Study in Scarlet Podcast: Introducing Sherlock Holmes and Watson
Welcome to the Study in Scarlet podcast episode (one of two) focused on the very first Sherlock Holmes novel.
The “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson — two of the most famous characters in English literature — make their first appearance in this tale, which forever changed the way mystery novels were written.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 hours. Share your thoughts and check out the questions below!
What We're Talking About in our Study in Scarlet podcast episode (part 1 of 2) --
As usual, we have loads to discuss. Here’s a sampler …
Knowledge Is Power: Sherlock Holmes is ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the solar system. “That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth travelled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact,” says Watson. What does Holmes know, and how does this knowledge serve him?
The Brain Attic: Holmes says, “A man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order.” What do you think about the brain attic?
The Consulting Detective: Holmes is the one and only consulting detective. Why does he prefer the consulting detective gig? Why not simply become a Scotland Yard detective or a private detective?
Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Holmes calls Edgar Allan Poe’s Auguste Dupin an “inferior fellow. He had some analytical genius, but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine.”
The Dearth of Both Detectives and Criminals: Holmes says, “No man lives or has ever lived who has brought the same amount of study and of natural talent to the detection of crime which I have done. And what is the result? There is no crime to detect, or, at most, some bungling villainy with a motive so transparent that even a Scotland Yard official can see through it.”
December 3, 2022
Holmes and Watson are an amazing pair. Sherlock Holmes is a force of nature, and Watson’s a pretty impressive investigator in his own right. Both are terrified of supernatural hounds. To be fair, we’re also terrified of supernatural hounds. We are, however, BIG fans of The Hound of the Baskervilles.Listen →
December 2, 2022
The curse of the Baskervilles is scary stuff, and Dartmoor is terrifying. Until, that is, you realize that Dartmoor is stunning. (Seriously, Arthur Conan Doyle, it’s a lovely area.) Would you move into the Dartmoor family mansion if given the chance? We would. Most definitely, curse or no curse.Listen →
November 23, 2022
Israel Zangwill may not be a household name, but it should be. His 1892 novel, The Big Bow Mystery, is a locked-room mystery set in London’s working-class East End. Two detectives race to solve a murder, an innocent man is condemned, and the solution’s a shocker. (And it’s laugh-out-loud funny.)Listen →