking up and Wilder wasn’t an easy director to work for as he took perfectionism to limit. Stephens attempted suicide during the shoot but after a period of recovery went back and finished the movie. From his experience it’s probably inderstandable that he advised Brett against playing Holmes. Thankfully Brett ignored the advice.

I have just read Knight Errant over the weekend, so I can finally comment.

Copies of this book are hard to come by.  I got mine used on Ebay and it looks like a first edition paperback as the pages are a bit yellowing and brittle, but it was a readable copy.  Some photos are included, though not enough to suit me, of the BYTs (beautiful young things) at the peak of their beauty.   A baby picture of Robert is included.  Many people are unrecognizable as adults from their early childhood pictures, while some people retain that recognizable essence of themselves throughout life.  RS is in the latter category--his eyes are exactly the same in his baby picture as later.  He was a handsome youth, though not as pretty as his friend Brett.

This is quite a slender book, notwithstanding that he was in very poor health when he finally sat down to write it.  I would have expected a bit more time devoted to both his friendship with best mate Jeremy Brett (RS was best man at Jeremy's wedding to Anna Massey . . privately Stephens had advised JB not to marry her) . .and also the Horrifying Business of Working for Billy Wilder during TPLOSH, but our knight errant kind of skates over both of these items.  I suppose since the whole TPLOSH experience was so very painful, it was natural that he didn't want to dwell, but as it stands, he is quite vague about the whole episode, including putting himself into hospital after a suicide attempt.  In his version, it didn't qualify as anything so organized or conscious as 'an attempt'-- according to him he just sat down in front of the telly one evening and completely lost track of the fact that he'd swallowed most of a bottle of pills chased with most of a bottle of hard liquor.  With his actual death looming, it comforted him to frame almost ending his life when he was in the prime of it, over something as relatively silly as a bad day on the set as a careless accident.  His story, his rules.  Though RS is just as careless in acknowledging his inveterate philandering as a profoundly damaging character flaw.  It's just the way he is and he can't help it, darling . . monogamy is just so boring.

I may have found Jeremy Brett the more admirable figure personally; despite the erratic features of his illness, he seemed to have a more substantial inner core, perhaps.  Substantial but not robust.  RS was maybe the opposite--robustly superficial.  It's hard to know from this carefully selected autobiography.   But I wish I had a TARDIS and could have met these two as BYTs holding court over an after-theatre dinner party.  Maybe after the 'Have a Cigarette' Othello.  Those were the good old days.  I'd treat them to an Indian curry if they'd promise me to take better care of themselves.  It'd be a vain promise but I'd try my best.  

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An excellent review Hikari. Having read the book myself I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. Definitely a pity that there wasn’t more on TPLOSH but you get the impression that if RS could have had an operation to erase all memories of the experience of working with BW he would have jumped at the chance. It’s a pity Colin Blakely didn’t write an autobiography.

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2 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

An excellent review Hikari. Having read the book myself I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. Definitely a pity that there wasn’t more on TPLOSH but you get the impression that if RS could have had an operation to erase all memories of the experience of working with BW he would have jumped at the chance. It’s a pity Colin Blakely didn’t write an autobiography.

Agreed.  If you're gonna write a kiss and tell autobiography as the last thing you ever do, no point in stinting.  Robert certainly kissed, a lot, but was rather stingy in the 'telling' part.  He does devote quite a bit of page time to his relationship with ex-wife Maggie Smith. Mags has a lock on the patrician dowager parts and has for the last 30 years . . but she certainly put it about a bit in her younger days . . . nearly as much as her ex-husband, though that'd be a really tough record to beat.  Their relationship certainly sounded combustible.  Miss Margaret Smith looks like a delicate flower, but it doesn't sound like anybody, even much bigger men, ever got the better of her in a fight.  Iron lady, she.  Even as he was describing the mutual infidelities and screaming matches that led to the breakup of their marriage, he'd slip in admiring asides about her.  Either the flame wasn't completely doused or else he feared she might find him and hurt him in his weakened condition.  :)

Robert included a photo of son Toby as a young man playing Coriolanus.  Rather surprising seeing as none of RS's 4 children by three different wives get much more than a passing mention in the text.  It doesn't seem to have been leading man Robert's way to spend much time in acknowledging the supporting players in his life.

RS and Colin Blakely were previously acquainted, having worked together as young actors on the stage in Sir Larry's troupe.  I seem to recall that RS actually suggested Blakely for Watson after he'd been attached as Holmes.   Colin is described as a very strong man of sport, like a bull, and 'large'--even though he does not appear at all 'large' on screen.  RS is that much more commandingly taller, but he may have been feeling woozy owing to the crash diet he'd gone on to get thin enough to make his director happy.   

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53 minutes ago, Hikari said:

... he may have been feeling woozy owing to the crash diet he'd gone on to get thin enough to make his director happy. 

In my opinion (which, ironically, nobody ever asks for), if a director/producer wants a skinny Holmes, then they should jolly well hire a skinny actor.  Actors who repeatedly gain/lose weight are asking for health problems in the long run, including a sluggish metabolism that makes it nearly impossible to keep their weight down to a healthy range.

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18 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

In my opinion (which, ironically, nobody ever asks for), if a director/producer wants a skinny Holmes, then they should jolly well hire a skinny actor.  Actors who repeatedly gain/lose weight are asking for health problems in the long run, including a sluggish metabolism that makes it nearly impossible to keep their weight down to a healthy range.

Absolutely.  Stephens managed to drop some weight to get into SH's close-cropped trousers, but probably not enough to suit his director.  RS was tall but had a heartier physique than SH's ectomorphic frame.  He still looked to be a healthy size on film but appearances were deceiving.  Maybe low blood sugar contributed to his fragile mental health on that shoot if he wasn't eating enough to keep up with the inhuman work schedule and a very demanding director.

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Did you notice the neat little photo of the other Holmes' of the silent era? Too bad we can't see it better.

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