The Autumn 2017 Baker Street Journal includes these articles:
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp.
Conan Doyle, a Cricket Bat, and Lord’s
by Nicholas Utechin.
Dating “The Creeping Man”
by Neil McCaw.
Sherlock Holmes in Shorthand
by Don Hobbs.
Grabbers: First Sentences in the Canon
by Michael H. Kean.
On The Origin of Tree Worship
by Daniel F. Polish.
Irene Adler and the Curious Case of Her Missing Agency
by Maria Fleischhack.
A Study in “A Case of Identity”
by Jenn Eaker.
A Doylean Evening with the Clubwomen of Granite City
by Kate M. Donley.
Henry Hollister Jackson: An Enigmatic Sherlockian
by Tom Brydges.
Art in the Blood
by Scott Bond.
The Commonplace Book
Baker Street Inventory
“Stand with me here upon the terrace . . .”
Letters to Baker Street
* * *
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp
“Children will listen”
by Steven Rothman, Editor
We admire Sherlock Holmes as a great observer. His ability to notice details ignored by others is part of his perennial appeal. If only we, too, could see enough to make out the truth after a seemingly casual glance. Conan Doyle’s tales of his teacher Joseph Bell show that some can approach Holmes’s level of expertise. But although Holmes’s eyes (along with his prodigious knowledge of many fields), seem to be his chief weapon against crime, he wields another tool much less often remarked upon: his ears.
Holmes is a gifted listener. He describes his method in A Study in Scarlet: His clients “are all people who are in trouble about something, and want a little enlightening. I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee.” In The Sign of the Four, Holmes describes one of his golden rules for listening: “The main thing . . . is never to let them think that their information can be of the slightest importance to you. If you do, they will instantly shut up like an oyster. If you listen to them under protest, as it were, you are very likely to get what you want.” We picture the listening Holmes as he appears in “The Copper Beeches,” composed, “with his lids drooping and his finger-tips together.” But he is not unaffected by what he hears. He listens to the news of Violet de Merville’s impending wedding “with a cold, concentrated look upon his pale face, which told me that it hit him hard.”
We should all learn to listen more intently, not just to hear—to try our best to master others’ stories.
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp, Autumn 2017, Vol. 67, No. 3.
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