Wednesday, July 9, 2014

And while we're on the subject of the Doyle Estate . . .

With The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes drawing ever closer to Peoria, I'm starting to look forward to a pleasant October trip to St. Louis to have a look. This comes as a result of being recently reminded of the Doyle Estate's activities to support the image of Sherlock Holmes over the years. The Estate is one of the exhibit's collaborators, and I keep hearing very good things about the tour. So let's look at the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd.'s works for a moment.

"But Brad," one might protest, "the Doyle Estate? What of the dreaded wine brochure incident, your support of the Free Sherlock case, and the fact that they didn't prohibit Elementary from devastating the Sherlockian TV landscape?"

But could anyone have stopped Elementary? And with the recent verdict in Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd., one could actually view them as the underdog at present in the Free Sherlock case, which gives them a certain cachet. And don't bring up the dreaded wine brochure incident, I'm still haunted by something that Mrs. Hudson never, ever said. (But really wanted to, I'm sure. Don't ask.)

The Conan Doyle fan has much to thank the Conan Doyle Estate for: Their part in bringing manuscript material in Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, The Narrative of John Smith, and "Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure" to the world. Their help with Andrew Lycett's biographical research on ACD. But never having been as into Watson's Literary Agent as so many of my fellow Sherlockians, I find it more interesting to look at the Estate's activities in England, where copyright was no longer an issue over a decade ago.

There is a very cool Sherlockian bus bench in London this summer, courtesy of the generous sponsorship of the Doyle Estate. (One you might even be able to acquire for your personal collection this fall, should you have a little extra cash and a great bus-bench delivery service lined up.) They're also helping out with yet another museum show at the Museum of London coming up there in October.

So it's not all lawsuits and licensing fees with the Conan Doyle Estate, as I may have commented after an earlier blog. It will certainly be interesting to see what their future holds for us, however this latest bit finally shakes out.

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