|Sherlock Holmes among the American in "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor"|
On the 4th of July, Independence Day in the United States, we celebrate our national separation from England – but not from the English. There is and always will be what politicians like to call a “special relationship” between our two countries.
Sherlockians and mystery readers in general should be especially grateful for this.
An American, Edgar Allen Poe, invented the detective story. Without Poe, there never would have been a Sherlock Holmes. But without the quintessentially Sherlock Holmes, the detective story wouldn’t be what it is today. Arthur Conan Doyle took Poe’s brilliant formula and brought it to life with two immortal characters, the sleuth and his Bowell. He has influenced all of his successors, in one way or another.
From the beginning, A Study in Scarlet, the Canon was peopled with Americans. And Americans have been some of the greatest devotees of the Master. Such Yankees as Christopher Morley, Vincent Starrett, Edgar W. Smith, and Julian Wolff helped keep green the memory from the early days of the Sherlockian era.
No wonder that Sherlock Holmes could say in “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor:”
“It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being someday citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.”
The logo of the Diogenes Club of Washington, D.C., a scion society for Americans who have served their country in government or the military, includes just such a quartering.
Happy Independence Day!