The Sturdy Beggar Inn? Or Bolt Cottage?

“After a day with Holmes,” Watson writes,”including hours afield and hours, too, amidst the the tumult of his cottage–a return to my whitewashed room at the village inn was welcome. I’d mount the stairway looking forward to my quiet room with the narrow bed of clean linens, a mirror, basin and a simple square window overlooking a pebbled path into a wood.

Photo by Yvonne Lau

Another advantage of this inn was regular sustenance, at least on waking and before bed in the evening. Along with the excellent ale, the inn furnished its tables with fresh bread, cheeses, assorted veg, and and a steaming stew that may have contained squirrel as well as the rabbit advertised.

Photo by Roy Sloan on Pexels.com

Holmes, on the other hand, seemed to thrive on a severe diet of a half-cracker, half-bread substance liberally doused with honey from his own hives alongside a hard cheese. Of course, a supply of his favoured cheap shag was always ready.” *

*from Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, soon from Susanne Dutton and Propertius Press.

As World War I ends, British law declares Holmes’ cocaine use illegal and, hoping to end his habit, he fills out entry papers at a psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Confronted by a question asking for his “treatment goals,” he hesitates, suddenly aware that his real goals far exceed the capacity of this or any clinic. The inscrutable words he scribbles, never before encountered by his doctor, churn interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of friends and enemies both.

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Holmes and Inspector Lestrade Walk into a Bar: the Art of Induction

Photo by Jonathan Monk

… London’s Criterion Bar, of course. It’s empty except for a seated chap slumped over the bar, and another who stands on the other side, wiping it. Lestrade is pleased they have the place to themselves. He decides to skip the brandy in favor of whiskey. Holmes wonders where everyone’s gone, whether the fellow on the stool still has a pulse, and if the man with the cloth is getting rid of gory evidence. He is not ready to theorize, but will continue to gather data. (An exaggerated example of Holmes’ induction vs. the usual deduction (in which the fact that it’s a bar heavily influences conclusions.)

Photo by Abdulhamid AlFadhly

Sherlock Holmes

and the Remaining Improbable

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

Soon! From Susanne M. Dutton and Propertius Press

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

“You Really Have Done Remarkably Badly.”

Holmes to Watson, after the doctor fails to gather clues about Violet Smith’s strange bicycle-riding stalker in “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” A. Conan Doyle

London Illustrated News ad for comfortable bikes, 1893

“I admitted to myself the paltry quality of my own conclusions,” Watson writes. “If Holmes had found himself approaching my door he’d deduce instantly whether I was a home. He would also know when I’d last been to town, what I’d eaten at the (insert

correct name of) public house or dining establishment–and if it had agreed with me.” *

*Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

SOON from Susanne M. Dutton and Propertius Press

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Holmes: Cultural Measuring Stick (100 years Ago)

I used a newspaper search engine to find Holmes as referenced in the year 1920, a hundred years ago. There are thousands, though I was limited to English language papers. If I simply search for “Sherlock Holmes” in the same digitized papers (since Sherlock crawled out of Conan Doyle’s head) the number is 1,747.746.

photo by H. Klasser

The Times Greater London: One of the quaint characteristics of our postwar world is certainly a great increase in the “agony” (newspaper personals) column habit, even twenty years ago, a sedate thing, mostly appeals from hospitals. It was very rarely a personal advertisement, or one one of those intriguing cryptograms which Sherlock Holmes would disentangle.’ 4 AUG 1920

photo by Z. Zolkiffli

Bingham, Utah Bulletin, USA: A new ouija board story not far from Bingham, worthy of the attention of Sherlock Holmes. That ouija actually gave a certain man the name and address of a woman, even to the street number and so on, who lives four thousand miles away–beyond the sea–and that wicked board even told the man something to tell her!

photo by R. Kirby

The Manchester Guardian, England: There is a powerful god-in-the-machine in the person of the family doctor, a philosophic Sherlock Holmes of the profession who sees through everyone and their intrigues. 30 Nov 1920

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii: But a man does not have to be a Sherlock Holmes to be able to deduce from her general conduct and conversation, whether his coming really does set the golden bells ringing. (a front page article, “The Test of Love.”)

photo by J. Vicente

Montreal Gazette, Canada: Scotland Yard is now accoutered with a mechanism for scientific crime detection that would have made even that incurable scoffer, Sherlock Holmes, open his eyes in astonishment. (excerpted ‘Eye-Opener for Holmes,’ about use of planes in police intelligence, 25 Dec 1920.)

