All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.
All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.
September 19, 2014
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Drinks at 6:00 -- Dinner at 7:00
Program to be announced
- August 16 GridLOCK, Alexandria, VA. A one-day Sherlock Holmes fan event, with a program that promises intriguing insights and boundless energy. All the information is at the GridLock website here.
- September 12-14 From Gillette to Brett IV: Basil, Benedict and Beyond The fourth in the series of these popular conferences is set for Indiana University. See their website here.
- September 25 - October 12 Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles
Richard Rose's dramatization of the famous tale will be produced at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Rose is the theater's Producing Artistic Director. Abingdon is a five or six hour drive from Washington, and the theater got its name from the old-time custom of trading farm animals for tickets. Nowadays money is required. Information is here.
- September 26 - 28 Alpine Adventures 2014 Sherlockian Conference at the Hotel Schatzalp in Davos, Switzerland honoring Conan Doyle's visits to Davos in 1893-1895. One of the organizers is The Red Circle's Marcus Geisser. Details are available here.
- October 10 -12 Creatures, Crimes and Creativity literary conference at the Hunt Valley Inn in Baltimore. See their website here.
- November 6 - 9 World Fantasy Convention, Washington DC Reservations are closed for this event, but a waiting list has been started. See the website.
- November 8 A Saturday with Sherlock Holmes This popular annual event will be held once again at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.
- November 13 -16 Bouchercon 44 Long Beach, California is the place to be for the annual world mystery convention called Bouchercon. Join fellow readers, writers and lovers of crime fiction. Visit their website here.
- January 7 - 11 Sherlock Holmes Birthday Festivities in New York What may be the longest long weekend in the Sherlockian calendar will once again invade the Big Apple with many celebratory events. It is important to note that it is not necessary to be a member of the Baker Street Irregulars to enjoy virtually all of the worthwhile activities. We'll list all the details when they become available.
- January 16 - February 22 Baskerville The play’s afoot at Arena Stage's Kreeger Theatre! From Washington's own Tony Award-winning mastermind of mayhem, Ken Ludwig, comes Baskerville, a fast-paced comedy as our favorite detective solves his most notorious case. Watch as Holmes and Watson try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 25 characters. Join the fun and see how far from elementary the truth can be. NOTE: The Red Circle will hold a gala theatre party to see Baskerville on Saturday, January 31. The matinee will begin at 2:00 pm, and an optional post-show gathering to eat, drink and review the performance is being arranged. Watch this space for discount ticket information for this performance.
- January 17 - 18 Sherlock Holmes Birthday Festivities in London For those who prefer to celebrate the Master's birthday at the "scene of the crimes," the Sherlock Holmes Society of London holds it annual dinner and other events in that great city.
- April 10 - 12 221bCon This fan con for all things Sherlock Holmes will convene for the third time in Atlanta. The event has become very popular very quickly, especially among younger Sherlockians. But the organizers point out that there's always something for everybody. For example, the specialty cocktails at the hotel bar will include "The Blue Carbuncle" and "The Twisted Lip." See all the details at the 221bCon website.
- May 1 - 3 Malice Domestic 27 Held at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, the site of our own Red Circle dinners, Malice Domestic is the place to be if traditional mysteries are your cup of tea. Always great fun, with good authors and nice people. Check their website for updated information.
For a much more comprehensive list of Sherlockian meetings and events around the United States and beyond, see Ron Fish's
How Many Sherlocks does it take. . .? Well, 113 London Holmesians donned the customary attire and gathered in one room recently to attempt a Guinness record. Proceeds from the event went to help preserve Conan Doyle's Undershaw home, and the BBC was on hand to document the festivities. See their report here.
. . .and so can never die! Sherlock to begin shooting new programs in January At exactly 2:21pm in London on Wednesday, July 2, the BBC revealed that Sherlock will return for a special episode, followed by three new episodes. Shooting of the special will begin in January, with the series going into production later in 2015. Producer and showrunner Steven Moffat said, “It's a record-breaking run! Of course, it's far too early to say what's coming, but we're reasonably confident that the very next thing to happen to Sherlock and John is the very last thing you'd expect.” There's also been tacit confirmation, in the form of semi-reliable speculation, that Moriarty will indeed reappear in at least one of the new productions, even though he seemed to commit suicide on the roof of Bart's in the sixth film. This would be an obvious homage to the Rathbone films, where Moriarty exhibited a remarkable penchant for reincarnation without the writers seeing any need to deliver annoying explanations.The return of Moriarty would also be a fitting tribute to the fine actor Andrew Scott, whose delicious turn as Sherlock's arch-nemesis is worthy of at least one curtain call before. . .curtains again? Air dates for the new programs have not been announced.
