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Madam'zelleG

Hmm... well, I'm being quickly defeated by the process of making an account. Tried the create an account page on two different browsers, and it keeps telling me to prove I'm human, but the spot where the CAPTCHA should be is blank... hrm.

Or not? That was bizarre...

11/24/2015 . Edited 11/24/2015 #151
tripleransom

Well, that's annoying. Two things to try:

1) put in some random letters and see it it will give you a new Captcha with visible letters and

2) is there an option to hear an audible Captcha? Maybe the spoken one will work.

11/25/2015 #152
Madam'zelleG

I do seem to have finally gotten it together. I'm honestly not sure how, but it was yelling at me, and then I refreshed the page and I was logged in to the account I was trying to me... so I roll with it lol.

And then didn't even get around to looking for the WW community it had taken so long. After work tonight, probably.

11/25/2015 #153
KnightFury
How annoying! But at least you are set up, now. :-) Welcome to the Livejournal Club.
11/25/2015 #154
mrspencil

Giry, Hi:-) I am also on LJ, as debriswoman.

12/1/2015 #155
tripleransom

Ah, thank you. I was wondering who you were over on LJ. I'm - of course - Tripleransom there also (as I am everywhere).

12/1/2015 #156
mrspencil

Yes...different names not initially intentional...I briefly had an account on deviant art where there was already a Mrs Pencil, so changed then.

12/1/2015 #157
Stutley Constable

Just curious if anyone would be interested in starting a "buddy read" thread. My idea is that we could read one story or one chapter every week and have a discussion. We could talk about what we liked or didn't like about it. Or what we thought of the plot or any other aspect that strikes your fancy. Naturally, we would start with "A Study in Scarlet", but we wouldn't necessarily be confined to the canon. There are a number of other well written books featuring Holmes and Watson we could discuss, and those would certainly have many points we could go over. Additionally, doing a group read of this kind might prove an excellent tool for refining our writing.

If you are interested, please reply on this thread.

3/21/2016 #158
tripleransom

I could get into that. Count me in, but I can't promise to slog through the Mormon section very carefully. ;)

3/22/2016 #159
Madam'zelleG

I love that idea. Could definitely use a good excuse to dive back in!

3/24/2016 #160
mrspencil

Also interested:-)

3/25/2016 #161
Ennui Enigma

Intrigued and quite tempted by such a tantalising offer. May or may not manage to contribute anything to discussion. Would like to follow along at least though.

"They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains," he remarked with a smile. "It's a very bad definition, but it does apply to detective work." STUD

3/25/2016 #162
Stutley Constable

It looks as if we have enough interest that I am willing to make a new thread for the group read. I don't think there needs to be any special rules for the group. Anyone can contribute whatever observations they have, or ask any questions.

Disconcertingly for me, I cannot find my copy of 'A Study in Scarlet'. Fortunately, I know where I can find the story online. I'll include that link in the first post on the new thread.

Thank you all very much for participating. I was considering shutting down the forum due to a lack of activity. Glad I gave it one more try!

3/26/2016 #163
tripleransom

Well Camden House is always out there for on-line access to the stories and even though it says on the main TOC that the Case Book stores are not there, in reality, they are.

http(colon)//ignisart(dot)com/camdenhouse/main(dot)htm

3/26/2016 #164
Westron Wynde

Late again, but yes, I'm interested :)

4/4/2016 #165
Madam'zelleG

Finally working on scratching out a new oneshot of sorts. Funnily enough, I discovered the Granada Holmes soundtrack in the bowels of my laptop the other day. Does wonders for the inspiration, though I can't honestly remember purchasing this. C'est la vie!

4/26/2016 #166
Westron Wynde

Opinions, please! I've been having a particularly vexed discussion with someone about this line from 'The Musgrave Ritual':

"My ancestors were country squires, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class."

The other person reads this as being Holmes talking about his father. Mycroft is apparently running the family estate.

My problem with this is:-

1) Would you call your father 'my ancestors'? I appreciate language has changed, but Holmes has no problem referring to "my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist". I argue that if he meant father, he would have said father, especially in an informal conversation. Even in formal situations in novels, people speak of immediate relations in definate terms, eg, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet says to Lady Catherine: "I am a gentleman's daughter." Not, "My ancestor is a gentleman." Father implies intimacy; ancestor does not.

2) Holmes says "ancestors" (plural). I read that as having distance in time, so generations long past. Besides, who has multiple fathers?

