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LE JOURNAL DE SHERLOCK
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THE CHRONICLE OF JUNEANDCIE (https://juneandcie.com/)
"Sherlock Holmes is one of the greatest figures in popular culture and his name is synonymous with police mystery, London fog and enigmatic crimes. From his residence in Baker Street to Paddington Station, from the Dartmoor moors to the Swiss mountains, from the East End to Hyde Park, through clubs and streets ... Sherlock Holmes and his time, found and commented in all their places . A geography of the great detective, rare photos, engravings and unpublished documents. "
A visit from London and even a little further, in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes, what would it be? Put your steps in those of the one and only detective consulting, visit the emblematic places where his adventures take place, know their history ... This is exactly what we propose through this book André-François Ruaud and Xavier Mauméjean. Already fictional biographers Sherlock Holmes, a life, from the same editor, in which I am immersed, these two enthusiasts take us for a leisurely stroll, between history and fiction, in late Victorian London. The London of Sherlock Holmes.
The synthetic and clear entries, arranged alphabetically in the manner of an encyclopaedia, are geographically wandering through the adventures of Holmes, L'Admiralty (The Plans of Bruce-Partington), Waterloo (Les Cinq Pépins Orange) through Le Criterion (A Study in Scarlett), the sinister Dartmoor (Le chien des Baskerville) and, of course, Baker Street. Each clearly explains the rapid history of the place, its links with the canon and its state / activity at the time of the events. Thus arranged and complemented by engravings, posters, photographs of period or present, they compose an astonishing panorama of this London in full mutation, teeming with life and energy.
For the sake of precision, the authors also chose to mention very specific elements such as Watson's place of school mentioned in the canon, smog (fog) important part of the London decor or specific architectural details such as the famous bow -window, typical of English architecture and which are frequently mentioned in the canon.
A luxury of details that only adds to the interest of this beautiful book. It also features worldly social venues such as the famous clubs (Le Diogene's club in the Greek Interpreter), others participating in the economic strength of the city such as docks or stations, or political or judicial bodies (The Foreign Office in The Plans of Bruce Partington or simply Scotland Yard).
All these elements are viscerally part of the English capital, participate in his life as much as they contribute to weave a fascinating canvas for the adventures of the legendary detective. In the course of this Geography, each of them brings a touch to the portrait of the capital at the beginning of the 20th century, to resurrect its special atmosphere.
With a clear, pleasant and aesthetically pleasing presentation, the book is read with great pleasure and easily, being as instructive as it is exciting for the lovers of Sherlock Holmes. It complements the Sherlock Holmes, a life, bringing a form of material reality, tangible to the fictional biography imagined by the authors, offering as a point of reference to the reader.
If, on several occasions, it is regrettable that the book is not more exhaustive in its explanations, especially for connoisseurs of the capital, it must nevertheless be borne in mind that this is not a question a historical guide to London but rather a geography related to a work. This Geography of Sherlock Holmes is revealed moreover as precise and complete as attractive. And, at the end of this stroll, the book is closed with regret, regretting that it was not longer. But all good things have an end, do not they?
After his marriage to the delicate Mary Morstan (The Sign of the Four), Doctor Watson left Baker Street. Taking advantage of a visit to one of his patients, he will inquire about the health of his friend Sherlock Holmes, hoping to find this one busy and far from the 7% solution which he has cured him of, boredom. It was then that the king of Bohemia made a theatrical appearance and theoretically anonymous to request the services of the consultant detective.
On the verge of marrying the second daughter of the King of Scandinavia, he finds himself in an embarrassing situation: an adventurer named Irene Adler has in her possession a photograph proving their past affair and which she refuses to return. The revelation of this adventure could endanger the royal marriage and taint the future of the king. In order to preserve this one from the scandal, Sherlock Holmes is going to make himself strong, by various subterfuges, to recover the object, but it is possible that this time he found an opponent to his measure
After the two novels A Study in Scarlett and The Sign of the Four, this is the first of the fifty-six which constitute what is commonly called the Holmesian canon. Published in Strand Magazine, its short format (about fifteen pages in large format) gives it a narrative rhythm more abundant and dense than the two previous novels.
As soon as he begged him to sit down, Sherlock Holmes showed his pleasure in finding his partner by training him manu militaridans in a new adventure. Conan Doyle is nevertheless master in the way to install his story, since in a few lines we are embarked, context explained and mystery posed. The entrance of the king of Bohemia, which is the triggering element of the action, is one of the tasty moments of history, for with the Astrakhan bands on his silk-lined coat, his ornate brooch of a beryl and his Bohemian paper monogrammed, his Highness would not have made more anonymous by bringing his court with him. And we understand with a little smile that Sherlock Holmes unmasks it without difficulty.
IIllustration of Strand Magazine by
Sidney Paget. Source
But do not laugh too fast, because our consultant detective will not have the easy part all along, contrary to what he believes.
For as laughable as the King of Bohemia may seem, with his opera dungeons, this adversary hides an opponent who marks the entire career of Sherlock Holmes: The Woman. Sherlock Holmes. And the impression is all the stronger that our consultant detective does not always show tenderness with the feminine gender.
