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30.04.2016
The starting-point for preparation of the original version of this key, in my 1998 BSJ Christmas Annual a€?Entertainment and Fantasya€?: The 1940 Dinner, was a partial one by Harry Hazard, Jr.
Two listed in Smitha€™s minutes, Frank Henry and Malcolm Johnson, were old associates of Christopher Morley from his Doubleday years, and early Irregulars, but are not in the photograph nor in surviving copies of 221B from that night. Reviewing Russell McLauchina€™s 1946 memoir of his youth, Alfred Street, I reported that he wrote in one chapter about his boyhood interest in Sherlock Holmes going beyond mere enjoyable reading of the stories. He was born in 1894, and was nine years old when the Return of Sherlock Holmes stories began to appear in Colliera€™s Weekly in 1903.
I was too young to know the wave of dismay that went round the English-speaking world when Sherlock and Professor Moriarty supposedly perished together in the Reichenbach Fall, but I can well remember the sombre effect on my ten-year-old spirits when I first read the closing paragraphs of the Memoirs. Elmer Davis, born the same year as Morley, wrote in his introduction to The Return of Sherlock Holmes in their 1952 Limited Editions Club appearance: a€?We who were born around the year 1890 have seen many things that we would just as soon have missed seeing. I can testify to the domestic excitement among subscribers to Colliera€™s, and gratefully acknowledge the self-abnegation of my parents who let me have first look at the issue that finally came in with The Return of Sherlock Holmes .
Thanks to William Gillette, the second establishing factor in Russell McLauchlina€™s account in Alfred Street. In the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter, June 2009, I wrote the a€?50 Years Agoa€? column about Evelyn Waugha€™s 1959 biography of Msgr.
I actually heard John Bennett Shaw explain the Cult of Sherlock Holmes and began my collecting mania with the Shaw 100, and organize my bookshelves by the religious categories: Canon, Apocrypha, and Writings about the Sacred Writings.
2011 will be the 100th anniversary of the lecture a€?Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes,a€? and by it the founding of Sherlockian scholarship, by Ronald Knox. For those bibliographers, a€?Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmesa€? has been published six times, the first being The Blue Book (conducted by Oxford undergraduates) Vol. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in 1911, Christopher Morley heard Knoxa€™s lecture a€?Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmesa€? and wrote about it in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Of special note is that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a letter to Knox dated July 5, 1912, which Waugh quotes in his book. In the letter Conan Doyle plays the Game and refers to the commentators as the learned and profound Sauwosch and the no less erudite Piff-Pouff, and ended with a€?renewed amazementa€”at the trouble you have taken.a€? The Great Game and Sherlockian studies were blessed by the Literary Agent. There to supplement his meager stipend as chaplain he began writing classic detective stories, publishing six in all including five novels and a short story featuring Miles Bredon, who is employed as a private investigator by the Indescribable Insurance Company. The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know.
No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal from the reader any thoughts which pass through his mind: his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them. In his will, Ronald Knox left his manuscripts and copyrights to Evelyn Waugh and the royalties to the Asquith family.
The game of applying the methods of the a€?Higher Criticisma€? to the Sherlock Holmes canon was begun, many years ago, by Monsignor Ronald Knox, with the aim of showing that, by those methods, one could disintegrate a modern classic as speciously as a certain school of critics have endeavoured to disintegrate the Bible.
Waugh notes that thirty years after a€?Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmesa€? was published, it had brought Knox a form of fame he found tedious. Both Christopher Morley and Ronald Knox died in 1957.A Knox is gone but not forgotten and is especially remembered by us for starting Sherlockian scholarship. Wella€” I am no expert in false-memory disorder, but must point out that none of us remembers Ronald Knox starting Sherlockian scholarship. We have come to think that a€?the Mastera€? and a€?the Sacred Writingsa€? are religious affectations derived from Knoxa€™s talk.
As for Morley bringing Knoxa€™s paper to America, we dona€™t even know if he heard it in 1911. But let us assume Morley did a€” for it reinforces my point that he didna€™t bring it to America and spread the gospel.
Only in 1926, said Morley in the Saturday Review of Literature that year, was his enthusiasm rekindled. It was a game Morley proceeded to transfer to a luncheon club of his wherein the BSI gestated (or perhaps marinated) at his favorite Manhattan speakeasy. In 1930 a€?Studies in the Literaturea€? came out in America, but it wasna€™t Morleya€™s kind of game, and he went his own way. Roberts earned this accolade through two critical works, influential where Knox was not except in terms of refutable error that Roberts exposed in the lesser of them, a 1929 leaflet called A Note on the Watson Problem.
Smith explained that Knoxa€™s paper, appearing in Essays in Satire, a€?elicited a rejoinder in 1929 from S.
He said so because of the biographical treatment of Watson that Roberts was commissioned to write in 1930. Davis was also at Oxford in 1911, and his Constitution refers a€?the study of the Sacred Writings.a€? But Davis was a devotee long before, and in any event the term a€?Sacred Writingsa€? does not appear in Knoxa€™s talk. There is no hint of Knox in that 1941 memoir about the BSIa€™s beginnings, nor in Morleya€™s rewriting of it in 1946 for the Baker Street Journal. We Baker Street Irregulars possess more than a few religious parallels in our structure and lore.A For example, Sherlockianaa€™s beginnings in a 1912 parody of contemporary biblical exegesis by Ronald A. Poor Jon, Ia€™m sorry to hear that you lost your faith in Knox and no longer believe that Christopher Morley brought the gospel to America. Roberts goes on to say that it was Desmond MacCarthy who first printed his early life of Watson essay in Life and Letters.A After he wrote about Watsona€™s later life the two essays were combined for the Criterion Miscellany series and there by association with Frank Morley.
Vincent Starretta€™s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes reprinted a€?A Final Examination Paper on the Life and Work of Sherlock Holmesa€? by E. The Knox brothers, much like the Morleys, had an early interest in Sherlock Holmes and wrote to Doyle in 1905 their a€?Sign of Foura€? letter.A Knox also wrote the Decalogue Symposium, an early play with Sherlock Holmes along with sixteen named characters from history and literature along with New Women, Bimetallists, Flagellants, Seventh Day Baptists, and Choruses of Virtue and Vices. I realize some Sherlockians are deeply invested in the Knox myth, even unto multiple revenue streams for the BSI over the next two years.
And people at that time, when so much was suddenly stirring in canonical scholarship, did not believe Knox was its founder. The question of the Sherlock Holmes canon is once more before the public, and it will not be out of place to make some remarks on it in these columns, the place in which the Higher Criticism of the Holmes saga was first originated by Frank Sidgwick in 1902.
