The world of Sherlock Holmes seems to be in rather a drought once again this time of year. TV episodes are either over or on hiatus for who really knows how long. And Sherlock Holmes 3 is or is not going into production this fall for a maybe release in 2017 or 2018. Pastiches are not getting my attention of late.
So what is a faithful Sherlockian to do but return to the Canon.
I thought I would take a look at a case that takes place roughly around, well . . . . this time of year.
I have always had a crush on Mary Morstan (Watson) and have found it sad that usually screen Mary's get more time than the actual Mary did in the Canon. We learn of her personality in SIGN, and her background, but nothing, really, after that.
When Watson describes her this way; Miss Morstan entered the room with a firm step and an outward composure of manner. She was a blonde young lady, small, dainty, well gloved, and dressed in the most perfect taste. There was, however, a plainness and simplicity about her costume which bore with it a suggestion of limited means. The dress was a somber grayish beige, untrimmed and unbraided, and she wore a small turban of the same dull hue, relieved only by a suspicion of white feather in the side. Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beauty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable, and her large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic. In an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents, I have never looked upon a face which gave a clearer promise of a refined and sensitive nature.
. . how could we not hope this young woman would forever be in Watson's life?
We didn't care, yet, that it would upset the balance of the life at Baker St. (or did it?) and the recording of the cases, and leave us wondering what Holmes did without Watson. (I have yet to see any papers on what Watson did without Holmes. We knew Watson would be alright, while we worried about Holmes. )
But we really liked Mary. Mary was part of the everything British we loved about Watson.
But alas, it was not meant to be.
Sadly once Mary has married Watson she is only mentioned of three times and, sadly, actually makes only two appearances. And rather limited at that.
The Mary's of 'Sherlock' and the RDJ films get much more page time as spouse than the Canonical Mary. And in both of those cases Mary actually gets to participate in the adventures.
We know at some point Watson remarries, but she will not be Mary.
“What do you say, dear?” said my wife, looking across at me. “Will you go?’
“Oh, Anstruther would do your work for you. You have been looking a little pale
lately. I think that the change would do you good, and you are always so interested in Mr. Sherlock Holmes’s cases.”
And of course this exchange in TWIS;
One night—it was in June, ’89—there came a ring to my bell, about the hour when a man gives his first yawn and glances at the clock. I sat up in my chair, and my wife laid her needle-work down in her lap and made a little face of disappointment.
“A patient!” said she. “You’ll have to go out.”
I groaned, for I was newly come back from a weary day. We heard the door open, a few hurried words, and then quick steps upon the linoleum. Our own door flew open, and a lady, clad in some dark coloured stuff, with a black veil, entered the room.
“You will excuse my calling so late,” she began, and then, suddenly losing her self-control, she ran forward, threw her arms about my wife’s neck, and sobbed upon her shoulder.
“Oh, I’m in such trouble!” she cried; “I do so want a little help.”
“Why,” said my wife, pulling up her veil, “it is Kate Whitney. How you startled me, Kate! I had not an idea who you were when you came in.”
“I didn’t know what to do, so I came straight to you.” That was always the way.
Folk who were in grief came to my wife like birds to a light-house.
“It was very sweet of you to come. Now, you must have some wine and water, and sit here comfortably and tell us all about it. Or should you rather that I sent James off to bed?”
Yet, if we are to accept that Mary died while Holmes was on hiatus, she was around for 18 cases after her engagement. Surely she could have been given more Canonical ‘screen time’!
She only gets about five lines in four years.
But like I said, I have always had a crush on Mary.
To me, she will always be ‘The Woman’ to my Watson.
Watson is with Holmes in Baker St. for only 18years and those years were split with Watson being with Mary for four years.
But, like I said, I have always had a crush on Mary.