Welcome to Matt Laffey, JHWS “Baron,” Priory Scholars of NY and “Always 1895” to Charter Membership

The Society is pleased to welcome Mr Matt Laffey as a Charter Member. Matt publishes the always interesting and informative “Always 1895” website at:
http://always1895.net/.

He writes:

I was born and raised in Chicago. I moved to NYC in 2006 where I kindled an interest/obsession with all things Sherlockian by starting www.always1895.net and co-restarting The Priory Scholars of NYC. You can find me on Twitter as @always1895 .

Matt recently mentioned The John H Watson Society as follows:

The John H. Watson  Society is a (very) recently founded society which “seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H. Watson, M. D. The Founding Members are committed to recognition of Dr. Watson’s contributions, albeit often masked and misunderstood, to the cases, adventures and memoirs he wrote as the first biographer of Sherlock Holmes. The Society believes that Watson has an equality of stature with Holmes and that his accomplishments and talents deserve further scholarship and research.” You can read more about the purposes and goals of the John H. Watson Society here. For updated information and society news as well as fascinating and informative biographies of those Sherlockians…or should we say Watsonians, who have most recently become members, make sure to check out The Watsonian Blog. It should come as no surprise that the Society’s  motto is derived from one of Holmes’ final reflections on his stalwart friend  and biographer, found at the very end of “His Last Bow”:  “Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age.” It strikes me that even though the society is a new one, the seeds of the group were planted long ago in the minds of those involved giving The John H. Watson society an air of established, long standing permanence. I also look forward to subscribing to and reading The Watsonian, journal of the society.

Please join in extending to Matt the warm welcome of the Society: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

M.D., Dr., Mr., FRCS, ?

The British have their own way of referring to physicians. Some are Mr, some are Dr, some have FRCS after their name, and some have M.D. Our own John Watson was styled: John H. Watson, M.D. and referred to as Dr Watson.  What are the distinctions, the degrees or education indicated, and who can come up with the list of all the physicians and their appropriate professional titles as per the Canon?

Dr Watson’s “Stuff”

We have an extensive catalogue of Mr Holmes’s personal belongings, from dressing gowns to pipes to commonplace books and on and on.

But, what do we know of Dr Watson’s belongings? Who can catalogue those items that are Dr Watson’s personal things? And where no evidence exists, who would care to speculate on Dr Watson’s likely inventory?

Our Own Benoit Guilielmo, JHWS “Cicero” to Present Paper at  University of London

Charter Member Benoit Guilielmo of Nice, France will present “The Birth of a Textual Community: Early Sherlockiana (1927-1934)” at the upcoming conference Sherlock Holmes: Past and Present at the Institute of English Studies of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Congratulations!

The programme is described here: http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/ies-events/conferences/SherlockHolmes

As one reads the various topics, it becomes clear this is a major academic gathering with serious papers being presented that indicate the Holmesian genre as written by Dr Watson has entered an age of mainstream academia. Note, for instance, “Sherlock Holmes: Modern Literary Virgil,” and “The Spatial Code in Sherlock Holmes Stories.”

Welcome to Melissa Anderson JHWS, “Faith” to Charter Membership

The Society extends a very warm welcome to Melissa Anderson of Peoria, Illinois to Charter Membership.

A Sherlockian since age 13, Melissa is a former Instructor of English Literature and Writing Composition at Bradley, University. She has most recently written and produced a play featuring Sherlock Holmes and is completing a novel of Watson and Holmes titled The Mystery of That Woman.”

Melissa also has the distinction of being the winner of the 221B Cellars essay contest on the topic “Beeswing.” Her entry is an absolute gem of concision and insight packed into 400 words. She won the prize and her essay will be published in the forthcoming inaugural issue of The Watsonian in October. She has also received an offer from another scion group for its later publication.

When not writing about Dr Watson and Mr Holmes, Melissa is a Ministry Assistant at a Peoria church. She is a member of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London and The Hansoms of John Clayton.

