Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday of xxxxx week


Imagine you are in London in early December 1893 and you get your Strand magazine. Opening it you see yet another story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on Sherlock Holmes. This is how stories of his were distributed in the late 19th century.

You are a little worried about the start of this story, called The Final Problem, as Watson writes:

"It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished...and to have said nothing of that event which has created a void in my life which the lapse of two years has done little to fill..."

That causes some concern in your mind, but the story starts out like many of his musings.

But by the end you continue to read so fast and you react in horror. Sir Arthur has killed off Sherlock. You don't know how glad he is kill off his creation. Even his mother had called him to ask that he sign one of his magazine articles "Sherlock Holmes" for a friend of hers. Not Sir Arthur but of his fictional character.

Years go by, but Sherlock is never far from the public mind. Sir Arthur continues to get accosted on the street.

You go out in the street and see others who have read the story so fast.

In the next few days it is big news in the main papers of London. People and others, including you, start wearing black arm bands.

You hear reports that Sir Arthur is attacked on the street every where he walks. He is called "killer" and "assassin." Yet he says nothing.

The uproar continues for years.

But in early 1904 you open your Strand magazine to see another story narrated by Dr. Watson. Sherlock has returned with a somewhat reasonable explanation of what happened at Reichenbach Fall in Switzerland. You are happy once again. Stories continue for many more years, the joy of you and the terror of Sir Arthur.

Amazing what I can find on the internet.

Also the fiction book The Sherlockian tells two stories, one set in 1893 and other in 2010.

Interesting stories...


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