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Episode 117: Arthur and Sherlock

Narrator: [00:00:02] In this episode I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, author Michael Sims joins us
to answer the question that's on everyone's mind:

Michael Sims: [00:00:13] "Why did you think you had something new to add to the topic that
seems to have been plowed to death and in attempting to answer that?"

Narrator: [00:00:23] Sims digs down and gives us what he calls

Michael Sims: [00:00:26] "A close up personal version of the story in a sense before he became
Conan Doyle."

Narrator: [00:00:37] All this and much much more ahead. On I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere 117.

Burt Wolder: [00:00:47] Support for this episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere is made
possible by the Wessex Press. The premier publisher of books about Sherlock Holmes and his
world. Find them online at WessexPress.com. And the Baker Street Journal, the leading publication
of Sherlockian scholarship since 1946. Subscriptions available at BakerStreetJournal.com.

Scott Monty: [00:01:10] I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere Episode 117: Arthur and Sherlock.

Charles Gray: [00:01:16] "I hear of Sherlock everywhere since you become his chronicler.

Narrator: [00:01:19] In a world where it's always 1895 comes I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, a
podcast for devotees of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the first official consulting detective.

Jeremy Kemp: [00:01:36] "I've heard of you before. You're Holmes the meddler. Holmes the
busybody. Holmes the Scotland Yard jack-in-office.

Jeremy Brett: [00:01:36] "Ha!"

Narrator: [00:01:41] The game's afoot as we discuss goings on in the world of Sherlock Holmes
enthusiasts, the Baker Street Irregulars, and popular culture related to the great detective.

David Burke: [00:01:58] "As we go to press, sensational developments have been reported."

Narrator: [00:02:04] So join your hosts Scott Monty and Burt Wolder, as they talk about what's
new in the world of Sherlock Holmes.

Jeremy Brett: [00:02:21] "You couldn't have come at a better time!"

Scott Monty: [00:02:21] Well, you're here again! I cannot believe it. And so are you, Burt. You
made it back. Well, this is I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, the first podcast for Sherlock Holmes
devotees where it's always 1895. I'm Scott Monty.

Burt Wolder: [00:02:38] Yes you are. And I am Burt Wolder.

Scott Monty: [00:02:40] And we'd just like to take a moment and celebrate the fact that you took
the time out of your busy schedule to plug in some ear buds or throw on some headphones or put us
on speaker and listen to this fine show.
Burt Wolder: [00:02:53] Yes and little did you know that we have now layered lots of crazy glue
into our podcast so that you're not going to be able to move for the next hour.

Scott Monty: [00:03:03] Man this is really taking hold. This is going to be a problem when I need
to use the restroom.

Burt Wolder: [00:03:11] Well you know that's the thing about digital content - it's sticky.

Scott Monty: [00:03:20] Well all this is this is going to be quite a show. We've got Michael Sims
with us, the author of the book Arthur and Sherlock. You may be rolling your eyes and thinking,
"Oh my God. Not yet another Sir Arthur Conan Doyle biography." But that's what we thought until
we read it. And then our opinions were drastically changed and our opinions were changed even
further after hearing Michael speak about it. So fasten your seat belts. This is going to be a good
one. And while your seat belts are fastened, what a great time to pull down that tray table, pop open
that laptop and get on over to IHearofSherlock.com and do a couple of things one press that Patreon
button or the PayPal button if you would like to support us on a regular basis, if you'd like to show
us some some level of gratitude for what we do some level of congeniality and show support -
because it takes money to host the files it takes money to send e-mails out it takes money to
promote our material to make sure it reaches the most number of people and Patreon on or PayPal
are both a good way to do that to be a part of Team IHOSE.

Burt Wolder: [00:04:37] I like that. And if you don't do that friends I'm going to call the flight
attendant over and tell him or her that you're not being a good camper and you can wind up in the
baggage compartment pretty quickly.

Scott Monty: [00:04:54] Well, while you're there you can pick up your phone and call us at (774)
221-READ. You like that segue?

Burt Wolder: [00:05:01] I like that segue except, you know you're supposed to be in airplane
mode.

Scott Monty: [00:05:04] Oh. Well in that case connect to Wi-Fi and send us an e-mail and
comment that ihearofsherlock.com. Head to any of the social networks and just look up
ihearofsherlock. And of course feel free to leave us a comment on the show notes show notes for
this episode can be found at ihose.co/ihose117.

Burt Wolder: [00:05:26] Yes and leave us a review. Come on folks it would kill you it wouldn't
kill you. Leave us a review on iTunes and you can find that by going to bit.ly/ihearofsherlock. It's
easy. Easy easy.

Scott Monty: [00:05:41] Sounds good. You know what else is easy?

Burt Wolder: [00:05:44] What?

Scott Monty: [00:05:44] Visiting Wessex Press dot com.

Burt Wolder: [00:05:53] The ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex is getting ready for the
spring tourist season at Stonehenge. This year's Summer Solstice is June 21st. Plenty of time for us
to pave over the long barrel roundabout for a new car park. But you will leave no stone unhinged
until you get your copy of the Illustrated Speckled Band - the original 1910 stage production by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle edited by Leslie S. Klinger, bringing Conan Doyle script together with long
lost photographs documenting the original production scene by scene. It's Conan Doyle's personal
vision of Sherlock Holmes in words and pictures for a mere $19.95. Geniuses of countless nations
have told their love for generations. But darling when I think of you every aged phrase is new. In
this romantic spring, reach for the pleasure only a volume from the Wessex Press can provide.
Choose yours today.

Scott Monty: [00:07:02] Ah. It's always a pleasure to get ourselves away to Wessex and back again
of course.

Burt Wolder: [00:07:08] Yes most people are so busy.

Scott Monty: [00:07:11] They are indeed. And you know that's the same team that is responsible
for publishing the Baker Street Journal. I don't know if people are aware of that.

Burt Wolder: [00:07:22] Isn't that a conflict of interest?

Scott Monty: [00:07:25] Why would that be?

Burt Wolder: [00:07:28] Well, if you had two interested people in the same room and both were
interested in the same thing that would clearly be a conflict of interest.

Scott Monty: [00:07:37] If both we're interested in different things. Well either way you're here
because you're interested to hear this interview with Michael Sims. And hey. So are we. This is
going to be a barn burner. And you know the reason I can say that is because...well, we've heard the
interview.

Burt Wolder: [00:07:56] How could that be? It hasn't happened yet.