3) "Who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class." Plural again. Plus, if he was talking about his father, why 'appear'? He would know! 'Appear' suggests to me that he had to do research into his family tree to discover this fact.

I don't deny that he comes from gentry stock. And most of you probably know that I think Mycroft and Sherlock come from a lesser and poorer branch of the family, hence their needing to work and Sherlock's need to have someone to share the expense of 221B.

But on the evidence of that line, I can't see how Sherlock can have been refering to his father. If he had, he would have said something like: "My father/ancestor was a country squire, who led much the same life as is natural to his class."

Agree? Disagree? Tell me your thoughts!

5/10/2016 . Edited 5/10/2016 #167
Stutley Constable

I am in general agreement with you on pretty much everything you said. The only point where I differ is I think Mycroft is Sherlock's older brother, not his oldest. Meaning, I think there is an oldest brother who inherited the family title and estate, though, the estate would likely be a small one. Mycroft and Sherlock got enough money to start themselves down their respective career paths, but not so much that they could be idle. Keep in mind, though, I am not as well versed in Victorian Era history and customs as I am in Victorian Era weapons and military equipment. A failing of mine is to focus too much on lesser details and somewhat ignore the larger picture.

Getting back to your points: I agree no one, no matter how eccentric, would call their father their ancestor except in some government form or the like. I also agree the use of the plural form indicates he is speaking of multiple generations, or at the very least, multiple people.

If this were a fencing match, Westron Wynde, you would have scored your three points and be looking for your next opponent. :)

5/10/2016 #168
tripleransom

I can agree that he's not referring to his immediate ancestor (his father) specifically in that statement, but I see no reason there can't be continuity going on there. I've always thought that Holmes came from some money; at least enough to educate him at Oxford (or Cambridge) and to give Mycroft a good start on a government career. After all, he knows music, he plays the violin, he likes to dine at nice restaurants. He knows something about horses (expensive then, as now) and he appears to dress well enough and certainly is not overawed in the presence of titles. All these things point to someone from the landed gentry at least.

I'm reading it as more that he's saying he comes from a long line of country squires (of whom his father was one). NB: I doubt that Mycroft runs the family estate. He seems to be pretty occupied being the British Government. Maybe that job falls to the ephemeral third brother, Sherrinford. ;)

5/10/2016 #169
Westron Wynde
If this were a fencing match, Westron Wynde, you would have scored your three points and be looking for your next opponent. :)

You'd think so. But no. Said person countered with his theory that Sherlock was estranged from his father and was speaking about him in oblique, dismissive terms.

Well, that's possible. You could come up with all sorts of theories about the father disapproving of his profession and disinheriting him. Actually, that's point I hadn't considered. What if the father is not dead but at home running the family estate, and neither of the 2 sons wanted to take it on?

But if estranged, why refer to him at all?

In fact, now I think about it, if I follow my own argument and say that there's distance in that statement, Holmes hasn't mentioned his father at all. So yes, he could be estranged or so dismissive or ashamed of the father's life that he has disregarded him from his history.

In fact, when you read the statement in context, Holmes is being quite insulting about his pedigree. Watson says (in summary) that Holmes' talents come from his own training. The implication in Holmes' reply is that his intelligence did not come from his noble ancestry, and I get the impression he thinks they were country bumpkins. What he does place value on is not the 'blue blood' of the gentry, but the 'art in the blood', because he refers to that specifically.

If so, then the lack of reference to the father could be because he thought him ignorant and undistinguished, like the rest of the ancestors.

Goodness, I think I'm starting to agree with the gentleman's argument, if approaching it from a different angle!

**BTW, I have the utmost respect for everyone else's theories on this point, and I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong. Canon is gloriously vague, so really I'm just indulging in some blue sky thinking here. The only person who could give us a definitive answer isn't telling.**

I am in general agreement with you on pretty much everything you said. The only point where I differ is I think Mycroft is Sherlock's older brother, not his oldest. Meaning, I think there is an oldest brother who inherited the family title and estate, though, the estate would likely be a small one. Mycroft and Sherlock got enough money to start themselves down their respective career paths, but not so much that they could be idle.
I can agree that he's not referring to his immediate ancestor (his father) specifically in that statement, but I see no reason there can't be continuity going on there. I've always thought that Holmes came from some money; at least enough to educate him at Oxford (or Cambridge) and to give Mycroft a good start on a government career. After all, he knows music, he plays the violin, he likes to dine at nice restaurants. He knows something about horses (expensive then, as now) and he appears to dress well enough and certainly is not overawed in the presence of titles. All these things point to someone from the landed gentry at least.

