The Subtext Buried In Seven Great Movie Chess Scenes: "So let’s go one level deeper into some iconic movie scenes that involve a chess match. This exercise involved a lot of pausing and rewinding and probably wouldn’t have been possible without 1080p. To pick apart these cinematic chess clashes, we also spoke to chess grandmaster Robert Hess, a former U.S. national championship runner-up, and turned to the raw silicon-powered strength of the chess engine Stockfish. (We showed Hess the positions over email, without telling him anything about the movies the games were from.)" [SL538]
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.
In 1923, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his shortest Sherlock Holmes story and one that is considered "non-canon" or "self-parody": "How Watson Learned the Trick". [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?
"And yes, I get that sexuality is fluid and all of that, but honestly, can't they just do it and get it over with? Either that, or shut up about it." Are Sherlock and Watson Gonna Bone, or What? [more inside]
"London has become a literary playground: a project by the National Literacy Trust has scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the whole summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character." (The Guardian). The BBC report about the literary benches; the full list of benches from the Books about Town website. CNN has a slideshow that includes a nice photo of the Paddington Bear bench in use.
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]
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]
"That a woman of color on a major network show should have a character this focal and active without any romantic angle is a rare bird. It's also deliberate." --- But -- "Remember the time Sherlock and Watson looked up a clue on a sponsored computer product while he sat on the toilet? I sure do! Bing me!" -- However -- "We have, at last, a true partnership for Holmes and Watson, couched in that particular soulmate simpatico of 221-b, and moving distinctly forward without losing sight of the canon." -- Why Elementary is the bestest if flawed modern Holmes television adaptation, according to sf/fantasy author Genevieve Valentine. Some spoilers.
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]
We are to be led by some kind of Victorian reverend, except not. In fact, the parson is Moriarty dressed in a new costume; though, of course, he’s not really Moriarty, or a parson, or Victorian. Via The Hairpin.
The Adventures of Shirley Holmes is available online in its entirety. Filmed in Winnipeg and set in the fictional Canadian town of Redington, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes followed the work of Sherlock's teenage great grand-niece and her friend Bo Sawchuk, with classmate Molly Hardy (Moriarty) serving as a recurring antagonist. Known for its intelligent characters, the show's original 52 episode run has been translated into nine additional languages and aired in over 80 countries. [more inside]
Is Sherlock sexist? Steven Moffat's wanton women - as River Song would say, spoilers.
"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]
Professor James Moriarty is a mathematician and criminal mastermind, who appears in The Final Problem, the story in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. Colonel Sebastian Moran is a colonial cad, who appears in the Adventure of the Empty House, the story in which Holmes returned. Together the commit crime. Kim Newman talks about Professor Moriarty: Hound of the D’Ubervilles, his novel in which they star as a reverse Holmes and Watson (review here), and lists his 10 best villains in literature. Previous team ups of the diabolical duo include the movie Silver Blaze / Murder at the Baskervilles (youtube), which features Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson, (not THE Ian Fleming), and Neil Gaiman's A study in Emerald (pdf) (Previously), as well as a brief appearance together in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Russian Video from Russia does what it says, providing a variety of videos from Russia, presented in English or with English subtitles, and brief descriptions of the videos. You can check out videos as they're posted, or sort through by categories (including customs, musical video, science and technology, and movie for the weekend). This last category ranges from Russian Sherlock Holmes movies to a traditional New Year romantic comedy, a documentary on Yuri Gagarin to a classic Russian children's tale of Old Hottabych, an old genie freed in modern times.
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]
Ever wanted to start smoking a tobacco pipe? Begin by selecting from the many types of pipes available. Next, choose a tobacco type and flavor. Pipe smoking has a long and storied history- many a famous man, woman, or fictional character would not be parted from his or her pipe (link slightly NSFW). Pipes in art. Books about pipes. And of course, there is widely varying opinion on just how healthy pipe smoking isn't.
A message from Dan Simmons. Dan Simmons SFF author shares some thoughts in his most recent blog post on publishing, writing, and the latest ideas for an upcoming novel: "The Five of Hearts" - In December of 1880, Henry Adams and his wife Clover moved into a rented house at 1607 H Street on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.. That was also the year they became lifelong friends with two men who had previously been mere acquaintances -- assistant secretary of state John Hay and the hazel-eyed bachelor, explorer, surveyor, mining expert, and general man-of-action in the West, Clarence King. The two, along with Hay's wife Clara, became constant callers at the Adamses small but wonderfully select 1607 H Street salon. In the words of one biographer, the five "delighted in their delight of one another" and began calling their little daily tea-time group "the Five of Hearts." Henry James and Sherlock Holmes will also make appearances.
An excellent set of illustrations from a French Sherlock Holmes collection. Let us attempt to sleuth out the stories to which these great little pieces of art belong.
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.
Sherlock Holmes on Stage & Screen is a gallery of almost every significant actor who has ever played the great detective. Among their ranks are William Gillette, who was able to build himself a castle in Connecticut with the proceeds from his Holmes portrayal; Charlton Heston, who enacted a version of The Sign of Four onstage; Jeremy Brett, the superlative television Holmes; and, of course, Basil Rathbone, the South African actor whose name became synonymous with the role.
Discovering Sherlock Holmes. From January through April 2006, Stanford University will be republishing a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, "just as they were originally printed and illustrated in The Strand Magazine." (These pages have images of some of the original covers.) You can subscribe to receive paper facsimiles of the original magazine by mail or be notified when the PDFs are published online. The project is a followup to their Discovering Dickens project, which republished Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Hard Times. [via MonkeyFilter]
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.
"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)