Saturday, June 18, 2016

The society of time.

Time lords and ladies sitting round that breakfast-table.

Most of those words come from "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor."

But after doing a rampage through some Sherlockian chronology this morning while the BBC National Orchestra of Wales played "I Am The Doctor" on an endless loop, I was inspired to add that one extra word . . . time.

Time is a fascinating thing. Measurable, yet subjective. Full of reference points, yet always just a little bit foggy on details. Always with us, yet non-existent.

And all of those things come into play when you find yourself the sort of person who can be referred to as a Sherlockian chronologist. Few Sherlockians devote themselves solely to the study of Holmes and Watson's flow of time. Most do it as a side-trip on their way to writing a pastiche or working out some scholarly issue. It seems ungodly boring to most. But, like many an enthusiasm, if you listen to one of its more ardent followers, you might catch a touch of the joy found there.

Of all the things I've missed at this weekend's Minneapolis Sherlock event, perhaps my biggest regret is missing Vince Wright's presentation on the subject of Sherlockian chronology. There aren't many active experts in that field these days, and if you enjoy the topic, such chances to hear one of those go on about it are rare.

Sherlockian chronologists have always been few and far between, and there has pretty much certainly never been a society dedicated to that genre of study. Which made me start wondering . . . .

Sherlock Holmes has become a bigger topic than ever before. So many fans coming at it from so many angles, connecting in so many ways and enhancing their ability to get things done by combining talents. Could Sherlockian chronology be due for a team effort, or at least a place of comparing notes? Like writing, it is a task best worked on alone, and one's results can be very personal . . . every head-Canon needs a head-chronology. But as we move ahead, with the study of Sherlock, a society of those working in the field might be useful to those who come after.

A "Gallifrey" of Sherlockian timelords, so to speak. For the first time in many years, it made me even think that a club newsletter might have a purpose . . . if there was such a club.

"But, Brad," one might argue, "there aren't enough of you for a club."

Ah, but remember "the League of Red-headed Men?" Sure, it was a scam, but part of the whole Red-headed League's cause was "for the propogation and spread of the red-heads." And while spreading Sherlockian chronology might not be as much fun as spreading ginger genes (you know Jabez had to be hoping the League might also get him a little propogational loving in there, in addition to the cash), there might be something worthwhile to come of it.

Perhaps I'm being a bit dreamy in my current state of missing Sherlockian society this weekend, but it also seems like an idea that might be worth putting some energy behind in the year ahead.

"Time lords and ladies sitting round that breakfast-table." It's not a scion society name, but it's a phrase I like for the moment, in lieu of a better reference for the idea.

Let me know if you have any interest in such a thing.


  1. You posted at 221 (p.m.) Is that some sort of sign?

    1. Sheerly by happy accident . . . or was it . . . DESTINY?!?
      (Really. Not on purpose.)

  2. "But, Brad," one might argue, "there aren't enough of you for a club."

    “All you need to form a Sherlockian society is two Sherlockians and a bottle. And in a pinch, you can dispense with one of the Sherlockians.”

    1. I think I'm going to have to write an entire blog rebutting that old quote. Have you tried talking to a bottle about Sherlock Holmes? That bottle is highly over-rated.

  3. If the bottle starts talking back, it's time to call it a night.