I agree with you both that Mycroft and Sherlock come from money, and it's clearly old money - Sherlock is keen to point out that he does not spring from the 'nouveau riche' (oh, the horror!). Sherlock in particular has a contempt for money that you only get when you've been comfortable - his habit of taking on cases and not charging a fee, for instance. There's enough money to send them both to university. I don't see any kind of trust fund in operation, which was another of his arguments, because you get the impression that if Mycroft could get out of working, he would. Similarly, shabby Baker Street was not the place for a gentleman, except one who was very hard-up.

Mycroft's lack of ambition could point to there having been money in the family once. Rich families always have this concern about their offspring, that the money will strip them of any ambition in life. So I'm starting to wonder if the father was a bankrupt who lost the family money and estates.

That would account for Sherlock's lack of direct mention of his father, the fact the pair of them have to work, their attitude to money. Mycroft may have had the title - if we ignore the possibility of another brother for a moment - or the family might not have had one. You don't need a title to be landed gentry, as in the case of Wicked Hugo Baskerville and Mr Darcy.

But... I still come back to that word 'appear'.

In the context of Holmes' statement, it suggests to me that he does not have first-hand knowledge. It suggests to me that he was told about their lifestyles or had to read about it for himself. If his father had been a country squire, alive or dead and bankrupt, even if Holmes was estranged from the father and dismissing him, I argue he would have said:

My ancestors were country squires, who led much the same life as is natural to their class.

There's a subtle difference. He's speaking from first-hand experience. So using myself as an example:

My ancestors were millers from Austria, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class.

There's the distance in that statement because I didn't know them personally (they arrived in England mid-18th century) and I'm making that statement based on what I have been told or researched.

Compare with:

My ancestors were motorcycle enthusiasts, who competed both nationally and internationally.

I can say this because I knew them. There's first-hand experience in that statment.

So, to ramble to a conclusion, this is why I think that, yes, Mycroft and Sherlock are descended from landed gentry, but I don't see it as being immediate. I see the father as being the younger son of a country squire, who had to make his own way, unsuccessfully or not, as do his sons. That would explain the lack of anyone running the estate, it avoids the creation of another brother, and it explains (for me) the brothers' lack of money. It may also explain Holmes' apparent contempt for his father's ancestry, and far from being estranged from his father, he may have grudgingly respected him for taking his own direction away from the family and so, in that statement, set his father apart from the rest of the ancestors. Btw, this takes nothing away from Mycroft and Sherlock's status - think of the sprawling Royal family and the accord paid to distant branches of that family.

Well, that's just my theory. All this trouble over one little word. Isn't Canon fun! :)

Again, I'm throwing any of the above arguments open to discussion. Opinions please!

5/11/2016 #170
AutumnAtMidnite

Hello there :) I don't think I have ever posted here in the oh, several years now, that I've had this link, but this discussion is just too interesting to continue remaining in lurkdom.

I have always had the impression that when Holmes referenced his ancestors, he was speaking in terms of someone distanced from that social class, and thus would not be indirectly referencing his father. Rather, I took it to be that of a poor man having had to make his way in the world due to fortunes squandered by a frivolous member(s) somewhere along the lines, so that his disparaging attitude is equal parts resentment and gratitude that his decreased station in life saved him from becoming an idle wastrel. That, at least, was how I personally interpreted the reference to his ancestry, but you actually made some extremely relevant points that never occurred to me, though make more sense in the context that while he may not have been referencing his father specifically, the ancestors of which he spoke may have been closer relations than I previously assumed.

Sherlock in particular has a contempt for money that you only get when you've been comfortable - his habit of taking on cases and not charging a fee, for instance. There's enough money to send them both to university. I don't see any kind of trust fund in operation, which was another of his arguments, because you get the impression that if Mycroft could get out of working, he would. Similarly, shabby Baker Street was not the place for a gentleman, except one who was very hard-up.

Mycroft's lack of ambition could point to there having been money in the family once. Rich families always have this concern about their offspring, that the money will strip them of any ambition in life. So I'm starting to wonder if the father was a bankrupt who lost the family money and estates.