Scott Monty: [00:08:02] Oh but believe me - you know who says that. "Believe me, folks" - this is
a great interview. It is a great but it's great because Michael is a true Sherlockian and he is an
astounding author and we'll share with you his bona fides in just a moment. But this is a guy that
has been going to Sherlockian scion meetings, who has been involved with some of the conventions
and whatnot has has studied the scholarship. So he's not coming to it as an outsider. Michael of
course is the author of another fine book The Story of Charlotte's Web and that's that's a book about
E.B. White the author. And the Washington Post and The Boston Globe, other venues like that,
chose that as a best book of the year. And then of course there's Adam's Navel, which was a New
York Times Notable Book and a literary - excuse me - Library Journal best science book. And he
also wrote The Adventures of Henry Thoreau. So when you're wandering in the woods some time
and take a copy of that with you and perch yourself under the trunk of a tree and curl up like Henry
Thoreau would and enjoy that. But Michael also edits the Connoisseur's Collection series of
Victorian anthologies including The Dead Witness about detective stories. And he also edited the
Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime and the Penguin Book of Gaslight Crime. And of
course his Sherlockian pastiche "The Memoirs of Silver Blaze" appears and the Anthony award
winning anthology In the Company of Sherlock Holmes edited of course by Laurie R. King and
Leslie Klinger, whom you heard recently on the show. Michael's writing has also appeared in The
New York Times, the New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Washington Post, the
Baker Street Journal and many many more. And he lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and
his son. Michael welcome to the show.

Michael Sims: [00:10:19] Thank you. I've been looking forward to this.

Scott Monty: [00:10:21] Well some of we you know we've got your We've got your book Arthur
and Sherlock in hand and first of all I have to say it's a handsome volume.
Michael Sims: [00:10:29] Oh they did a good job. I'm so happy with it since I didn't do it, I can
brag about it.

Scott Monty: [00:10:36] Now it's that lovely railway carriage scene. I think from "Silver Blaze"
where Watson and Holmes are in the smoking car and of course Holmes has the famous deerstalker
cap on and he's leaning across sketching something out in the palm of his hand to Watson.

Michael Sims: [00:10:53] It just seems so iconic. But also I told him if you set this - I really begged
for the illustration - and I said if you set this up with the title just right the name Arthur will go with
Watson and somewhat and Sherlock will be there, and it will be as if Sherlock is telling his creator
his story.

Scott Monty: [00:11:12] Interesting.

Michael Sims: [00:11:13] And the designer said, "Oooh, I like that."

Scott Monty: [00:11:16] Well look let's talk about the title for a moment because as you know
there are a lot of publications out right now regarding Sherlock Holmes. There's another one - From
Holmes to Sherlock. Now we've got Arthur and Sherlock. There seems to be a recent wave of
calling Sherlock Holmes in a familiar way by his first name. Is that part of your intention here, to
kind of move along with these these modern mores?

Michael Sims: [00:11:47] Actually with my usual perception and foresight I was completely
unaware of this trend. I wanted the name Arthur in there to emphasize that this is going to be a close
up personal version of the story in a sense before he became Conan Doyle, before he was known at
all. And then the editor suggested to parallel that with Sherlock and he said there's no more
distinctive word in the world than Sherlock and compare the two. And then he also suggested the
subtitle because I had come up with a 109,000 subtitles that I rejected.

Burt Wolder: [00:12:28] What were some of the ones you rejected?

Michael Sims: [00:12:32] Oh god I can't remember. Unfortunately, I suppressed all that. I
remember one of the subtitles I suggested for my book about Henry David Thoreau which was How
a Godforsaken Layabout and Job Quitter Eventually Amounted to something and they vetoed that.

Burt Wolder: [00:12:49] Oh, I like that a lot of that is it is a mouthful.

Michael Sims: [00:12:54] Well yes but it's truth in advertising.

Burt Wolder: [00:12:57] Well you know you talk about up close and personal and I think that
really defines the book. From the beginning of the book - from your introductory remarks from the
preface. You really do do something remarkable, which is particularly for folks like us that have
been interested in Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle for a long period of time. You know
you get to the point where you start to say to yourself well gee another biography of Conan Doyle.
I'm going to hear about Dr. Bud and the whaling trip and Joseph down this and you think but you
did something completely which has never been done before, which is you really take the reader
back to looking over the shoulder of Conan Doyle and your preface does it. You know you're back
in Bush Villas, you've got the smells, you've got the sights, you've got the sounds of young Conan
Doyle writing and you've put the reader right there and that's that's very much an extension of what
you were just talking about with the personal Arthur and Sherlock kind of approach.
Michael Sims: [00:13:59] Oh thank you. Thank you. I really do want to in these what I call
biographical narratives where I'm zooming in on a certain aspect of a person's life. I really want to
not look ahead. The sources are there in the notes there's endless reading but that should be behind
the scenes. And I really want to stay in the moment - because I always think these people didn't
know they would wind up being famous. They were just like us. The suspense was they didn't even
know if they would get through the day. And they - he - I want you to meet him when he's unsure
about everything from women to whether he'll make it in medicine, or whether anyone's ever going
to buy one of his short stories.

Scott Monty: [00:14:46] Yeah, you know one of the anecdotes that stuck out to me - and you do a
wonderful job of finding these anecdotes that even to the cynical and tried and true Sherlockian or
Doylean are fairly new in concept. But the one that stood out to me was when he was a medical
student and had to decide between paying for his meals or buying books, and he may he made a
sacrifice every week to give up lunch. To put it towards the used book bin that was out in front of
the bookstore in the city. And who among us as book collectors or as voracious readers hasn't done
something like that?

Michael Sims: [00:15:38] Yes. That was that was great fun for me and I like Doyle's candor in that
he would, he admitted that about four days a week he would just do lunch. He would wrestle with
this every day as he walked by and four days he would opt for food as anyone would. But you know
roughly once a week he would go OK I'm just going to get something here. And when I learned
what the bookshop was and I went back and read newspaper sources from the era with details and
texture about the bookshop, I just fell in love with that scene. And who would come into the
bookshop, and what it looked like with all the big bewhiskered clerks up on their ladders trying to
find obscure theological tomes. And I just love that kind of moment when all the dusty research can
come alive and you kind of blow the dust off of it and bring it back.

Scott Monty: [00:16:26] Yeah.

Burt Wolder: [00:16:27] How long have you been working on this? I mean it seems to me it must
have been years of research.

Michael Sims: [00:16:33] Well I'm always doing a bunch of different projects so I had been
reading toward it for a while I think before I realized it. And then I would say really the
composition of the book though was only about a year and a half. I had been - like you guys and
like other Sherlockians in a sense been reading toward it all my life and just - I'm slow to realize
these things.

Scott Monty: [00:17:00] Now when did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?