It is not unfair to say that the article then published by Sidgwick has determined the whole tendency of this branch of learning. I am interested in what you wrote me in your last letter: you spoke of Monsignor Ronald Knox and Mr.
In fact there is another important a€?Clinical Notea€? from Morley that you omitted to mention in your debate. Well, like Lady Frances Carfax, therea€™s still some fight in the corpse, but we shall see. 1931a€™s Saturday Review comment nodded to Knox in the course of Morley lavishly praising S.
Elmer Davis, born the same year as Morley, wrote in his introduction to The ReturnA  of Sherlock Holmes in their 1952 Limited Editions Club appearance: a€?We who were born around the year 1890 have seen many things that we would just as soon have missed seeing. 1.The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know. Chris is planning one of his very infrequent trips to New York for next Januarya€™s BSI weekend, and I think I know what aspect of it is on his mind.
Ia€™ve just finished re-reading Irregular Crises of the Late a€?Forties which, of course, had to end just as the BSJ was about to be relaunched.
Edgar Smith provided some of the desired information himself in a a€?Special Notice to a€?Old-Timea€™ Irregularsa€? that was included with some copies of the July 1951 issue sent out. The press runs for each issue were already growing, he told the 60 graybeards: a€?Only 200 copies of Volume 1, Number 1 were printed, and 250 copies of Volume 1, Number 2. Almost precisely a year ago, during my websitea€™s Great Hiatus, I received a BSI history question from John, so here it is, and Thucydidesa€™ answer.
I recently thought maybe I could buy a copy of the same book by Grillparzer that Morley used for the original Irregulars, and I remembered Tom Stix once telling me that he owned the book, but didna€™t want to give it to the BSI, instead to pass it on to someone who would care for it. Mike Whelan wrote me saying that Tom Stix never had possession of the Grillparzer Book, and that there are no copies extant because it was a blank book into which club members wrote short commentaries. George Fletcher has an entire chapter describing Morleya€™s Grillparzer Book and its history in my BSI Archival History volume Irregular Memories of the a€™Thirties. Never used a typewriter, I think I said Adrian claimed (along with knowing his father better than anyone else living or dead). As Peter says, a€?ita€™s hard to imagine anyone forging Juliana€™s signature to make some money, since he signed just about everything he sent to anyone .
My recollection is about the same as Jima€™s, and along the following lines, althoughA uncertain after all these years. The report at Stevea€™s link on Ye Sette of Odd Volumes makes interesting reading even if we fail to find a connection to the BSI. I know about Bostona€™s Club of Odd Volumes,A as Ia€™m sure you do, but this English outfit is new to me. Ita€™s possible Christopher Morley, deep-dyed bookman, was aware of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes.
The other day I had the good fortune to meet a famous English printer who is visiting in this country; and instead of talking about Plantin and Caslon and Bruce Rogers we found ourselves, I dona€™t know just how, embarked on a mutual questionnaire of famous incidents in the life of Sherlock Holmes.
How I wish therea€™d been a garrulous eye-witness to that meeting of Morley and Morison in New York in 1926!
Now Smith might have been peeved with Ben Abramson, given the OS BSJa€™s collapse, butA I doubt he was a€?excommunicatinga€? him in giving Hoffman the same investiture in a€™52: Smith was a benign personality never given to nastiness even in exasperation, something clear from the many score letters of his in my Archival Histories. And then, Edgar Smith excommunicating the likes of David Randall, Rufus Tucker (Smitha€™s colleague at GM), Rolfe Boswell, or Belden Wigglesworth? But even in 1985, when Julian Wolff had Peter Blaua€™s excellent lists to work from, and Tony Montag and Dean Dickensheet were both alive, he conferred Vamberry the Wine Merchant a third time, on Arthur Liebman.
I appreciate the attempt by my opponent at Augusta€™s Great Debate at Minnesota over the Sherlockian insignificance of Fr.
The first three stock certificates were issued in January 1948 to Morley, Smith and Starrett. Miriam a€?Deea€? Alexander, Smitha€™s secretary at GM Overseas Operations at the time, and serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the BSI, Inc., had already received a share as a gift in recognition of her unpaid service. I cana€™t say now whether Smith succeeded in unloading any more shares to any additional stockholders in the 1950s, but if he did, it would have been as a purely charitable act on the part of the new stockholders, because it was clear by then that the BSI Inc. Manfred Lee, half of the pair of cousins who were the mystery-writing team of Ellery Queen starting in the 1920s, was not a Baker Street Irregular, though he did attend the annual dinner in 1946. ROBERT KATZ: I recollect hearing that the BSI once met at the Players Club and the speaker (possibly Leslie Marshall) ended his presentation by igniting a piece of flash paper, as used by professional magicians. The Irregularsa€™ annual dinner was held at The Players on January and was attended by 100 thirsty enthusiasts. Of course, all of our customs were strictly observed, and the Conanical and Irregular toasts were drunk. It was a long time ago, 1971: the second dinner at The Players, I believe, falling beyond the scope of my Archival Histories but before my first annual dinner at the Regency Hotel (the second there) in 1973. With regard to Jim Montgomery, and the difference between membership in the BSI and the Irregular Shilling [see below], I dona€™t think we disagree . Roosevelt and Rathbone and Bruce received membership certificates, but so far as I know never Shillings nor Investitures .
Ia€™m reminded of the distinction that once was made between Irregular and irregular, but I dona€™t recall who started it . Ita€™s the same with my list of Sherlockian societies, which does not distinguish in any way between societies that are scions and those that are not . Actually, Don Pollock and I once wrote about a€?Packaging Holmes for the Paperbacksa€? that way in Baker Street Miscellanea (No. Rex Stout was well-known for his Nero Wolfe mysteries when in early January 1941 Irregular Lawrence Williams suggested to Edgar W. But in not too much time, the Irregulars decided Stouta€™s heart was in the right place (after all, Archie Goodwin in at least one Nero Wolfe book had mentioned a picture of Sherlock Holmes hanging on the wall of their West 35th Street office), and he became a regular at the dinners; soon with a place at the head table, and the investiture a€?The Boscombe Valley Mysterya€? (conferred in 1949). In 1954, the Higher Criticism of the Wolfe Canon got underway with an article in Harpera€™s Magazine (July) by editor Bernard DeVoto. According to a friend of mine who belongs to the Baker Street Irregulars [DeVoto began], a paper by one of his colleagues suggests that Nero Wolfe may be the son of Sherlock Holmesa€™s brother Mycroft. DeVoto proceeded to spread frivolous speculation tricked out to look like scholarship across half a dozen pages in that montha€™s Harpera€™s, all for the purpose of confounding Irregular speculation about Nero Wolfea€™s parentage. DeVotoa€™s volley only encouraged Irregular speculation, and the principal word on the subject, a€?Some Notes Relating to a Preliminary Investigation into the Paternity of Nero Wolfe,a€? was published in the Baker Street Journal in 1956 by John D.
