Baker Street, 1895. What's the weather like?
If you can already imagine the fog, that's not just from seeing too many movies. Dr. Watson describes a foggy day wonderfully in "The Adventure of the Copper Beaches":
"It was a cold morning of the early spring, and we sat after breakfast on either side of a cheery fire in the old room at Baker Street. A thick fog rolled down between the lines of dun-coloured houses, and the opposing windows loomed like dark, shapeless blurs through the heavy yellow wreaths."
That is great descriptive writing, and great atmospherics. But in my current rereading of the entire Canon, I have found many different kinds of weather described within the Sacred Writings, such as:
HEAT (August): "It was a blazing hot day in August. Baker Street was like an oven, and the glare of the sunlight upon the yellow brickwork of the house across the road was painful to the eye. It was hard to believe that these were the same walls which loomed so gloomily through the fogs of winter."
WIND (September): "It was in the latter days of September, and the equinoctial gales had set in with exceptional violence. All day the wind had screamed and the rain had beaten against the windows, so that even here in the heart of great, hand-made London we were forced to raise our minds for the instant from the routine of life and to recognize the presence of those great elemental forces which shriek at mankind through the bars of his civilization, like untamed beasts in a cage. As evening drew in, the storm grew higher and louder, and the wind cried and sobbed like a child in the chimney."
SNOW (February): "It was a bright, crisp February morning, and the snow of the day before still lay deep upon the ground, shimmering brightly in the wintry sun. Down the centre of Baker Street it had been ploughed into a brown crumbly band by the traffic, but at either side and on the heaped-up edges of the foot-paths it still lay as white as when it fell."
Whatever the weather, the good doctor's evocative prose makes us practically feel it.
What's your favorite weather scene in a Sherlock Holmes story?
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Friday, January 27, 2012
A Foggy Day in London Town? Maybe Not
Posted by Doctor Dan at 12:01 AM
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