Recent website updates: New quiz, new essay.
Who are the Scandalous Bohemians?
The Scandalous Bohemians sprang from an idea generated by an informal group of friends, known as the Good Comrades, who meet frequently to talk Sherlock. We want to extend the fun to people we haven’t met yet!
This will be your group and we hope that you will be a part of it and help to shape its future.
We love all aspects of Sherlock Holmes, from Arthur Conan Doyle, The Strand Magazine, stage, film, TV and radio adaptations, through Victorian literature, culture and society; from Gillette to Brett, to Downey and Cumberbatch and beyond: anything goes.
It’s 2012. A hundred and twenty five years since Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, in 1887. Sherlock Holmes is immortal and, as Jeremy Brett said, ‘streets ahead of us’, still in the twenty first century. Like Watson, we all race to catch up. The game’s afoot, or as BBC’s Sherlock would say, the game is on!
Interest in Holmes has never waned.
It was intense in the 1890s when Holmes first plunged over the Reichenbach Falls in the Strand, and has undergone many a renaissance. William Gillette’s 1899 play, Sherlock Holmes, toured for many years. Conan Doyle famously told the actor, ‘you can marry, murder or do what you like with him’ and since then many people have taken Holmes, his wonderful Watson and their fascinating world to heart, played with them, reinterpreted them and had fun. Arthur Conan Doyle, we salute you.
Eille Norwood’s silent screen Holmes and Arthur Wonter’s talkies captivated early Sherlockians, including ACD himself. Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing and Douglas Wilmer recruited new bands of keen fans through the 1930s to 1960s. In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a spectacular explosion of pastiche, and new takes on Holmes. Granada TV’s 1980s Sherlock revisited the original stories and for some time it seemed like no one could top their dramatisations.
But fast forward a little and, like the timeless characters of Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen or the Brontes, the dynamic Baker Street duo are back with a bang, re-imagined brilliantly for new audiences in BBC TV’s Sherlock and zooming around the big screen with Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law.
They never went away, for, to quote that marvellous poem 221B by Sherlockian Vincent Starrett, ‘it is always 1895′.
Vincent Starrett – A Man of Note
Vincent Starrett’s famous poem was first published in 1942. Starrett was one of the foremost early Sherlockian scholars, author of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1933).
The poem is often reproduced, but always worth re-reading. After all, isn’t it ‘always 1895
Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die:
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.
But still the game’s afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:
England is England yet, for all our fears-
Only those things the heart believes are true.
A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.