July 30, 2011
Hedberg Public Library Public Meeting Room
Ron Del Ciello, Tom Drucker, Resa Haile, Bryan Pike, Gayle Lange Puhl
QUIZ AND MISCELLANY
QUIZ AND MISCELLANY
The group watched the Douglas Wilmer version of “The Speckled Band,” provided by Gayle. There was some discussion of this presentation. The Wilmer television series, as well as the Ronald Howard and Benedict Cumberbatch series, were discussed. Gayle noted that a real snake was used in the play, but critics said it didn’t look real, and it was replaced with a mechanical snake.
STORY: THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND
Gayle noted the use of the British terms “knocked up” and “plantation” and the differences from their American counterparts. Ron was interested in the phrase “when doctors go bad.” Especially interesting since Holmes has closely allied himself with a doctor.
The snake that never existed (the swamp adder who could hear and climb a bellpull and liked to drink milk) was discussed. Resa noted that in an article in The Baker Street Journal it was argued that a mongoose had actually been involved as well. Resa said she liked to think of the snake going to live with
from The Sign of Four. Gayle thought it more likely that the snake was destroyed. Sherman
Resa noted that Helen Stoner, this story’s heroine, is posited by some to be a Watson wife (prior to Mary Morstan). It is noted at the beginning of the story that Helen has died. In Skewed Sherlock, it is theorized that everything is actually a plot by Helen to dispose of her stepfather, playing on Holmes' tendency to chivalrously believe ladies.
The chivalry and the celibacy of Watson and Holmes was discussed.
felt that Holmes was not necessarily portrayed as celibate. Resa was unimpressed with all the theories about young Holmes having his heartbroken and swearing off women. “Somebody broke everybody’s heart once.” She argued that people with broken hearts go on to love again, but that “the bonds you form with parents” can affect future relationships significantly. Gayle noted that Holmes’ family were country squires and that he spent time outdoors with the coachmen and everybody. She theorized that Holmes’ mother could have had affairs; she might have moved in the Prince of Wales’ circle, where that was common. Resa suggested perhaps they’d fallen on hard times if the father had died. Or even if there was a flirtation and Sherlock had found out about it, it might have colored his view of women. Bryan
THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENGINEER’S THUMB—August 13, 2011, 11 a.m.
Minutes prepared by Resa Haile.