Sunday, September 10, 2017

August Meeting Recap

This past weekend we had our latest meeting to discuss "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor."  It was another great turnout, so much so that we are moving meeting rooms at the library!  Starting next month, our meetings will be held in the Meeting Room instead of the Conference Room we've been using for so long.

Once we had enough chairs for everyone in attendance (Rob, Mary, Steve, Elaine, Pris, Rick, Stacey, Ed, Srini, Paul & Randy), we started off with new topics.  Randy gave us a recap of the Silver Blaze event held at Fairmount Race Track last month, raising over $500 for the Champ assistance dogs foundation.

Mary updated us on the St. Louis Sherlockian Collection being curated in the Rare Books Room at the main library branch.  Legal paperwork is in process while the materials are continuing to be inventoried.  The library and some Sherlockians are compiling a list of materials that would be useful donations.  The current timetable allows for a dedication in January or February of 2018.

Rob gave a quick recap of the Nerve and Knowledge symposium that he and Joe attended earlier in the month, put on by the Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis.

There was an extended discussion about the new Sherlockian history book out, From Holmes to Sherlock by Mattias Bostrom.

The Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn meet this Friday in St. Charles.

The Will Ferrell movie, "Holmes and Watson" will premiere on November 9.

CBS's "Elementary" will return in January of 2018.

St. Louis's Insight Theater Company will be performing "Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" October 12-29.  Tickets are on sale now for performances.

Rob announced that his book, "The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street" was available and gave a synopsis of the book.

The giveaways this month were some great ones!  They were "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes," "The Best Horror Stories of Arthur Conan Doyle," "The Seven Per-Cent Solution," and "The Sherlock Holmes Encyclopedia."

The history of Sherlockian society pins was discussed and the possibility of new pins for The Parallel Case or a commemorative coin featuring all four St. Louis societies was discussed.  Would anyone be interested in such items?  Please let us know.

Since this month's story was The Noble Bachelor, Mary gave us a brief history of our sister society, The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis.  Randy Getz is the current head, and Parallel Case members Joe Eckrich and Mary Schroeder have served in that role in the past.

To start off our discussion of the story, Randy had a paper prepared that covered many points.  His first point was an interesting one: this story was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1892 under the title "The Adventure of a Nobleman."  Randy also touched on the church in question, the role of America in the story, Lord Backwater and Lord Balmoral's other appearances in the canon, Lord St. Simon's heritage and ties to the War of the Roses, and the dinner laid out for Holmes' guests at the end of the story.

It was noted that Doyle would place NOBL at "about the bottom of the list."  And for a story that the author ranked so low, we came up with plenty to discuss!

We talked about Watson's laziness and Holmes' social life.  The overall use of humor in this story was also a big topic.  Watson's remark about a bride disappearing being out of the ordinary, the portrayal of Lord St. Simon, Holmes' response to his manner, and Holmes laughing and toying with Lestrade all make this a rather humorous tale.

The location of Watson's wound was bandied about.  The epidemic of American women marrying into British peerage, Doyle's use of gold mining as a shorthand for riches, Holmes being able to solve the case without leaving his chair (except for the small detail of finding the missing bride), and the coincidence that the red herring and the true mystery person both had the same initials were all discussed.

We spent some time covering the food laid out for Holmes' dinner and debated if it would be enough or too much for those in attendance, as well as what exactly fois gras pie is.  Some members were also concerned that Holmes and Watson didn't have enough vegetables in their diet.

A good amount of time was spent discussing and debating Hattie Doran and her behavior throughout the story.  Not only did she abandon her new husband, but she routinely chose to make cowardly decisions whenever a challenge faced her.  A few members went back and forth discussing if Hattie had an obligation to St. Simon once Frank showed back up in her life.

It was also noted that Watson dates this story a few weeks before his marriage, and keeping that in mind, it made Holmes' statement of "how to while away these bleak autumnal evenings" more melancholy that the author may have intended.

That was it for this month!  There is a slight scheduling change for our next meeting.  We typically meet on the second Saturday of the month, but that falls over Veteran's Day weekend.  So, our next meeting will be on November 18 at 1:00 to discuss "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet."  We will still be meeting in the Schafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, but we will be in the bigger meeting room this time.  If convenient, come at once!