Monday, 31 March 2014

Final Post (Connecting)

First off, thank you to my two wonderful friends for reading with me and to my fantastic teacher. This was been super fun!

Now, onto connecting!
Charles Augustus Milverton, our main antagonist, is actually based on a real-life blackmailer, Charles Augustus Howell, who inspired Doyle to write this story!

I looked up spies and wedding proposals and engagements, but it seems I couldn't find a thing. So how about some fake wedding proposals instead?

But mostly, I'll miss this blog. It's been so very fun. So here's to the wonderful eight weeks of Sherlock and John fraught mishaps and here's to friends.

Thank you.

For the last time,

The Final Chapter of The Three Kids and The Adventure of the Forced Book Project---The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton Passages Week 8

by Claire

This is the last week of our book project. I really enjoyed reading the stories with you guys :)

Here are the passages I thought were interesting from the Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton:

"'You would not call me a marrying man, Watson?'
'No, indeed!'
'You'll be interested to hear that I'm engaged.'
'My dear fellow! I congrat----'
'To Milverton's housemaid'
'Good heavens, Holmes!'
'I wanted information, Watson'"
The passage continues until we get to this part:
"'But the girl, Holmes?'
He shrugged his shoulders."

Oh Mr. Holmes, you poor thing. You really are married to your work, aren't you? But consider, friends, that BBC did the same, as depicted below:

Sherlock proposes to Janine, Magnussen's PA--

Another passage I liked was when Holmes justifies breaking into Appledore Towers.

"'My dear fellow, I have given it every consideration. I am never precipitate in my actions, nor would I adopt so energetic and indeed, so dangerous a course, if any other were possible. Let us look at the matter clearly and fairly. I suppose that you will admit that the action is morally justifiable, though technically criminal. To burgle his house is no more than to forcibly take his pocketbook--an action in which you were prepared to aid me.'.
I turned it over in my mind.
'Yes,' I said, 'it is morally justifiable so long as our object is to take no articles save those which are used for an illegal purpose.'"

I think its kinda funny--two men of justice and upright standing find an excuse to burgle a house. Cool. (BBC's version of Appledore Towers below:)

copyrights: http://cdn3.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/incoming/article29915492.ece/300ca/ALTERNATES/h342/sherlock+apple_2.jpg

Hope you guys enjoyed the books!

 (Note: I have succeeded in making a BBC Sherlock reference in every single one of my posts. Gold star for the day. :)   )


Monday, 24 March 2014

The Adventure of Passages--His Last Bow, Week 7

Although this story is very short, and we don't get all the usual Sherlock deductive skills and drama, it has plenty of interesting passages. We came in to have the German spy-barons give us the background in the first half, and in this half, we see the capture.

"Across the cover was printed in golden letters Practical Handbook of Bee Culture. Only for one instant did the master spy glare at this strangely irrelevant inscription. The next he was gripped at the back of his neck by a grasp of iron, and a chloroformed sponge was held in front of his writhing face."

I like this quote, because it's where our dynamic duo first shows itself, and I can just picture Bork's face, pleased with himself in his hour of victory, then seeing the book about bees, temporary confusion, and the he's grabbed by Watson and knocked out.

"'I feel twenty years younger, Holmes. I have seldom felt so happy as when I got your wire asking me to meet you at Harwich with the car. But you, Holmes - you have changes very little - save for that horrible goatee.'
'These are the sacrifices one makes for one's country, Watson,' said Holmes, pulling at his little tuft. 'Tomorrow it will be but a dreadful memory. With my hair cut and a few other superficial changes I shall no doubt reappear at Claridge's tomorrow as I was before this American stunt - I beg your pardon , Watson, my well of English seems to be permanently defiled - before this American job came my way.'"

This quote is one of my favorites because it shows how much Watson missed Holmes and working with him. Also, I thought the bit about the goatee is funny, and how Holmes feels his English is "defiled" from playing the part of an American for so long.

