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The Tony & Freda Howlett Award

In 2009 The Sherlock Holmes Society of London began awarding The Tony & Freda Howlett Literary Award. The award has been presented each year since then to the society member (of at least two years standing) who has written the best book or article of a Sherlockian persuasion in the previous calendar year.


The first award  was deservedly presented to Bernard Davies for his two volume work Holmes and Watson Country: Travels in Search of Solutions. Sadly Bernard died the following year.


In 2010 the award went to Dr Amanda Field for her book England's Secret Weapon, an analysis of the Basil Rathbone films. I was short-listed with my book Close to Holmes.

In 2011 the award came to yours truly for The Norwood Author.


This year the award went to John Weber for his book Under the Darkling Sky.



I learned only recently that Mr Weber had succumbed to cancer. It was good to know that he did actually receive the award before his death and that it gave him great pleasure.

I wonder what 2013 will bring....


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Looking for a festive gift? Help a struggling author.

The festive season is approaching so here is a blatant attempt to sell you my books if you have not already partaken.

The older titles
My latest effort
All four can be purchased in eBook editions as well as paperback and good deals are to be found through the likes of Amazon, Book Depository, Play.com and others. The links for all four books are at the foot of this page.

Go on...you know you want to.

For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

A reminder re blog comments

Hi all. I notice that I have turned off my FAQ page so I shall state this now for the benefit of some people who have recently commented on my blog.

I do not post comments that contain advertising. So if you attempt to plug something and include a link to it that will be deemed advertising and will be deleted.

I shall reinstate my FAQ page asap so that my comment rules are available.

Did Sidney Paget expose a secret in his artwork?


I don’t often do this but I thought I would have a go at “playing the game”. Whilst articles in this vein can be entertaining, my personal feeling is that they add little in the long-term to Sherlockian knowledge. If you build an entire hypothesis on the idea that the stories were real then it simply cannot last. As Holmes might say “how can you build on such quicksand?”


However, in the spirit of entertainment rather than scholarship, I present this idea to you. Did Sidney Paget inadvertently give away a secret in his artwork?

Holmes always described his brother Mycroft as lacking energy and stated that he could only be a detective if it could be done from the comfort of an armchair. Was he, in fact, pulling Watson’s leg?

In 1894 the chronicles of a new detective began being published. The first seven of these appeared in The Strand and were illustrated by Sidney Paget. The detective in question went by the name of Martin Hewitt but was he in fact Mycroft Holmes trying his hand at some more physically demanding detective work?

The pictures below of Mycroft and Hewitt would seem to suggest so.

Mycroft Holmes (left) Martin Hewitt (right). One and the same?

 Food for thought. After all they do share the same initials.




For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Radio documentary

I have to confess to being surprised that there has been not one comment on the recently posted radio documentary. I felt it needed another airing as it featured a lot of good contributions. I believe one of the contributors to have died since it was recorded which is a shame as I think I would have liked to have met him.

If you have any comments do let me know. You never know, we might be able to persuade James Hodder to make a follow-up.

For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK,  Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.

Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USABarnes and NobleAmazon UKWaterstones UKAmazon KindleKoboNook  and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.

The Legacy of Sherlock Holmes - Documentary

In April 2010 I travelled to a studio in the West End to be interviewed by James Hodder (Twitter ID @radiohodder) of Resonance 104.4FM. My contribution, along with others including Andrew Lycett, went into a documentary entitled The Legacy of Sherlock Holmes. It was broadcast in 2011 and I have been given permission by James Hodder to post it here.

I've done a bit of work to it and turned it into a small movie in order to upload it. The credits contain a full list of contributors. If you get an error first time re-load the page and try again.

video



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Inspector Bradstreet – The cricketing inspector


A slightly misleading title I grant you. 

One of the Scotland Yarders to appear more than once in the canon is Inspector Bradstreet. In my earlier article on Inspector Lestrade I questioned where Conan Doyle got the name from. With Bradstreet there is a plausible theory that I first mentioned in my book The Norwood Author.

The Paget Bradstreet and Bradstreet as portrayed by Denis Lil

The Man with the Twisted Lip was the first story to feature Bradstreet and it was the first story Conan Doyle completed after his move from central London to South Norwood. Is it purely coincidence that the local Norwood papers mentioned a member of the Norwood Cricket Club that went by the name of Bradstreet? A club that Conan Doyle joined and played for from 1891 – 1894.

What do we think?



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Sherlock Holmes (Barrymore) meets Moriarty (DVD excerpt)



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes

Part 1

   

Part 2

 


Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Sir Arthur's interview

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous interview where he reluctantly talks about Sherlock Holmes in order to discuss spiritualism.



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Amusing Basil Rathbone advert

An advert made featuring Basil Rathbone for Prudential



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Ross K reviews An Entirely New Country



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

The Sleeping Cardinal

Arthur Wontner's outing (of five) as Sherlock Holmes



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

You say Le-strayed, I say Le-strared

One of those relatively trivial things that has been known to have Sherlockians staring angrily at one another is the pronunciation of Lestrade.

Now you would think that the last word on the subject would be that of the author. We have it on impeccable authority from Arthur Conan Doyle's youngest daughter (the late Dame Jean) that he pronounced it Le-strayed.

Le-strayed and Le-strared aka Colin Jeavons and Dennis Hoey

Now you would think this would settle the debate. Far from it. I personally acknowledge that Le-strayed is correct but I admit to preferring Le-strared. In this I am not alone. For me, I just think that the latter pronunciation sounds more businesslike, more like a policeman.

Sir Arthur's sons Dennis and Adrian were alive in the 1940s and handled the negotiations with Universal for the Rathbone films. One presumes that they also knew how their father pronounced the name yet either they recalled it differently from their sister or they simply didn't consider it important enough to worry about with the result that the studio went its own way. Curiously the name was pronounced differently again by Arthur Wontner in his films of the early 1930s. It was closer to Le-strayed but he spoke it slightly more abruptly as if he were saying Le-stred.

Leaving pronunciation aside, the name is interesting. A glance at Ancestry.co.uk suggests that the name Lestrade did not really feature in the UK before 1900. All mention of the name in the 1800s appears to be in the United States and France - with most in the former. Once the name does start to appear in the UK it seems to be concentrated around London - which would perhaps make sense for a Scotland Yard detective.

One is compelled to wonder where Conan Doyle first came across the name. I wonder if the answer is already in a book somewhere?


Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .

Don’t ignore Arthur


There are some people like me who love Sherlock Holmes and are very interested in his creator. Then there are others for whom Conan Doyle is, at most, the literary agent and they have no interest in him beyond that.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) so much more than an agent

The latter group need to think on this simple fact. The people who believed in Holmes and regarded Conan Doyle as little more than a Holmes writing machine caused, in no small part, Sherlock Holmes’s death.

It was the public’s obsession with Holmes and the constant demand for new stories that led to Conan Doyle feeling suffocated and frustrated. These feelings directly led to the decision to send Holmes to Reichenbach.

Fortunately Conan Doyle resurrected Holmes and did not kill him again prior to his own death. This means that Holmes can never die but this does not, in my opinion, free people of an obligation to show respect to Conan Doyle (and perhaps attempt to learn a little about him) and not be so quick to dismiss or relegate him to little more than a supporting role.



Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.


For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .