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Sherlock Holmes: Trifles

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Sherlock Holmes: Trifles

You know the plots, but what about the minutiae? We delve into the Sherlock Holmes stories and answers questions that arise, clarify muddy details, and look into some of the period terminology in this weekly podcast.

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Recent Episodes of Sherlock Holmes: Trifles


The Geography of the Hound of the Baskervilles

The Geography of the Hound of the Baskervilles

“I flatter myself that I could find my way about.” [HOUN] 

Dartmoor and its surroundings provided the perfect setting for The Hound of the Baskervilles. Not only did the area have a sense of history (and prehistory) about it, but the sparse surroundings added to the mystique.   And the wonderful part is that if we were to set foot there in 2024, we would recognize the landmarks and even some of the buildings. In 1965, Kelvin Jones took to identifying some of the real-life locations that we find in the story and it's just a Trifle.     All of our supporters are eligib...

Episode 393 11 July 2024 30m and 7s


Anxiety

Anxiety

“weighed down with some great anxiety” [FIVE] 

  Where would Sherlock Holmes be without fear and anxiety? It was a common state of mind for a number of his clients, but Holmes himself also exhibited anxious behavior from time to time.   In which stories can we find anxiety? Don't be nervous; we have 10 examples. But there are still more to come that will feature in a discussion in a second part. It's just a Trifle.     All of our supporters are eligible for our monthly drawings for Baker Street Journals and certain tiers receive thank you gifts. Join our community on Patreon or...

Episode 392 3 July 2024 38m and 55s


Maps & Floorplans

Maps & Floorplans

“I sent down to Stamford's for the ordnance map” [HOUN] 

In a number of instances in the Sherlock Holmes stories, we find ourselves guided by maps. Not only as critical elements of the plot, but also as visual aids to readers.

In which stories do we find maps? And what about those that required floorplans to be sketched out as well? It's just a Trifle.

This topic was suggested by listener Ron Groenewoud, who'll be receiving a thank you gift for his efforts. If you have a topic you'd like to suggest and we use it on the...

Episode 391 26 June 2024 30m and 56s


Sherlock Holmes, Linguist

Sherlock Holmes, Linguist

“he is a remarkable linguist” [GREE] 

  Sherlock Holmes has been translated into scores of languages all around the world (just ask Don Hobbs). But what languages was he fluent in or have passing familiarity with?

This is the question Dean W. Dickensheet tackles in Vol. 10 No. 3 of The Baker Street Journal in his article "Sherlock Holmes - Linguist." It's the latest in our series looking at old Sherlockian scholarship and it's just a Trifle.

  All of our supporters are eligible for our monthly drawings for Baker Street Journals and certain tiers receive thank you gifts. Join our communi...

Episode 390 19 June 2024 34m and 2s


Years of Mystery

Years of Mystery

“We have three years of the past to discuss” [EMPT] 

 

Once again, we pack our Gladstone bags and prepare for an episode where we travel. This time, we head to Sussex Downs and then across the Atlantic to New York in some of the early years of Sherlock Holmes's retirement.

What brings us there is from the fertile imagination of Les Klinger, who posits a connection between Sherlock Holmes, Wilson Hargreave, and Andrew Carnegie. It's just a Trifle.

  All of our supporters are eligible for our monthly drawings for Baker Street Journals and certain tiers recei...

Episode 389 13 June 2024 21m and 37s


Elderly in the Canon

Elderly in the Canon

“his age, and an affliction” [STOC] 

The panoply of elderly individuals in the Sherlock Holmes stories is impressive: Mr. Frankland, the old crank in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the miserly Josiah Amberley in "The Retired Colourman," Old Mr. Farquhar, the previous owner of Watson's practice.

But there were many others, some of whom go almost unnoticed. What similarities do we see among them? How did Conan Doyle's writing about them change over time? It's just a Trifle.

  All of our supporters are eligible for our monthly drawings for Baker Street Journals and certain tiers rec...

Episode 388 6 June 2024 23m and 31s


Linoleum

Linoleum

“the flooring was also thoroughly examined” [SPEC] 

 

Cocoanut matting, bearskin rug, carpets — there are a number of notable floor coverings mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories. But flooring itself is less notable.

Case in point: linoleum, which appears as a passing mention in just three stories, was a popular alternative at the time. What do we know about the history of linoleum, how was it manufactured, and what role did it play in the Canon? It's just a Trifle.

  All of our supporters are eligible for our monthly drawings for Baker Street Journals and certain tie...

Episode 387 30 May 2024 26m and 35s


Forests

Forests

“Vast sections of it have been cleared” [BLAC] 

 

When you're really down in the details about something — something trifling, perhaps — it's difficult to see the forest for the trees, as the saying goes.

Well, we've discussed trees in two previous episodes, so we thought it was time to look at the forests. There were scant mentions of forests in the Sherlock Holmes stories, but they're worth a Trifle.

You can make topic suggestions to us — if we choose something you recommend (like the one today!), we'll send you a Sherlockian prize.   All of our supporters are...

Episode 386 23 May 2024 23m and 51s


The Long Road from Maiwand

The Long Road from Maiwand

“at Maiwand without losing my nerve” [STUD] 

Maiwand: Saving the Guns by Richard Caton Woodville, 1883 (Wikimedia Commons)  

It is generally accepted that A Study in Scarlet, when Dr. Watson first met Sherlock Holmes, took place in 1881. Watson was just back from the war in Afghanistan, where he had been wounded at the Battle of Maiwand.

But in 1940, Edgar W. Smith took a closer look at the timing between the battle, Watson's recovery time, travel to London and hotel stay, and came to a much different conclusion. He wrote it up in a pamphlet and it's just a...

Episode 385 15 May 2024 21m and 8s


Sherlock Holmes, Cabby

Sherlock Holmes, Cabby

“Stop at a telegraph-office, cabby!” [SIGN] 

   

Cabbies are everywhere in London – indeed, so common in some cases that they're simply overlooked (we see you, Jefferson Hope!). Could Sherlock Holmes have passed himself off as a cabby?

There are certainly points in his career when it would have made sense. And a paper given at a Sherlock Holmes society in Denmark points in that direction. Hop on board with us in this monthly travel series episode! It's just a Trifle.

You can make suggestions as well — if we choose a topic you recommend, we'll send you a Sherloc...

Episode 384 9 May 2024 19m and 4s

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