"Mr. Von Bork: you are a sportsman and you will bear me no ill-will when you realize the you, who have outwitted so many other people, have at last been outwitted yourself. After all, you have done your best for your country, and I have done my best for mine, and what could be more natural?"

This quote is nice, because, like in the other Holmes stories, Sherlock bests someone who is also good at deduction and influence, yet respects Holmes for doing it. However, I feel, this passage sums it up better that in the other stories.

"'There's an east wind coming Watson.'
'I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.'
'Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.'"

This passage is just before the end to the story, and just like in the other stories, Watson at first fails to see the meaning behind Holmes's words, taking the "east wind" literally instead of as the metaphor for the Germans coming to attack England.


Discussion, Week 7

This week we finished the final half(ish) part of "His Last Bow" which featured a surprising final turn, didn't it?
Sherlock: Undercover Agent! Although he has been undercover before...
 Here are some questions I hope will fuel discussion!
1) If you were Holmes, how would you have done your undercover work?
2) Why do you think Sherlock would work so hard on this project?
3) Do you really think this is, by any means, a "Last Bow" for the prolific detective?
4) Do you think Sherlock was thinking during his work?

I just thought the balloon would be a whimsical touch to this quick read with a fun ending.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Adventure of Connecting--Finishing His Last Bow, Week 7

by Claire

We're done with His Last Bow---how did you guys enjoy it? Here are my connections for what we read:

1. So, Sherlock was undercover, for a very long time--how very much like BBC's version of undercover Sherlock:

Credit to: Pinterest
 But of course, he's not undercover anymore, though in the show he seems much more disappointed with being found out.
Credit to: allthesherlockgifs.tumblr.com

2. Tokay (I forget, are we allowed to mention alcohol?)....turns out it is a sweet wine, spelled "tokay" in English and "tokaji" in Hungarian or Slovakian (link here)

3. Schoenbrunn Palace, from which the wine supposedly came.......

Free to use or share--yippee!
Finally, Sherlock has been living his life upon the "south downs" in England:

screen shot from Google Maps--click to make it bigger

Next week is the last week--we'll be reading all of the Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.


Monday, 17 March 2014

The Adventure of Connecting Week 6 - First Half of His Last Bow

As this part of the story only contains three real characters, two German spies and a rouge stealing British military secrets for them, I don't suspect any of us connects with them really.

However, in this story, we get a month and year; the story takes place in August of 1914, just after the start of WWI. The fact that an American is working to aide the Germans is unsurprising, because America did not enter WWI for another 3 years, so Altamont is simply adding to a European war that has no connections to America.

This story is easy to relate to real life, as something similar was no doubt at least attempted. These German spies, Von Bork and Von Herling, had been planning for four years to gather British military secrets for Germany.

Claire, as to your comment about Altamont's name meaning something in another language, I found nothing. However, Altamont is the middle name of Arthur Conan Doyle's father.


The Adventure of Passages, Week 6 (His Last Bow)

His Last Bow is a unique story in the Sherlock Holmes universe in that its central tenant is not a crime like murder or theft, but a crime of a different nature altogether- espionage. But I shan't spoil anything ahead.
Unfortunately, my book has "His Last Bow" as a series of short stories, too- for example, ones about tigers and murder instead of the one we were supposed to read. So I had to re-read everything.

It is highly fascinating to me that the beginning is not told from Doctor Watson's perspective in this story- it is told from the third person, and the first people we meet are not our dynamic duo.

""They are not very hard to deceive, these Englanders," he remarked. "A more docile, simple folk could not be imagined.""

As someone who lived in England, I can honestly attest that it is surprisingly easy to convince the English of anything (as a nation). It was actually fun to watch and join in.

Also- Holmes? Retired? Bees?
No no no no no no
Beekeeping Buddies does have a certain appeal...
(courtesy of ghostbees.tumblr.com)
(Ooops that's a bit ahead of where we agreed to stop)

Another fun quote:

"She [Martha] might almost personify Britannia," said he, "with her complete self absorption and general air of comfortable somnolence..."

