The Society Welcomes Benoit Guilielmo to Charter Membership

The Society extends warm welcome to Benoit Guilielmo as a Charter Member of The John H Watson Society. M Guilielmo, or Ben as he refers to himself, is an eminent member of the French Sherlockian and Watsonian world and is our first European member and the first member of the Society from France. Well-published, we look forward to his scholarly contibutions to The Watsonian in future.

Ben’s biography follows:

Benoit Guilielmo is an amateur Watsonian, a partisan of the growing block universe  theory and a  fervent admirer of PG Wodehouse. He’s an active member of the Société Sherlock Holmes de France and of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.

He is interested in many aspects of Dr. Watson’s life and works: Watson’s pawky humour; Watson’s skills as a popular fiction writer; Watson as a detective; and many other aspects of the Watsonian personality.

Fascinated by Sherlockian speculation since his first reading of Ronald Knox’s Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes, his main interest is the investigation of the methods, topics, issues and disagreements of Sherlockian criticism since its beginnings. He is currently working on minor and major figures and studies of Watsonian scholarship of the late 1920s and early 1930s.

He lives on the lovely French Riveria at Nice.

Bibliography:

– “A Note on the Disappearance of Watson’s memory in LADY,” The Serpentine Muse, Vol. 27 n°1, Winter 2010.

– “Prolegomena to a Basic Invisible Holmesian Library,”The Serpentine Muse, Vol. 27 n°2, Spring 2011.

– “Sénèque contre les Holmésologues,”Mémoires et Documents n°13 (2011), Société d’études Holmésiennes de la Suisse Romande.

– “Eugène Piff-Pouff: Forerunner of French Holmesian Scholarship,” The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 30 n°2, Summer 2011.

– “The Sources of Ronald Knox’s Satire: A Reappraisal,” The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 30 n°2, Winter 2011

– “Desmond MacCarthy and The Chronological Problem,” The Saturday Review of Literature, January 2013

– “L’Holmésologie: silly questions et vérificationnisme,”Ironmongers Daily News, n°7333, Société Sherlock Holmes de France.

– “Le gai savoir holmésien de Ronald Knox,” (Forthcoming 2013), Société d’études Holmésiennes de la Suisse Romande.

On behalf of the Founding Members and the Charter Members of The John H Watson Society, we extend the traditional welcome to members: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Please join in welcoming Ben to our fold by leaving your personal welcoming greeting in the Comments.

“Nous prolongeons notre accueil chaleureux et que vous sommes très reconnaissants pour votre soutien de The John H Watson Society.”
— le garçon en boutons.

The Society Welcomes Jacquelynn Morris, ASH, to Charter Membership

The Society is pleased to announce the Charter Membership of Jacquelynn Morris, ASH, a renowned Sherlockian who resides in Laurel, Maryland, with an interest in introducing young people to The Sacred Canon. Ms. Morris was sponsored by Prof. Donald Pollock as a Charter Member.

Jacquelynn’s biography:

Jacquelynn Morris came to the Sherlockian community through the Granada series with Jeremy Brett and David Burke, and later, Edward Hardwicke. Having read the Sacred Canon in childhood, she found the Brett series, which portrayed many of the original stories intact, much more enjoyable than most of the Rathbone and Bruce films. Her primary complaints with the Rathbone films was the great liberties they took; in particular, with the character of Dr. John H Watson.

Not even realizing such things as scion societies existed, she came to Watson’s Tin Box after a chance encounter with a Tin Box member at a mystery fiction conference. She has been a member of the Tin Box since the late 1990s, having led the group twice for a year’s term each. She is also the member of and a frequent attendee of meetings of other societies on the East Coast.

Jacquelynn has presented papers at the Sherlock Holmes/Arthur Conan Doyle Symposium in Dayton, Ohio, Mrs Hudson’s Cliffdwellers in New Jersey, The Red Circle of Washington, DC, the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois. She has also delivered toasts at meetings of The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, of which she has been a member since 2010. Her ASH investiture name is “de novo,” from The Abbey Grange.

