Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Birthday Toast to Sir Arthur

On this 160th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I share the toast I delivered at this year’s Gaslight Gala during Baker Street Irregulars & Friends Weekend in New York. The theme of the gala, held Jan. 11, was “Sherlock Holmes: A Spirited Celebration.” The toast is in that, uh, spirit:

In a wonderful passage from a story not generally regarded as one of the best, Sherlock Holmes remarks: “This agency stands flat-footed upon the ground, and there it must remain. The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply.”

How is it possible that the Literary Agent, sometimes known as “the St. Paul of Spiritualism,” allowed these seemingly skeptical words to be recorded? Perhaps the answer lies in a couplet from a verse composed by the Agent himself: 
               So please grip this fact with your cerebral tentacle:
               The doll and its maker are never identical. 
At any rate, the Agent and the Master seemed to be on very different spiritual pages. And for that, devotees of detective stories with earthly solutions should be profoundly grateful. So, raise a glass – preferably of spirits – in honor of a man: 
  • Who believed in spirits, although he didn’t drink them;
  • Who believed in fairies, even though he knew it made him look foolish;
  • Who believed in mediums and their messages, but was himself an extra-large;
  • Who allowed Professor Challenger to be converted to spiritualism, but not Sherlock Holmes; and (best of all)
  • Who gave us a very material hell-hound of the Baskervilles in a story he accurately called “a real creeper.” 

To Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “Steel True – Blade Straight – Knight – Patriot – Physician – and Man of Letters”:


1 comment:

  1. Happy Returns Sir Arthur on your birthday, i loved him and his Sherlock Holmes stories.