Please welcome Melissa with our traditional warmth and Canonical greeting:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Why a Bearskin Rug?

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson have a bearskin rug in front of the fireplace. Anyone care to speculate on this? Would not a bearskin rug be unusual in Victorian England? Were (are) there bears in Great Britain?

On a separate note, Buttons has it on first authority that Vamberry Wine Merchant bottled the First Edition A Study In Scarlet today. He reports that it is something a bit special in a red wine. A case is being sent to Dr Watson for “medicinal purposes.” www.221bcellars.com.

And, now, back to the bear…

Welcome to Joseph Kruth, JHWS “Marlowe”

The Society is pleased to welcome Mr Joseph Kruth as a Charter Member. Joe has been corresponding regularly and has sent along his delightful biography:It was quiet. No radio or TV allowed on the ward floor.  As I was drifting in and out of a swirling yellow fog, a smartly turned-out young women in a crisp Red Cross uniform was approaching – book cart in tow.  Maybe a book would clear my head.  The book cart had many well-thumbed books including one Sherlock Holmes book. Sadly, I neither remember the book title nor the stories. This was in my adventurous year of 1969.  Three years later, in a library, I came across William S. Baring-Gould’s two volume Sherlock Holmes Annotated and spent several hours paging through this weighty tome.  Yes, I was hooked. Within a few days I purchased my own Baring-Gould set for about $50 – no small amount of money at the time. However, money well spent.

Through the years, I have endeavored to keep-up on all things Sherlockian:

Seven 3-ring binders containing 526 newspaper clippings, advertisements, book excerpts, etc. Please note: my collection is hard copy-print media. No internet searches.

Also, my main Sherlock Holmes index appropriately sub-titled “Behold the Fruits of Laborious Days and Pensive Nights,” contains 324 entries ranging from books, tapes, DVDs and miscellany.

And, in August 1996, Classic Specialties was gracious enough to publish my small unworthy monograph “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere.”

In August 1998, I corresponded with the Franco-Midland Hardware Company based in England. After a little time, I passed the 200 question exam and received my Certificate in Holmesian Studies (CHS).  I am no longer in contact.

Lastly, it was the Peter Blau newsletter of April 2013 that alerted me to your august John H. Watson Society.

It is time to end with a non-canonical, but appropriate, exit:

“Holmes Again? Always Holmes…Until the End.”  Recognize the line?

Thank you.
Joe.

And, Joe, we all warmly welcome you to the Society with our also most appropriate greeting:  “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” 

We Need Participants! Here is an Incentive! 

New exploration that comes from questions that have and have not been asked before is a wonderful thing. It enlivens the discussion, prolongs The Game, and adds colour to our everyday routine. This topic is the passion of all of our members, and everyone of us has something to add to the discussion. Please join in. There are no wrong answers, only unlimited positions to be stated and supported for the enjoyment and benefit of us all.

Incentive: We will award an annual prize for all members attaining the stature of Attending Quiz Physician (details forthcoming). Start now! It will be a very nice prize!

Today’s question:

Who or what is a “scabby sheep” and what is the context? What other veterinary references does Dr Watson write about throughout the Canon?

Welcome to Richard J. Sveum, MD, JHWS “Marco,” BSI, “Dr Hill Barton” to Charter Membership

The Society extends a warm welcome to Dr Richard Sveum, President of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the University of Minnesota Library. Among his many Sherlockian credentials and memberships are:

» The Maiwand Jezails
» The Baker Street Irregulars (Dr. Hill Barton)
» Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections (President)
» The Norwegian Explorers of Minnesota
» The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis
» The Elusive Bicyclists (The Rattle of our Wheels)
» The Speckled Band of Boston
»  The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic)
» The Bootmakers of Toronto
» The Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection
» The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» The  STUD Sherlockian Society

Please join in welcoming Dr Sveum to our Society and extend to him a warm traditional welcome:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”