Sun, 15 March 2015
"she loved the Prince" [SHOS]
For our diamond jubilee episode - our 75th - we're pleased to welcome Sonia Fetherston, BSI ("The Solitary Cyclist"), author of the latest entry in the Baker Street Irregulars Biography Series, Prince of the Realm: The Most Irregular James Bliss Austin.
Bliss Austin, BSI ("The Engineer's Thumb") was among the first class that was given titular investitures to the Baker Street Irregulars. But he was more than that, as we discovered. He was an accomplished researcher and industrialist who rose to the executive ranks of U.S. Steel; he was a collector of and expert on Japanese art; he was a Sherlockian who was most generous with his time and collection; he was a family man.
Sonia does a fine job of describing the influences on Bliss's life and the many lives that Bliss influenced as well. From budding collectors and Sherlockians to veteran scholars - including the aprocryphal Helene Yuhasova story. She also shared Bliss Austin's firsthand experience with a female interloper at an all-male Sherlockian group.
Discover how Bliss's collection, originally bequeathed to Lehigh University, made its way to the market. Listen to how a collector of Bliss's stature acquires original manuscripts in Arthur Conan Doyle's own hand: The Valley of Fear and "The Red Circle." And learn about how you can read a Bliss Austin paper - given at an early BSI dinner - that has never before appeared in print.
We introduce a new feature to I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere listeners with this episode. It's a quiz that we call "Mental Exaltation," inspired by NPR's Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me! and written by IHOSE quizmaster Nick Martorelli. Find our how you can qualify to win.
"My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.
This week, Sonia plays for listener Mary Miller of Indianapolis, Indiana.
We wrap up with our regular Gas-Lamp reading, this time taken from an issue of the BSJ that contained Bliss Austin's first contribution. "An Age Passes" and "Sonnet: From Sherlock Holmes to Mycroft Holmes" are taken from Vol. 1, No. 4 (OS) of the Baker Street Journal.
Many more links, articles and images are available in our Flipboard magazine at ihose.co/flipsherlock and Scoop.it page, as well as on the The Sherlock Holmes Community on Google+ (still growing, now at over 2,300 members), as well as through our accounts on Facebook,Twitter and Tumblr.
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SponsorsThis episode includes three sponsors that deserve your attention:
Wessex Press (check out the new Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle in the Newspapers Volume 1)
The Baker Street Journal, where you should get your annual subscription in now to secure all four issues and a very special Christmas Annual about The Seven Per-Cent Solution.