Bringing the Sacred Canon to young people has been a focus of Jacquelynn’s Sherlockian endeavours. She is co-chair of the annual Watson’s Tin Box Sherlock Holmes Essay Contest for seventh grade students, and invites speakers from the younger Sherlock Holmes community to speak at A Scintillation of Scions, the annual symposium she created in Maryland. Among the younger community and through the Scintillation, Jacquelynn supports such groups as The Baker Street Babes, Sherlock NYC, Sherlock DC, and 221B Con.

In addition, Jacquelynn has been actively involved in the campaign to save Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home in Hindhead, Surrey, England. She is an ambassador for the cause and has worked closely with Lynn Gale of The Undershaw Preservation Trust. She was among the judges of fan submitted essays and poems for Sherlock’s Home: The Empty House by MX Publishing; proceeds from the sale of the books will go to The Undershaw Preservation Trust.

The BSI Manuscript Series book, The Wrong Passage, contains an essay written by Jacquelynn in the chapter, “Two Singular Deaths…Two Virtual Inquests,” where she attempts to prove, by analyzing what information Watson provides, just what poison it was that Anna Coram ingested and what the likely outcome of that must have been.

Though considered a long-time Sherlockian, Jacquelynn has always considered herself, in her heart of hearts, to be a Watsonian. She is proud and honoured to be a member of The John H Watson Society.

Jacquelynn is also a member of:

Watson’s  Tin Box of Ellicott City
The Denizens of the Bar of Gold
Mrs. Hudson’s Cliffdwellers of New Jersey
The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes

Please join in extending the Society’s warm greetings to our new member: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

The Watsonian Blog: Its Purpose and Potential

We would hope that members of the Society–and non-members–would wish to check this blog regularly for news of the Society. That is why it was created.

But, there is a much more interesting potential to be explored that relies upon all interested Watsonians asking questions and presenting intriguing thoughts about Dr. Watson to be explored by all who care to participate.

The process is straight-forward:  Just click on “Add Comment” and post a comment, question, idea, thought, or bit of arcane Canonical mystery or research. You are only limited by your own creativity and willingness to start a dialogue.

As an example, in some of Dr. Watson’s most elegant writing, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, he describes, “One great grey bird, a gull or curlew, soared aloft in the blue Heaven.” Three distinct but interesting questions arise from this one sentence. Was the bird a gull or a curlew? What does the use of “Heaven” imply, if anything, about Dr. Watson’s religious beliefs? What are the Canonical supports for the possible answers to these questions?

Thoughts, all?  These questions, alone, can spur pages of replies.

The Society Welcomes Alexian A. Gregory, BSI to Charter Membership

The Society is pleased to welcome to Charter Membership Mr. Alexian Avebury Gregory, BSI. Mr. Gregory is a member of a number of Sherlockian groups and has become a Charter Member of the John H Watson Society on this date. Mr. Gregory’s biography is below, reprinted from Sherlockian Who’s Who:

Al Gregory first read the Canon at the age of seven. He immediately fell in love with Sherlock Holmes and his Victorian world. He collects Strands and foreign editions of the Hound.

He became active in the Sherlockian world in 1984. He was invested in the BSI in 2003 as “The Grimpen Postmaster.” In January of 2008 he was one of 19 men invested in the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes as “The Coptic Monasteries of Syria and Egypt.”

Al collects all types of Sherlockian artifacts, but his favorites are the foreign editions of the Hound of the Baskervilles which he now has in 36 languages.

Al is convinced that the “H” in Dr. John H Watson stands for Habakkuk, the Old Testament prophet. He bases his thesis on the similarity of Watson’s name with that of J. Habakkuk Jephson, the title character in an early Doylean short story.

He retired from work as a postman in NYC where he delivered mail to another BSI, Judge Andrew Peck.

Please join in the Society’s member’s welcome to Mr. Gregory:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

The Society Welcomes the First Charter Member: Mr. Andrew Solberg, BSI, “Professor Coram,” SHSL

The Society extends warm greetings and welcome to its first Charter Member, the distinguished and well-published Sherlockian, Mr. Andrew Solberg. Mr. Solberg’s biography is found on Sherlockian Who’s Who and is reproduced below.

