Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes!

It's the 6th of January and today we celebrate the birthday of Sherlock Holmes! To celebrate this wonderful occasion my friend Hamlette has made a little tag which I've answered below. I've done a few of Hamlette's blog events in the past and they've always been great fun. This time it was no different so thank you Hamlette! Click here to read Hamlette's link-up post.

1.  When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?
The Great Mouse Detective was one of my absolute favourite Disney films when I was growing up and it's still in my Disney top three. It was a big favourite of my dad's too and I'm very surprised that we didn't wear out the VHS because we used to watch it so often! I would class that film as my introduction to Sherlock Holmes. When I was about 12 I then read The Hound of the Baskervilles. I remember loving that story but, honestly, I've only become a true Holmesian/Sherlockian in the past few years.

2.  Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes.  (You've read the whole canon, you've been to Baker Street, you're an official BSI member, etc.)

- I'm currently going through the whole canon and I've given myself twelve months to do it. So far I've read A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four and I'm currently reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

- I've been to Baker Street!

3.  What are three of your favourite Holmes adventures?
The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Red-Headed League and The Musgrave Ritual.

4.  What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories?
The characters (especially Holmes himself), their atmosphere and mystery, how clever they are, and their humour. I also love Arthur Conan Doyle's writing. As an actual writer Doyle is hugely underrated!

5.  If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?
I'd buy him a load of detective novels. I'd love to know what Sherlock Holmes would make of some of the other famous, literary detectives out there! We know his feelings on Dupin but what would his opinion be of, say, Poirot or Miss Marple? I'd love to know!

6.  If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?
I'm sure a lot of people will name her but probably Violet Hunter from The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. She's pretty awesome!

7.  Please share some of your favourite Holmes-related quotes!

“Holmes: "I followed you."
Sterndale: "I saw no one."
Holmes: "That is what you may expect to see when I follow you.” 
I haven't even read The Adventure of the Devil's Foot yet and I know this quote!

“Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
A Study in Pink, BBC Sherlock

And finally this joke...
“Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson" he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions of stars, Holmes," says Watson.

"And what do you conclude from that, Watson?"

Watson thinks for a moment. "Well," he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignficant. Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?"

"Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!” 


Jamie said...

That joke is one of my favorites in the whole world!!! <3


Hayden said...

I love that joke too :D

Nicki T. said...

I love that joke.

Manette said...

I was an adult when I saw The Great Mouse Detective for the first time, but it immediately made its way to my list of favorite Disney films! Basil is one of the best characters ever and that film deserves much more love!

I made a New Year's resolution to finish reading the Holmes canon. :) I'm relying on the library at the moment and they have a gorgeous copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, but of course it's on demand all the time. I made a reservation of course!

I would love to know Holmes' opinion of Poirot! His snark about Dupin was hilarious, and Christie admitted that the Poirot-Hastings partnership was very much based on Holmes and Watson. Curiously, Christie grew tired of her detective as well!

You're right, Violet Hunter is awesome. I remember vividly how I was reading The Adventures through for the first time, then reached The Copper Beeches and was soooooo surprised at meeting a character like Violet!

I laughed out loud at that joke :D

And thank you so much for that vastly interesting comment you made on my Holmes tag (which I answered), that question about mental images really got me thinking about what goes on in my head when I read books! I LOVE comments like that! And I'm using an awful lot of exclamation marks on this comment to you! :D

Hamlette said...

You already know how envious I am that you've been to Baker Street, so I won't go into detail again ;-) So completely cool!

Doyle is a deft writer -- I think mostly people just think about his skills at plotting, or fuss about how he didn't keep track of Watson's wives, but I think he had to be superbly skilled at characterization to create such indelible, original characters. Not just Holmes and Watson, but all the surrounding people as well. Violet Hunter, Irene Adler, Mrs. Hudson, Moriarty, Mycroft, Lestrade, and so many more. His dialog is also first-rate, except when he's trying to use American slang (goes a bit overboard there, I've always felt), and his use of setting and atmosphere are so masterful.

Thanks for joining the party! I hope you've enjoyed it :-)

Hannah said...

Manette - I've had experiences like that with other Disney movies as well. Tangled is in my Disney top three and I obviously didn't watch that as a child. And it wasn't until I was an adult that I realised just how great The Hunchback of Notre Dame is.

I'm sure that Holmes' opinion of Poirot wouldn't be at all favourable but I bet it would be a hoot to read! :D

If BBC Sherlock ever adapts Copper Beeches - which they should! - I would LOVE them to cast Karen Gillan as Violet Hunter. It would make me so happy! She's great, she looks the part, and it would be a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover!

I read somewhere that that joke was once voted the world's funniest. It was very much deserved!

Oh great! I'm glad you loved it so much!

Hehe, you might have noticed that I tend to use exclamation points a lot. I'm just so excitable! :D

Hannah said...

Hamlette - THANK YOU! I LOVE your comment!

Not all that long ago I came across a blogger who claimed that Arthur Conan Doyle's stories were "trash" and shouldn't be considered classic. That really annoyed me although, to do them some credit, they did say that they were still very fond of ACD's stories. Personally I'm far more lenient. If a book rocks and it's been around for at least 30 years then it's a classic. Modern books that rock are "classics-in-the-making".

Hamlette said...

Um, really? Trash? Wow. That's... so uncalled-for. If, as the Greeks maintained, the whole point of any artistic endeavor is to instruct and to entertain, then Doyle's stories surely fulfill both those goals.

I'm a bit stricter than you in my definition of "classic" -- I feel like a book needs to be at least 50 years old and still be somehow relevant, still be making people think and learn, still being enjoyed. Which, clearly, these stories are.

Hannah said...

Oh, definitely! I agree with you on what makes a classic a classic. Those are the things that make a book rock in my mind but I wasn't clear.

Hannah said...

And yeah, 50 years is a better time to judge when a book has reached "classic status".

samara said...

This is wonderful.... also, I'd just like to take a moment and fangirl over the fact that Cumberbaby is on the way!!! Ah! So excited for the little Sign of Three :)

Anonymous said...

I love the quote from 'The Adventure of the Devil's Foot' you chose. It is one of my favourite short-stories as well. I hope you'll enjoy it when you read it !

I also love your idea of a birthday present for Sherlock Holmes. it's original and it would indeed be interesting and fun to hear what he has to say of his colleagues.

And you were right, I also chose Violet Hunter as one of the characters I'd like to be for a day.

Hannah said...

Samara - Thanks and yes, I'm very excited for Benedict and Sophie! :)

Consultingblogger - Merci beaucoup! Vous êtes française? :) Je étudie le français mais je sais que les bases. Thank you for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Oui, je suis française :)

Just a tip : When you speak to a fellow blogger, you can use 'tu' instead of 'vous', even if you don't know them beforehand. That's what most people do ;)

Hannah said...

Thank you, that's good to know! I wasn't sure so I thought I'd use "vous" to be on the safe side :)