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The Winter 2011 BSJ includes the following articles:
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp.
A Re-Enquiry into the Nature of a Certain Nineteenth Century Beeton’s Christmas Annual: Determination of the True First Issue
by Constantine Rossakis.
The Authorship of the Earliest Known Sherlockian Parody
by Charles Press.
Arthur and Oscar
by Cynthia C. Poindexter.
Some Trifling Observations on “The Dancing Men”
by Leslie S. Klinger.
“Great Heavens, Is It You?”: Women in “Charles Augustus Milverton”
by Nicholas Utechin.
How Did 221 Come to B?
by Mark Levy.
Sherlock, the Series
by Joseph A. Shannon.
A Study in Sherlock
by Pat Ward.
by Jean Upton.
Art in the Blood
by Scott Bond.
The Commonplace Book.
Baker Street Inventory.
“Stand with me here upon the terrace . . .”
Index to Volume 61.
* * *
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp
“Far away from the cold night air”
by Steven Rothman, Editor
When the world seems too much with us, Sherlockians are fortunate to have Baker Street as a retreat. Financial markets may gyrate, war drums sound, domestic politics stagnate in heated deadlock, but we have the ability to escape it all simply by cracking open a book. Sometimes Watson tells us the weather, cozily insinuating us into Holmes’s world. Other times he offers a bit of Baker Street conversation. Take, for example, the opening of The Valley of Fear where we immediately discover ourselves in media res as Holmes and Watson bicker familiarly: “‘I am inclined to think—’ said I. ‘I should do so,’ Sherlock Holmes remarked, impatiently.” Not, perhaps, the most classic opening in the Canon, still it grabs the reader.
No matter what our daily woes, inside the pages of the Holmes saga, we are cosseted, safe in our knowledge that these two friends will save the day. No matter that the sun sets in midafternoon. Our world is a bit brighter from the light of pure intelligence shining forth from Holmes’s eyes. The familiar rhythms of the Watsonian prose lulls us into a peaceful mood. We know within sentences that a worried petitioner will draw Holmes’s attention to some wrong that urgently needs righting. Christopher Morley summed up these same feelings over sixty years ago when he sent out as his Christmas greetings this brief poem, “Te Deum Laudanum”:
What opiate can best abate
Anxiety and toil?
Not aspirins, nor treble gins,
Nor love, nor mineral oil—
My only drug is a good long slug
Of Tincture of Conan Doyle.
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp, Winter 2011, Vol. 61, No. 4.
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