The Tankerville Club of Cincinnati will hold its quarterly meeting on Friday evening. If you can’t attend, welcome to a virtual meeting! The topic of discussion is “A Scandal in Bohemia.” These are some questions to ponder and discuss with yourself or a fellow Sherlockian:
In what tone of voice does Irene say, “Good Night, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.” Is she sarcastic, playful, triumphant, or what?
In literature, there is the concept of the “unreliable narrator.” Is Watson an unreliable narrator in the opening when he says that Holmes felt nothing akin to love for Irene? What did Holmes feel for Irene?
What kind of person is Irene Adler “of dubious and questionable memory?” (Consider, for example, her kindness to the “clergyman” – which made Watson felt like a heel for his part in this adventure.)
Is Irene Adler a kind of female Holmes? (She figured out what he was up to, and she adopts a disguise just as he did.)
Watson gets up to go and Holmes won’t let him. “I need your help.” Really? He didn’t in all those cases that Watson mentions in which he took no part. The King tries to speak to Holmes alone and Holmes says: “It is both or none.” Why did Holmes really want Watson there?
Why would a witness at a wedding have to mumble anything? Best man is not a speaking part. (Theory: Holmes really is the groom in this wedding!)
What do you think of Watson’s quick willingness to break the law?
Who is Mrs. Turner?
Ultimately, is this story one of triumph, failure, or both for Holmes?
If you were one of the original readers of this story in the Strand, would be you be eagerly looking forward to the next issue?