Saturday, January 29, 2011

Julian Wolff, and the BSI of an earlier era

Just added at, my Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter article of last month about “Julian Wolff and Still Waters,” with the kind permission of McDiarmid Curator Timothy Johnson and newsletter editor Julie McKuras.  In addition to what it has to say about Julian Wolff personally, I think more recent arrivals to the ranks of the BSI may be surprised to learn how succession occurred in an earlier era, even if Julian bears responsibility for how this has changed, and not to the BSI’s betterment.  The Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter is invaluable reading for all interested in the world of Sherlock Holmes, and if you don’t receive it already, contact the editor at

Coming soon at the website, something entirely new:  What happened to Sherlock Holmes when John Law came knocking at the door of Christ Cella's speakeasy in 1929!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mea Culpa

I am not as conscientious about this blog as I should be, for which I apologize.  But since the holidays ended I have resumed the new Links of the Week at my BSI Archival History website, and added a bunch of stuff elsewhere there, including highlights of my own from the BSI weekend in New York, that are best accessed through the website's Editor's Gas-Bag at  

Woody Hazelbaker's World will take a while longer to resume.  Working against a deadline, Dan Stashower and I are annotating the text of A. Conan Doyle's first, never published, attempt at a novel, and writing a critical introduction for it.  The book will be published by the British Library in the autumn.  The Narrative of John Smith (which in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures Conan Doyle described not entirely honestly as having been lost forever in the post in 1883) is not the sort of work one usually thinks of as a Conan Doyle novel.  But it is proving to be a source of considerable discoveries about his reading, thinking, and future literary trajectory at the time when he was a struggling young physician in Southsea, struggling even hard to become a published writer.  Reading the ms., it can be difficult to believe that in just a year -- he was rewriting it from memory in 1884 -- he would create Sherlock Holmes and write A Study in Scarlet.  But many elements of that first Sherlock Holmes tale asee light first in this earlier manuscript of his, not to mention of his subsequent Holmes tales and other literary work of his.