Klinger Prevails on Appeal: Sherlock Holmes character and most story elements may be used freely in US Many Sherlockians have followed with interest the federal lawsuit brought against the Conan Doyle Estate by the well known Sherlockian, author and attorney, Leslie S. Klinger. In the face of demands by the estate that Klinger pay it a licensing fee before publishing a collection of Holmes pastiches, Klinger sued the estate contending that since the 50 Holmes tales published before January 1,1923 are no longer covered by copyright in the United States, the use of the characters and plot elements in those stories are not subject to rights payments. The estate's position was that since there are still ten stories covered by US copyright, any subsequent use of the characters was indeed subject to rights payments. On December 23 an Illinois federal district judge found in favor of Klinger, ruling that characters and story elements in the pre-1923 stories may be used freely without paying licensing fees to the estate. The estate appealed the decision, but on June 16 a three-judge panel from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's finding in favor of Klinger, noting that the estate's appeal "borders on the quixotic." Your webmaster is delighted to say that he is not an attorney; nevertheless, he finds the appeals court decision fascinating. No matter how one may feel about the issue personally, the ruling is clearly and understandably written, and contains unexpected comparisons. Where else can you find Holmes and Watson, Amos 'n' Andy, Henry IV and Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Star Wars, and The Pink Panther in a single legal document? (Of course, Peter Blau and/or Roger Johnson will probably tell us!). These references, along with unmistakable wisps of humor, contribute to making 15 pages of legalese a worthwhile read. Click it up here, and see if you agree. It's no surprise that Judge Richard Posner, who wrote the opinion, has been dubbed "the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century" by The Journal of Legal Studies. Despite the unambiguously firm rulings by both the district court and the appeals court, the estate has announced that it is considering a further appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.
We have four winners! There were four prizes available for successfully solving Washington Mix-Ups, the Sherlockianagram quiz from Dana Richards. We're pleased to announce that we now have four winners, so it's time to congratulate them and reveal the answers. Complete and correct solutions were submitted by Verna Suit, Mary Burke, Caroline Bryan Atkins and Lee Alexander. Well done! If you haven't tried your hand at the quiz, it's worth a go just for the fun of it. And if you've been stumped, the answers now appear on the second page of the pdf document, which you can access here.
Holmes on Jeopardy Back in October 2012 we reported that Jeopardy contestants performed poorly in a full category devoted to Sherlock Holmes (read that story, including the questions asked, in our archive). Now, history has repeated in Jeopardy's uber-tournament of its best players from across the decades. In the program that aired on May 9 contestants once again answered correctly only two of the five questions asked in the category entitled "Sherlock Holmes Stories." Here are the questions. We trust you won't need to look up the answers. 200 Poison darts turn out to be the cause in "The Adventure of the Sussex" one of these Slavic fiends. (no answer attempted) 400 Sea captain "Black Peter" Carey is killed with this weapon. (no answer attempted) 600 There's "The Sign of" this group--Akbar, Khan, Singh & Small. (answered correctly) 800 "The Final Problem" culminates at this cataract. (answered correctly) 1000 "The Man with the Twisted" this feature turns out to be an actor in makeup. (no answer attempted). As James O'Leary points out in calling our attention to the broadcast, while almost everybody seems to know who Holmes is, the general depth of Canonical knowledge seems remarkably shallow, even among Jeopardy's superstar contestants.
We Smell a Rat One of your webmaster's
behind-the-scenes duties is to monitor the performance of our
website--the statistics that tell us how many of you visit, along with a host
of other details. Buried in the blizzard of information is a list of the
"search terms" people insert in their web browsers that bring them to
The Red Circle. In March someone asked for "The Giant Rats of Sinatra
Holmes Society." Many Sherlockians
will remember that in "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire" Holmes
says, "Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson; it
was a ship which is associated with the Giant Rat of Sumatra, a story for which
the world is not yet prepared." The notion is so outlandish that it has
been resurrected liberally in both Sherlockian and non-Sherlockian contexts,
often in pastiches like the one by Bob Bishop shown above, and usually with a wink. Naturally, when we saw the substitution of Sinatra for
Sumatra, it seemed likely that
our internet researcher was alluding to the infamous Rat Pack, the legendary troupe of entertainment "bad boys" that included Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and other supporting players. Peter
Blau reports that there is no Sherlockian group called "The Giant Rats of Sinatra" in his annals,
but recalls that back in 1991 British Sherlockian Roger Johnson asked, "What is huge and furry,
has vicious fangs, big ears and a long tail, and sings 'My Way'?" Of
course the answer is "The Giant Rat of Sinatra." Roger not only remembers the joke, but adds that his wife Jean Upton memorialized it in a delightful drawing which she's kindly shared with us.
Meeting Notes from The Red Circle's March 14 meeting are available here.
A Tree Grows in England The featured speaker at the Red Circle's March meeting was Alan Rettig, who gave a well-received presentation called "My Sherlockian Family Tree." In it, Alan discussed the intersections between his recently-completed research on his mother's family and the world of Sherlock Holmes. You can read the illustrated text of "My Sherlockian Family Tree" here. (.pdf)
- Scuttlebutt: One Fixed Point in a Changing Age Our own Peter Blau's monthly Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press has endured for more than four decades, and has a permanent home right here on our website. It's the most remarkable collection of Sherlockian news and notes anywhere, and your webmaster recommends a monthly visit. The very latest edition is available now, as are past numbers. It's just a click away--use the "Scuttlebutt" button at the top of the page.