Saturday, March 12, 2022

Holmes, Doyle & Friends 2022 -- Late Saturday Morning

First, the results of the Conan Doyle trial for the murder of Sherlock Holmes, announced by Bill Mason: 

57% Guilt of murder
23% Not guilty
19%  Guilty but insane

The largest share of attendees though Doyle did it for artistic liberation. Bill Cochran tried to claim there was no murder, as no corpse was ever produced.

Our next speaker is Rich Krisciunas with "Could the Crown Convict Sherlock Holmes?" -- a great follow-up to Bill Mason's talk by a speaker we've heard on Zoom. As his presentation gets into explaining the hearsay rule and direct evidence, Rich uses some photoshopped examples casting Regina Stinson and Dan Andriacco as his victim and criminal, which quickly warms up the crowd. He works his way through the availability of witnesses to Holmes's crimes, and even discusses Watson's ability to testify.

Watson is a complex key to any prosecution of Holmes, according to Rich, and offering the doctor immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony has issues, which he illustrates from his own experience. Watson's credibility is brought to question, just from those notorious Canonical inconsistencies. And those vexing dates of the cases just make matters even worse.

Rich comes to the final conclusion that the Crown would decline to prosecute Holmes because the case was just too hard. A few comments like "He's wonderful!" can be heard from behind me as we applaud after the talk wraps up. The Q&A after brings out some of the knowledgeable folks in the audience, one of whom will be speaking later in the program. 

Regina Stinson, a second Michigan Sherlockian of note, is very familiar to Dayton regulars -- I remember how she used to win the hundred question brain-buster quizzed of long ago. Her talk is next, "The Legend of the Deerstalker." She reminds us of Holmes's original non-deerstalker hats in early artistic representations going back to his first appearance, and as with Bill Mason, Regina's commentary on the historical facts has more than a few good quips.

Sidney Paget first placed the deerstalker on Holmes's head, well before Holmes's death at Reichenbach. (Is that Holmes's deerstalker falling off his head in Paget's drawing of Holmes and Moriarty wrestling on that cliff?) Paget to Steele to Gillette and all that came after shaping that deerstalker's iconic image are discussed, but in the end, Regina gives Paget is due. In the lively Q&A, we get into how Holmes would wear the hat if Amish, Arthur Keller and "Boobus Britannicus Watson."

I managed to pass along a goodly number of non-Sherlock Conan Doyle books to new homes since Bill Mason lauded Doyle's writing. We've gotten done with the morning program a little earlier than planned, and Dan asks for announcements of future events from those present, and we get to hear about a few (too quickly for me to type up here, sadly). 

On to lunch!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting those of us who couldn't go hear about those who could. I am now a nice shade of green, jade (aka jealous) green, that is. -- Esmerelda