These gentlemen honestly have such low esteem of England!


Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Adventure of Discussion: Week 6----- The First Half of His Last Bow


So this week we began reading His Last Bow (if you'll remember, we agreed to read up until the discussion of a man named Hollis). Here are some thoughts and questions to help spark discussion:

1. The first two characters we meet are two German spy-barons: Von Bork and Von Herling.....What are your impressions of each? How do they go about mingling with British society and gathering information?

2. About a 1/4 of the way through the book (16% on Kindle), Von Herling says, "Honour is a mediaeval conception". What do you think about this quote, specifically in today's society? Is honor still a valued concept or are the times of chivalry and gentility gone?

3. Altamont is an Irish-American who has a hatred for Britain....any creative thoughts or stories as to why he has such a strong dislike? (don't spoil anything)

I have a feeling that Altamont means something in some language, but for some reason, Google Translate is blocked on my computer and I can't turn it off. If one of you wants to look it up and see if it means something (this would be good for the connector's job) that would be awesome.

Von Bork keeps all of his super top secret documents in a double coded safe, whereas BBC's version of Mycroft Holmes (who essentially runs the British Government), keeps his super secret documents on a laptop, on which his mother places a bowl of potatoes:

I downloaded this off of my Pinterest, so we're all good re. copyrights

Hope you enjoyed the reading!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Connecting- Week 5

Connecting something as fantastic and wonderful as Sherlock Holmes' first case to the real world is a significant challenge. That's why I looked into real detectives and their biggest cases.
I also looked into the nature of the story's Mormon reference, and many of the situations mentioned really did happen. But, much to Doyle's dismay, he was met with criticism from Mormon readers or those who heard about the characters.
The story is also criticized for failing in one very important element of crime fiction and detective fiction- the readers couldn't solve the puzzle themselves.

I honestly couldn't figure out how to connect this one to the real world.

Not on the side of the angels

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Adventure of Discussion--Chapters 11-14 A Study in Scarlet, Week 5

By Jarod

This section of A Study in Scarlet are much more interesting than the first section of part 2, at least I thought so.
Anyways, here are some questions I thought of while reading:

1.) In chapter 5, Hope starts to believe that they have escaped the reach of the "terrible organization whose enmity they had incurred", but he seems to be a trained hunter, shouldn't he know better than to get his hopes up? And then, he goes and gets lost trying to find food when it says that he knew the path well, shouldn't he have known better than to wander into unknown territory so far from camp?

2.) Later in chapter 5, it says that Hope saved up enough money to keep himself alive before following Drebber and Strangerson to Europe; how then was he able to buy so many plane tickets to keep up with them as they traveled around Europe?

3.) I know I'm not passage person, but since Claire didn't include this quote and I feel that it's significant, I don't feel bad about using it; how do you feel about what Sherlock says in chapter 7 "What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done?"

4.) The last 2 chapters are spent explaining the crime, and how Holmes deduced it, i was just wondering if you had figured out any of it before they were revealed throughout the story, though i expect the answer will be yes since both of you have already read this story, and seen the BBC version.

(I realize its not the right episode, but I saw this gif and loved it cause the words are from Doctor Who, and in this section, Watson is once again marveling at Holmes's deductive skills)


Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Adventure of Passages--Finishing up "A Study in Scarlet" Week 5

by Claire

This week we finished "A Study in Scarlet", and thus concludes John and Sherlock's first case together as a dynamic duo.
Downloaded from: Here
Sherlock and John enjoying their first case.

Most of what we read was narrative/thriller type material, but here were the  passages I like best:

"'If there's a vacant place for a chief of the police, I reckon you are the man for it,' he said, gazing with undisguised admiration at my fellow-lodger. 'The way you kept on my trail was a caution.'"

Its not very long, but it just goes to show how even criminals can appreciate the wit and mental strength of Sherlock Holmes.