Michael Sims: [00:17:05] Ah, I'm actually writing a little guest column about that for the Strand
magazine this week. This week to turn in. And I ran across in a Goodwill store a few years ago
because I always check their bookshelves if I'm anywhere near one copy of the literary text book for
my middle school that I was at. And I opened it and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. It
was my first encounter with Sherlock Holmes was in there. It was a very lushly illustrated about
1970 lit textbook and he was "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." And so I was about based on
that. I was 11 or 12 and it just I had such a really sentimental moment at the golden glow of
discovering childhood reading when I open that book and everybody else in there you know was
just trying to find a cheap chair.

[00:18:04] [LAUGHTER]
Michael Sims: [00:18:05] And I have a Proustian childhood rush over here and somebody else is
going, "No, I can't wear a 38. Do you have a 36?" you know.

Scott Monty: [00:18:19] Now it wasn't too long after that according to your talk. And we should
note for our listeners you gave the 2011 Baker Street Irregulars distinguished speaker lecture during
the BSI weekend titled "The Light of Reason." And for those interested enough to go and get a back
issue of the Baker Street Journal it's available in the summer 2011 edition. And in that you recount
how that interest that interest that was sparked in that school had text led to the request for an even
larger volume. Care to talk about that?

Michael Sims: [00:18:57] Yes. That was a life changing kind of moment. We lived in rural eastern
Tennessee and somehow someway there were no bookstores. There's a tiny library somewhere and
learned that there were miraculous things called mail order book clubs and I immediately began
using everything I could could find. I created numerous fake memberships for all of my nieces and
nephews so I could get their introductory volumes. And thus began a flourishing life of crime and in
doing that I saw the Annotated Sherlock Holmes the two volumes set by William S. Baring-Gould
and when it arrived I sat up literally all night long. I was 15 I think. And I just fell in love with it.
History was no longer opaque. The marginal notes the photographs just sort of opened up literature
and history. For me it just it really changed my life.

Burt Wolder: [00:19:59] You know it's funny you should mention that because now that I think
about it I think I first got that my two volume edition of Baring-Gould's from the Literary Guild
because I was also a big subscriber of all of those things - the literary guild and the mystery book
club than anything I could find.

Michael Sims: [00:20:14] The science fiction book club. Yeah, mine may have been from the
Literary Guild. I don't know because I also had them. And I would you know get my minimum
membership and cancel them. They would send me a renewal notice in the name of my niece and I
would do it all over again.

Scott Monty: [00:20:30] Right. And did you have unlimited bookshelf space at home at that time?

Michael Sims: [00:20:36] No a tiny a house but it didn't matter. I would just fill it with those mail
order books. They were just there were no bookstores. I'll bet within 50 miles of where we were
when I was a kid. So so that makes you think you know for a medical book people it makes you
think of W.C. Fields line that you know once I was on a trip in Afghanistan and we lost our
corkscrew and had to live on food and water.

[00:21:04] [LAUGHTER]

Michael Sims: [00:21:08] That there's that there's a book version of this a book lovers version.

Scott Monty: [00:21:13] So was was a town library an option for you? Or was that because of your
your circumstances that's something that was just out of reach?

Michael Sims: [00:21:22] We did. An uncle would take us into town. And later my older half
brother would take us and there was a tiny library and there is no part of the history of humanity
that I regard with more of a golden glow than the image of that tiny library. And it is now the
building is still there in my hometown to imagine that a hole that it was once the library is almost
funny because it's just a very small cottage. But it was it was the key to the world in the sun.
Sunlight would slant in there through those dusty windows late in the afternoon and I would go in
and everything smelled like you know the greatest smell in the world - book mold and silverfish or
water. And I would discover Jim Kjelgaard who wrote Big Red and those animal stories and
children's detective stories and the three investigators detective stories. To this day any book that
has "the mystery of" or "the secret of" in the title I'm likely to at least pick up and consider.

Scott Monty: [00:22:31] So when did you when did you embark on a life of writing?

Michael Sims: [00:22:36] Well I have no degrees of any kind. And so not even a bachelor's degree
so I really wanted to write a book about something about the natural intersection of natural history
and cultural histories kind of what we make off about nature and also many had a mind full of
details and anecdotes about natural history. And in my 30s I - short version - sold it to Henry Holt
via an agent, a wonderful agent. And I sold the idea: I presented a book of days format that I
thought would get past the concern that I'd always read that publishers have of, "OK this writer has
an idea but can he finish the book?" And this was like I couldn't go astray I just had to keep writing
500 day 200 word essays for the whole year and it worked. And then I thought now I can stand on
this and as my resume and my footstool and reach for other things. And in response to that book,
the editor of Penguin - editorial director of Penguin UK - sent me a letter saying "Hey write
something for me." And and I've been typing ever since - that was 22 years ago this month.

Scott Monty: [00:23:53] That's wonderful.

Burt Wolder: [00:23:55] And how did you - of all the things that you've done before now - what
was the spark that got you to Conan Doyle and his life and his early days? Was it -- did it come
from your Thoreau experience?

Michael Sims: [00:24:15] Actually on I do in writing the book about Thoreau, I discovered how
much I enjoy a conjuring the 19th century. But also I had written somewhat about Sherlock Holmes
even as early as my first book Darwin's Orchestra: The Book of Days. Because I write about "Silver
Blaze," I'd write about the snake that couldn't possibly have been a snake in "The Speckled Band,"
or all the many other ways that science and natural history go through the canon. And so then I
would find that Sherlock Holmes would reappear in various other books over the years. And I kept
thinking I really would like to go down to the basics and the beginning and tell the story as you and
I discussed earlier without looking too far ahead. And I thought well I really want all the
Sherlockian mania is going on I really ought to do it now. And with my incredible professional
timing, the book came out the week that the Sherlock series seems to have ended with an episode
that made everyone angry apparently. And.

Scott Monty: [00:25:27] That could be any episode.

Michael Sims: [00:25:31] Well yes and the week that Trump was elected. So really I have amazing
timing on these things.

Burt Wolder: [00:25:41] It's very- it's a lot of foresight. So how did you--what was the moment--
you know I'm just fascinated because it's a bit like Frankenstein. I mean you know you not you
specifically but you know there are these characters. Conan Doyle that are written and covered in so
many biographies, but there's a real spark in Arthur and Sherlock, whereas I said before from page
one he's sort of there as a living character. And of course as you said you've been reading widely, so
you've clearly read his journals, and his letters to his mother, and just an enormous amount of
things. But at what point did you really feel that you had a sense of him as a character? You know
because it really does come through -- it would be a crime to call the book a novelization of Conan
Doyle because it really isn't. It's it's sort of a synthesis of everything he's left behind, but beautifully
organized and interpreted. And the details! I mean everything from the fact that he's polishing his
nameplate, and his early days as a doctor in the evening because he doesn't want to be seen as
someone who doesn't have a servant.

