Wednesday, August 23, 2017

History isn't always all it's cracked up to be.

History is a funny, funny thing.

Sherlockians have long done research to find Sherlock Holmes's place in history . . . "the Game," as it is sometimes called. We have to call it a game, because sometimes the too-literal, simpler folk fear we are promoting some sort of revisionism to bring what we are all certain is a fictional character into the history books. And, perhaps, denying Conan Doyle his due. Though I'm sure Conan Doyle would be even more famous were we to suddenly discover that Holmes was real and he kept the secret from us all this time.

You never know. Because, like I said, history is a funny, funny thing.

Looking at what I've experienced of the world, Sherlockian and non, and what history is liable to record of those events, it seems very possible that Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson could have existed out there in the cracks somewhere.

History favors the wealthy and powerful, and if anyone had a reason to quash that there was ever any truth to certain points in the Sherlock Holmes stories, it would have been the wealthy and powerful. I live in a city whose own history has been whitewashed more than a bit . . . a wide-open town of all sorts of vices like Peoria once was has its share of family wealth passed down from illegitimate sources. Heck, my favorite local church even took money from the rackets once upon a time, and it wasn't alone in that.

History has so many little hidden gems that die with its participants. Things done for love unspoken, no-talents coming to the fore out of sheer resolve (which is a talent in itself, I guess) to stand in place of genius, incredible moments that never passed beyond word of mouth before all the mouths passed away. There are not only cracks in history, but gaps, gullies, and great gaping voids.

Plenty big enough for 221B Baker Street and all its occupants.

With all of the wicked little conspiracy theories out there, aimed at tearing down or discrediting, what would it hurt to slip a more positive one named Sherlock Holmes into the mix? True, Sherlock is every bit as real as Russell's teapot, evidence-wise, but hey, if you have to go down a rabbit hole of crazy, at least we have clubs and cons with some very charming people who will still hang out with you if you do.

So make a little history. Whether it has you or Sherlock Holmes in in, someone will enjoy it, I'm sure.

1 comment:

  1. 'Russell's Teapot' sounds like a tale by Laurie R. King! (I see that it isn't)