The Grand Game Vol. One: 1902–1959

The Grand Game Volume One cover

The Grand Game:
A Celebration of Sherlockian Scholarship
Volume One: 1902–1959.

Edited by
Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger.

The Grand Game is based on the lovely fantasy played by scholars and Sherlockians that Sherlock Holmes was a real person, and that the sixty Canonical tales were actually written by Dr. Watson and reflect true historical events. Of course, the only problem is that the good doctor was frequently careless in keeping straight the dates and details from one story to the next, leaving the path open for scholars to explain the discrepancies and inconsistencies.

As a result, numerous vexing questions have stimulated the speculations of distinguished scholars for more than a century, and many of the best of these appear in this volume of classic articles covering the years 1902–1959. It includes articles by such luminaries as Ronald Knox, A.A. Milne, Dorothy L. Sayers, Christopher Morley, Rex Stout, Anthony Boucher, Red Smith, and even Franklin D. Roosevelt. The sixty-six articles contained in this remarkable book are among the best examples of “the grand game” to be produced during the first six decades of the twentieth century.

“If your shelves can only accommodate a handful of Sherlockian volumes, this should be one of them.”
—Jon L. Breen, Mystery Scene Magazine

437 pages, hardcover, January 2011 (sold out)
437 pages, trade paperback, June 2018
With more than 40 photographs & illustrations

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Praise for The Grand Game

“There are far too many gems to select favorites; the book gives the reader a chance to revisit well-loved essays by familiar authors. Many pieces would be on every “best of” list, and there are an equal number of pleasant surprises.”
—Steven Rothman, The Baker Street Journal

“One hundred years ago Father Ronald Knox presented the essay, “Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes.” The Baker Street Irregulars have celebrated this centenary by gathering 66 articles about the literature of Sherlock Holmes….. to form this first volume of the best “writings on the writings.” One of the highlights is the witty hermeneutic-styled introduction by co-editor Laurie King…..
excellent **** (4-star review)
—Steve Steinbock, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

“Happily, this centennial year has seen the publication of a wonderful collection of essays that not only celebrate this cornerstone of The Grand Sherlockian Game but collects in one volume the cream of Sherlockian scholarship written between 1902 and 1959….. The Grand Game consists of more than 60 of the most delightful and witty of all the “writings on the writings.”
—Doug Wrigglesworth, Canadian Holmes

“Sherlockians, as it is well known, are a fanatical lot teetering on the edge of rational insanity, and nowhere is this truer than in their pursuit of “the Grand Game.” The book of the same name is an encyclopedic introduction to the most whimsical bit of serious scholarship ever to exist.”
—John Darnton, author of Black and White and Dead All Over

The Grand Game is a treasure house, full of good things… highly recommended!”
—Roger Johnson, The Sherlock Holmes Journal

Table of Contents for The Grand Game Volume One

Publisher’s Preface
by Michael F. Whelan

Introduction
by Laurie R. King

THE CORNERSTONE
Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes
by Ronald A. Knox (1912)

EARLY CRITICISM
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” at Fault
by Frank Sidgwick (F. S.) (1902)

Sherlock Holmes’ Plots and Strategy
by J. B. Mackenzie (1902)

Some Inconsistencies of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Bartlett Maurice (1902)

TEXTUAL CRITICISM
The Date of “The Sign of Four”
by H.W. Bell (1934)

Part One (excerpt)
by Pope R. Hill, Sr. (1947)

The Journeys of Sherlock Holmes
by Paul Gore-Booth (1948)

Baker Street Chronology (excerpt)
by Ernest Bloomfield Zeisler (1953)

7. Knowledge of Chemistry—Profound
by Leon S. Holstein (1954)

The Chronological Holmes (excerpt)
by William S. Baring-Gould (1955)

Early Days in Baker Street
by John Ball, Jr. (1955)

“‘What Was the Month?”
by Nathan Bengis (1957)

The Date of the Study in Scarlet
by Percy Metcalfe (1959)

HIGHER CRITICISM
Holmes, the American?
Was Sherlock Holmes an American?
by Christopher Morley (1936)

Letter re Holmes as an American
by Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945)

Oxford or Cambridge?
Holmes’ College Career
by Dorothy L. Sayers (1934)

