Welcome

The Red Circle is Sherlock's home in Washington DC. Now in our seventh decade, we continue to celebrate his immortality and enjoy each other's company.
All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.

Next Meeting

Friday, September 25, 2015
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Drinks at 6:00 -- Dinner at 7:00
Fascinating Games are Afoot
Watch This Space for Data

Writings

 



Seeing Red: An Elementary Omission   On June 12 the Washington Post published a review of a new book by art critic Jacky Colliss Harvey entitled Red: A History of the Redhead. The book traces red hair throughout the ages and across multiple disciplines, including science, religion, politics, feminism and sexuality, literature, and art. But alert Red Circle member George Spencer noticed that there was no mention of a certain Mr. Jabez Wilson and his fellow applicants to The Red-Headed League. George's letter to the Post was published on June 26. It reads, "The June 14 Book World review of Red: A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey, had many interesting tidbits, but it lacked a reference to the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," published in 1891. The fact that one of the stories was so titled shows that late-19th-century Londoners were aware that redheads were something out of the ordinary." Good catch George! And if you'd like to read Ms. Harvey's review, you can find it here


The Silver Blaze: Sherlockians Cash In on a Breeder Named Watson  Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course played host to 29 Sherlockians attending the revival of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) on  May 23. This 29th running and the first since 1998 brought with it a beautiful day. Attendees from a half dozen regional Sherlockian societies dined on crab cake sandwiches and scoured the Racing Form for Sherlockian clues to help them pick winners. The Silver Blaze was a mile and a sixteenth run on the turf track, and many put their money on horse number 6, I'm Da Big Man, whose breeder's last name is Watson. And a wise choice it was, because he won the race handily! The winner's trophy was presented by Joann Dobry, the lady who made the longest trip to join the fun. Afterward, many in the group repaired to the nearby Mount Washington Tavern to squander their winnings on dinner and continue their conversations and merriment. Organizer Greg Ruby tells us that plans are already underway for the 30th running at Pimlico on Saturday, May 14, 2016.


Mr. Holmes to open in Washington on July 17  The much-anticipated film Mr. Holmes, starring the legendary Sir Ian McKellen and 3-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney, will open on July 17 at the Landmark E-Street Cinema and the Georgetown 14 in Washington, and widely at many other theatres across the region and the country. It promises to be an interesting take on an aging Holmes, who must come to grips with the diminishing powers of his great mind. You're invited to watch the trailer here.



Getting "the dirt" on criminals  Many Red Circle members remember that four years ago FBI forensic geologist Maureen Bottrell joined us to share the ways in which modern crime solvers follow "in the footprints" of Sherlock Holmes by analyzing soil, rock and other geological clues. Now comes a new article in the journal Nature which details the adventures of one of Maureen's colleagues, Lorna Dawson, as geologists do more than scratch the surface in pursuit of evildoers. It's a fun read online here, with a pdf version also available here.



The original BBC Sherlock is back  is the delightful slogan devised by the British Film Institute for its new four-DVD set with all of the Douglas Wilmer television shows from 1964 and 1965, and his fans will welcome the chance to see the series again. Two of the shows have been reconstructed, since only some of the original footage has survived, and there are some nice added features. The set costs £39.99 at the BFI website  (it's less expensive, of course, at Amazon). Unfortunately, the set is region-2 only, and it's unlikely that there will be a region-1 or multi-region version, but there are convenient programs that will allow you to play region-2 DVDs on your computers.  Douglas Wilmer is alive and well, at 95 years old, and had a cameo role as a disgruntled member of the Diogenes Club in an episode of the BBC's Sherlock series.

221B or not 221B?  Benedict Cumberbatch will play the title role in the National Theatre's production of Hamlet. Previews at the Barbican Theatre in London begin on August 5.  All the tickets for the entire run have been sold, but a stage-to-screen version of the production will be shown in theaters worldwide beginning on October 15, when it will be featured locally at the Bethesda Row Cinema, and on other dates in other cities.  Details are here

Sherlockian author wins Oscar for film starring Sherlockian actor  As 2010 came to an end, Black Peter reported in his Logbook on this site that a young man named Graham Moore had written a new pastiche called The Sherlockian that had met with some critical acclaim. It was Moore's first novel, and it would not be the last we'd hear from him. Moore went on to write the script for The Imitation Game, the tale of British mathematician Alan Turing's quest to break the Nazi's Enigma code. The film, of course, stars Benedict Cumberbatch in a superb performance as Turing. On February 22 Moore took home the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and made what many consider to be the most memorable acceptance speech of the evening. See it here.

Gridlock DC 2015 builds on inaugural success, adds a second day. Gridlock DC will be expanded to a two-day event, on August 8-9, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda.  Last year's convention was a one-day affair in Alexandria, with an impressive 195 people on hand for the festivities.  Some of the conventioneers were old Sherlockian hands, but the vast majority were young, and fans of film and television, some of them in costume, and everyone enjoyed the event.  You can see what last year's programming was like, and register for this year at their website here

Red Circle Baskerville theater party a smashing success
and the Washington Post took note. Read their report here.

Dan Stashower Scores Second Hat Trick   Washington writer, Sherlockian and Red Circle member Dan Stashower has won a third major prize for his book The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War. The Anthony Award, presented at Bouchercon in Long Beach in mid-November goes on the shelf along with the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar and Malice Domestic's Agatha awards. Dan's first trifecta was for Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters in 2008. Congratulations Dan!

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal in Klinger case
  In a one sentence ruling on November 3, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the Conan Doyle Estate's appeal in the copyright suit brought by Les Klinger. The judgment has the effect of upholding Klinger's contention and the decisions of two lower courts that the 50 Sherlock Holmes stories published before 1923 are in the public domain and not subject to rights payments to the estate. The copyrights on the remaining ten stories will expire over the next decade.



  • 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.
    • Be an Inner Circle Contributor We welcome submissions from all quarters for this page. Please direct materials to the webmaster, alan@redcircledc.org
    • For earlier, archived items from The Inner Circle, click here.