Michael Sims: [00:26:52] Those things make it so real to me. And but you know your question of
when did I realize it's been I guess three years ago that I really felt I had a sense of -- not the
definitive by any means, but my own particular vision of how certain tributaries in his life played
into the creation of Holmes and that I had I thought a slightly different way to do it. And Pamela
Paul, the editor of the New York Times Book Review interviewed me on their podcast and she
asked a very good question: "Why did you think you had something something new to add to a
topic that seems to have been plowed to death?" And I said I just felt there were there were
moments of drama and texture and beauty and resonance and poignant little details or just sweet
little details like polishing the brass name plate that I feel will get left out of sometimes a more
either a more academic approach, or a biographer doing his entire life. Doyle was a very busy man
for a very long time. And I feel like biographers are like this is a subject I've got to push that entire
life all uphill ahead of them for 500 pages. And by focusing on the theme of what parts of Conan
Doyle's life - real life - and reading and his own psyche sees me played into the creation of homes. I
felt like I was able to pause whenever I wanted to and let the cameras zoom in and let you see him...
I don't know... shaving or whatever. He's not he's not famous, he's not known, he's just one of us.

Burt Wolder: [00:28:39] Well you know another marvelous thing you do and in putting all this
together too. And I think you mentioned this earlier -- is really to bring alive this period of the late
19th century. So in addition to sort of looking at the world over going indoors shoulder you getting
a sense of really what it's like to get up and have breakfast and move around. But also your
searchlight you authorial searchlight plays beautifully over character other characters and Conan
Doyle story that that we think we know well, but you really bring the life in a remarkable way
particularly Joe Bell. You know you have got this. People have this great notion of Bell as the spark
for homes but you really give us bell in enormous detail including his physical appearance, his limp,
his experiences with diphtheria, and the names - Michael! - the names of his horses Major and
Minor. And --and-- the under carriage of of the carriage that Bell's mentor drove in and its color.

Michael Sims: [00:29:46] Yeah. And I understand that for some people there may be a little too
much vivid detail, but when I give talks - I don't teach writing but I give talks to colleges and
various writing groups - and when I talk to students I always say that really, I just want it to be in an
active voice and I want it to be specific. And then there are moments though when you realize you
you can overdo that. But I really I feel like those kinds of things I if there's a if there's an aroma
mentioned, an odor mentioned in the sources what if I can work that in? And you have one more
sense participating in that moment. But with Bell I really felt that his physicality was very important
because he - I think in a sense because Arthur Conan Doyle had so much trouble with his own
father Charles Doyle and his alcoholism and his unreliability - it seemed to me that in 1876 when
Doyle comes back and he start to Edinburgh and he begins medical school he was primed for a
father figure and some hero worship. And Bell was about 40 and it seems to me in a sense that he
was almost becoming a character of fictional status years and years before the notion of turning him
into a detective as Sherlock Holmes. And so part of that I think is the heroism. Like you mentioned
the diphtheria that Bell had sucked mucus out of the throat of a suffering child and wound up of
course with diphtheria of his own which caused a limp, caused his incongruous high pitched voice.
And I don't mean to go on about this issue at one point about this that I think is key. The notion of
modest heroism seems to me to play through Sherlock Holmes that he's arrogant about his
intelligence and his observational skill but he doesn't talk about how he's really quite a heroic
figure. And thank God he doesn't brag about that too. And Doyle seems to me someone who unlike
every other mystery novelist I have read about or that I know personally in the world now. He didn't
need to create a heroic alter ego. He was a very brave courageous strong man - so he created a
different kind of alter ego intellectually. But the heroism was there. And I think in a sense he got a
lot of that at the exactly right moment from Joseph Bell. And I didn't want to go on.
Burt Wolder: [00:32:30] No not at all. I'm not going on about it at all because I think it's part of the
what's really unique distinctive it's beautifully successful in the book. There isn't too much detail in
your book. It's it's it's exactly the right amount of detail to bring to life these people particularly
people that that we think we know well. And you know is the sad part about being a Sherlockian is
that as you continue to encounter these people in other media, you occasionally have experiences
where you say, you know this isn't real. I mean you know you watch a couple of hours of Arthur
Conan Doyle on television and it's an actor you respect wearing an Inverness cape and clearly the
producer wants him to look like Sherlock Holmes. And you look at your watch and you say maybe
I'll have a cup of tea instead. This is this is you know it's just it's just really remarkable and and the
way you particularly the way you take particularly bring Bell to life, in the way you describe his
physicality, his analytical abilities, and I'm just touched and thrilled frankly by what you just
mentioned about Holmes as the hero because that's what seems to me to be lacking in so many. You
know the modest heroism of Sherlock Holmes. I think you just described that very beautifully and
that seems to be lacking in a lot of interpretations.

Michael Sims: [00:33:53] It's interesting that when you get Robert Downey Jr. bare knuckle boxing
and desperately searching through his pockets to find his accent.

Scott Monty: [00:34:05] Is that where it was?

Michael Sims: [00:34:06] I think it was in his overcoat pocket. You lose track of the original
homes in some way. And of course people have varying fondness for the many interpretations. The
original one I do feel has a kind of affection for Watson. And again yeah modest heroism toward
women in trouble, toward people who can't afford to pay him or whatever. And for example he -
Holmes famously hurts Watson's feelings early in The Sign of the Four with the incident
interpreting the watch that Watson handed over--I'm sure every listener knows this--and hands over
the watch and says, "Well what can you learn about this?" And and Holmes just goes on telling the
story. Clearly this is an alcoholic who has been through a number of different periods in his life of
trouble and rising up and falling down and then suddenly realizes what he's done. He's quite
apologetic. I think there are a lot of moments like that as Jeremy Brett I think does beautifully in the
BBC series in the Granada theories that there's there's arrogance and confidence but then
underneath there is a strong element of he's simply not a jackass. He's not villainous he's not he's
never--he's not mean to people. He's occasionally contemptuous of someone's intellectual
shortcomings at a certain moment but he's underneath a figure to respect I think.

Burt Wolder: [00:35:51] And a hero.

Scott Monty: [00:35:53] Yeah that's that's true. And I think a lot of that comes from a sense of
impatience that there are those that simply can't keep up with him and his faculties are working at
such a pace that you know he's consistently outpacing everyone else.

Michael Sims: [00:36:09] Yes. Yes.

Scott Monty: [00:36:11] I think with Bell. What's interesting with Bell is you know Bell, Bell was
a teacher. He was required to slow down. He was required to make sure that his students kept pace
with them yet still was able to completely baffle and wow them and in certain settings.