Photo by Lars Mai on Pexels.com

Sydney Morning Herald: The most severe criticism I can remember of Holmes was from a boatman in Cornwall. He said, ‘I don’t know whether Holmes was killed by that fall over that cliff; but I think he was very badly injured–he was never the same man afterwards.’ (Interview with A.C. Doyle, 23 Nov. 1920)

Soon from Propertius Press, by Susanne M. Dutton: …..Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

The Game is Not Afoot.

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable from Susanne Dutton and Propertius Press

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Lucinda Hudson: Avid Holmes Follower, So-so Violinist

Watson writes, “Like my nephew Ronald, Miss Hudson evinced an avid interest in Holmes and all things Holmes, a predilection only further encouraged when I began to ask her to type up old case material. In fact, she’d raised the fascination with the detective another notch entirely and seized with gusto upon the idea of becoming, like Holmes, a violinist. Unlike Holmes, however, Miss Hudson skipped the classics and went straight for the popular music of the day. No Mozart or Chopin follower, she aimed her bow this dawn hour at Ramblin’ Rose and her own peppery version of It Ain’t Gonna Rain No Mo’.*

excerpt, Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, coming soon from Propertius Press and writer Susanne M. Dutton

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable SOON ! from Susanne Dutton and Propertius Press

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Holmes’ World: Artists Critique Female Fashion in The Strand Magazine 1891

“Tight waists and high heels are still so common that the courageous protests of the emancipated pass almost unnoticed….The heels do not give an impression of long- leggedness, but only alter and spoil the whole carriage of the body.” Artist John Collier, 1850-1934

Royal Academy artist Louisa Starr Canzini’s sketches (dancing and tennis)

“To be beautiful, it should be the expression of ease and of natural delight in movement. Also, it should have no association with pain.” Royal Academy artist, Louisa Canzini, 1845-1909

Harsh words from artist Wyke Bayliss 1835-1906:

“The truth is that every attempt to modify the human form is an act of savagery, and every form of dress that simulates a modification, wither worn in Peking, or Paris, or London, is a savage dress, and carries with it the additional shame of being a sham.”

(Comment from blogger: “Well, there’s lots that we’ve left behind. Certainly we’ve gotten over any objection to the shame of sham. Whew!”)

Bayliss’ words prompted me to look at his paintings:

Wyke Bayliss 1835-1906

“I am not narrow-minded (about clothes.) The only bad ones are those that are pretentious or vulgar.” Artist George H. Boughton 1833-1905

“Tight lacing, pointed shoes and high heels. Unless the fashion changes, (which, it being very ugly, it probably will not) will leave permanently disastrous results.

“Again, this (shoe) is hardly short of wicked and hardly short of a cloven hoof. I wish the ladies joy of it!” Artist G.F. Watts 1817-1904

The Strand 1891
Punch Magazine 1897

“You don’t even own a bicycle!”

“But I do own a sewing machine!”

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable, by Susanne M. Dutton, coming SOON from Propertius Press

The Game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall, as WWI ends. Holmes fills out entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Now that the law declares his cocaine use illegal, he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” he hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. Holmes’ scribbled response, never before encountered by his long-experienced doctor, soon churns interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of enemies and friends both.

Holmes’ Humo(u)r: Comics, Art, News & Ads

Quirky and just weird late Victorian humor from real magazines and newspapers landing in 221B’s mailbox.

Photo by Alvaro Prieto

In The Strand 1891 the Royal Mail dares to share the creative ways some customers address their postcards. Meanwhile, Holmes meets Moriarty in The Final Problem.

The Ladies’ Home Journal 1898 reveals how American writer Mark Twain and U.S. President Grant are too shy to talk, as Holmes sets about solving The Dancing Men code.

The Journal reports that the two Americans shook hands and fell into a long silence, as Twain tried to think what he could say. Finally, he said, “Mr. President, I feel a bit embarrassed. Do you?” The President could not help smiling, but the writer gave his place in line to others.

Ten years later, when statesman and humorist met again, Grant said, before Twain had a chance to utter a word: “Mr. Clemens, I don’t feel at all embarrassed. Do you?”

The Illustrated London News 1890 claims that Poe’s famous raven poem, “Nevermore” turns well adjusted puppies to sentimental mush and tears, as Holmes questions another dog’s behavior in in Silver Blaze.

Holmes is caught up in a case involving an unhappy marriage, an odd burglary, and possible murder at The Abby Grange as Punch Magazine August 1905 prepares to publish this cartoon at a time when cameras were obviously as omnipresent and preoccupying as cell phones are today.