Andrew Solberg has published the following articles:

– A History of Norah, Arthur, and Robert,” BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 59, No. 2, (Summer, 2009)
– “Chair à Canon,” IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2008
– “How to Read REDH Like Professor Coram,” SERPENTINE MUSE, 24, No. 3,
(Summer 2008) 10-13
– “The Press, Watson, Is a Most Valuable Institution,” IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2007
– “A Suggested Sherlockian Library” IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2006
– “Les Relations Holmésiennes Franco-Américaines” IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2005
– Report on Trip to Gillette’s Castle BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 55, No. 1, (Spring, 2005)
– “The Case for Oxford,” IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2004
– The Case of ‘J’ – A Psychoanalytic Case Study with Particular Attention to ‘Marriage Neurosis’, with Donald K. Pollock, BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 53, No. 3, (Autumn, 2003) 25-34 – Winner of the Morley-Montgomery Award for 2003
– “The Second Mrs. Watson” (verse) IRENE’S CABINET, a publication of Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, 2003
– Under The Influence BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 53, No. 1, (Spring, 2003) 28-32
– Sherlock Holmes: Anti-Semite? BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 51, No. 1,(Spring, 2001) 35-41
– Prisoner of his Profession – (Or An Anachronistic Socratic Dialogue on Holmes’s Conservatism) BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 49, No. 4, (December,1999) 42-49
– The Importance of Petrarch and Meredith in Boscombe Valley BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 47, No. 4, (December, 1997) 35-37
– Ode d’Hounds, The Hounds Collection, Volume 1, (April, 1996) 59
– The Funny John H. Watson, BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 46, No. 1, (March,1996) 35-42
– What Were Catullus and the Origin of Tree Worship Doing in the Empty House BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 45, No. 1, (March, 1995) 18-23
– The Intertwining Chronologies of The Illustrious Client and The Red Circle BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 44, No. 1, (March, 1994) 28-32
– Sherlock Holmes’ Existence: The Ontological Proof, BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 43, No. 1, (March, 1993) 50-56 (DC8508) (Cited by DeWaal in his Introduction to The Universal Sherlock Holmes, For those skeptics who doubt Holmes’s existence, I refer them to Andrew L. Solberg’s article in the March, 1993 issue of The Baker Street Journal… )
– Musings, (poetry) SERPENTINE MUSE, 8, No.1 (Fall, 1987) 17-18 (DC13718)
– The Philosophy of Sherlock Holmes, BAKER STREET JOURNAL, 26, No. 4, (September, 1976) 197-202 (DC9148 – DB1446).

Member of the following societies:
» The Beacon Society
» The Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (Professor Coram)
» Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City
» The Baker Street Irregulars (Professor Coram)
» The Red Circle of Washington, D.C.
» The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» The Pondicherry Lodgers of 44th Street

The Watsonians . . .1994 . . . Ah, Youth!

A recent gift from Bruce Taylor, “The Baker Street Journal” of June 1994, reveals the following announcement listed in From the Editor’s Commonplace Book, a bit choice in its imaginative elements and its culinary and Spiritus Fermenti ambitions, as well as its Watsonian celebration of enthusiasm and expansiveness of activity. To  quote:

“The Watsonian Weekend III will be held in Arlington Park, Illinois on July 8, 9, and 10, 1994. Events include: Reception and V.R. Pistol Competition will be Friday night; an escorted tour of the backstretch of Arlington International Racecourse, and the Watsonian Collegium at the Radison Hotel, the Royal Berkshires/Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers Regimental Dinner, all on Saturday; and the 35th running of The Silver Blaze, hosted by Col.  Ross, featuring a prime rib buffet and a four hour open bar.”

Now, those Watsonians knew how to party back in ’94. And what better celebration of true Watsonian personality and verve than a Regimental Dinner, a V.R. pistol contest, a scholarly Collegium, a four hour open bar, and a half-pension punter’s particular past-time, a bet on Silver Blaze at a great racecourse!