Michael Sims: [00:36:30] Yes. And to do it in ways that that later fed straight into the Holmes
stories like, one of the students that the students were required to do their own diagnosis to take a
shot at it with people - with patients who came in - and and Bell would be very quick to go "No. For
Pete's sake there's no -- he hasn't doesn't have foot disease." You know in a version of "What kind
of idiot are you? Now look at look at these clues" and that kind of impatient confidence teaching. I
think had a huge impact on Doyle himself it was less of a blusterer but he could see how beautifully
it could play into drama and also it was fun for me in reading other students accounts of Bell that he
too would keep his main clue to the very end. He would say well look at the calluses, well look at
this, look at that. Well he's wearing -- a boatman, but it's not a marine thing it's a coastal outfit. And
also you can smell fish you know or whatever. He would save a key clue until the very last moment.
And that seemed to frustrate some of his students. And then later you can imagine Watson riding
along in a carriage with Holmes and Holmes holding out is giving little bitty snippets and you can
imagine homes and wanting a Watson banging his head against the wall of the carriage. You know
it's a wonder there's not a line in there somewhere "For God's sake Holmes just tell me the bottom
line."

Scott Monty: [00:38:07] We're just going to take a quick break here and have a quick word from
one of our sponsors.

Scott Monty: [00:38:14] The Baker Street Journal is billed as an irregular quarterly of
Sherlockiana. When it reaches beyond Sherlock Holmes and to the world of collectors the work of
the illustrators and even to the life. Of Sherlock Holmes as creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We've
been chatting with Michael Sims, one of the latest biographers of Conan Doyle whose book Arthur
and Sherlock is currently making the rounds. When Michael first came to the pages of the BSJ to
his lecture at the BSI distinguished speaker event in 2011 at the BSI weekend. His speech updated
for print is available in Volume 61, Number 3, the summer 2011 edition of the Baker Street Journal
Even if you can't attend the BSI weekend in New York each year you can always count on the
Baker Street Journal to deliver the lecture to you in an issue quickly following. It's the only place
where you can read what the likes of Madeleine Stern, Bert Coules, Nicholas Meyer Laurie R.
King, Michael Dirda and more said to the assembled masses. Make sure you don't miss the text of
Sara Paretsky's talk from January 2017. It'll be in the spring issue of the BSJ which you can get by
subscribing at Baker Street Journal dot com today.

Burt Wolder: [00:39:42] Well you know you also do something you also report something that I
had not encountered before which is how much Bell perhaps may have owed to his own mentor
which I found very interesting.

Michael Sims: [00:39:55] I've read in obituaries and memoirs about Bell that he modestly claimed
that he got a lot of that from James Syme his own mentor and the commentators claimed that they
had never seen that to the level Bill claimed that they felt it was just Bell being too modest. Now I
found that interesting. I did not find any where accounts of Syme behaving in this way that Bill did.
Now I did and this was fascinating to me. It was wonderful to discover that Bell was part of a
diagnostic movement at the time and von Hebra in Austria and Vienna was doing this with very
little medical technology. They were emphasizing that very precise detailed observation of the
patient in front of you from the moment they walk in is the key to diagnosis. And I loved learning
that various people were doing this.

Scott Monty: [00:40:58] Well now now I want to I want to remain on this notion of modesty for a
moment. Because of course we know that Holmes famously says in "The Greek Interpreter," "I
cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. And at the same time there are some
contemporary accounts of Conan Doyle very much acknowledging that Bell was a part of the
inspiration for the character and and the press. Then turning to Bell and basically asking for his
input on the matter his opinion and him being very very modest about it very demure saying no no
no this is this is more Conan Doyle than it is Joseph Bell. How much do you think that modest
attitude was was worked into that particular remark and the rest of the character?
Michael Sims: [00:41:55] Ah, very interesting. I don't know. I think part of the fun of these kinds
of things when you can look at a whole life after it's over. I mean it's so weird that these people
have died and we're still you know such a long time later going over their lives. The point of the fun
is you can see their contradictions, just as are all my own contradictions and vices and faults are
visible to everyone else more than they are to me already -- said to my wife who points them out to
me. But I think that with Doyle -- that with both Doyle and Bell, they wanted to be modest and they
felt they ought to be modest and they genuinely had an urge in that direction. But at the same time
both were somewhat adept at what is now called humblebrag. And I think Bell was being very
modest and very genuine about it. And then he said however let me tell you what I did actually do.
And then the next thing you know he's writing an article about it. And then he's appearing
somewhere else telling about it. And so he got really caught up in it. He enjoyed it. He was very
proud to have been the inspiration. He genuinely seems to have liked Doyle and thought well of
him. The young Arthur and into it all was the same way. I think in the even in the letters to his
mother or family you know there's a lot of bragging of what I'm up to and what I've accomplished
and things like this. But the official version ought to be more calm and polite. And so I think Bell--I
think Doyle wanted-- this is just entirely of course just my impression and my opinion. He wanted
modesty about certain accomplishments to be part of Sherlock Holmes like the heroism the strength
the famous straightening up of the poker from the fireplace in "The Speckled Band" I think -
Grimesby Roylott. Yeah. And I think he wanted that to be part of the character. But at the same
time he found the themes clearly to me to have found the arrogance the intellectual arrogance
amusing. And I think he was very right it's very entertaining. Watson the long suffering Watson
poking little pins in in Sherlock's arrogance and Holmes tweaking Watson in return, I think play
with the whole notion of confidence and arrogance and modesty throughout. And I think--it seems
to me-- that that's important because those were sort of big issues in Doyle's own psyche and how
much confidence should manifest itself, and at what point does it become arrogance? And I think
that's an issue for anyone who's trying to be an accomplished person in the world.

Burt Wolder: [00:45:17] Well you know you say that very well and also you present an aspect of
Conan Doyle's personality that I had not focused on in all of the things that I read about him. Which
is that particularly up through his sort of early adulthood he really was a rather violent--or rather
reckless--or rather angry in several ways -- man.

Michael Sims: [00:45:44] Yes I think he very understandably had a certain volatility and he writes
about it different times and in his other novels a bit about -- the more autobiographical early novels
--about how nervous women could make him at times. He's clearly manifesting a desire all the time
to show himself as strong, robust - masculine in his sense and that and the era's sense and address
how to be a man in the world. It seems to me to be dealing with frustrations and anger is about his
father, and about his upbringing, and about poverty -- relative poverty -- and all these factors, and
he seems to be trying to figure out how to play this role of a man in the world and what it means to
be a gentleman. My father died when I was three and I've known a number of friends who had
alcoholic fathers or mothers and have watched their attempt to navigate an early adulthood without
role models. And that seems to me -- part of what he was doing in his life he's casting about for a
way to do this. And I think in a sense that's why Bell may have had such an impact on him. That he
was legendary for being a perfect gentleman for a kind of professional modesty underneath that
kind of teaching bravado that he and theatrical but underneath a good person and not actually an
arrogant person.