That is exactly the lines my own thoughts are now wandering down. And unless I'm hallucinating, weren't there instances where Holmes signed his name suffixed with an "Esq.", or possibly I am getting it backwards, and it was actually a potential client that used said title out of respect? My lamentable memory fails me on that, but its actually been a point of contention I have wondered about for longer than I can remember, because here in the US, the title Esq. usually denotes someone in the legal profession. So you can imagine I did a double take the first time I read his name signed like that (now I am determined to find which story it was in *digs out battered old paperbacks*), and couldn't imagine what it meant for the life of me. But if Holmes was directly descended from a family of squires, wouldn't Esquire be his rightful or honorary title?

Either way, you have worked out his family history painstakingly, and it is refreshing to see actual Holmesian discussions of Canon in this fandom once more. Can't say I've seen that in a good long while...

5/13/2016 . Edited 5/13/2016 #171
Madam'zelleG
Either way, you have worked out his family history painstakingly, and it is refreshing to see actual Holmesian discussions of Canon in this fandom once more. Can't say I've seen that in a good long while...

I think most of us feel the same way, and will discuss the original canon in detail in great detail as often as the opportunity presents itself. ;)

5/15/2016 #172
Stutley Constable

Welcome to the discussion, AutumnAtMidnite! And welcome to the Consulting Room. Very glad to have another Holmsian join in. Very glad indeed.

I confess I am liking the idea of the Holmes family being of a "fallen" line. It is a very intriguing notion and I will ponder it further. For the moment I will stick to my original notion, however, as I have a couple of stories that use it as minor plot points.

Something else came to my mind while reading through the discussion. As I recall Watson mentions Holmes' "bohemian" soul in one of the adventures. Maybe I'm seeing allusion where there is a mere metaphor, but it struck me as a distinct possibility. Could Sherlock and Mycroft be the bastard sons of a nobleman? Some young blade who sewed his wild oats and sobered in maturity, perhaps? While he was unable for various social reason to claim the boys as his own, nevertheless, he took responsibility for their wellbeing and saw to it that they had enough to get educated properly. It could also be why Sherlock speaks of his family the way he does, he and Mycroft not being respectable enough to enjoy their title or name might cause his attitude. This could also explain why he is so willing to defy high government officials on foreign royalty. A contempt for an upper class that held him in contempt. And the reference to his grandmother (sister to Vernet) suggests to me that there is a bit of bohemian attitude in his ancestors, as well.

Any thoughts on this notion of mine?

One more thing I found many moons ago and haven't read since, but is still pertinent to the discussion is this article that agrees to a certain degree with my idea of there being and oldest Holmes brother:

sherlocktron dot com/brother dot htm

I did not agree with everything in the article, but it was interesting to read.

5/16/2016 #173
Madam'zelleG

Fascinating article, Stutley!

I find the idea of one or both of the Holmes brothers being a bastard son very intriguing. I've read before that a senior civil servant was a position often occupied among the younger sons of the gentry, implying that Mycroft may not be the eldest of two brothers, but rather perhaps at least a middle brother of three. If the Holmes father actually was a country squire, one would assume that he would pass his estate and title down to one of his sons, yet Mycroft and Sherlock obviously have no such responsibility. This does lead me to believe that Mycroft either cannot (whether that is because of an elder brother or because he is illegitimate) or will not take on the family legacy, so to speak.

I feel like the connection to a Bohemian history and the possibility of them both being illegitimate sons is something very much worth exploring.

5/16/2016 #174
tripleransom

That elusive brother Sherrinford has been postulated before. I'm not sure who originated the idea. Was it Baring-Gould? He seems to have used a generous dose of imagination in a lot of his deductions, chronologies, etc.

I've also read that "Bohemian" was kind of a thinly-veiled Victorian code word implying some sort of sexual irregularity, whether on Holmes's part or perhaps his and Mycroft's ancestry.

5/17/2016 #175
AutumnAtMidnite
I confess I am liking the idea of the Holmes family being of a "fallen" line. It is a very intriguing notion and I will ponder it further. For the moment I will stick to my original notion, however, as I have a couple of stories that use it as minor plot points.

