FFB: Sherlock Holmes by Gas-Lamp

This is the 24th in my series of Friday Forgotten Books

Philip A. Shreffler, Editor,  Fordham University Press, 1989 hardcover

anthology of essays

The subtitle of this book is “Highlights from the First Four Decades of The Baker Street Journal”.

The Baker Street Journal, for over fifty years, has been the primary forum for speculation on things Holmesian and Sherlockian since it’s founding, and has contained more “writings on the Writings” than any other journal. This anthology of essays spans forty years and the list of authors is extremely varied. Edgar Smith, founder of the journal, Vincent Starrett, Christopher Morley, William Baring-Gold we would expect to find in such a volume. But here too are Ellery Queen, Fletcher Pratt, Basil Rathbone, T.S. Eliot and Poul Anderson. It is clear that the body of work Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave us referred to as The Canon is truly fascinating to very many people.

From reminiscences of first meetings with Sherlock Homes to poetry, analysis of the Hound’s true nature to a very in-depth discussion of what really occurred at Reichenbach Falls on May 4, 1891, these essays are fascinating. They may well give you the urge, as they have given me, to pull that volume by Conan Doyle off the shelf and spend some time re-reading or perhaps reading for the first time (what a treat!) the stories and novels featuring Holmes and Watson. These many essays show the sometimes surprising depth of Holmesian scholarship, often with fascinating results.

~  ~  ~  ~

Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more FFB reviews at her own blog,
and a complete list of today’s participating blogs.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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10 Responses to FFB: Sherlock Holmes by Gas-Lamp

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    University presses do a good job with this sort of book.

  2. Richard says:

    Yes they do, Patti, though they sometimes are to academic (didactic) for my tastes. This one is excellent.

  3. I’m quite a Sherlock fan, though mostly the fiction. I own a couple of the scholarly books, but that’s about it. I have several editions of each of the Doyle books and uncounted numbers of pastiches.

  4. Drongo says:

    Poul Anderson is an old favorite of mine, so I might get this book for his piece alone.

  5. Todd Mason says:

    Not a dud, Rick…I appreciate the recommendation, I just didn’t have too much to say in response to this (I’m not an obsessive Sherlockian by any means). Nothing by Anthony Boucher, though? Almost seems odd, given his professional engagement with Holmes (at least on the radio).

  6. I’ve been busy snowblowing my driveway and sidewalks after a winter storm to access the Internet much today.

  7. Richard says:

    Keep your head down, George, the groundhog was sure right when he predicted more winter this year. At least Big Red is working!

    Todd – okay, I’m sorry for being a whiner. Yes, I would have thought A.B. would have been there, but I don’t know how much he submitted to the BSJ, as busy as he was.

  8. Richard says:

    Randy, I think you would enjoy this one.

  9. Todd Mason says:

    I wouldn’t say whiner, Rick…but it is, perhaps, odd what draws comment and what doesn’t…my own entry this week drew one comment so far, so probably won’t draw any more.

    Hey, at least I didn’t spend several hours resarching, putting in and testing links for it.

  10. Richard says:

    I made my comment, belatedly, I admit, did a quick look-and-bail the first time as I’m not much for books by comedians.

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