Episode 49: I'll Have a Blue Christmas
"Compliments of the season" is how Watson described his activities regarding a visit he paid to Holmes during the Christmas season.

And we know "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" as the sole Christmas story in the Canon of Sherlock Holmes stories. And rather than focus on the nostalgic and its place in the lineup of winter classics, we discuss how this classic fits in the pantheon of Holmes stories in its own right as a tale of friendship, crime, discovery and what we've come to realize as some of the typical Baker Street scenes.

In an effort to pay homage to this Christmas classic, the Baker Street Irregulars in 1948 crafted a special edition of "The Blue Carbuncle" that included a wonderful essay by Christopher Morley titled "A Christmas Story Without Slush." About BLUE, Morley said, "it was superb art. It hasn't a word too many or two few." That essay itself has become something of a classic as well, and we're delighted to share it with our listeners here.

After Burt inhabits the person of Morley for our reading, we come to a rather alarming and satisfying conclusion. We would be interested to hear if you share our assessment.

We go on to express admiration for the dramatized versions of the story - particularly by Jeremy Brett and David Burke for Granada and Peter Cushing and Nigel Stock for the BBC. We even invent our own version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with one of the actors who appeared in each.

As part of the holiday season, we also offered up our own - rather eclectic - list of gift ideas and sites where you might find the same. Herewith, the gift giving guide for Sherlockians (or perhaps those from the Steampunk crowd as well) during the holiday season:


The Editor's Gas-Lamp: We round out the show with a reading of "Two Days After Christmas," a version of "The Blue Carbuncle" that takes the form of Clement Moore's classic "A Visit From St. Nick." If you would like to read this poem for your own Sherlockian society meeting, please feel free to download or print it out - with attribution, of course.

Direct download: ihearofsherlock049.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16pm EST

Episode 48: Dangerous Work

When Conan Doyle embarked on his whaling adventure at the age of 20, little could he have guessed what awaited him.

And little did the world know how profoundly his experiences would influence his later life, including the creation for which we know him most intimately - that of Sherlock Holmes.

We're joined in this episode by the editors of Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure, Jon Lellenberg, BSI and Daniel Stashower, BSI. Jon and Dan have been with us on previous episodes of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere: when we discussed Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters on Episode 13, and again onEpisode 37 when we covered The Narrative of John Smith, a lost Conan Doyle manuscript.

What we learn about Conan Doyle's six and a half month voyage on the Hope is absolutely fascinating - from the provenance of the manuscript itself and how Dame Jean Conan Doyle worked tirelessly to ensure this publication could be seen, to the harrowing adventures that Arthur himself saw as part of this arctic voyage and more - and what we consider the world would have been like had this journey not taken place, or worse: if events had taken a more grisly turn.

From the raw and harsh realities that required the ministrations of a third year medical student, to the unexpected swims and from the daily thoughts to the watercolor illustrations, we gain a view of Conan Doyle that truly helps the reader understand the seeds that were planted for a later career. What would his mother, (the "Ma'am") have thought of his accepting the adventure? What would his work been like absent such adventures? We speculate with the two men who have come to know Conan Doyle intimately through their previous work.

One item of note that the editors shared with us is that Dr. William Henry Neale, the surgeon on board theEira (a ship that the Hope encountered), posed in a photograph with Conan Doyle at the time. A later photo (in 1892 and pictured below) shows Dr. Neale, who could very easily pass for Dr. Watson.

There is another item of note related to Dr. Watson that was mentioned by Conan Doyle at the conclusion of his voyage, but rather than spoil it here, we'll let you discover it yourself in the audio.

Finally, rather than the traditional Editor’s Gas-Lamp, we thought that while we had the editors with us, they could read to us from Doyle's diary. We asked Dan to read a poem that Doyle wrote in the July 26 entry, titled "Meerschaum Pipe."

We then turn to your comments on previous episodes and review your response to some of our questions/surveys on Facebook. Of course we do our housekeeping and mention all of our social network presence: on FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram - including the Top 10 Suggestive Lines from the Sherlock Holmes Canon.

Direct download: ihearofsherlock048.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:20pm EST