Watson’s Christmas Letter 1893

This is the third Christmas without Holmes following the tragic events of May 1891.

Although Holmes was never one to be sentimental about Christmas we would when we shared rooms at 221B Baker Street always mark the occasion with one of Mrs Hudson’s splendid feasts.

Even when following my marriage and subsequent start in private practice the very intimate relations which had existed between Holmes and myself had become to some extent modified I would still see him from time to time when he desired a companion in his investigations.

Although I have only published records of three cases in 1890 (A Case of Identity, The Copper Beeches, and The Red-Headed League) the case I referred to under the ominous title of The Final Problem was, although I did not know it, to be our last case together and now, over two years since those fateful events, I have had my hand forced by Moriarty’s brother, and I have laid the facts before the public exactly as they occurred.

My close intimacy with Sherlock Holmes had interested me deeply in crime, and after his disappearance, I never failed to read with care the various problems which came before the public and I even attempted more than once for my own private satisfaction to employ his methods in their solution, though with indifferent success.

As Christmas 1893 approaches, I wish you all the best for 1894 in the hope that there will be an end to the attacks upon him whom I shall ever regard as the best and wisest man whom I have ever known.

JHW Signature

On the fourth day of the New Year [FIVE]

As we enter 2011, I thought I would share with you my plans for the coming year.

I have several books to review. These include Mr Holmes and Dr Watson – Their Strangest Cases by Edith Meiser, The Official Papers Into The Matter Known As The Hound of the Baskervilles (DCC/1435/89 refers) by Kieron Freeburn, The Lost Stories of Sherlock Holmes edited by Tony Reynolds, a series of books by Molly Carr including The Sign of Fear, A Study In Crimson and In Search of Doctor Watson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Devon, a tour guide by Brian Pugh, Paul Spiring and Sadru Bhanji. There is also the audiobook, The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor read by Benedict Cumberbatch that I have yet to review.

New books expected this year include Watson’s Afghan Adventure – How Sherlock Holmes’ Dr.Watson Became an Army Doctor due January 24th, Reasoning Backwards: Sherlock Holmes’ Guide to Effective Problem Solving due March 1st, The Sherlock Holmes School of Self-Defence: The Manly Art of Bartitsu: as Used Against Professor Moriarty, due April 27th, and The Strange Return of Sherlock Holmes due any day now.

Finally, in the books section, I will be looking at a series of children’s reading books based on the Sherlock Holmes stories from Lerner Books.

I have also receivedĀ  a DVD of Robert Stephens in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The BBC Sherlock Holmes Collection (which includes Peter Cushing in A Study in Scarlet, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four and the Blue Carbuncle, Richard Roxburgh in another version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Rupert Everett in The Case of the Silk Stocking, and Douglas Henshall in The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle) and Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes.

I plan to follow up the popular articlesĀ about Holmes on the radio (in the UK, parts 1 and 2, and in the USA, parts 1 and 2) with Holmes on television and on film.

We can expect a new series of BBC Sherlock in the autumn and a new Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes film at the end of the year.

So, all in all, it looks like a busy year for all those who admire the best and wisest man whom I have ever known.

You see that I am weaving my web [SIGN]

web Although you may perceive that I have been a little quiet of late, this has been for a very good reason.

I have been in consultation with an architect over the construction of a new location for my reminiscences.

As you can maybe imagine, this is a busy time with the festive season soon upon us and the seasonal weather, though picturesque, has not helped either. My old injuries have their own way of reminding me that I am not the young man I used to be.

However, I digress . . . the new location is almost ready though many of the rooms are still a bit bare!

There is much discussion about the new cinematograph release which I hope to see when the festivities start to die down. I will let you know what I think of my portrayal in the film and any liberties that have been taken with me or the Canon!

So, for the moment, may I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year and if you are looking for a Holmes story with a seasonal flavour, may I recommend “The Blue Carbuncle“?

Yours sincerely,
John H Watson MD
Late of the Army Medical Department

P.S. The architect explains in his own words how he put the site together.

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