With our daughter getting married this Saturday (December 17) while at the same time I am researching weddings for a mystery novel in which one takes place, my thoughts have naturally turned to wedded bless -- or not! -- in the Canon.
It's remarkable how many weddings occur or are thwarted in the novels and short stories of Sherlock Holmes. There are so many, in fact, that I will limit myself here to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as being sufficiently instructive.
Right off the bat, "A Scandal in Bohemia" is permeated with wedding talk. Watson is newly married, the King of Bohemia is engaged, and Holmes winds up witnessing the wedding of Irene Adler! "A Case of Identity" is all about an engagement gone awry. The star-crossed lovers in "The Bascombe Valley Mystery" are not engaged, but we hope they might someday be.
Engagements are fatal for one sister and nearly so for the other in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." "The vanishing of the lady" right after the wedding makes for a pretty problem in "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor." In "The Adventure of the Copper Beaches," Holmes uncovers a fiendish plot to prevent a young woman with money from marrying (the same goal as in "A Case of Identity," but approached different through means).
If we include the Bascombe Valley affair, fully half of the stories in The Adventures involve either engagements or weddings! That seems like a lot of romance. On the other hand, some of those engagements weren't romantic at all.
As a bonus to readers of my upcoming mystery, The 1895 Murder, I plan to include in the appendix a quiz about Sherlockian weddings. What's your favorite Holmes tale involving a march down the aisle?
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