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Sandraseahorse

Holmes Afoot in Havant

If anyone is interested, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a major feature of this year's Havant Literary Festival, 25 September - 4 October.

In the Meridian Centre, Havant, will be an exhibition from the recently acquired Richard Lancelyn Green Conan Doyle Collection.   Talks will include one on the collection, author Russel Miller on ACD's involvement in spiritualism,  ACD's time in Portsmouth and author Amanda Field on the Basil Rathbone films and how the were used as war time propaganda.

Full details on www.havantlitfest.org.uk
spidernick

Thanks, looks interesting.  I live near Fareham so could get there quite easily (kids permitting!).

Is it an annual event, as I've never heard of it before?
Sandraseahorse

This is the second year of the Havant Literary Festival.  The themes this year are:  Crime, Water and Journeying.  The crime theme is dominated by Arthur Conan Doyle as it is the 150th anniversary of his birth.
spidernick

Cheers, sounds good!
Sandraseahorse

I've just visited the Sherlock Holmes exhibition in the shopping precinct.  For maximum visual effect there is a magnificent display of film posters featuring the detective.  I never realised that he has been portrayed in so many different countries.

Staff there said they have had some people in who have never heard of Sherlock Holmes!  I find this astonishing.
Castorboy

Havant and Hampshire are to be commended for staging a Conan Doyle exhibition when only four of Holmes’ cases had an association with the county (The Blanched Soldier, The Copper Beeches, The Gloria Scott and Thor Bridge). Although Kent also had four cases, both were outdone by six in Sussex and seven for Surrey. Of course numbers don’t really count when Southsea can claim to be Doyle’s home when he began the whole canon!
Which reminds me that according to W S Baring-Gould, today is the 130th anniversary of the case of The Musgrave Ritual.
TheRejectAmidHair

Castorboy wrote:
Of course numbers don’t really count when Southsea can claim to be Doyle’s home when he began the whole canon!


What is it about Scotsmen writing iconic works on the South coast of England? Stevenson, I believe, wrote Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde while in Bournemouth. (He named Jekyll’s butler Poole, after the town next to Bournemouth.)

Thanks for all the fascinating information on the Holmes canon, by the way. I never realised you were a Holmesian! It has, incidentally, always puzzled me that Conan Doyle never set a Sherlock Holmes story in his native Scotland. The furthest north Holmes and Watson ever goes in the canon is, I believe, Yorkshire in “The Priory School”.
Castorboy

If only I was a Holmesian I would be on a flight to see the Richard Lancelyn Green collection in Portsmouth City Council!
To view 16,000 books, 2,000 objects and 1,000 large boxes of archive material must be like going to heaven for any Holmes fanatic. He was probably well known to the Sherlock Holmes societies around the world.

I have to admit I haven’t on my shelves any of the short or long stories but I do have a couple of reference books which I find useful. In one it states that The Priory School was in the Peak country near to Lower Gill Moor. In studying that story, one Holmesian thought the cycle tracks made by the tutor were going in the opposite way to that deduced by Sherlock. It was something to do with the indentations made on the ground by the tutor’s weight which in turn depended on whether the cycle had drop handlebars or was a ‘sit up & beg’ model!

Another Scottish author who found inspiration on the south coast was John Buchan who while convalescing in Broadstairs wrote The Thirty-nine Steps. Of course the Kentish coast could be considered a separate area because of its share of famous writers.
TheRejectAmidHair

Sorry, my mistake: "The Priory School" is set in Derbyshire, not Yorkshire. But that definitely is as far north as Holmes & Watson ever get.

On the matter of the bicycle tyres, Conan Doyle did get that one wrong. Holmes deduces the direction taken by the bicycle from the tracks made by the tyres in the muddy ground. He says that the track of the back tyre was inevitably made a split second after the track of the front, and that if we observe the points where the twotracks cross, it would be easy toidentify which is the track of the front tyre, and which of the back. All thisis true enough, but this wouldn't tell us the direction taken by the cycle, as the marks would look the same regardless of the direction taken.

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