Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chapter #12 - Prayers answered and Sidney Paget didn't help us much, and Snarky tours keeps going in the gutter.

Well, Jude Law didn't come out of the stone hut and pummel RDJ. (Funny, that is one of the few adaptions where we actually cheer when Watson pummels Holmes).

Instead, we hear a big sigh of relief from Watson as he finds out it is Holmes. His prayers have been answered, he is no longer in it alone.
Although he is a little angry at the deception, it is soon abated and Watson once again, happily, returns to Holmes' side.
Ever the man of action, he is now ready to set his sights on Stapleton. And who knows where Snarky Tours is setting their sights.
(Art Work by)
Just a few weeks ago I read a reviewer of the HOUN complaining about the way Brett was dressed in this scene in the Granada version of this story. And although it is inaccurate by Doyle's description, it does at least capture one of the lines from the description correctly, " . . with that catlike love of personal cleanliness which was one of his characteristics. . ."

If there was ever a scene in the Canon where we wished Holmes dressed like that (inaccurate?) iconic image of Holmes we have come to love, Iverness cape and deerstalker, surely this is where it should be, in the HOUN.
Cold and windy, foggy and damp, what better please for a caped great coat and deerstalker than Grimpen Mire.
But alas. . . . it is not to be found in the HOUND I'm afraid.

Brett is pictured wearing a long black coat, with a long lighter black or grey scarf and a black banded fedora type hat. The hat looks like felt but could be something else.

Watson's (Doyle's) description of Holmes' attire is slightly different. He was wearing a "tweed suit and cloth cap he looked like any other tourist upon the moor,. . ."

If we look at the Paget image of Holmes coming up upon the stone hut, before he greets Watson, the shadow would suggest something other than the deerstalker or cloth cap. Showing instead a hat with some sort of brim around it. (Of course, if you wear a deerstalker as Michael Caine did on occasion in 'Without a Clue', it could appear to have a brim when shadowed from the back) While cap is usually associated with a particular style of , well. . . hat, hat is a broad term for many different types of head coverings.

The image as drawn by Paget would seem to be of the sort Brett is wearing on the moor, a brimmed hat with a flat top.

But that hardly corresponds with Watson's description of a cloth cap. Caps are describe as; 'Caps have crowns that fit very close to the head and have no brim or only a visor.'
                                                                                                                     (Cloth cap above.)
A cloth cap, which is not usually very warm, would hardly seem appropriate for October on the moors.

                                                             (Tweed cap to the right, if we take cloth in the broadest sense.)

If we want our image of deerstalker and cap we would have to go with something along these lines. . .
which fits Watson's description of a cap and if we take the word cloth, again, in a very broad sense, cloth could mean tweed.

Again, though, none of these match Sidney Paget's image of Holmes' headgear.
Is there an error in Sidney Paget's image? Or are we not taking something into consideration?

Remember this scene in the story takes place very late in the evening, just before the sun sets.
A sun very low on the horizon casts a very long shadow.
A persons shadow seems very tall early in the morning or late in the evening near sunset. So also could a hats shadow.

If we take Watson's use of the word cap as loose as we could the word cloth we come up with a couple of options that could match Watson's description as well as Paget's drawing.

Two options are;
Although fedoras are usually considered hats, (which Watson would not mistake for a cap) we can come up with tweed fedoras. . .                    
which we can picture Holmes wearing on his next visit. to Reichenbach, maybe with a little feather.

Our, if we prefer something a little more associated with the U.K., here modeled by Sir Sean Connery, we have the tweed cap. . .
usually found with a crease in the top, we can image Holmes placing a can of tongue

 inside at night to keep it from blowing away which would give it that flat look we see in Paget's image.
Although Brett's hat also slightly resembles a Trilby, the brim appears to wide, as does the shadow in Paget's work. 
If we are going with hats, and not caps, the Homburg also resembles the shadow a little bit.

Paget's image of the man on the tor hardly throws any light on the matter.

Although Brett's hat could fit the image done by Paget, it may not fit Watson's description given in the tale, it all depends on what you call a cap and what you call a hat.

When it comes right down to it, how he looks is going to be determined by how we imagine him.

What do you think.

One of may favorite scenes from Brett's HOUND is when he offers Watson some of his cooking in the hut. 

Now, about the coat and suit Brett is wearing and how it corresponds with Watson's description. . . .

. . . OK, maybe tomorrow.

Did anyone count how many times Watson checks his gun in the Granada version?


  1. Paget was in the same position as The Strand readers--getting the story one chapter at a time. That is why his illustration of Mrs. Barrymore from the early chapters doesn't match her later descriptions. Holmes' shadow was drawn before Doyle described Holmes, thus the brimmed hat. Unless those are the shadows of Holmes' ears. That could explain a lot. In "The Empty House": "But suddenly I was aware of that which his keener senses had already distinguished. A low, stealthy sound come to my ears, not from the direction of Baker Street, but from the back of the very house in which we lay concealed." Holmes had unusual muscles in the pinna that allowed his ears to flex out to capture even the faintest sound. Know that someone was hiding in the hut he used his keen hearing senses to pick up the breathing (and maybe even the heartbeat) of the person inside and thus recognize Watson. What a paper this new revelation will make!

    I like the hat discussion. Imagine a cloth cap low over the eyes and a red scarf, cigarette dangling from his lower lip--you have "Andy Capp". "Time, gentlemen!" I agree; a tweed suit and deerstalker ("earflapped travelling cap") on the moor would have been most fitting.

  2. Interesting note about Paget. What is your source, I would love to read more about Paget.
    I am going to work on the Andy Capp comparison.
    They needed someone working on continuity in the Strand I guess.

  3. i wish I could tell you where I read about Paget and the "Hound". I've read so much Higher Criticism over the years and I've never put "brain attic" theory to work. It's a jumble up there. It's not in Klinger, I think, and I don't think it's in Walter Klinefetter's "Sherlock Holmes in Portrait and Profile" (a good 1963 book on the illustrators of Holmes). It maybe from a back issue of the BSJ. But I did read it; Paget got "Hound" a chapter at at time. That's how Doyle sent it to the Strand. I will make an incomplete and half-hearted search and report back my negative results in a few days.