Oxford vs. Cambridge (excerpt)
by O.F. Grazebrook (1949)

Oxford or Cambridge
by Gavin Brend (1951)

On Dr. Watson
A Note on the Watson Problem
by S.C. Roberts (1929)

The Medical Career and Capacities of Dr. John H. Watson
by Helen Simpson (1934)

The Mystery of the Second Wound
by James Keddie, Sr. (1944)

Dr. Watson’s Christian Name
by Dorothy L. Sayers (1944)

Dr. Watson and the British Army
by Crighton Sellars (1947)

Marriage and Its Problems
by Gavin Brend (1951)

A Résumé of the Medical Life of John H. Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical…
by Vernon Pennell (1956)

The Singular Bullet
by J.W. Sovine (1959)

The Adventure of John and Mary
by Ebbe Curtis Hoff (1959)

221B Baker Street
Letter re Camden House
by Gray Chandler Briggs (1931)

No. 221B Baker Street
by Vincent Starrett (1933)

This Desirable Residence
by G. B. Newton (1956)

Where was 221B?
by James Edward Holroyd (1959)

The Backyards of Baker Street
by Bernard Davies (1959)

On Sherlock Holmes
Nummi in Arca, or the Fiscal Holmes
by R.K. Leavitt (1940)

The Care and Feeding of Sherlock Holmes
by Earle F. Walbridge (1940)

Annie Oakley in Baker Street
by R.K. Leavitt (1944)

The Distaff Side of Baker Street
by Esther Longfellow (1946)

On the Remarkable Explorations of Sigerson
by Winifred M. Christie (1952)

The Gastronomic Holmes
by Fletcher Pratt (1952)

Sherlock Holmes—Rare Book Collector
by Madeleine B. Stern (1953)

The Nefarious Holmes
by Red Smith (1953)

On Moriarty
On the Nomenclature of the Brothers Moriarty
by Anthony Boucher (1941)

Moriarty Was There
by Robert Pattrick (1958)

Problems in Individual Cases
The Significance of the Second Stain
by Felix Morley (1944)

Thumbing His Way to Fame
by Bliss Austin (1946)

The Three Students in Limelight, Electric Light and Daylight
by W.S. Bristowe (1953)

Thumbs Up: Thumbs Down?
by Jay Finley Christ (1954)

A Final Illumination on the Lucca Code
by Donald A. Yates (1955)

Moriarty Was There
by A. Carson Simpson (1957)

Locational Issues
Three Identifications: Lauriston Gardens, Upper Swandam Lane, Saxe-Coburg Square
by H.W. Bell (1940)

Inner or Outer Rail
by Norman Crump (1952)

“A Case of Identity”
by James Montgomery (1955)

Special Considerations
The Literature Relating to Sherlock Holmes
by T.S. Blakeney (1932)

The Mystery of Mycroft
by Ronald A. Knox (1934)

A Scandal in Identity
by Edgar W. Smith (1944)

The Problem of the Case-Book
by D. Martin Dakin (1953)

The Effect of Trades Upon the Body
by Remsen Ten Eyck Schenck (1953)

Clergymen in the Canon
by Rev. Otis R. Rice (1954)

RADICAL CRITICISM
Watson Was a Woman
by Rex Stout (1944)

That Was No Lady
by Julian Wolff (1944)

MIDRASH
Dr. Watson Speaks Out
by A.A. Milne (1929)

The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson
by Vincent Starrett (1934)

Mrs. Hudson Speaks
by ZaSu Pitts (1947)

Art in the Blood
by James Montgomery (1950)

The Napoleon of Crime—Prolegomena to a Memoir of Professor James Moriarty, Sc.D.
by Edgar W. Smith (1953)

Inspector G. Lestrade
by Holstein, Leon S. (1958)

Two Canonical Problems Solved
by S. Tupper Bigelow (1959)

Sources

Editors

Related Books

A companion book, The Grand Game Volume Two, also co-edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, contains articles written between 1960 and 2010.

A special signed, limited edition includes both volumes of The Grand Game along with a third book about the origins of the grand game.

A Boxed Set edition that is not signed or numbered.

Learn More

Website of Co-Editor Laurie R. King

Website of Co-Editor Leslie S. Klinger

BSI Press / Books overview page

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