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Tennison Road Auction Today

The auction of property including Arthur Conan Doyle's former home at 12 Tennison Road begins today at 12pm GMT.




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.

...do what you like with him


A recent tweet by the Baker Street Babes directed me to an article/poll on the subject of bringing Sherlock Holmes into abnormal situations. By this I refer to pitting Holmes against ghosts, demons, fairies etc,.

The question is asked “Is it OK for writers to add fantastical elements to Sherlock Holmes?“

Now, from a legal standpoint, the answer is “yes” and it has been done many times. However, it is sometimes the case that people try and almost shut down the argument by pointing to this famous quote by Conan Doyle talking about Holmes:

‘You may marry him or murder him or do whatever you like with him’ (the wording appears slightly different depending on the source you read).

So this settles it doesn’t it? No, not really.

Let’s look at the context in which this famous statement was written. In September 1897 Arthur Conan Doyle was overseeing the final stages of the construction of his new Surrey Home - Undershaw. It had cost him somewhat more than he thought and his cash reserves were running low. He had already asked for an advance from The Strand for his non-Holmes work The Tragedy of the Korosko but was in need of more.

He hit upon the idea of a Sherlock Holmes play and wrote to his mother about the idea and the money it could generate in September 1897. The draft was finished by the end of the year.

William Gillette as Sherlock Holmes
It ultimately found its way to American theatre impresario Charles Frohman who handed it on to his leading actor/playwright William Gillette. Gillette decided the play needed redrafting and while doing so he asked Conan Doyle if he could marry Holmes off. Conan Doyle replied as quoted.

This has been cited by some as evidence of how little Conan Doyle cared about Holmes and hence as carte blanche for all subsequent authors to do what they like. But it is not evidence of lack of care. It is evidence of a need for money. This use of Holmes for cash was repeated in 1910 when Conan Doyle was trying to dig himself out of a financial hole that he had created with his play The House of Temperley. He took the play off and replaced it with a dramatised version of The Speckled Band which went on to great success.

Many years later (c1914) one Arthur Whittaker wrote a Sherlock Holmes story and sent it to Conan Doyle suggesting collaboration. Conan Doyle refused stating that the money he could command for Holmes stories would fall if he entered into collaborations. He settled for buying the idea outright from Whittaker with a view to later reworking it himself (he never did). So, in this case, he was not prepared to let a third-party do whatever they liked.

It is worth noting that the Holmes parodies/plays that appeared during Conan Doyle’s lifetime never took outrageous liberties (with the possible exception of 1893 work Under the Clock) and even Conan Doyle himself never brought Holmes into contact with matters spiritual. This was for the reason that he considered his spiritual work too important to be linked with Holmes. He did however link spiritualism with his other great character Professor Challenger.

So by all means, bring Holmes into space and into contact with demons but don’t make out that Conan Doyle sanctioned it. That you cannot know without a very good medium (which don’t exist).




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.

Sherlock Holmes on Alibi

So did anyone watch the Murdoch Mysteries episode on Alibi? Please add your thoughts as comments. I did not see it.




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.

Latest aquisition

My ever growing library has been blessed with a recent addition.



My thanks for this very welcome freebie go to Jacquelynn Morris who kindly mailed it during a brief UK holiday.


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.

Auction not far away

As my counter to the right makes increasingly clear, it is not long until the auction of 12 Tennison Road. The group known as The South Norwood Tourist Board has made it clear that the inside of the house has been effectively destroyed and we know, from photographs, that the garden is overgrown and the outside of the house has had an unpleasant paint job.

So can the house be saved?
The house in 2008 (pre-paint job) and as it was in 1892

I feel the answer is 'yes' but only as a shell. The house is extremely significant for Sherlockians and Doyleans alike. It was where ACD lived when a number of life-changing events took place and was from where he sent Holmes plunging to his temporary death in December 1893.



The local press still appears to be showing no interest in the story. The website of one local paper has a dedicated heritage section that appears to have had no stories since 2010. This says rather a lot about the sad situation.


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.

Conference is coming




http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/ies-events/conferences/sherlockholmes

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.

House of Horror - 12 Tennison Road

If the "South Norwood Tourist Board" is not exaggerating it would seem that 12 Tennison Road - the one-time home of Arthur Conan Doyle - is beyond saving.

It is the inside of the house that appears to be the SNTB's major concern. It reports that all traces of the original Victorian interior are gone and that the house had been divided into a series of  "one room bedsits". These are "in a disgusting condition".

I was well aware that the house had been a hostel for autistic people, some or all of whom attended the nearby (and aptly named) Priory School. According to the SNTB, the company in charge of the hostel had vacated the property over a year ago and the property had been empty since that time. It also wonders at the lack of publicity given to the sale given the house's literary history.

The following is an image of the garden. No internal pictures were posted. Was this at the insistence of the auctioneer? Disturbing parallels with the state of Undershaw.


Back garden of 12 Tennison Road

SNTB original link here

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.

Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes on Alibi



Five by Five have been in touch about an imminent episode of the Murdoch Mysteries. The following text is theirs and is quoted with permission along with the photos and Videos.


Murdoch Mysteries returns to Alibi
Mondays at 9pm
20th February 2013


UKTV’s Alibi is thrilled at the success of 19th century crime show, Murdoch Mysteries.  The brand new and exclusive sixth series airs on Alibi on Mondays at 9pm (Sky 132, Virgin 130).

Based on Maureen Jennings' series of hit novels, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama set in Toronto in the late 1890s and early 1900s during the age of invention, where methodical and dashing Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) enlists radical new forensic techniques like fingerprinting, ultraviolet light and trace evidence to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.

So far in the series, Detective Murdoch has delved into a high-flying, high-level conspiracy, and endeavoured to clear the name of a young Winston Churchill (Thomas Howes; Downton Abbey) after he is left as the prime suspect of the slaying of a veteran of a brutal North African battle.

Episode 4, which airs on Monday 25th February, sees Murdoch pursue a murderous gang of armed robbers, with his prime suspect being a man claiming to be famed fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. A bizarre series of occurrences leads to the appearance of Arthur Conan Doyle (Geraint Wyn Davies) to provide some answers in the case, and a faceoff ensues between the author and his creation.

Later in the season, as well as facing new challenges in his relationship with Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy) Detective Murdoch will work to stop a dangerous madman from unleashing a deadly toxic gas attack; visit a community of naturists; and encounter a ghostly presence in Queen’s Park. The season ends with the shocking murder of someone in Murdoch’s circle, and the prime suspect is someone even closer to him.

Take a look at some of the upcoming action here: bit.ly/MM6Trailer

For exclusive content and videos visit www.facebook.com/theperfectalibi or www.uktv.co.uk/alibi and follow @Alibi_Channel on Twitter.




Andrew Gower as "Sherlock Holmes"

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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.