Punch, August 23, 1905

COMING SOON FROM PROPERTIUS PRESS:

https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

BY SUSANNE M. DUTTON

As World War I ends, British law declares Holmes’ cocaine use illegal and, hoping to end his habit, he fills out entry papers at a psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. Confronted by a question asking for his “treatment goals,” he hesitates, suddenly aware that his real goals far exceed the capacity of this or any clinic. The inscrutable words he scribbles, never before encountered by his doctor, churn interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of friends and enemies both.

3 Other (Legal) Ways for Holmes’ Irregulars to Earn a Shilling in the 1890’s

The Crossing Sweeper

Opinions varied on sweeping, even amongst the sweepers. On the plus side? If you’ve got a broom and a crossing, you’re set. Thousands of horses and fashionable hem lengths put you in demand. The streets bring the sweepable filth, without fail. You’re your own boss. Cons? You work for tips. The best crossings, or “pitches,” are worth fighting over, and it happens. If you don’t show up, someone else will take your place; it pays to be a known, trusted, quantity. If you’re in a better part of the city, tips are better, too, and other errands (horse holding, message bearing, parcel carrying) come your way. One fellow interviewed in The London Illustrated News claimed customers’ tips on upcoming horse races did more for his pocket than the sweeping.

The Acrobat

Sketch by Miss Quesne for The Strand Jan-June, 1891

There are no gymnastics schools in London, at least according to The Strand Magazine‘s 1891 article, “The Child Workers of London.” If you want training, you hope to join one of the many troupes, beginning at age eight. The trainer, known as “the father,” arranges to take in recruits for a certain number of years. He is responsible for teaching, but also feeding and clothing them. (Remind anyone of Dickens’ Fagin?) Good troupes travel, performing at festivals and in theaters, as well as on the street. The best cross the Channel to France and Germany.

Sketch artist, Miss Quesne, The Strand compilation, Jan.-June 1891

A troupe made £70 – £80 a day, a fully trained acrobat, £20 – £25 a week. Interviewed by The Strand, troupe father Mr. Bale said that healthy diet and strength training are virtues of the training. Temperance is another merit, he adds. “Directly an acrobat takes to drinking, he is done for.”

The Lodging House Servant

London Illustrated News 1895

“Nothing can be harder or drearier,” The Strand says, referring to the lives of young servants, especially at lodging houses. “They are on their feet, at everyone’s beck and call, never expected to tire.” Their work is demanding, their meals poor, their sleeping arrangements, “disgraceful.” Mrs. Hudson’s page, Billy, belonged to this set, though with and only three adults to serve (as far as we know) he may have had it easier.

13 year old child care “nurse” sketched by Miss Le Quesne for The Strand, Jan-June 1891 article, “The Child Workers of London.”

Wages vary, hovering around £10 – £12 a year. Time off varied as well, Sunday afternoons for some, but one Sunday a month for others. According to “Child Workers of London,” young servants might change jobs often. One girl interviewed, aged 15, said she had been to six places. The interviewer asked, “Are you so fond of change?”

“Tain’t that so much,” returned the young lady; “but I can’t put up with cheek, and some of my missuses do go on awful. I says, ‘Ave yer jaw, and ‘ave done with it!'”

Photo by Faisal Rahman on Pexels.com

Coming Soon from Propertius Press:

Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable

by Susanne M. Dutton

As World War I ends, Britain declares cocaine a dangerous, controlled drug. An older, depressed Holmes submits entry papers at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast, hoping to end his habit. He names a treatment goal never before encountered by his physician, churning interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of friends and enemies both.
https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store

Holmes and Conan Doyle: Decamped South

Windlesham Manor, Arthur Conan Doyle’s last home. He was buried in the garden until removed to a family vault in 1935. (Google maps)

From 1909 until his death in 1930, Conan Doyle lived and wrote (75km/50m from London) at Windlesham Manor, a home he built himself in Crowborough, East Sussex. Rather ironically, Windlesham is now an assisted living home.

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Detective morphing-to-beekeeper Holmes headed the same direction in his later years. There’s a likely looking place with the right plaques in the welcoming village of East Dean, 45km/28m from Crowborough. It’s not the isolated hermitage you might suppose. On the other hand, old man Holmes would still have need of an occasional telegram, if not a telephone. He’d still want his newspapers, if never for the latest on the solar system.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Watson’s view? “No doubt Holmes’ new address, Bolt Cottage, fit his needs precisely, but it was no place for a visitor, perhaps purposely so.”*

As WWI ends, cocaine becomes illegal in England and the aged, still addicted and depressed Sherlock Holmes enters at a rundown psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. He names a treatment goal never before encountered by any admitting physician, churning interlocking mystery and desperate action into the lives of friends and enemies both.
*excerpt, Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable (SOON from Propertius Press, by Susanne M. Dutton) https://propertiuspress.wixsite.com/bookstore/online-store