"When a woman thinks that her house is on fire, her instinct is at once to rush to the one thing. [...] A married woman grabs at her baby-an unmarried one reaches for her jewel-box. "
Let us, however, take care not to misquote him as a misogynist. Sherlock Holmes never allowed a woman to be deceived, suffered or insulted. If he recognizes their spirit, our detective consultant is suspicious, I would even distrust women (too emotional, too manipulative?) As he distrusts feelings. Remember this quotation that ends The Sign of the Four, when he tells Watson not to be able to congratulate him in spite of Mary's qualities because:
"But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold. "
Yet our detective consultant has had to leave the charm of Irene Adler (or an excess of confidence) disturb his sense of observation and his pure logic, for he did not realize that his victim was deceiving the deceiver.
It is amusing to note in this piece of news that although Watson remains a narrator, he is effaced and placed in the background in order to leave room for action, a large part of which is indirectly related to us by Holmes, investigations to his companion. Conan Doyle plays voices to leave room for both the external impressions of Watson, which takes the place of the reader and gives an external opinion, and to the fulgurance of spirit of a Sherlock in action, a little too quickly content with itself, as the denouement will show. These two interwoven voices give a lively dynamic to the narrative, plunging the reader into the heart of the events that are rapidly connected.
If Watson is withdrawn, he is the one who gives us the conclusion of the adventure with some form of modesty. What impression really made Irene Adler about Sherlock Holmes we will never know exactly. This will remain one of the character's mysteries. But in the tenderness of this conclusion, Watson seems almost moved to have discovered as a sensibility in his companion.
Removed and fluid, but not devoid of finesse and emotions, this very mastered news demonstrates the amplitude of the talents of the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the complexity of the character of Sherlock Holmes.
And in series, what does it give?
The potential of the new was fully exploited in the BBC's Selock series through episode 1, Season 2, remained cult, A Scandal in Belgravia. Following the Great Game which concludes Season 1 and where the famous Bohemian paper is evoked, the episode written by Steven Moffat takes up many elements of the original news:
Irene Adler is in both cases what is pejoratively called an adventuress, hence a luxury prostitute in short.
In both cases, it holds photographs that could scandalize a monarchy, but claims to want to keep them for its protection.
In both versions, the said pictures demonstrate an affair with a person of royal blood.
Playing on the sounds, to modernize the scenario Steven Moffat played on the sounds of the title. Thus Bohemia becomes Belgravia, which is an area located southwest of Buckingham Palace.
Moreover, in both cases, Sherlock quickly unmasked the identity of his client and the delicate aspect of the problem. In the new as the scenario his first tip is to pay to retrieve the photos or photos.
The stratagem of the fire and the disguise as a churchman used by Holmes to enter Irene Adler's house and discover the hiding place of the photographs are taken up almost literally in the episode.
In both versions, burglars attempt to appropriate the object that contains the photos: in the original it is a cabinet and the burglars were sent in vain by the king of Bohemia himself. In the second case, it is a smartphone and our burglars are from the CIA.
Irène Adler keeps in tribute the nickname of The Womande Sherlock's share in both cases and remains the only woman to have fooled him.
Moreover, this episode is rich in references to canonical news like The Greek Interpreter which becomes The Geek Interpreter and The Speckled Band which becomes The Speckled Blonde. Moreover it is the first time that Sherlock Holmes really becomes himself by replacing the famous deerstalker.
Nevertheless, the short story serves as a much more complex plot that lets the guy pull the wires behind the scenes, Moriarty. Indeed, being very short, the intrigue alone of A Scandal in Bohemia could not have been used to cover 90 min of episode, without suffering weaknesses. Hence the decision of the screenwriters to be inspired by different news.
The outcome of the episode was not without arousing some stir and allegations of misogyny with regard to Steven Moffat. Indeed, this one makes the choice, unlike Arthur Conan Doyle, to leave the hand in a final reversal to Sherlock. A choice that had surely vocation in the series to open the way to the great confrontation between the two nemesis that are Sherlock and Moriarty at the end of this season, but which somewhat diminishes the brilliance of the deceit of the beautiful Irene. However, it should be noted that the two intrigues are closing on the same conclusion: Sherlock Holmes, this brilliant spirit, paying tribute to the only person who ever beat him: The Woman.
Is that not what counts?
Do not hesitate to consult the chronicles of the two comrades with whom I share this crazy Holmesian adventure: Light and Smell and Satorukudo. I can only recommend you to compare our opinions which are often contrasted and complementary to have a good overview.
Moreover, for the fans of the series or the curious, you can find my complete chronicle of the episode A Scandal in Belgravia.
Editions Les Moutons Électriques.
Published: February 2011 Price: 19 €
Sherlock Holmes existed !
My opinion : The game is never over.
"And so ..." is the postulate of this collection Bibliothèque Rouge des Moutons Électriques.
And so ... Fabulous fantasy is not it?
What if Sherlock Holmes really existed?
And if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had not been the brilliant creator of a legendary character who was going to fascinate his readers through the centuries, but the friend, colleague and literary agent of a certain John. Hamish. Watson?