Back in 1942, at that Januarya€™s BSI dinner, Julian Wolff had responded to Stouta€™s a€?Watson Was a Womana€? with a talk of his own entitled a€?Nuts to Rex Stout.a€? Stout was not in attendance to hear it.
Besides Baring-Gould, well known to Irregulars is John McAleera€™s biography Rex Stout in 1977.
Thata€™s right, and I didna€™t exactly find space for Woollcott in Baker Street Irregular -- he storms up the stairs to Morleya€™s hideaway office on West 47th Street, flings open the door, marches in, and seizes control of the secret meeting going on between Morley, Elmer Davis, Edgar W. However, the sad lack of a good old-fashioned bodice ripping in the previews of Baker Street Irregular is a discouragement for further page turning. I dona€™t know that Ia€™d call it seismic, exactly; though I wouldna€™t call it joyous either. I suspect the attrition rate among men in these scions due to the change of policy by the BSI is close to zero, though it did affect the allegiance of some to the BSI itself. And now that women do have seats at the national table, why, in your view,A have we seen so little classic Sherlockian scholarship from women or leadership at the scion level? Many scion societies today do have women at the helm, on the other hand, and not only recently founded scions. The question is whether Woollcott was expected by Morley that night, or instead came as an unwelcome surprise to him.
I cana€™t swear that Smith invited Woollcott to the 1940 dinner, or subsequent ones prior to Woollcotta€™s death in January 1943. The saga of the Holmes Peak will have to await another historian to do it and its Head Sherpa, the late Richard Warner, full justice, Bob. As if to prove that the age of Sherlockian fun is far from over, let us turn to 1985a€™s humorous highlight, Richard Warnera€™s guide to the ascent of Holmes Peak. But time and Warner prevailed, and in this little chapbook, with a foreword by Michael Hardwick who represented the Empire at the dedication of Holmes Peak, Warner relates all one needs to know in order to scale this lofty monument to the best and wisest man we have ever known.
Buster Keaton could not do it better than the deadpan Warner, without whom Holmes Peak might never have been named (or even noticed). It is a lovely hill, what in the Ozarks would be called a a€?bald knoba€? (that means no trees, for the less botanically astute), and the view is very fine. Dicka€™s case, boiled down, was that as Sherlock Holmes was once employed by the Vatican, naming the Peak after him qualified as meaningful to the Bishopa€™s work. Billa€™s contributions to the BSI and our understanding of its history are legion, but his masterpiece is his splendid history of a piece of Irregular folklore bestowed upon the BSI at the end of the a€™40s by its greatest musical voice, James Montgomery (a€?The Red Circlea€?) of Philadelphiaa€™s Sons of the Copper Beeches: We Always Mention Aunt Clara. Will Oursler was invested in the BSI in a€?The Abbey Grangea€? in 1956, preceded in that investiture by his father Fulton Oursler whoa€™d received it in 1950.
Bill Vande Water has been engaged for some time in deep research on both Ourslers, for both the BSI and Mystery Writers of America, and if he ever finishes it, it should be the definitive account of the two men in our sphere. Can any reader shed light on this?A  Please let Thucydides know at the email address at the top of the column.
Harris (a€?The Creeping Man,a€? BSI) described the spirit of the BSIa€™s annual dinners at the Murray Hill Hotel and Cavanagha€™s in the 1930s through the 1960s, before growing numbers brought it to an end by forcing the annual dinner to move to many round tables (instead of close proximity as shown in the 1947 photograph on the websitea€™s The BSI page), in huge banquet rooms in overplush hotels and clubs, ever since.
Colling, a theater and broadcast media friend of Morleya€™s from their Hoboken theater days in the late 1920s. The intolerable pathos of the cigarette-case on the rocky ledge; the firm clear handwriting of that last stoic message! And for another twelve pages of his introduction, Elmer Davis expounded upon the exegetical scholarship that was applied, initially by excited young readers like himself in 1903-04, to the Adventures and Memoirs stories as well in light of the revelations of the Return stories in Colliera€™s Weekly. Smith was born in 1894, like McLauchlin, hence nine years old when the Return stories began to appear in Colliera€™s.


I shall look into Edgara€™s correspondent at the time, Vincent Starrett, but I know that in his autobiography Born in a Bookshop he related being captivated by the historical novels of A. Sveum championed the Baker Street Irregulars party line that Ronald Knox created Sherlockian scholarship, and Christopher Morley brought it to America and spread the gospel. Knox, so I foolishly challenged him to come to Minnesota and, using Oxford Union rules, debate the Motion that Ronald Knox founded Sherlockian Scholarship.
I thought everyone knew that Sherlockian Higher Criticism and calling Holmes the Master was due to Knoxa€™s religious influence. Living in Shropshire, he was able to devote his time to translating the Vulgate Bible into English, a project that took nine years. Since then, the thing has become a hobby among a select set of jesters here and in America.
Knox wrote to an editor who asked for a review, a€?I cana€™t bear books about Sherlock Holmes. We werena€™t around in 1911, nor in the early a€?30s when the scholarship took off and the BSI and Sherlock Holmes Society were founded. It was as you say a rather juvenile talk, with its Monsieur Piff-Pouffs and Herr Bilgemanns. Others had done so a decade earlier, Arthur Bartlett Maurice in The Bookman in America and Frank Sidgwick in The Cambridge Review in England, in January 1902 as Hound of the Baskervilles was appearing serially. Someone else did, and was in the thoughts of the BSIa€™s and Sherlock Holmes Societya€™s scholars and founders in 1934. Morley was inflicting examinations in the Canon upon his brothers Felix and Frank long before 1911, and forming, in turn-of-the-century Baltimore, a Sherlock Holmes club with other youngsters. By the time Morley arrived in Oxford in 1910 at age 20, having discovered girls, booze, and ambition, his boyhood Sherlock Holmes enthusiasm had gone dormant a€” and by his own admission it was still dormant when he came home in 1913 to begin his career as a writer. Not by Knox, but an unnamed printer he met in New York; and what rekindled it was an impromptu trivia game of the kind Morley had often played as a boy with brothers and chums.