Burt Wolder: [00:47:40] You know I thought of when I was reading this I thought of oddly enough
someone I never thought of in the past at all in parallel to Conan Doyle and that was Teddy
Roosevelt.

Michael Sims: [00:47:51] Ah yes. Yes. I think I think those are -- that image occurred to me. I
didn't weave it in because it was it was going to be a little later it was one of those -- I don't didn't
want to look ahead to much. It seems in a retrospective analysis very relevant, but it didn't fit into
the tone of my narrative. But it seemed like -- there's some... you read a biography of Teddy
Roosevelt and you can like many many things about him and still perceive that if he's going off on a
trip he's going to make sure to take along a cameraman. And just like any professional person you're
going to want like now you know it's very cute you see who's a famous actor like Jennifer Lawrence
a famous young actress, you see her meeting Meryl Streep and she's desperate to get a selfie with
her. And I think everybody wants -- we all have a persona in mind up to a point. And and we're it's
it's half just happening and half being nudged and created. And I think Conan Doyle was, as you
point out, doing that somewhat in the manner of Teddy Roosevelt that he was very passionate about
his convictions, a good person, and yet at the same time he would like to make sure you are aware
of that.

Burt Wolder: [00:49:32] But also but also you know Conan Doyle, perhaps like T.R., created
himself out of necessity. You know T.R. was asthmatic and we can became the sort of extreme
extroverted outdoors... you know and this whole issue of how did people get to be the way they are.
You know it occupied so many people's attention. I mean the director Bill Condon tends to focus on
character studies like this. He did them years ago about that how did Holmes really get to be this
way.

Michael Sims: [00:50:08] Yes. And that is the ultimate question of whether biography or any kind
of narrative is like "What is the motivation?" And and I think that's what movies so often get wrong
-- or kind of a lot of pop fiction. They act as if there's just a conviction this person is just a Russian
spy. When it's -- he's a Russian spy who loves his kids and secretly reads soft core porn or whatever
-- you know and he's troubled by flat feet and indigestion. It's just the three dimensionality and
complexity, and that's part of what I think is making people say that this read my book read
somewhat like a novel is I'm trying not to analyze, I'm trying just to -- but to just show what I can
confirm from the sources Doyle himself and the many other sources -- the actions, the thoughts, the
dialogue--as much dialogue as possible--rather than analyzing. And I think that makes it feel
perhaps a little more present and emotional.

Scott Monty: [00:51:24] I would agree. I would agree. And speaking of sources, one of the things
that I had seen in a number of reviews and a number of commentaries online was something I had
actually never heard before --and I've you know I've been at this since I was 14 years old-- of course
we've all heard that the original names for Holmes and Watson were Sherrinford Holmes and
Ormond Sacker. There's that famous one-sheeter there of the notes that Conan Doyle was putting
together for A Study in Scarlet as he was determining how to bring these characters together bring
them to life. You said that the original name before Sherrinford Holmes was Sherringford Hope.
And we know Hope was used later on for Jefferson Hope in A Study in Scarlet, but where did you
find the reference for Sherringford Hope?

Michael Sims: [00:52:18] What's finally with this kind of specialized interview i s the level of
understanding of context for the topic and that you've read the book to death. You know you need to
get new copies because clearly you've underlined the book...One of the surprising sources in the
book for researching the book was a wonderful interview he did with Bram Stoker who had not yet
published Dracula. A few years before Dracula and he was still the assistant to Henry Irving, the
great actor. And he was a journalist and so he interviewed Doyle. And in the interview he mentions
this early title and I felt well if you can't trust the author himself -- and this was early on too; it
wasn't you know reminiscing for the autobiography of 1927. This was about 1892, right after --
maybe '93 -- right after the success of the first run of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the
Strand. And so I thought well this is all so recent. I feel confident in trusting the source that he said
this himself. So that was really fun. Those kinds of weird little details like the number of as
Sherlock know the countless many possible sources for the name Sherlock. It was fun discovering
in newspapers of the era just how many that Doyle might be reading on any given day about two
different inspector Sherlocks who worked for the Metropolitan Police Force in London and who
were whose adventures and exploits and possibly memoirs and Casebook were recounted in the
daily press and then shared in left into the wonderful horror writer ghost story writer had a character
named Carmel Sherlock. And just so many things besides ones that I had read about in McCawley
and so on and on and on. So it's just so fun finding those details like the Bram Stoker article, the
interview.

Scott Monty: [00:54:35] Yeah. Yeah it a wonderful little detail when I had wondered about so I
thank you for that. Now I want to, I want to read an excerpt here. It's actually from the very last
chapter - the very last paragraph of the very last chapter. And don't worry folks there's no spoilers
here. I think we all know how this turns out. The chapter is how .

Burt Wolder: [00:54:57] How does, how does it end?

Scott Monty: [00:54:59] Well you know.

Michael Sims: [00:55:00] I've been doing this with my book about E.B. White and I said, OK,
spoiler: the bug died.

[00:55:04] [LAUGHTER]

Scott Monty: [00:55:09] Well I think that that actually brings up a good point before we get to this
paragraph. You could have you could have continued this book for another 10 to 20 years in Conan
Doyle's life and still had us in the palm of your hand. Why did you decide to end it at the time
period that you did?

Michael Sims: [00:55:29] I really felt that I wanted. It was about the creation of the character. And
so I took you through the both the first two novels and the first dozen short stories in the short
stories did some tweaking of the character and things like this but it seemed like to end on the
moment when he's at his first big try outs. Sherlock is becoming a household name, but also in
general the character is worked out, he's in place. And so I decided to end it at the moment, which
Conan Doyle publicly thanks the real-world inspiration for it. And it seemed to me if I opened up in
the middle of a conversation with Bell at Edinburgh University Medical School and go full circle
and keep Bell in the story and keep the influence -- their interactions - and bring it back and sort of
end on that tonic note, that it seemed to me a complete narrative about the creation of Holmes
before we got on to other things. Also if you go much farther you get into the complexity of he soon
kills them off at the end of the second dozen stories, and you get Touie's (his wife's) tuberculosis
diagnosis, and you get into a number of things that I just felt I wanted to end on a moment of
triumph and a moment where it seemed like the character was finished in creation. It was entirely
arbitrary. I mean everyone at three reviewers have suggested other possible times I could have
ended the book.

Scott Monty: [00:57:10] Well if anything it leaves your room for a sequel, right?

Michael Sims: [00:57:13] Yes exactly.

