Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Hyacinth’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please welcome our Canadian friend Stephanie Thomas.  I enjoyed her comments very much (especially that ‘soft spot’) and I think you will enjoy them too.

Thanks,

Margie

JHWS/’Mopsy’

  1. Name and bull pup moniker –

Stephanie Thomas, JHWS “Hyacinth”

  1. Current (city, state, country) location –

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

I have been a devotee of the good doctor since I read the Hound of the Baskervilles in junior high.  I have always had a soft spot for Dr. Watson because he is intelligent, brave and loyal, and not self-centred like Holmes.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

My favorite story is ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ because it was the first Holmes story I read, Sir Henry Baskerville is Canadian, and Toronto is mentioned.  It is also my favorite because Dr. Watson has an opportunity to work on his own solving the mystery, and readers get to see how intelligent Watson is.  That is something we do not always get to see in the Canon because usually Watson focusses on Holmes’ work.  Runners up are The Adventure of the Speckled Band and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

My favorite quote is from ‘The Adventure of the Three Garridebs’: “You’re not hurt, Watson?  For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

My heart melted when I first read this passage.  Although it is obvious in the other stories that Holmes is fond of Watson, it is in the Three Garridebs where Holmes comes out and says how much he cares for his friend.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Like Lily, I would choose to talk to Mrs. Hudson.  She must have so many fascinating stories about having Holmes and Watson as lodgers, and she knows more about Dr. Watson than what he reveals to us in the Canon.  In ‘A Study in Scarlet’, Watson mentions that he has another set of vices when he is well.  Mrs. Hudson probably knows what those vices are, and she would know how many wives Watson had, and what happened to them.  Number two on my list would be Dr. Watson.  With his gift for story-telling, and his pawkish sense of humour, he would be an interesting and entertaining person to talk to.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

My favorite adaption is the Granada series starring Jeremy Brett, David Burke, and Edward Hardwicke.   The casting is spot on and I like that the series is true to the Canon.  My favorite film is ‘Murder by Decree’, with Christopher Plumber as Holmes and James Mason as Watson, where Holmes and Watson are hunting Jack the Ripper.  I also like Jude Law’s portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Guy Ritchie films.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

My local Sherlockian society is the Bootmakers of Toronto.  I am also a member of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Toronto Public Library (ACD Friends).

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I don’t have any Sherlockian projects on the go.  In January I attended the BSI Weekend in New York City.

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I would like to see more young fans joining Sherlockian societies instead of confining their interest in Holmes and Watson to social media.  I have met so many great people and made many friends by attending Bootmakers of Toronto meetings and ACD Friends events, going to Holmes and Doyle themed conferences, and attending gatherings such as the BSI Weekend.  It would be a shame if these opportunities to meet Sherlockians face-to-face died out because the next generation of Sherlockians only “meet” online.  I would also like to see more fans of BBC’s Sherlock reading Dr. Watson’s original stories.


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