Doctor Watson, published by Faber & Faber in early 1931, had tremendous impact upon devotees on both sides of the ocean. Watson: A Chronology of Their Adventures also gave Roberts first place among students of the Canon, while referring to Knox but once.
There was little religious terminology in Knoxa€™s paper, which satirized German scholarship, not religious rites. What Morley identified specifically as the BSIa€™s inspirations were William Gillettea€™s Farewell Tour of 1928-32, Robertsa€™ Doctor Watson, Starretta€™s Private Life, and Davisa€™s Roberts-besotted review of Starrett in the Saturday Review. Knoxa€™s talk cracked up Oxford lads compelled to read nineteenth-century biblical criticism, but in our scholarship and movement, Knox is only a latter-day saint: no evidence of having been in Morleya€™s mind when his zest for Holmesiana was revived in 1926, nor when he turned his luncheon club into a Baker Street club, nor when he founded the BSI. Our scholarshipa€™s starting point is Frank Sidgwicka€™s examination of Watsonian chronology in 1902, and our movement was triggered by S. In that year the editor of the Cambridge Review invited me to review the omnibus edition of the short stories of Sherlock Holmes together with R. If there is anything pleasant in criticism, it is finding out what we arena€™t meant to find out. Sveum quoting an article of mine from the Baker Street Journal at me, but that was written in 1992, when my BSI history researches were still young. Our Wiggins recently re-asserted the faith in an encyclical letter of sorts to Irregulars, though strangely it did not arrive in my in-box.
He was mainly concerned with pointing out discrepancies a€” and very serious ones a€” in the dates of the a€?Hound of the Baskervillesa€?; and since that time, critics have faithfully followed his method, have concentrated their attention on questions of chronology, of text, of the minutiae of the literary technique. His Chicago Tribune column was written not for us, but for the masses, a€?the great unobservant public, who can hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb.a€? He knew better. We are Sherlockians and Irregulars, and should adhere to what Christopher Morley called a€?the metal actuality of Baker Street doctrine.a€? Like Sherlock Holmes, we do not take things on faith. Parliament and the Savoy Hotel were blown up and the Minister of Traffic was hanged from a lamp-post. Morleya€™s column in the Baker Street Journala€™s debut issue would have been a new opportunity to say he heard Father Knox give his talk at Oxford in 1911, or cite its supposed foundation of our scholarship, or the making of BSI.
Of course this is not a declaration of Knoxa€™s a€?supposed foundation of our scholarship, or the making of BSI,a€? as you say. Robertsa€™s pamphlet Doctor Watson (1931) -- a€?a delightful bit of serio-spoofa€? -- stating that a€?his essay, together with that of Father Ronald Knox in Studies in Satire [sic], is a necessary addition to the Holmes-Watson codex.a€? (Saturday Review of Literature, March 7, 1931, p. I have to wonder why Morley put these references to Knoxa€™s paper in Stanley Hopkinsa€™ mouth, not his own. I mean the quotation from the bar bill at some long-ago BSI Dinner, listing the number of whiskies, gins, and scotches consumed, and "1 beer"?
Anxious to avoid another failure through lack of support, he was appealing to 60 BSI a€?old-timersa€? (a€?in order to spread the clerical load, and to facilitate the voluntary work by which alone the Journal can keep goinga€?), to renew their subscriptions for 1952 right away without waiting for the renewal form that would accompany the October issue, the final one of the year.
1 and 2 a€?reproduction issuesa€? had to wait until the NS BSJ seemed securely on its feet, its subscriber base grown to a safe point and new subscribers seeking copies of the first two Numbers.
I contacted Mike Whelan about it: I thought he would know enough about it that I could get another copy.
Someone (dona€™t remember who it was) who fancied himself a bit of a conjuror was at the head table, which included Alfred Drake as then-president of The Players, and seated next to Drake. Julian told me later that the bar bill was of the magnitude of treble the food bill.A Thing was, the bartenders, of whom there were several, strategically located around the rooms,A were pouring generously, including for themselves, encouraging BSIs to put down their partially consumed glasses and get fresh ones -- and soon lost the ability to check off accurate numbers of drinks served.
A Both for its own sake, and because it suggests what the typewriter that Conan Doyle owned in the early 1890s may have been like. Symons a€” author of The Quest for Corvo a€” and am thus reading his brother Juliana€™s biography of him.
The notiona€™s wrong, and theA tip-off should have been the misapprehensiona€™s source a€” S.
All it takes is to know the notiona€™s absurd is to look up what men Smith supposedly excommunicated. The first comprehensive if imperfect list of investitures and holders I know of is one by C. Ronald Knox, to explain away such an elementary (let us say, fundamental) mistake on Knoxa€™s part, but Ia€™m reminded, a bit sadly, of the famous exchange between Dr.
Smith started talking to Christopher Morley about incorporating the BSI sometime the summer of 1947, both to create a lucrative publishing program (they thought), and to manage takeover of the BSJ if Ben Abramsona€™s publishing of it collapsed (as it did in 1949). His cousin Frederic Dannay first attended it in 1942, and became part of the BSI for the rest of his long life (dying in 1982), and was invested as a€?The Dying Detectivea€? in 1950. I think the noted actor Alfred Drake was sitting next to the speaker and was, needless to say, quite startled by this.
The Constitution and Buya€”Laws, as well as the Musgrave Ritual and Sherlock Holmesa€™s Prayer, were read, and the Sherlockian songs of Jim and Bruce Montgomery were played and enjoyed. So I asked Jim Saunders (a€?The Beryl Coroneta€?) and George Fletcher (a€?The Cardboard Boxa€?), both invested in 1969, for their memories. Nash was, Morley once said, one of the Doubleday, Doran a€?assembly mena€? present at the speakeasy in the East a€™Fifties in 1930 when Morley was commissioned to write his a€?In Memoriama€? foreword for the first Complete Sherlock Holmes.
Perhaps the matter can be cleared up when I get to the a€™Fifties volumes of the Archival History, or perhaps Peter Blau or someone else can shed light on this. Smith that Stout would be a good person to attend the up-coming 1941 annual dinner (held the 31st) and respond to some awful things Somerset Maugham had said about the Sherlock Holmes stories in a recent Saturday Evening Post article.
He had already turned down an invitation from favorite-contributor Elmer Davis to join the Baker Street Irregulars, on grounds of silliness.
