Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Notes For October 31st, 2018

Happy Halloween

I'd like to wish all of you who celebrate it a happy and safe Halloween. As part of your celebration, I recommend reading the classic horror stories of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Washington Irving, and Guy de Maupassant!

This Day In Literary History

On October 31st, 1892, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the classic short story collection by the legendary English writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was published. The twelve stories in it had been previously published in The Strand literary magazine from July of 1891 through June of 1892.

These short stories introduced the world to Conan Doyle's most famous character, a detective called Sherlock Holmes. The brilliant, analytical, and laid-back Holmes was assisted by his friend, Dr. John Watson, who also served as narrator for the duo's adventures.

When he wasn't solving crimes, Holmes' passions included playing the violin and enjoying a good game of chess. He was also quite fond of cocaine. As a detective, he wasn't above deceiving the police or concealing evidence if necessary to solve the crime and nab the guilty party.

Sherlock Holmes' greatest nemesis was the evil Professor Moriarty, who possessed an equally formidable intellect. But, in his very first adventure, Holmes is outwitted by a woman.

In the first short story, A Scandal in Bohemia, the detective is called upon by the King of Bohemia, whose engagement to a Scandinavian princess is being threatened by a blackmailer.

The King's blackmailer is his jealous old flame, American opera singer Irene Adler, who possesses an incriminating photograph of them together. She threatens to release it to the press.

Believing that the photograph is somewhere inside Adler's home, Sherlock Holmes executes a brilliant ruse to get inside the house, but Adler counters with a brilliant ruse of her own, leaving him with a picture of herself alone and escaping with the incriminating photo.

Adler also leaves Holmes a letter praising his detective skills and promising not to release the incriminating photo, as long as the King takes no action against her. The King agrees and Holmes keeps Adler's picture as a souvenir of the woman who outwitted him.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes also features classic stories such as The Adventure of the Red-Headed League, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Man With the Twisted Lip, and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

Sherlock Holmes would become one of the most popular, iconic literary characters of all time. His adventures would appear not only in print, but also on the stage, screen, radio, and television.

Quote Of The Day

"The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Vanguard Video

Today's video features a complete reading of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic short story collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Enjoy!

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