Monday, July 28, 2014

DANC - Brad's summer reading list #14 - The Sherlockian two step.

The Adventure of the Dancing Men is not a story that I have a whole lot feeling about.

Lots of attempts have been made to finish out the complete alphabet using dancing men. Just search Google and see how many there are.

The story is similar to SECO in that a woman attempts to save the honor of her husband by making bad decisions. In both cases the women want us to believe that what ever is pursuing them from their past is not really all that bad, but bad enough to destroy the honor of their husbands.
One is willing to betray her country, the other destroy her marriage.
Yet neither one feels able to trust their spouses with the truth.

I believe in Brad's review of DANC, he argues that honor and loyalty were different beasts in Holmes times than they are now.
And for the most part I would have to agree, well at least the perception of what honor was suppose to be.

In DANC we do however have a women who has taken it upon herself to remove herself from an environment which she was loathe to, basically living in a den of thieves.
She has secured enough of her own funds to remove herself from Chicago and relocate to London, where either by social graces or monetary self-sufficiency (or both) able to participate in the London social scene at the Jubilee, which we have to assume is Victoria's Golden or Diamond Jubilee (1887 or 1897, which also helps date this story).
She is not a weak women. She was able to pick herself up and start a new life.
We could easily call her a Gold-digger, coming to London to find a wealthy man to settle with.
But, as with honor, times were different then and women were not suppose to make there own way (although many did) and events like the Jubilee were perfect times for finding perfect mates.
But she wasn't so secure in her independence as to be able to trust her husband with the total truth.
But we have come to believe, in the Canon, that this was just the way things were done.

It seems to have been a fine marriage up until the diminutive dancers started showing up.
But still she couldn't tell him the truth, even though it was tearing her marriage apart.
And we can't believe she didn't see that, "Oh, it's okay honey. I see you getting the strange messages and all. And you are sad all the time, and about to fall apart, but I trust you will solve this on your own and our marriage is just fine because I am a lonely country squire and don't have any other prospects."
Ya gotta wonder about the reasoning of people sometimes.

So my questions are; Was she doing it out of honor or was there more to her past than what she told her husband?

Given the information he had, should Holmes have acted earlier?

Does Watson ever figure out how Holmes does it?

Again, like Brad said, different times and all. . . .

We do find Holmes and Watson together in Baker St. And we once again get Watson astound with Holmes' abilities. (Did Watson ever learn how Holmes did it?)

Although a fun story, I think it is the mysterious dancing figures that has made this story so popular.
Has anyone ever done a dancing women code?

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