Arthur Conan Doyle became interested in Spiritualism as early as 1886, inspired by the writing of the US High Courts Judge John Worth Edmonds, and confessing his belief in the supernatural in various publications, including The Coming of the Fairies, "a collection of facts" about the Cottingley Fairies, published a year after the start of an odd friendship. In 1920, Doyle received the book The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin from none other than Harry Houdini, the renowned magician turned resolute skeptic, yet the two became friends, discussing spiritualism in terms of faith and frauds, respectively. [more inside]
In advance of Ian McKellen's new take on Sherlock Holmes being released later this month (trailer), The Guardian has published a nice set on infographics on Arthur Conan Doyle's most beloved detective.
The Whole Family [(1908; Wikipedia)] is a bit of an oddity - a 'shared-world' by twelve prominent authors, each focusing on an individual member of an extended New England upper class family. William Dean Howells sets up the framework in the opening chapter ... [I]n the second story, Mary Wilkins Freeman overturns the whole table with a wonderfully feminist reinterpretation of a secondary character. The rest of the book is a scramble to put the apples back in the cart ...In "5 Goodies from Gutenberg," Jared Shurin revisits a round-robin novel he reviewed in more detail last summer at Pornokitsch, but it's not the only classic collaborative fiction available online. [more inside]
Half a century ago, a Selkirk historian received, then forgot about, and only now remembered, a 1904 charity pamphlet that may contain a lost Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The anonymous story entitled "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar" revolves around Holmes deducing Watson's upcoming visit to Selkirk, which coincides with Conan Doyle's real-life one as a guest of honour to help the Border town raise funds to build a new bridge. But if it's not by him, then who wrote it?
Wodehouse on Conan Doyle. I have noted before, while reading Right Ho, Jeeves, how much it draws from and parodies the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In fact, the whole book can be read as if Bertie Wooster is Sherlock Holmes, or at least that he imagines himself to be. [more inside]
The Dead Authors Podcast: Legendary time-traveling writer H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes literary giants to The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles for a lively discussion in front of a live audience. Unscripted, barely researched, all fun! [more inside]
Craig Ferguson seems to have a special liking for conversation with Stephen Fry. Previously. On Wednesday night, Stephen was back on the Late Late Show as the only guest. The naturally wide-ranging discussion includes Arthur Conan Doyle, America, mortality, religion, philosophy, science, homosexuality, Wagner, and more. Enjoy. [more inside]
In 1984, Grenada Television produced a television series called Sherlock Holmes. The famous detective has been portrayed by numerous people including Robert Downey Jr., Basil Rathbone, and Benedict Cumberbatch, but British actor Jeremy Brett played one of the most holmesian detectives ever put to screen. Brett was known for his passion and skill as Holmes, as well as the humor and grace that he brought to the role. He was accompanied by a Watson played by David Burke, no slouch himself in accompanying the consulting detective. Granada was able to adapt 42 of Conan Doyle's stories during the show's ten year lifespan. Below is the entirety of the series on various youtube channels. [more inside]
"Look at Miss Darcy, swanning around owning property, riding into town at will, choosing whether or not to ask someone to dance – the bitch!"
Miss Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of her burial was signed by the clergywoman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Miss Scrooge signed it: and Miss Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything she chose to put her hand to. Old Miss Marley was as dead as a door-nail.Genderswitching the Classics is a project by Kate Harrad where she takes classic works of literature and changes everyone's gender. So far she's done A Christmas Carol, two Sherlock Holmes stories, a Father Brown tale and, most ambitiously, Pride and Prejudice (first seven chapters are here). Harrad is now at work on James Eyre. She wrote about her project for The Guardian.
In the cufflink of Sherlock Holmes, as depicted in this stamp, you will find the first clue. (It's the letter O.) In the remaining stamps in this collection you will find the remaining clues, which spell a five-letter word. [more inside]
While there has been quite a few pastiches, parodies, and new stories by fans of Sherlock Holmes over the years, there has been no new works to be placed in the canon of Sherlock Holmes since the final collection was published in 1927. But that is going to change in 2011: Anthony Horowitz has been chosen by Arthur Conan Doyle's estate to write an official Sherlock Holmes novel. Horowitz is the author of the Alex Rider series of young adult spy novels, The Power of Five series of fantasy suspense novels, and a number of TV writing credits. Until then, enjoy digital copies of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and then some. [more inside]
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, featuring "the largest collection of Holmesian graphics online", a Scholars' Wing featuring essays and articles, pastiche and parodies. Arthur Conan Doyle's champion of logic and reason is the antithesis of the author's spiritualist beliefs. In his will (5.B), Doyle left sums of money to the Spiritualist Alliance of London and the Psychic College stating "...these institutions represent the most important religious movement that this world now holds". His belief in the occult and in particular fairies is surprising, yet somewhat understandable considering the era in which he lived.
The Deadly Necklace. The current issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating story about Richard Lancelyn Green, a preeminent Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes scholar who died under mysterious circumstances in March. At the time of his death, Green had been looking into the provinence of an archive of Conan Doyle’s papers [reprint of a NYTimes article], which he believed (perhaps wrongly) had been stolen, and he'd hinted that there had been threats to his life. Soon afterward, he was found garroted by a shoelace in his room. The magazine does not provide the article online, but does offer this Q&A with the author. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but to get you started while you're still at work, here's some more about Green's death from a Holmes message board; a discussion of the curse of Conan Doyle, which holds that Holmes scholars can meet an untimely end; and info on Doyle's belief in the supernatural.
Sherlock Holmes: the quotations; the pipes; the author (the public house named after him - the worst in Scotland, judging by the comments); the top ten lists; the vulcan; the city; the monographs; the magazine; the marvelous stories, of course; and more.
"If this was Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, there would be a national outcry". Thousands of personal papers belonging to Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, fetched $1.7 million at an auction Wednesday, with many items sold to private U.S. collectors. The auction was a great disappointment to scholars who had hoped the papers would be donated to a public institution. The archive also became entwined in a mystery worthy of Conan Doyle's fictional detective: the bizarre death of a leading Holmes scholar. Lancelyn Green, 50, was found dead in his bed on March 27, garroted with a shoelace tightened by a wooden spoon, and surrounded by stuffed toys. (more inside)