|Like Sherlock Holmes, James Dean and Carrie Carlson are experts with swords. (Ann Andriacco photo)|
You never know what you’re going to learn at a Sherlock Holmes conference. Only later does your previous ignorance strike you.
For example, the 105 participants in A Scintillation of Scions VIII in the Baltimore area last weekend learned a lot about fencing from Carrie Carlson and James Dean. And it wasn’t a lecture – they demonstrated, right in the middle of the room in full costume. No blood was shed, but we certainly got the idea.
And what does swordplay have to do with Sherlock Holmes? Why, the detective was an “expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman,” Dr. Watson noted early on in A Study in Scarlet.
In other scintillating presentations, a stellar array of interesting speakers held forth on Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, the Guy Ritchie movies with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, BBC Sherlock, Victorian spiritualism and women in the Canon, Holmes as showoff, and the implications of considering Holmes to be a highly functioning sociopath (definitely untrue) or somewhere on the autism spectrum.
Playwright Lee Shackleford previewed the 40-minute first episode of his new webseries “Herlock,” which re-envisions Holmes as a modern-day woman named Sheridan Hume.
Throughout the weekend Jacquelynn Morris, ASH, BSI, JHWS, and her all-female Scintillation organizing committee were easily identified by the tiaras they wore. The headgear could not have been more appropriate.
Now, aren't you sorry you weren’t there (if you weren’t)? Well, there’s always next year. And this is one conference that just keeps getting better.