Starting with the Canon as the guide wire and the heart of their fascinating canvas, André-François Ruaud and Xavier Mauméjean weave a whole network of hypotheses, conjectures, all very studied, around the supposed life of the genius detective and his entourage. For example, they analyze the state of Watson's marriage, the reasons for his multiple departures and returns to Baker Street, and the evolution of his relationship with Holmes. His supposed and possible links with Arthur Conan Doyle, the real names and places made up in the Canon and the reasons that motivated such a precaution on the part of the good doctor. The true function of the elder brother of the Holmes (who would be the first M hiding behind the MI-6) or the reasons for the sometimes strange character of the detective. So many analyzes and points that constitute important pieces of the puzzle of the life of Holmes.
But our two authors do not work only the living matter of the Canon, far from it. With a rare dexterity and based on many previous studies and research, they combine these fictional elements with a political, historical, sociological and cultural context to forcefully embed our detective consultant in the real.
Launching different paths on Holmes' ancestry for example, they elaborate a plausible genealogy based on real people. Notably a certain French Augusta Holmes (1847-1903), a renowned musician, contemporary with the gentleman, of British and Irish origin (an inspiration from Doyle as to Holmes' French and Irish origins and his taste for music and the violin? ) that they see as a possible cousin of our detective.
Admit that the track is seductive, if not troubling ... In the same way, they tackle his studies, his different addresses, his youth confronting each idea with the elements given by the Canon and morals or facts of the " time.
Augusta Holmès. Source
Considering each hypothesis that was one day launched on the subject of Holmes, they analyze, dissect, conjecture, until reconstruct, around the chronology and the facts given by the Canon, a solid, structured and coherent context as far as the personality of Holmes than about his time. Each evoked element brings back to a part of the personality or habits of the great detective.
Such as the free and medicinal use of cocaine, praised by Freud himself, which is not without explaining the addiction of Holmes and its ease to satisfy it. It's bought in the shop around the corner, my good lady. Even the famous 7% dosage is explained, indicating that the solution was sold at 10%, so that Holmes himself had to dilute it, not to mention the intervention of Watson.
Or the context of the galloping modernization of London (multiplication of stations, modification of the city, appearance of the first underground subway, electric lighting, telephone) even as our detective seems deeply refractory to these technical advances, obstinate to send telegrams or take cabs. He who has deduction, however, two steps ahead of the methods of Scotland Yard. Holmes, although resolutely modern in his methods, is the man of an ancient world destined to disappear.
"There's an old wind coming all the same, so wind up on a cloudy England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less and a cleaner, better stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared. "
In His Last Bow (1917). Arthur Conan Doyle
Or also the why of the geographical, sociological and administrative way that explains why Holmesne was not on the track of Jack The Ripper, when they were contemporaries. If you believed there to be an indisputable proof of the non-existence of Sherlock Holmes, this part will make you swallow your mustache, as it is brilliantly supported.
More than a biography it is a small part of the English and London history that is written through the life of Sherlock Holmes. In this strange ballet between history and fiction, our authors bring to cross many historical figures (Oscar Wilde, JM Barrie, King Edward VII) as well as literary characters such as Hercule Poirot, Arsene Lupine, who rubbed shoulders with Holmes in countless pastiches. In this subtle way they succeed in inserting fiction into reality without disturbing the facts, neither on one side nor on the other. The authors of fictional characters found themselves elegantly placed at the rank of literary agents (Oh, that the game on words is pretty!) Such as Doyle for Watson. Doyle whose line of life is skilfully wrapped around that of his character and which we will find, logically in the context, at several points of the story. It is also a few lines after welcoming his departure, July 7, 1930, we will leave Holmes, for lack of more data, as at the end of a dream, to his immortality. André-François Ruaud and Xavier Mauméjean leave us quoting the Times who alleged in 1957 that "since no obituary had so far appeared, Sherlock Holmes was still alive. It was no better way I think to finish this work that will undoubtedly delight the lovers of Doyle's work.
A small warning nevertheless: in order not to be lost between reality and fiction, it is preferable for this reading to have a good knowledge of the Canon, to be endowed with a good sense of discernment tinged with a touch of culture general and a suspicion of second-degree meaning.
A good bonus, at the end of the book, you will find a general summary genealogy to locate you, a list of news cited as well as, a small bonus appreciable, some pastiches and analyzes that help us not to leave Holmes too fast. Delicate attention of the authors! Thanks be to them, my little heart did not recover.
For my part, I would like to thank our two authors for their work which has delighted me. It is, for me, of those books for the subtlety of which one falls in love. The cover had already seduced me, the rest made me succumb. Nobody had told me that Sherlock meant in old Anglo-Saxon "light hair" and therefore by "luminous" extension. Nothing for this much sought after precision, they have my eternal gratitude.
By virtue of their precision, research and documentation, including many literary corpuses and research books, their humor also made Sherlock Holmes more alive than ever, almost palpable through his time and intimacy with Watson. But above all, they opened a tremendous door to Sir Arthur Doyle's inspiration and his influences. Through life his character, it is a part of him that I could touch with the finger ...