I cannot find the treatise that contains this absurdity and mention it only as an example of the frivolous speculation tricked out to look like scholarship with which the Holmes cult defrauds the reading public.
A strident anti-isolationist before Pearl Harbor, he was off creating the Writers War Board to support the U.S. In 1961, when he became the BSIa€™s Commissionaire, he created the honor known as the Two-Shilling Award a€?for extraordinary devotion to the cause beyond the call of duty,a€? and the first one went that January to Rex Stout.
You cana€™t copyright titles of books, and if you could, this one would belong to the Conan Doyle Estate;-- fortunately, my client in a different sphere of my Irregular life.
How heavily attended are the all-male scion societies these days, setting aside the Pips, as it is not a scion society? The all-male scion societies 20 years ago that occur to me were The Maiwand Jezails of Omaha, Hugoa€™s Companions of Chicago, Philadelphiaa€™s Sons of the Copper Beeches, The Speckled Band of Boston, and The Six Napoleons of Baltimore. It has been a long time since the a€?Junior Sherlockian movementa€? of the 1960s replenished the BSIa€™s ranks during the a€™70s, and since the comparable a€?Sherlock Holmes booma€? of the 1970s flowed from the successes of the Royal Shakespeare Company revival of William Gillettea€™s Sherlock Holmes and Nicholas Meyera€™s novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. I need to point out that the first woman to be an Irregular, mystery critic Lenore Glen Offord (a€?The Old Russian Womana€?), was tapped way back in 1958, but I also acknowledge that it didna€™t include invitations to the BSIa€™s annual dinners. So far, in the Manuscript and International Series published by the BSI, why am I not seeing womena€™s bylines more often, if at all? Ita€™s a question youa€™d have to address to ones directly responsible for those series of books published by the BSI, or to the Big Cheese himself, Mike Whelan, who has also presided over the International Series from the start, I believe.
He was of course a notorious enfant terrible, and Ia€™m sure not above crashing a party given by a fellow book-caresser like Christopher Morley. But he sent Woollcott a copy of his 1939 Appointment in Baker Street lavishly inscribed to Woollcott as Baker Street Irregular, and Woollcott appears on Smitha€™s December 5, 1940, BSI membership list given in my BSJ Christmas Annual a€?Entertainment and Fantasya€?: The 1940 BSI Dinner. He has only one scene with a speaking part, and that in June 1940, but he was such a Fabulous Monster it was great fun to write him into the tale.
As you know, ita€™s been my steadfast intention from the start to cover the years 1930 to 1960, when Edgar Smith died and Julian Wolff succeeded him, and then stop, since the decades which followed are too recent for sound historical judgments. Those acquainted with the doings of The Afghan Perceivers of Tulsa know well the daring of their intrepid exploits, which have struck awe (and some terror) in small towns throughout the American Southwest. To have been at the dedication last summer, complete with the Afghanistan Perceiversa€™ widely dreaded drum-and-bugle corps, must have been a marvelous one-of-a-kind occasion; but much of its charm and wit is surely captured in this little chapbook. When Bishop Eusebius Beltran told Dick that the hill needed a name a€?more meaningful to his work,a€? a lesser mortal would have taken no for an answer, and returned to whatever one does on a windswept prairie.
This letter was promptly bounced back to the esteemed Bishop Eusebius Beltran (fiction writers, I defy you to create a more dazzling cognomen), who replied on behalf of his Pontiff.
Rabe will get a chapter of his own in the first a€?Fifties volume of the Archival History, along with his Old Soldiers of Baker Street (the Old SOBs). I find I reviewed this item myself in Baker Street Miscellanea when it came out in 1990, see here. Katz: Will Ourslera€™s talks at BSI dinners are said to be legendary, although I am not sure why.
To keep the spirit alive, we have this department for occasional items of Irregular controversy. 15), plus the signatures in surviving copies of 221B: Studies in Sherlock Holmes, edited by Vincent Starrett, that were distributed to the attendees that evening as the first collection of BSI Writings about the Writings.
CBS News broadcast, according to Basil Davenport in a letter to his mother several days later thata€™s in his papers at Yalea€™s Beinecke Library. Warren) Force and Warren Jones, are presumably in the photograph since their signatures are in surviving copies of 221B from that night, but they cannot be even tentatively identified at this time. 20 against the wall behind Steele and Morley has sometimes been taken to be a Murray Hill Hotel waiter.
I know of no explicit statement by him about reading the stories at that time in that magazine, but ita€™s hard to doubt it when we read, in his very first letter to Vincent Starrett, dated October 15, 1936 (found in its entirety on pp. Conan Doyle before he was by Sherlock Holmes; and being born in 1886, he had reached a somewhat less impressionable age than had Morley, Davis, Smith, and McLauchlin in 1903.
Hill Barton,a€? BSI) at the 2010 Sherlock Holmes Collections weekend at the University of Minnesotaa€™s Andersen Library. Your humble Irregular historian endeavored to demonstrate that this is a myth a€” myth of long standing, but myth nonetheless.
2 (July 1912), 111-32, and was included in Edgar Smitha€™s 1958 The Incunabular Sherlock Holmes and James Edward Holroyda€™s 1967 Seventeen Steps to 221B.
The lecture was a mock-serious inquiry into inconsistencies in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and a satire on Biblical Higher Criticism. Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English theologian, priest and crime writer born February 17, 188, 122 years ago.
The Waugh biography was controversial by implying that Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, did not use Knoxa€™s talents wisely. The rule of the game is that it must be played as solemnly as a county cricket match at Lorda€™s: the slightest touch of extravagance or burlesque ruins the atmosphere.
What you think you remember is what others have told you a€” and odds are, they werena€™t around then either.
Sveum in mentioning where it appeared over the decades glossed over the fact that it didna€™t appear anywhere Holmes devotees could read it until 1928 in England and 1930 in America, when it was included in Knoxa€™s Essays in Satire.
But when I started researching the BSIa€™s history, reading dozens of essays and hundreds of letters by our founding fathers, slowly it dawned upon me that they werena€™t talking about Ronald Knox.