Scott Monty: [00:57:15] So let's get to that excerpts and then I'll circle back with one more
comment. There was a letter from a fellow Edinburgh resident Robert Louis Stevenson fellow
author and Stevenson wrote to Conan Doyle. April 5th 1893. And you note about his letter "it
blended the praise of a reader and the condescension of a rival." And Stevenson ended his letter
with a question that harkened back to his own studies at Edinburgh medical school.

[00:57:52] "Only the one thing troubles me. Can this be my old friend Joe Bell.

[00:57:59] "I'm so glad Sherlock Holmes helped to pass an hour for you," replied Arthur on May
30th. "He's a bastard. Between Joe Bell and Poe's Monsieur Dupin, much diluted." Stevenson could
see through Holmes to the inspiration behind and he knew from visceral personal experience the
mountains of paper and rivers of ink that a writer must exhaust before reaching success. But he
could not have known how much affection, experience, admiration, and debt were distilled into
Arthur's words for the dedication on the first page of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Although he was only 33 when he penned the brief tribute, Arthur well understood his own journey
from racing up the wide infirmary staircases in Edinburgh to peering anxiously through wooden
blinds at Bush villas in Southsea to being applauded by George Newnes and Greenough Smith as
he, they, Sherlock Holmes and the Strand soared to fame. Sherlock Holmes had bought Arthur's
home and enabled him to bring his sister Connie home from Portugal. So in the front of the book
that brought him such freedom and acclaim. Arthur inscribed simply, "To my old teacher Joseph
Bell M.D. etc. of 2 Melville Cresent, Edinburgh."

Scott Monty: [00:59:27] And there we have the end. And so there is this this great book ending as
you say of Joseph Bell. Could the book just as easily have been titled Arthur and Joseph?

Michael Sims: [00:59:45] I actually thought about that kind of thing. And I felt that the other
factors were strong enough that there was a lot more to the creation of of Holmes than just Bell. I
wanted... I really spent a long long time unraveling the potential ways the many different ways that
Arthur Conan Doyle was influenced by Edgar Allen Poe for example about the Monsieur Dupin and
what he would have learned at which time, and at what point to tell the reader each part of it. And
so I think with Poe's contribution, Bell's contribution and the --I hope-- clear ways in which aspects
of Doyle's own character played right into the creation of Holmes, that those three strands are
woven together. But the inspiration - as opposed to the creation - really seems to have been that this
all started with Bell. And later I think sort of cross-fertilized in his mind with Poe. So I wantede
Bell -- the the real Bell -- I wanted to end on that moment also in part because it's it's a generous,
collegial thing to publicly thank someone when you're in the middle of a lot of fame like that.

Scott Monty: [01:01:20] And you know your description of the threads being woven together -- I
think that's the sign of a great creative genius. And from my own personal experience -- I worked
for Ford Motor Company for a number of years and Henry Ford of course is always credited with
the invention of the moving assembly line. And while that may be true with regard to automobiles,
the fact is he visited textile mills, and he visited the meat processing plants in Cincinnati. And he
looked at how they did things and how they had some assembly lines involved there, and he wove
these strands together to create something that was right for what he needed to accomplish. And
very much the same way you've just described Doyle as being inspired by something, seeing
another example, and then finding a way to blend it and work and make himself look like an even
bigger genius than the two giants whose shoulders he was already standing on.

Michael Sims: [01:02:29] And I think there's a Poe line that I wish I had -- of course you know
everything is in retrospect you think oh I could have done this differently. But I wish I'd put this in
there. --that Poe talks about that creation inspiration and creation are ultimately a process of
combining. And I like the notion of looking at inspiration and creation -- I'm doing that now with
the young Charles Darwin, with E.B. White in the earlier one, or whatever -- the notion of what are
these two things and how do they work together? So it had to be for me the the various inspirations
play into them the process of creation, because once you get the idea, and once you have become in
a sense conscious of the ways in which things are influencing you -- for example he didn't walk
around everyday thinking about how Poe had influenced his notions of detectives. And he I don't
think he realized how Bell had become a character in his mind until he walked off the page
reincarnated as Sherlock Holmes. But that process interests me so much -- in a sense what sparks
my own creativity and desire to create by combining is unraveling other people's process of
inspiration and then creation. And how they differ, and how the beautiful, spontaneous combustion
of -- you've got your inspiration. You begin creating and then new inspirations and creations occur
that you would not have seen even two sentences earlier. Because it comes alive on the page.

Michael Sims: [01:04:22] And in this conversation that we've had today there are analogies and
references and cross indexing that we could not have predicted that they just emerged from the tone
of our conversation and which to me is part of what makes conversation often seem very creative
exciting process. When you get you know a bunch of nerdy enthusiasts on the same project.

Scott Monty: [01:04:49] Hey, hey. Who are you calling enthusiasts?

Burt Wolder: [01:04:52] Who are you calling a bunch?

Michael Sims: [01:04:53] Like you would protest being called that we know our tribe.

Scott Monty: [01:05:01] We do indeed. Well and you know, Arthur and Sherlock- the book Arthur
and Sherlock Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes by Michael Sims, it's available from
Bloomsbury wherever books are sold online and off. Just-- as you can tell, we can't say enough
good things about this book and the style and Michael's fine insights and writing. So thank you so
much for sharing your story with us Michael.

Michael Sims: [01:05:31] Thank you very much. I've been looking forward to this and I'm proud to
have been invited.

[01:05:34] [MUSICAL INTERLUDE]

Scott Monty: [01:05:47] What a delightful conversation.

Burt Wolder: [01:05:50] Do you know sometimes that happens? Happily it happens more often
than not here. We just make a connection with the person we're talking to and you know you have
the feeling that we could just go on and on and on and on and on and on for hours. I mean it was
just I thought well it was really a...

Scott Monty: [01:06:10] We didn't do that? We didn't go on and on?

Burt Wolder: [01:06:14] Not only seems like it. But what a.., you know I'm just I'm still stuck
struck by the book, which is really terrific. And by the conversation I mean we had so many things
in common which I guess is not surprising, when you think about this literary-focused community
and the importance of literature in all of our lives and storytelling and how much we admire admire
Holmes. Well yeah.

Scott Monty: [01:06:40] And since then I have to tell you I really admire Michael style of writing.
You know this ability to look at different events and weave a thread through them and figure out the
emotional connection, and perhaps even some of the conversations that took place. You know I
was--I initially, when the book came out, I really had no interest in reading it -- just by virtue of
knowing it was you know yet another Conan Doyle biography. But reading some of the reviews,
and then of course reading the book, and then finally hearing Michael talk about it - - well, it all
comes together and you know if you haven't picked up a copy of the book yet and you've heard this
conversation with Michael no, what are you waiting for? I mean this is just a--it's really a unique
style of biography. I really really enjoyed his style.

Burt Wolder: [01:07:40] And well we must probably we'll have a link on the site for will take us to
Amazone.

