Ok, look away from the handsome man…look instead at his lovely bookshelves (as quite a few of you probably were, already). This is one thing that I think Holmes films occasionally get wrong (although there are exceptions, such as Guy Ritchie’s 221B, Peter Cushing’s and that of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes)–they simply don’t give Sherlock Holmes enough books! Even in Granada’s “The Adventure of the Redheaded League,” in the bookshop scene, Watson is the only one buying anything. I’m sorry, but that just does not seem believable to me–unless the store sold only Russell Clark’s excellent sea stories.
But, if props people don’t see fit to give Holmes the number of books I think we can assume he has, he has definitely inspired at least that number over the years, with every year bringing forth still more. We will never be able to keep up, but we shall give it our best.
If your shelf has some unsightly gaps, or your floor has a blank space, you might want to try for this prize–a sort of mini-Sherlockian book club. Initially, the winner will receive this book: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s excellent and fun Mycroft Holmes:
Towards the end of January (when it is released), the mailman will leave this on your porch:
And at the beginning of March, Lyndsay Faye will see you through the last of winter with this:
For your chance to be the sole member of this very short-lived book club, tell me of whom Watson is talking, and what book started him down such a tragic path….
The habit grew upon him, as I understand, from some foolish freak when he was at college; for having read De Quincey’s description of his dreams and sensations, he had drenched his tobacco with laudanum in an attempt to produce the same effects.
Happy research, and good luck!