Meet some of our members….
David Stuart Davies
David loved the Basil Rathbone films when they were shown on TV when he was a youngster. He used to run around the garden pretending to be Holmes. Some may say that he still does.
At university he wanted to write his dissertation on the Holmes stories but was told that they ‘weren’t serious enough’. He started to write an article on filmed dramatisations for his own amusement and this grew into a book, which became Holmes of the Movies, with a foreword by Peter Cushing. It was published while he was still at university, training to be an English teacher.
Responding to a call in the Sherlock Holmes Society of London’s newsletter, from Kathryn White, he and Kathryn co-founded the Northern Musgraves Sherlock Holmes Society in 1987, the centenary of the first publicaton of A Study in Scarlet. At its peak, the society had over 500 members.
Together David & Kathryn ran the society from 1987 to 1998, when, exhausted, they handed the Musgraves on to new parents.
David left teaching in 1996 to become Editor of Sherlock magazine and to pursue other writing projects. He has edited Red Herrings, the monthly newsletter of the Crime Writers Association since 1999 and has written several Holmes novels:
The Hentzau Affair
The Tangled Skein
The Scroll of the Dead
The Shadow of the Rat
The Veiled Detective
He has also written two books on Jeremy Brett’s Holmes, Bending the Willow and Dancing in the Moonlight, and a study of Holmes on Screen, Starring Shelock Holmes. He has provided commentaries for the MPI DVDs of the Granada TV Holmes series and Rathbone films. His plays, Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act and Sherlock Holmes: The Death and Life, starring Roger Llewellyn, premiered at Salisbury Playhouse and The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford respectively and are still touring.
David is General Editor of Wordsworth Editions’ Mystery & Supernatural Series and writes regular introductions to the Collectors Library series. His own detective, John Hawke, appears in five novels. David takes up a post as a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund in September 2012.
Undying love for Basil Rathbone. A pile of Strand Magazines sitting temptingly in a second hand bookshop. An art college student desperately needing a subject for her end of term exhibition. The Rathbone films being rerun on TV: visual manna! Exhibition sorted. Sold into Sherlockian slavery for life.
Kathryn studied English at University. She, too, wanted to write about Conan Doyle for her dissertation, but was told that ACD was ‘second rate’ literature. Meanwhile, Kathryn had joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. She then founded the Northern Musgraves to ensure that Shelockian conversation happened in the North, as well as in London
With David, she was Co-President of the society and co-edited its journal, The Musgrave Papers, and newsletter, The Ritual.
David and Kathryn were invested as Baker Street Irregulars, as ‘Sir Ralph Musgrave’ and ‘The Musgrave Ritual’ respectively, in 1995. Inspired by a mutual love of Hansom cabs, fog and the timeless bromance that is Holmes & Watson, David and Kathryn married in 1996 and pooled their Holmes collections, as many Sherlockians have done in the past and will do in the future. She was Review Editor for Sherlock magazine and has published many articles on Holmes, often focusing on Gothic aspects of the stories and the depiction of women in Conan Doyle’s work.
In real life, Kathryn works in museums and edits David’s published outpourings.
Matthew is the author of Sherlock Holmes & the Giant’s Hand, as well as the writer of a number of scripts for The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Imagination Theatre’s popular radio series in America. He has also provided a number of Holmes short stories for collections, two of which appeared in the Wordsworth Editions collection, The Game’s Afoot
A Holmes enthusiast since the age of 14, Matthew was a long-standing member of the Northern Musgraves, serving for many years on its Consultancy as well as providing regular articles for the society journals and dramatic presentations for meetings – often in collaboration with David Stuart Davies.
Matthew is currently working on a non-Holmes crime novel, The Triumph of Death, and lives in Manchester.
Paul M. Chapman
Paul studied history at Lancaster University
For five years he was the Editor of The Ritual, and a staff writer on Sherlock magazine. For these and other publications he has written numerous articles on Holmes, Conan Doyle, crime ficton and crime history. He has also written on Sheridan Le Fanu for Wordsworth Editons.
In 2006, together with historian and writer Charles Whiting, he helped to complete Dr A.J. Peacock’s monumental study of Easingwold and the Boer War, From the Vale to the Veldt. His 2007 book, Birth of a Legend, is a study of Count Dracula, Bram Stoker and Whitby.
Paul is Principal Reader for G.H. Smith & Sons.
A fan of the 1940s Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies since childhood, Teresa rediscovered these classics a few years ago via the wonders of DVD boxsets. Her interest in the great fictional sleuth developed further following a chance ‘encounter’ with the 1990s Clive Merrison/Michael Williams BBC Radio adaptations on 4 Extra… a daily dose of which (over several months!) had Teresa well & truly hooked… and a steady acquisition of Doyle’s short stories & novels ensued.
However, it was the passionate recommendations of several friends which eventually led her to the Granada TV Series (starring that infamous firm of Victorian solicitors – Brett, Burke & Hardwicke) and from that point onwards, the mesmerisingly charismatic Jeremy Brett became for her ‘the definitive Holmes’.
Teresa has been an avid & prolific member of the ‘Jeremy Brett Information Forum’ since August 2011 and was invited to join ‘The Good Comrades’ six months ago, following a chance meeting with Paul Chapman at a York Book Fair. With the rise of the Cumberbatch/Freeman BBC TV Sherlock series (not to mention RDJr’s improved second attempt on the Big Screen), Teresa suspects that her Holmes addiction can only intensify.
John is a full time writer and author of several Holmes novels, including:
The Travels of Shelock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes and the Telephone Murder Mystery
Sherlock Holmes and the Disgraced Inspector
Sherlock Holmes and the Hammerford Will
He is also guilty of several volumes of commentary and criticism, including:
I Remember the Date Very Well
140 Different Varieties
The Dynamics of a Falling Star
Guilty of Several Monographs
Some Knowledge of Baritsu (with Hirayama Yuichi)
Sidelights on Holmes
John penned his ‘Hall on Holmes’ column for the Sherlock Holmes Journal for several years, and contributed to the Northern Musgraves publications and Sherlock magazine.
Mark Valentine is the author of the Sherlockian story ‘The Green Skull’, which was published in The Game’s Afoot (2008) edited by David Stuart Davies, and in The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2009) edited by John Joseph Adams.
His own tales of an aesthetical detective are gathered in The Collected Connoisseur (with John Howard, Tartarus Press, 2010). Mark has also written introductions to the work of several great contemporaries of Conan Doyle, such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Machen and J. Meade Falkner. He is working on an essay on Chaldee roots in Machen and Holmes.
Further bios will follow…