Society Listed on Sherlockian Who’s Who, Sherlockian.net and Sherlocktron

Thanks to the respected Sherlockian, Alexis Barquin of Sherlockian Who’s Who, The John H Watson Society has taken its place among the many U.S. Societies listed on this extremely helpful Internet website for identifying Sherlockians and Sherlockian societies and clubs. Truly a labor of love, the site features countless organizations and individual Sherlockians and their numerous affiliations. To view the Society’s page, please see:  http://www.sh-whoswho.com/index.php

Thanks to Mr. Chris Redmond, the Society has been listed on Sherlockian.net
http://www.sherlockian.net/, one of the most comprehensive Internet sites for all things related to Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes. If one explores the depth of Sherlockian.net, one rapidly comes to realize the enormous efforts Mr. Redmond and others are making in providing an aggregate hub for all things Sherlockian. The Society can be found on the Societies page, under the category “Special-Purpose Societies.” The Society extends its appreciation and admiration to Mr. Redmond, a renowned and long-time Sherlockian for his courtesy.

And, thanks to the legendary Mr. Willis G. Frick, the Society has been listed among the vast resources found on one of the oldest of Sherlockian Internet sites, Sherlocktron: http://www.sherlocktron.com/. Here, you will find access to Peter E. Blau’s Scuttlebutt, the pre-eminent monthly newsletter of all things Watson-Holmes-Doyle and 1895.

These three websites are invaluable resources for not only the Society members, but all those interested in the Sacred Canon and the activities surrounding our many and varied interests. We salute the faithful “Keepers of the Game” who publish these in-depth, informative websites and who spend countless hours sifting, synthesizing and presenting the Baker Street news and developments from around the world.

Transatlantic Introductions

The boy in buttons has been sent around to introduce the Society to the Baker Street Irregulars, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, the Friends of Dr. Watson, and The Watsonians, all venerable organizations in the U.K. and the U.S. with acute interest in John H Watson, M. D.

Notes were delivered to Mr. Roger Johnson, Editor of “The Sherlock Holmes Journal,” Mr. Steven Rothman, Editor of “The Baker Street Journal,” Ms. Susan Diamond, President of The Watsonians, and Mr. Nino Cirone, President of The Friends of Dr. Watson, providing full particulars on the John H Watson Society founding and extending the courtesies of the Society to its fellow Watsonian organisations.

Having completed his rounds, the boy in buttons is to be found at his usual perch outside the Consulting Rooms awaiting replies and further instructions whilst lunching on a meat pasty and a pint.

The First “Consultation”

The Society’s first Consultation was held at the home of Don and Joanne Yates on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 12 noon to sometime after dark. Five of the Founding Members were present and a quorum was called. By-Laws 1 and 2 were, at all times, respected and By-Law 5 was given very adequate exercise.

The Chair, Prof. Yates, officially welcomed into Founding Membership Peter Blau, Michael Kean, Donald Pollock and Bruce Taylor. Appropriate toasts were made to each Founder.

The first “Consultation” was held as a part of a large gathering to celebrate the birthday of Don Yates. “The Woman,” Dr. Joanne Yates, prepared a sumptuous feast of authentic Argentine deliciacies, some specially flown in from the long, pointy country to the south, including chorizo, grilled sweetbreads (delicious), empanadas (beyond delicious), and Argentine beefsteak, grilled to perfection. A selection of Napa Valley wines rounded out the participants.

Much discussion was devoted to Watsonian and Sherlockian topics and speculation. Later, after feasting and liberal tastings, naps were noted.

A memorable day; a wonderful gathering; a singular and very special feast; an historic “Consultation.”

Birthday Wishes to Prof. Don Yates

The Founding Members of the Society extend their warm good wishes to Prof. Don Yates, BSI and Founding Chair, on the date of the official formation of the Society, April 11, 2013, during a celebration of Don’s birthday. Many more years and the joys of Watsonian and Sherlockian explorations! By-Law 5 was honored.