Not that it necessarily pertains to the Holmesian Canon, but, the game aside, Doyle himself directly descended from such a bloodline. I recall some tidbits along those lines from The Strange Case of Dr Doyle, which was really only worth reading for its superb biographical content, but his family were once gentry, and I believe may have initially fallen low due in part to their continued support for Catholicism in an Anglican country. Doyle's father was a notorious alcoholic, and that probably knocked down an already crippled bloodline. I've always had my own theories blending a bit of Doyle's history with my own head!Canon. 'Tis much fun to speculate, though, especially in regards to playing in the sandbox of ficcery ;)

This could also explain why he is so willing to defy high government officials on foreign royalty. A contempt for an upper class that held him in contempt. And the reference to his grandmother (sister to Vernet) suggests to me that there is a bit of bohemian attitude in his ancestors, as well.

Any thoughts on this notion of mine?

One more thing I found many moons ago and haven't read since, but is still pertinent to the discussion is this article that agrees to a certain degree with my idea of there being and oldest Holmes brother:

That's actually an interesting theory, and reminds me of certain aspects in PRIO, considering how contemptfully he treated the Duke of Holdernesse (sp?). Quite a few parallels there, and would nicely explain Holmes's absolute contempt for the Duke, which always seemed to me to go beyond a normal repulsion, and into the realms of sympathy on a personal level for one or both of the boys. I don't think there is any direct evidence to corroborate it, but there is plenty indirect Canonical evidence that could support your theory. I'm personally of the opinion that Holmes had just (or almost) as bad an experience with his mother, something she did that irreparably shattered his trust so profoundly he projected the sentiment onto all women, hence why he "dislikes and distrusts" the fair sex. I think a theory along those lines could also explain that, as well, especially if she had other men on the side, because I always had the feeling the greatest sum of his feelings towards women concerned their loyalties in romantic entanglements.

Oddly enough, one of the reasons this discussion caught my eye was because it hits close to home on a fic I've had outlined for centuries, and just started dabbling with after a writer's block on another project. I have never read a Holmes family history fic that really hit the spot, and this thread is providing lots of interesting fodder for one that may or may not get written before Hell freezes over :)

5/18/2016 . Edited 5/18/2016 #176
AutumnAtMidnite
That elusive brother Sherrinford has been postulated before. I'm not sure who originated the idea. Was it Baring-Gould? He seems to have used a generous dose of imagination in a lot of his deductions, chronologies, etc.

I've also read that "Bohemian" was kind of a thinly-veiled Victorian code word implying some sort of sexual irregularity, whether on Holmes's part or perhaps his and Mycroft's ancestry.

I'm not meaning to hog this thread, but ITA re: Baring-Gould. I have zero tolerance for the fellow, and some of the worst characterized adaptations, fics or pastiches are those that utilize his inane theories. As a tongue-firmly-in-cheek biography, it might be passable, but I detect the hint of narcissism and nutcasery in his writings. Don't even get me started on that William Scott nonsense or his supposed affair with The Woman during the hiatus spiel. I think the only reliable canon companion I have ever read is Starrett's Private Life.

BTW, Bohemian was in that era synonymous with "unconventional", usually pertaining to the irregular lifestyle habits of artists, which Holmes definitely considered himself. Musicians, writers, painters, etc., would all fall under that umbrella, and I'm reasonably certain that term was specifically used to describe notorious drug addled artists in the vein of Thomas DeQuincey or Mary Shelley and her crowd. The Bohemians were sort of the precursors to the hippies, didn't keep "9 to 5" jobs, or recognize society's rules, which obviously came into play with their sexual lives, but I don't believe it was used to denote sexuality, in particular. And if I'm remembering correctly (my memory and I are not always on speaking terms), Watson uses the term specifically to describe his own and Holmes's untidiness. Baker Street's "decoration", with bullet holes in the walls, jack knives sticking out of the mantel, and cigars hanging about in the coal scuttle (not to mention a certain occupant who moped about in his dressing gown all day) was considered a bit Bohmeian :)

5/18/2016 #177
tripleransom

Regarding "Bohemian": the idea from people who feel that it is a code word is that precisely because Watson chooses to describe the Baker Street digs and its inhabitants as Bohemian means that he (via Doyle) was alluding specifically to a gay relationship between H&W. Take or leave the arguement as you please. I'm not necessarily backing it.

Ditto Baring-Gould - I can't help but feel that he made up a lot of his theories out of whole cloth and I can't swallow those either.

5/18/2016 #178
Stutley Constable

Just a note for the Brits in the crowd: Happy Birthday to Queen Elizabeth. May all her good works be blessed!

6/11/2016 #179
KnightFury
Hear hear! What a lovely message.
6/13/2016 #180
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