The evangelistic Morley had all the makings of a cult leader from the start, without Knox to inspire him. On the sole occasion he referred to it as having been given at Oxford while he was there, in 1944 in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Leavitta€™s indispensable a€?Origin of 221B Worship,a€? a first-hand account of our origins, tells how competitive examination in the Canon at those lunches in the late a€™20s and early a€™30s gave birth to the BSI. Another that October was Vincent Starretta€™s Private Life of Sherlock Holmes a€” a rapturous tribute barely mentioning Knox. Roberts in A Note on the Watson Problem, and the foundation for what was to follow may be said by that action to have been laid.a€? The importance of that observation by a student, contributor, and editor of Holmesian scholarship like Edgar W. It not only entranced, it showed what could be done, prompting further effort by others a€” not least Christopher Morley. Only much later was Knox grafted onto our movement retroactively, assigned a place he had not occupied in the 1920s and a€™30s.
As I said in my opening statement, I was raised in the Knox faith myself; it was only considerably later that I realized how little there is to it. But a kind Irregular forwarded it to me, and in it I saw quoted the same two authorities on behalf of the Knox myth. Knoxa€™s paper did not set the tone for all subsequent students of the Canon, certainly not for Starrett himself whose 1933 Private Life of Sherlock Holmes did not echo the Knox tone in the slightest, which is why we still read it when we dona€™t bother to read Knox. However, he faces one basic problem in trying to prove that the Knox essay was the basis for Sherlockian scholarship. It opens thus:a€?a€? a€?All the Knoxes loved jokes and spoofs, as Penelope Fitzgerald shows in her wonderful joint biography of them, The Knox Brothers, just republished. The piece in question is not, actually, a trial version of the classic biography; it is, rather, a gentle but well-merited attack on the atrocious Holmesian scholarship of that other a€?incunable,a€™ Monsignor (then Father) Knox.
Smith did not bother to reprint Knoxa€™s paper, then or later, nor has any other editor since. But ita€™s an enthusiastic evaluation of Knoxa€™s essay and certainly more than a call for attention to any student of the Corpus Watsonicum. A prolific music and theater critic in Los Angeles area newspapers and magazines, he died in May, seated at his keyboard writing a review when the fatal heart attack came.
Ia€™m sure Tom said he had it and did not want to pass it on to the BSI, and even more sure it wasna€™t a a€?blanka€? book: why was it called the Grillparzer Book if it was blank? He received the Two-Shilling Award in 1983 for the immense help he gave Julian Wolff with the BSJ over many years, and was its actual publisher a number of years when he ran Fordham University Press.
Based on the description of the bartending, it was a case of if you can remember it you weren't there. This Irregulara€™s shtick (excuse me, a€?papera€?) included, and ended with, igniting a bit of flash paper that erupted and fell from his hand onto the tablecloth, thus landing in Drakea€™s immediate proximity. I recall one bartender as being just this side of falling-down drunk.A Many BSIs were only too happy to get a fresh one when the old ice cubes had dwindled or the mixer had lost its fizz, or some combination thereof, and I recall the vast array of partially consumed drinks sitting all over the place. A His dreadful son Adrian swore that his father never owned or used one, but in fact Conan Doyle mentions having one in letters written from South Norwood, though it appears his sister Connie, living there at the time, used it mostly to prepare replies to correspondence hea€™d received. But Bigelow had only been invested in 1959, hadna€™t known Smith long or well, was outside the mainstream of the BSI, and looking for a reason to explain his receiving an investiture someone else still in the ranks had.
Leslie Marshall (a€?A Scandal in Bohemiaa€?), who returned to the fold after many yearsa€™ absence. Stix, Jr.), by Bill Jenkins a€” to end a€” the reports of the Scion Societies, followed by the usual informal discussions.


And then your old fellow saddle-tramp Lenore Carroll touched on the same thing in a€?Exploring a€?The Country of the Saintsa€™: Arthur Conan Doyle as Western Writera€? in BSM 51 (Autumn 1987). In stating here the insoluble problem which will always frustrate biographers of Nero Wolfe I confine myself, as a member of the American Historical Association in good standing, to examining the source documents according to the approved methods of historical research.
Baring-Gould, already the author of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street and editor of The Annotated Sherlock Holmes, made the idea a foundation-stone of another book, Nero Wolfe of West 35th Street. My experience of Hugoa€™s Companions is limited, and nil in the case of The Maiwand Jezails and Speckled Band, but none of them have changed their policies. Even the wave of newcomers from the television series starring Jeremy Brett that debuted in 1984 was a long time ago now.
Leavitta€™s expostulations to the contrary in his 1961 BSJ two-parter a€?The Origins of 221B Worship.a€? When Edgar W. So I presume Woollcott had been invited to the January a€™40 dinner at the Murray Hill Hotel too. But none have reached so high a pinnacle as the naming and ascent of Holmes Peak, which rises majestically 262 feet above the prairie floor, and from whose wind-swept summit practically all of Osage County, Oklahoma, can be seen. At one time we had passes for the ski lift, but I have seem to have misplaced them (as Dick seemed to have misplaced the lift).
Dick showed this document to John Bennett Shaw, who was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and other arms of the Church. Smitha€™s death, he also edited the Baker Street Journal for many years, influenced the BSI weekenda€™s shape with his Saturday cocktail party (first in his home for those he invited, then at the Grolier Club when numbers grew too great, and after that it was Katie bar the door); and then, Julian also handed out more investitures than anyone else before or since. Ia€™m sure Tom said he had it and did not want to pass it on to the BSI, and even more sure it wasna€™t a a€?blanka€? book:A  why was it called the Grillparzer Book if it was blank? But since hea€™s the only person in the photograph young enough to have been Peter Williams, who from the 1920 U.S.
But I shall investigate and report, and would be happy for any other examples readers of this may send me. Ronald Knox in his 1918 autobiography A Spiritual Aeneid writes that part of a dona€™s function is to read papers to undergraduate societies. Certainly you know a great deal more about it than I do,a€? and he continued for four pages to discuss the criticism in detail. The sixth and last child of an Anglican Bishop, he attended Eton College and took a first in Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1905. He wrote the introduction to The Best Detective Stories 1928-1929, and in it he codified the rules of the gamea€”and Golden Age mysteries were considered games, different than our game. They were brilliant, came from middle-class families, were educated at Oxford, were temporary schoolmasters, wrote satire, and enjoyed the company of the British Catholic aristocracy. XIV, Detective Stories, the rules that he first wrote in 1924 were reprinted with commentary.
Watson: The Chronology of Their Adventures and Thomas Blakeneya€™s Sherlock Holmes: Fact or Fiction?
And after that, only a few times at infrequent intervals, the last 26 years ago, and never in the Baker Street Journal or Sherlock Holmes Journal. Knoxa€™s paper, in fact, is only the seventh in the anthologya€™s chronologically ordered contents.
