25th September, 1 Comment
By John Watson
Despite the fact that Holmes always refers to Irene Adler as “the woman” [SCAN] there is no doubt that “the woman” who figures most throughout the Canon is our trustworthy and redoubtable landlady, Mrs. Hudson.
No picture of the real Mrs. Hudson, I’m afraid, as I have always been at pains to preserve her privacy. Again the Granada Sherlock Holmes came close with Rosalie Williams.
She remains devoted to Holmes and now moves between London and Sussex depending on where he is at the time. As he spends much time away from both places, when her services are not required on the South Coast, I have the benefit of her presence here in Baker Street.
Much has been written about Mrs. Hudson and most of it is pure speculation. I know very little about her as she is a very private person. I am sure that Holmes knows much more than me as he will have used his well-known skills of observation and deductive reasoning to determine a good deal about her.
That she is of Scottish descent is well-known, and Holmes referred to her cooking as a little limited but she could rise to the occasion as she did in The Naval Treaty.
Whether there is, or was ever, a Mr. Hudson I couldn’t possibly say. There has never been any mention of a husband. She introduced herself as “Mrs. Hudson” and that is how we have always addressed her. I do know her first name but we never use it.
There has, of course, been some confusion over the identity of Holmes’ housekeeper in Sussex at the time of “His Last Bow”. This lady, referred to as Martha, is a housekeeper and not our landlady, Mrs. Hudson. There has also been some confusion over the Mrs. Turner that appears in “A Study in Scarlet”. This was another housekeeper standing in for Mrs. Hudson who was away dealing with some family matters at the time.
There is little more to be said about “our worthy landlady” [SIGN] except to say that she puts up with a great deal – even to the extent of crawling around the floor moving the life-like bust of Holmes around whilst we were across the way in “The Empty House”.