Thursday, September 18, 2008

Popping Injto Baker Street, part 2

Special Features, Popping Into Baker Street, Part Two

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote plenty, and not all of his work featured the indomitable Sherlock. He wrote the mysterious work called The Mystery of the Cloomber and even a treasure called The Lost World about an expedition to South America to discover a world where dinosaurs still lived. Sound like the basis of a few movies to you? But no character received the adoration of Sherlock Holmes who debuted in A Study In Scarlet.

The stories were published in The Strand magazine. They certainly made money for Doyle, but he considered them ‘commercial.’ He went so far as to publish ‘The Final Problem’ in 1893 where Holmes and Moriarty plunged to their deaths. Sherlock Holmes dead?Readers were so incensed that 20,000 cancelled their subscription to the Stand.

Doyle wrote a play about Sherlock. William Gillette, the actor commissioned to play him asked for permission to revise it. Doyle said, “You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him.” Poor Doyle, chained to the character he created so brilliantly!

Trivia Question #2: Who was the hero of The Lost World?

Answer to Trivia question #1: William Gillette instituted the drop stem pipe for Sherlock because it made it easier for the actor to speak his lines clearly.

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