0015: The Noble Bachelor

September 24,2011 
11:00 a.m.

Hedberg Public Library Public Meeting Room

Carol Beilharz, Tamara Bower, Ron Del Ciello, Tom Drucker, Herbert Emmel, Resa Haile, Gayle Lange Puhl, Victor Rufer.

James Haile

Tom provided the quiz. Gayle took first place, Ron, second, and Tamara, third.

Gayle said she felt “The Noble Bachelor” presents one of the most disagreeable clients ever. She also added that it should have been “Lord Robert,” not “Lord St. Simon,” as he had an older brother. Resa suggested Watson might not have realized that. Tamara said St. Simon had an inflated idea of his own importance. She noted that Holmes was having fun with Watson the entire time. He teases Watson twice. Resa asked if Lord St. Simon’s expectation was really out of line? From his point of view, he usually is the hottest thing. Flora Millar was a “kept woman.” She drew a comparison between Irene Adler and the king and Lord St. Simon and Flora. Tamara noted the “jumping the claim” misdirection. Gayle said St. Simon was a jerk. Resa questioned if people would have thought of him as a jerk. He kept a mistress, but he took care of her, and he gave her up when he was about to be married, which he didn’t have to do.

Tamara said it was his case that was of moment to Holmes, not his position. Ron said that the story showed Doyle’s attitude towards class and towards Americans. Resa noted the two countries were close allies. Gayle said that Doyle was very influenced by American writers: James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Doyle’s family had connections to members of Parliament, writers, and artists, yet Doyle grew up poor, because his father drank. His sisters had to go out and work as governesses. Governesses were powerless. Resa mentioned “Thor Bridge.” Gayle said Doyle showed it wasn’t just the poor who commit crimes. Tamara noted that, unlike in the Brett series, they all bow to each other. Gayle said Holmes snubbed the king. Resa felt sorry for St. Simon; he made a fair deal, title for money. The marriage market. Gayle ticked off some examples of these types of marriages.

Ron thought the writing was excellent. One of the best examples of Doyle’s writing. “You really got to know some of the characters.” Yet Doyle rated it low among his stories. Resa asked what everyone thought of Hatty’s actions. Tamara noted that at first, Hatty thought she was seeing a ghost. Ron said she was just a kid, intimidated. Gayle thought she sort of went into shock. Resa said, “But afterwards, they’re just going to leave.” Tamara said to think of her first marriage; it reflects back to that. You marry, you fly. Resa noted that Lord St. Simon needs a wife with a fortune to keep up his property. Tamara said he faced a bleak future. Resa felt there were no villains; everyone deserved sympathy. Gayle thought he would be looking for another wife. Herb mentioned that the Rhodes Scholarship performs a function of bringing cultures together now.

Minutes prepared by Resa Haile.

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