Scott Monty: [01:07:47] Yeah, we do. It'll take you to Amazon, Barnes and Noble -- it will take it
all those places.

Burt Wolder: [01:07:52] Well you know a couple of things really. The problem is as soon as we're
done with the interview you know there are always more things that I wish that we had talked
about. And maybe there will be future conversations will have an opportunity to do more with
Michael. But one of the things that occurred to me is you know it's frequently commented -- and I
guess maybe it will get to this in Trifles -- that Holmes would have made an actor and a rare one.
But but that is precisely the gift that you mentioned you know when you say that Michael does such
a great job in this in this different approach to biography of creating character. Well you know when
you're an actor you really want the back story, you want those little details that you can put together
into creating a persona, to create a character that you can then you know stay consistently. And that
is usually when you talk about Holmes and acting you know it becomes disguises and putty noses
and things like that. But it's it's that assembly of details that Michael mastered so well in putting this
book together and in doing an immense amount of research. And the other thing I wish we talked
about is his writing process because, you know John McPhee in the New Yorker is known for doing
this extensive writing process and reducing everything to small facts that can then be moved around
and assembled -- I think he uses a giant table to do all this. And I'm curious exactly how physically
Michael managed to assimilate and put all this stuff together two years of stuff. Unbelievable.

Scott Monty: [01:09:19] I mean there must be some kind of note taking process or lay out or in a
map room with things tacked on the wall and things like that. Now the bibliography runs let's see 11
pages.

Burt Wolder: [01:09:37] Oh yeah that's another thing I wish we talked about because that's a great
-- I mean there are two things I wanted to mention here after the conversation. One was the fact that
I was some of the reviews were quite good which in which are great but I think some of the reviews
people just didn't get it. You know they yeah they looked at the book and they said "well if only he
hadn't stopped." Well the whole point of the book was...you know Conan Doyle and the creation of
Sherlock Holmes. It wasn't you know Arthur Conan Doyle was life with Sherlock Holmes. So it's a
mystery to me that people would look at the book and still not get it. But the second thing is the
notes and the bibliography are a reason to buy the book. Because when you look at the chapters you
see what he's done is he's provided an enormous amount of context and quotation and source data
for virtually every observation in the book. So if you know your if you're annoyed as sometimes I
am by reading books that mention you know Joe Bell did this and Joe Bell did that, and you've got
no idea where that.

Scott Monty: [01:10:36] How do you know that? Yeah.

Burt Wolder: [01:10:38] Yeah. Where that came from and how you can look it up. Not so with this
book, because Michael will show you you know the longitude and latitude of virtually every item in
the book so just to just the notes in the bibliography is fabulous.

Scott Monty: [01:10:52] My only criticism on that point is that while the notes themselves are very
clear and they include the phrase that is being referred to, like "his annual income would rise to
1000 pounds" on let's see Chapter 11 doesn't tell you what page it's from, nor does that phrase in
Chapter 11 have any kind of super to it to note that there's going to be a note.

Burt Wolder: [01:11:25] Oh right.

Scott Monty: [01:11:26] So that's my only regret is that there's not something in this as you know
note 12: go look at the back of the book.

Burt Wolder: [01:11:34] Yeah. That's my well you know that one of the things that lancelet Green
did well or was that Dudley Edwards in the Oxford series of The Adventures was that link between
references in the text to notes that could be found in the back of the book. I think the problem
though with Michael's book is that if he did that the whole page would be covered with asterisks.

Scott Monty: [01:11:57] Yeah could be could be. Of course you know the the inspiration for that
might be that Baring-Gould or Klinger Annotated, where they number it rather than an asterisk.
Either way. I mean it doesn't certainly doesn't detract from a book at all. Well well worth a read.

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Scott Monty: [01:13:29] The I'll have to check with the Stock-Broker's Clerk.

[01:13:39] [RIMSHOT]

Scott Monty: [01:13:39] Hall Pycroft is heading up that IPO I hear. Well I think we've we've
headed as much as we can here. Well, friends please don't forget leave us a rating or review on
whatever sound system you listen to us on whether it's iTunes or Google Play or what have you.
Please let people know what you think of the show and let us know as well with a comment either
via the phone (774) 221-7323, or in some form of writing either electronic physical or maybe even
telepathic writing. We have we opened up the Ouija board for comments yet?

Burt Wolder: [01:14:23] Well you know that planchette just keeps hopping around. It's very
disturbing.

Scott Monty: [01:14:28] Well that's because it drinks Red Bull. Brilliant!

Burt Wolder: [01:14:33] Brilliant.

Scott Monty: [01:14:34] Yes. Well after you get around to doing that week we'll finally be allowed
to say this is Scott Monty.
[01:14:42] Yes and that's Scott Monty and I suppose I'm still Burt Wolder. And here we are. And
there we go.

Clive Merrison / Andrew Sachs: [01:14:51] The game's afoot!

Jeremy Brett: [01:14:58] I'm afraid that in the pleasure of this conversation that I am neglecting
business of importance which awaits me elswhere.

Narrator: [01:15:08] Thank you for listening. Please be sure to join us again for the next episode of
I Hear Sherlock Everywhere, the first podcast dedicated to Sherlock Holmes.

Jeremy Brett: [01:15:22] Goodbye. And good luck. And believe me to be my dear fellow, very
sincerely yours, Sherlock Holmes.

Michael Sims: [01:15:36] When I read I love this when I was reading. Conan Doyle's letter to the
British Medical Journal about his self poisoning with gelsiminum. Yeah the key details. I mean they
were beautiful little details. You know one of them he ends it with this load of bravado for a 20 year
old or whatever, that he he could have taken a lot more of this poison had it not been for the
diarrhea. And you just think sadly of these are the kinds of details that bring it to life often.

Burt Wolder: [01:16:16] I'm sure you've found that too. I mean every time I start to poison myself
I find that I can take an enormous amount of that stuff except for those minor inconvenience is like
spending the time in the bathroom.

Michael Sims: [01:16:26] And you think he never talked very much about what some of the
problems were with doctors he was working with. But you think you know he might not get a letter
of recommendation from the doctor with whom he was working when he was spending a huge
amount of time self-poisoning and and perched on the chamber pot instead of helping patients. You
know it's these these are the details that also kind of hint at areas that remained buttoned up in the
autobiography. And I just love this kind of thing.

Burt Wolder: [01:17:04] Yes.

Burt Wolder: [01:17:06] And with E.B. White I wrote a book about him and I loved finding out
things like he was scared to death. He was bullied at school when he ran. He would go blocks out of
his way to avoid being even picked on verbally from someone's yard. But he would go swimming at
night in rivers alone. And you think the things that we are afraid of are not afraid of are just crazy.