On Saturday I'll be giving a talk at the annual "Gathering of Southern Sherlockians" in Chatanooga, TN. Except for Carolyn and Joel Senter, I will know nobody there. I am looking forward to making new friends.
The focus of this year's Gathering is A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four. As I've noted before, my re-reading of the entire Canon this year impressed upon me how little the Master changed in his long career.With that in mind, I'm going to talk about "A Study in Consistency: How the First Sherlock Holmes Story Foreshadowed the Rest."
My talk will look at the continuity of the four novels and fifty-six Canonical short stories in terms of story pattern and plot motifs, the character and methods of Sherlock Holmes, the personality of Dr. Watson, and the presence of various other dramatis personae who make their debut in A Study in Scarlet.
In case any of you reading this will be there, I don't want to say too much, but consider this: Ronald A. Knox, in his essay "Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes," lists eleven elements of the ideal Sherlock Holmes story. A Study in Scarlet has all of them, and it's the only story that does.
In addition, I have identified eight important sleuthing techniques of Sherlock Holmes. Only one of them is missing in A Study in Scarlet.
What do you think? Is Sherlock Holmes exactly the same person from beginning to end, or does he change in some significant way by 1927? And if so, in what way?
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