And the decisive factor was another development of which Starrett and Morley were keenly aware, and led to Englanda€™s society as well: a 1931 monograph riveting Holmes devotees as Knoxa€™s paper had not. Bella€™s anthology Baker Street Studies, said: a€?It is true that as far back as 1912 a young priest named Ronald Knox had contributed an article to the Oxford Blue Book in which a tongue-in-cheek probing of some esoterica in the Saga was tentatively undertakena€? a€” words lending little support to the idea that Knox was our scholarshipa€™s fountainhead. It was in Morleya€™s hands quickly, and he praised it lavishly in the Saturday Review of March 7, 1931. But in 1966 he was writing about events nearly forty years earlier; he was now seventy-nine years old and in the last year of his life.
In the early 1930s, Starrett paid very little attention to Knox, as wea€™ve seen a€” but great attention to S.
As boys, for example, they wrote a letter to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, denouncing inconsistencies in the Sherlock Holmes stories and including five dried orange pips, in allusion to the threatening letter in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Robertsa€™ Note on the Watson Problem as a a€?gentle but well-merited attack on the atrocious Holmesian scholarship of that other a€?incunablea€™, Monsignor (then Father) Knox.a€? BSJ (OS), vol.
Roberts as the two a€?incunablesa€? (whatever that meant,) of your modern Baker Street studies, but I dona€™t think you knew that Mr. Perhaps Steve Rothman, reading this, will rush to do so in the so-called Year of Ronald Knox coming in 2011, in hopes Ia€™ll stop pointing out this embarrassing fact. Perhaps one clue is found in the remark a€?I have a sad feeling that many of your members only read their own stuffa€? -- for by that time Morley was very tired of the BSI, in fact declaring that there would be no more BSI dinners (a draconian position from which Edgar Smith dislodged him only with great difficulty).
Never before, to my knowledge, had Morley mentioned Knox anywhere, let alone describe his 1911 paper. The BSJa€™s circulation wasna€™t the deep dark secret that it is today, but it will take further research to uncover just when those a€?reproduction issuesa€? were produced.
George went on to be Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings at the Pierpont Morgan Library, later Director of Special Collections at the New York Public Library. Nor must we omit to mention those elegant keepsakes that we received through the courtesy of several Irregulars.
Instead he agitated the Irregulars that night with his soon notorious talk a€?Watson Was a Womana€? (which included an acrostic in which titles of Watsona€™s tales spelled out the name Irene Watson). I construct only one hypothesis and I make no test of that one, leaving it for other scholars to test and apply as they may see fit. And Nicholas Meyer (a€?A Fine Morocco Case,a€? BSI) made use of the idea as well in his novels. Anderson, a valued contributor to Baker Street Miscellanea when he was was a professor of English at Texas A&M and Denison Universities, is now president of St. In fact Starrett proceeded to Christ Cellaa€™s by hansom cab that evening with Woollcott, from the lattera€™s apartment (known as a€?Wita€™s Enda€?) at 450 East 52nd Street. Smith started organizing the 1940 revival dinner, Morley dug up an old invitation list for Smitha€™s use, and Woollcott was on it. He concludes by describing the Preservation Societya€™s elaborate future plans for Holmes Peak, including such juicy things-to-come as the Scenic Highway to the top, the Holmes Cenotaph (a design contest will be announced soon), the Doyle Ski Basin, and Holmesworld amusement park. John told Dick the good Bishop had expressed himself harshly as a Bishop was allowed to, and still stay on the side of the angels. It would be interesting to learn more about his Whoa€™s Who, his role in the Voices of Baker Street, the formation of the Mrs.
Army directly into the BSI at the beginning of the a€?50s, and by 1955 had the investiture of a€?Colonel Warburtona€™s Madness,a€? which also tells us Edgar W.
Many of his Irregulars are gone today, like him, but lots of them made tremendous contributions to the BSI that are felt to this day. When I first attended the BSI annual dinner in 1973, he had been a fixture there many years, and I found it was a tradition for him to give one of the talks each year -- and for his talk to be totally unintelligible. George Fletcher and I had a drink at the bar afterward but they wouldna€™t let us pay.A They put everything on Juliana€™s membership account.
Smitha€™s minutes list 35 attendees, and 35 are in the photograph, but Morley told Vincent Starrett that 36 had attended. Census was 27 or 28 years old in January 1940, it may be him; if so, since he came in black tie his father likely did too, making no. Steve Doyle will soon publish the entire letter in a book by Notre Dame Professor Michael Crowe titled Ronald Knox and Sherlock Holmes: The Origin of Sherlockian Studies. By 1910 he was a Fellow at Trinity College, ordained an Anglican priest in 1912, and became a Roman Catholic in 1917. Knox helped Waugh by proofreading Brideshead Revisited and asked him to be his literary executor in 1950. Smith remarked in 1958 that Knoxa€™s death was a€?mourned by all who look to him as the originator of the Sherlockian critique.a€? So the notion that Knox was the genesis was afoot fifty years ago a€” though Smith, we shall see, felt otherwise. Elmer Davis, reviewing Starretta€™s Private Life in December 1933, discussed Roberts almost more than he did Starretta€™s book, without once mentioning Knox.
Messages from absent friends were read that night, from Blakeney, Starrett, Morley, and Desmond MacCarthy, but not from Knox. Smith in Baker Street Inventory has a€?Studies in the Literaturea€? as a€?The first essay in the order of higher criticism.a€? It was not Knoxa€™s intention to start a game or a cult. By the time Smith wrote his introduction for The Incunabular Sherlock Holmes in 1958, he had done his homework too, and learned differently.
Later, Ronald Knox expanded the joke into an essay called a€?Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes,a€™ a parody of Biblical scholarship in which he pretended to detect, from careful study of the text, that some of the stories must be fictitious inventions by a drunken Watson.
I thought it would be interesting to quote here this Knox-Roberts Sherlockian Connection so dear to Morley.
Financially, I showed a profit on the evening of $22, which I have posted against past deficits without a qualm. He is a leading member of the Grolier Club today as a rare books & manuscripts authority, and a bibliophile whose exhibitions there and elsewhere are glowingly reviewed in the New York Times. The bar tab at The PlayersA was a main incentive for finding accommodations at the Regency.
