Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Is Sherlock Holmes a winter sport?

This may be question I should be asking myself more than anything since my output on this blog seems to have been somewhat lacking over this past summer.

Be that as it may, the question still seems to need to be asked; "Do we spend more time with Holmes in the cooler months than we do in the summer?"

If this were a question about beer I could easily explain my preference for one type over another as the seasons change.

The one summer, a couple of summers ago, when I found my Sherlockian output steady throughout the year was when Brad offered up the Sherlockian summer reading list.
I had a purpose, without even thinking about it, for continuing my Sherlockian reading through the warmer months.

But over all, I  believe my reading of Holmes usually drops off during the summer.
I am not sure why, but I have a couple of theories.
I find reading Holmes, for me, a very atmospheric pursuit. The mood has to be right, my surroundings have to be comfortable and I have to at least imagine that it would be nice sitting near a fireplace reading. And since I am more of a wine drinker in the winter than summer, a nice glass of a dry red doesn't hurt either.

The Canon of Sherlock Holmes of course is not with out it's stories set in a sweltering heat wave that neither Holmes nor Watson seems to relish. Several stories suggest that it is uncomfortable in Baker St. in a London summer.

But for the most part I imagine Holmes and Watson walking about their business always wearing some sort of a jacket (which is not unusual in England at that time all year round) and often times with an outer coat over it. And of course, always a hat.

I want my stories to not only have a briskness in adventure but also in temperature.
I want Holmes and Watson using the fire place in 221b and I want a chill wind blowing across Dartmoor. And let's not forget "a lonely hansom splashes through the rain. . .". Who wants to imagine it being all hot and humid and rainy when the hansom comes along?

In a real quick survey (the chronology you chose to use my differ slightly) of the Canon I found 27 stories took place between June and Sept.
We could argue what months should be included as the warmer months, but even adding May we only come up with 3 more stories in the Canon that could be placed in, for arguments sake, summer.
So, using this as the bases for my discussion, over half of the Canon takes place in 'cooler' months.
And that's good enough for me.

How about you, when do you get more of less involved with the Canon of Sherlock Holmes?

For many a newer Sherlockian their reading trends could be spurred by the time of year new video media is released. Most TV shows come out in the fall or early winter. And most big movies come out around Thanksgiving and Christmas ( not including what are known as summer block-busters. Both RDJ films came out in winter, but Mr. Holmes did come out in July but to not as big a release and it's premier was in Feb. 2015 with the DVD release coming in Nov. 2015).

But having been a Sherlockian for a very long time I have found these releases have not effected my reading habits.

So, this evening I am going to go home and dust the pollen of my bookshelf, pick up a couple of bottles of a dry red and move my reading chair closer to the fire.

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