Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes!

Today is commonly accepted as Sherlock Holmes' birthday -- you can read some of the reasons here.  As you know, I am throwing a birthday blog party for Holmes on my other blog, which you are cordially invited to join :-)  Here are my answers to the Good Old Index of Questions that comprise a big part of the party.  (There are also giveaways, so check it out if you're a Holmes fan!)

The Good Old Index of Questions

1. When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes? 

I made his acquaintance in the junior fiction of the public library when I was somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14, when I found a coffee-table-book-sized copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles with a terrifying image of a slavering black dog on the cover.  The cover both scared and fascinated me, and I wound up taking it home and reading it.  Try as I might, I cannot find a picture of that edition, or any information about it, but I know it was from The Educator Classic Library Series because I have two other books of the same size and era from that series.  The cover was done in greens, and loosely based on this Sidney Paget drawing:

2. Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes. (You've read the whole canon, you've been to Baker Street, you're an official BSI member, etc.) 

I hosted a read-along of The Hound of the Baskervilles last fall on my other blog.  And a couple of years ago, I re-read the whole canon in twelve months.

3. What are three of your favorite Holmes adventures? 

The Hound of the Baskervilles, "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," and "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"

4. What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories? 

The characters, primarily.  At this point in my life, twenty years into our "acquaintance," they are dear friends.  Initially, though, I liked the smart mysteries and how omniscient Holmes seemed.  To a young teen, he had power and majesty and all the things I felt I lacked.

5. If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?

Well, what he'd really like best would be a case to solve.  Lacking one of those, I'd probably get him tickets to a violin concert.  I wonder what he'd think of Lindsey Stirling?

6. If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?

I would love to be Mrs. Hudson in "The Empty House."  Okay, nearly getting a heart attack from a back-from-the-dead Holmes would not be the funnest, but she gets to be his sidekick in that one and move his wax dummy around, which would be exciting.  Also, it would be fun to be Mrs. Hudson most of the time, watching famous and exciting and scary people go up and down the stairs and wondering what your lodger is up to this time.  Cleaning up his infernal messes might be less fun, but I have 3 little kids... couldn't be worse than what I deal with on a daily basis already.

7. Please share some of your favorite Holmes-related quotes!

"The Lion's Mane"
"The Red Circle"
"The Red-Headed League"

Happy birthday, dear Sherlock!  Happy birthday to you.


  1. I just joined the party with my link; thanks for hosting this, I can't wait to read everyone's posts!


    1. Awesomesauce! I'm also looking forward to reading everyone's answers :-D

  2. Ah, I see The Hound of the Baskervilles was your first Sherlock Holmes story too!

    This is off-topic but I might as well say it here. I really admire you, I do! I can see that you've been keeping a blog for over a decade and apparently most blogs get abandoned after just 4 months! And you still blog a lot now even though you're a mother with 3 little kids. That's fantastic!

    You'll approve of my plans for tonight. I'm off to read The Blue Carbuncle!

    1. Well, thank you! Basically, reading books and watching movies, and then sharing my thoughts about them, is how I stay sane. And yes, I've been at this for almost as long as I've been married, a fact that sometimes startles me when I remember it. Though you'll notice there are a couple of times when I kind of quit blogging for about a year...

    2. Oh, and I like your plans for tonight!

  3. I'm having such fun reading all these Hamlette! The blog party was such a great idea.

    And now I really wonder what Holmes would think of Lindsey Stirling!

    Mrs. Hudson *would* be a great person to be for awhile. I didn't even think of that!

  4. Did you know Ian McKellan will be playing Sherlock Holmes in a movie called "Mr Holmes" coming out next year???

    1. I think it's based on "A Slight Trick of the Mind," which I read last year and hated. If it's not based on that book anymore, then yay!!!

    2. DUDE. I just looked it up on imdb, and yeah, looks like it's still based on that book, but... they have Nicholas Rowe playing "Matinee Sherlock." I may have to see it after all, because wow, I loved him So Much as The Young Sherlock Holmes!!!

  5. I don't have a blog so I'll just answer the questions here.

    1) I can't really remember when I first encountered Holmes. That appears to be somewhat common for me as I approach fifty. :)

    I think it was in my teens, though, and it would've been The Hound of the Baskervilles. I think it was the movie I saw first, the one starring Basil Rathbone & Nigel Bruce. And for years, The Hound of the Baskervilles was the only Holmes story I read. It wasn't until within the last decade I started reading the rest of the stories.

    2) I have read the whole canon now. I also love to read Holmes pastiches.

    3) The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Scandal in Bohemia, and The Man with the Twisted Lip

    4) The characters and the pleasure of seeing Holmes work out the mysteries.

    5) I'd give Holmes a copy of Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace and an Amazon gift card.

    6) I think I'd like to be Holmes. Primarily because I'm not a very observant detailed orientated person and it would be nice to see what that would be like.

    7) "They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" "You see, but you do not observe."

    1. Works for me!

      I love your quotes -- I almost put the one about the hound in my list.

      Any favorite Holmes pastiches? I love the series by Laurie R. King and the two books by Nicholas Meyer. I've also been working my way through a YA series about Holmes as a boy, by Shane Peacock, which is inventive.

      Being Holmes would be seriously cool. I never thought of that myself, but wow, what would it be like to have that brain as your brain for a day? Wow.

  6. This blog party is so amazing! I can't thank you enough for coming up with this idea and hosting :)

    I love it how people have this special relationship with certain literary characters and are inspired by them. For me, that Very Special Character would be... Did you guess it? ... Bilbo Baggins. I get a feeling of perpetual happiness from just typing up his name. I like reading your thoughts about Holmes, knowing now that he is so dear to you :)

    While reading The Empty House, I was truly wondering about what was going on in dear Mrs Hudson's head when she moves that dummy around. Knowing Holmes, he probably just told her to shift around a seemingly random wax dummy and never bothered to explain why xD

    The Copper Beeches is one of my favorites too, it had me so completely bamboozled with all the crazy details (such as that coil of hair in the drawer... there's something really creepy about cut-off hair...) and Violet Hunter is kind of cool.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I'm so glad you're enjoying it :-)

      There are five fictional characters that I hold nearer and dearer than all others, and Sherlock Holmes is one of them. He's also the first one I "met." Those five inspire me, comfort me, fill me with joy :-) (The other four are Sgt. Saunders from Combat!, Angel from Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wolverine from the X-Men comics & movies, and Sawyer from Lost.) And yes, just typing their names makes me warm and glowy inside.

      In the Jeremy Brett adaptation of The Empty House, Mrs. Hudson is rather thrilled by her role in the excitement, and that's how I always imagine her in the book too. Kind of gleeful that she gets to help Holmes with a case for once. Not to mention full of joy that he's still alive, hee. I do think he would have told her this was very important and very dangerous, though he might not have gone into particulars as to who was after him and why.

      Violet Hunter is a very calm young woman, and I admire her.

  7. I would love to be Mrs Hudson as well, just to know what is going on behind 221b Baker Street's walls ^^

    'The adventure of the Copper Beeches' is one of my favourite short stories as well. Miss Violet Hunter is smart and very reasonable. I like her very much.

    I also love the first quote you chose. It applies perfectly to me (and a lot of bookworms in general, I guess)

    1. I didn't realize before this party what a great favorite Miss Hunter is among Sherlockians! So many people have mentioned admiring her or picking her for their choice of a character to "be." How interesting!

      That quote is so delicious, isn't it? A great one for us bookworms!


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