The one from Lew Feldman(see Inventory)was most magnificent, and Fred Dannay generously supplied each of us with the Feb. Ia€™m a member of the latter, and also of Chicagoa€™s Hounds of the Baskerville (sic), but while both have only male members, one sees many women at the Houndsa€™ sole annual gathering every autumn, and not only spouses but others invited on their own merits -- including you this year, or so I hear, Dahlinger. At least two in the photograph are not in Smitha€™s minutesa€™ list, but in surviving copies of 221B: Studies in Sherlock Holmes signed that night by dinner attendees, William C. Paul for theological societies and one on Sherlock Holmes for secular societies, but found the Sherlock Holmes paper would do for both since it was interpreted as a religious tract. Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion (1950) by Ronald Knox was dedicated to Evelyn Waugh. Barton, the senior censor, confirming the a€?Hierarchya€™s displeasurea€? because it violated the unwritten law that bishops are not criticized in any public way. The Detection Club also put out three serial novels, with each member writing a chapter full of clues and passing it on; Ronald Knox contributed to all three.
Who stood out instead as source and strawman for canonical scholarship was Cambridgea€™s S. Morley, for his 1933 collection of essays Internal Revenue, added to In Memoriama€™s 1930 text a lengthy discussion of Robertsa€™ Doctor Watson; Knox went unmentioned once again. Attendees discussed the impetus behind their new club: of mention of Knox there was none, nor in connection with the BSI whose recent founding was discussed. But his methodology is what endures.A Those that followed who played the game so well must admit that Knox was the unintended founder. Finally, one comes away from the Knox paper not really learning new or insightful about Holmes. Conan Doyle was delighted by the spoof and wrote to Ronald Knox to thank him.a€?a€? a€?Nowadays wea€™re rather more sensitive.
Robertsa€™ own trial version of the same, his A Note on the Watson Problem1 of which only 100 copies were printed at the University Press, Camb., in 1929. It has however been a very useful investment to me, for Connie often does as many as six or seven letters a day for me with it, and very well indeed she does them. A Ia€™d be particularly interested if one of its members in the 1920s was Stanley Morison, because it was Morleya€™s chance meeting with him in New York in 1926, that revived Morleya€™s long-dormant boyhood enthusiasm for Sherlock Holmes. Bigelow was scrambling to apologizeA for casting doubt on Lee Offorda€™s investiture (as a€?The Old Russian Woman,a€? 1958) genuineness or validity. Roberts did, of course, in his 1929 essay A Note on the Watson Problem, but I am far from home and without my copy to consult, to see if he had something to say about it. Taking place simultaneously with the Copper Beechesa€™ spring and autumn dinners every year is a dinner for wives called The Bitches of the Beeches -- started long ago by my late mother-in-law Jeanne Jewell, the idea being to get their drunk husbands home alive.
Bill was an unforgettable personality with a zany streak of humor, and added something long-lasting to the BSI weekend in January with Mrs. It not only had profound effects upon our scholarshipa€™s trajectory, it brought huge numbers of new adherents into the fold (including me). Ia€™m not sure a€?legendarya€? is the word, but once youa€™d heard him, you didna€™t forget it; they were incoherent, phantasmagoric, even delusional, but delivered in a sort of bravura style that held your attention. He took the Sherlock Holmes stories as a form of literary art and divided them into eleven characteristic divisions with Greek names.
And with the BSI launched in 1934, Knox might not have existed to tell from what Morley wrote that year. But: a€?A genial note of welcome was struck by placing in front of each member a copy of Mr. The meticulous Rodger Prescott comes nearer the point, but does not deliver the knockout blow. Or so it would seem from the first programme, called a€?Panic in the Streets,a€™ in a new series, The History of Fear (Radio 4, Monday), presented by the feminist historian, Joanna Bourke. Smith died in September 1960, and apparently posed an administrative burden without financial reward for his sons. I remember sitting there my first time wondering what the hell, because I didna€™t understand what was going on, but for others it was clearly an expected item on the bill of fare. Knox invented a controversy about authenticity of the stories with comments by imaginary German scholars. We must rely instead on what they and others wrote about Knoxa€™s paper around the time it appeared back then a€” to the extent that they wrote about it at all, which wea€™ve seen was very little.
While it is true that Sidgwick and others wrote important papers, papers with real content, before Knox, it was Morley who put it all together. These were delivered by Alfred Drake, whose address revealed him to be a real Sherlockian scholar; Thomas L.
Someone just the other day mentioned Bill referring, in a 1982 recording on Voices of Baker Street, to that yeara€™s Breakfast as the twenty-ninth, which means the first one would have been in 1954. Not only for the number and the jubilant spirit he brought to the process, but also for the displacement of the BSIa€™s previous center of gravity in the Northeast. Ia€™m not sure that everyone enjoyed it, but Julian Wolff always seemed to: in part with a ringmastera€™s satisfaction that the old boy had pulled it off once again, I think, and maybe also with a connoisseura€™s appreciation of a performer living up to or even exceeding the year before. Ronald Knox lived first at Lady Actona€™s Aldenham in Shropshire from 1933 to 1947, and at the Manor House, Mells, Somerset, from 1947 until his death in 1957, the country home of Katharine Asquith.
Between his work in Saturday Review and his founding of the BSI, this truly was the basis of the long-term study of the Canon, both institutionally and in print. Clarke, founder of The Five Orange Pips, and Carl Anderson of The Sons of the Copper Beeches. And for a few years, I had much the same reaction: a€?Here goes Will Oursler again, leta€™s see how wild it is this time, howa€™s he manage it year after year?a€? (This on the assumption that it was contrived. Indeed, in one respect he was better than ever; for here in Colliera€™s appeared, for the first time in print, what has become the classic, final and unalterable portrait of Sherlock Holmes. Smith, Edgar Smitha€™s stepson whoa€™d taken over the printing of the OS BSJ, and found it very hard to get paid by the failing Ben Abramson.
I just figured that there was no way to define membership clearly for all those folks, and avoided doing so. His final contribution to Sherlockian literature was a€?The Apocryphal Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the First Class Carriage,a€? a pastiche that appeared in The Strand Magazine in 1947. Roberts a€“- and even his fellow Cantabrigian Frank Sidgwick, who first tackled Watsonian chronology in 1902. So you may imagine the thrilling excitementa€”in 1903, wasna€™t it?a€”when The Return began printing in Colliera€™s. It already had the annual dinner and the Gillette Luncheon when he joined the growing throng in the early a€™50s, and he added Mrs.
Weber was director of advertising at Scribnera€™s, and a mystery reviewer (a€?Judge Lyncha€?) for the Saturday Review of Literature. He had attended the 1936 BSI dinner, and would be at the 1941, a€™42, a€™43, a€™46 and a€™47 dinners as well, and the 1944 Trilogy Dinner.



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