The next passage is more towards the end,

"'He gazed at me with bleared, drunken eyes for a moment, and then I saw a horror spring up in them, and convulse his whole features, which showed me that he knew me. He staggered back with a livid face, and I saw the perspiration break out upon his brow, while his teeth chattered in his head. At the sight, I leaned my back against the door and laughed loud and long. I had always known that vengeance would be sweet, but I had never hoped for the contentment of soul which now possessed me.'"

Originally, I felt bad for Jefferson Hope(listed as Jeff in BBC Sherlock), but in this passage, I lost it all. He laughed a creepy laugh right before he killed someone (well, technically, he made the guy chose between a poisoned pill and a harmless pill, and he chose the poisoned one, but still), and that's just scary. 
For your viewing pleasure, here is the criminal, Jeff Hope, as depicted by the BBC:
Downloaded from: Here

Hope you enjoyed the book!


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Adventure of Discussion (And Apologia) -Week Four

To begin with- I apologize to my teachers and friends; getting sick and not being able to work was never my intent and I am sincerely sorry if it has hindered your work or made your lives any less easy. I will work my hardest to keep up and do what must be done.
In recompense, I award you this:
A baby Sherlock tries on his coat.

Now, apologies all in order- onto the real heart of the matter.

One of my favorite stories, A Study In Scarlet begins John Watson and Sherlock Holmes' time together, and what a wondrous beginning it is. Riddled with adventure and daring-do, this tale is a classic.

It not only establishes who our set of protagonists will be, but how they view each other.

Here are some questions I hope will metaphorically tickle your fancy and begin some discussion.

1) What is Watson's first impression of Holmes? How is it formed, and how (and by whom) is it influenced?
2) What is Holmes' first impression of Watson? 
3) Why do you think Watson agrees to letting himself get closer to Holmes?
4) What would you do in Watson's place? 

Have fun, all!
(And once again, I really am sorry. I love reading these stories and falling behind causes me as much woe as I'm sure it's caused you all.)

The dynamic duo that have captured our hearts all these many years.

The Adventure of Passages- Chapter 6-10 A Study in Scarlet (Week 4)

By Jarod

Here are the passages I though were interesting in this section of "A Study in Scarlet"

(Chapter 7) "The dog continued to lie stretched upon the cushion, breathing in a laboured way, but apparently neither the better nor the worse for its draught.
Holmes had taken out his watch, and as minute followed minute without result, an expression of the utmost chagrin and disappointment appeared upon his features, He gnawed his lip, drummed his fingers upon the table, and showed every other symptom of acute impatience. So great was his emotion that I felt sincerely sorry for him, while the two detectives smiled derisively, by no means displeased at this check which he had met. 
'It can't be a coincidence,' he cried, at last springing from his chair and pacing wildly up and down the room; 'it is impossible that it should be, a mere coincidence. The very pills which I suspected in the case of Drebber are actually found after the death of Strangerson. And yet they are inert. What can it mean? Surely my whole chain of reasoning cannot have been false. It is impossible! And yet this wretched dog is none the worse.'"

I like this passage because it shows how Holmes deals with frustration, and the possibility of his reasoning being wrong, something he is very unused to. Also, Watson states in his narration "So great was his emotion that I felt sincerely sorry for him" which is interesting for us because he seems like such the emotional robot, only excited when he discovers something, and quietly depressed when he has nothing to do.

(later in chapter 7) "'Gentlemen,' [Holmes] cried, with flashing eyes, 'let me introduce you to Mr. Jefferson Hope, the murderer of Enoch Drebber and of Joseph Strangerson.'
The whole thing occurred in a moment - so quickly that I had no tie to realize it. I have a vivid recollection of that instant, of Holmes's triumphant expression and the ring of his voice, of the cabman's dazed, savage face, as he glared at the glittering handcuffs, which had appeared as if by magic upon his wrists. For  a second or two we might have been a group of statues. Then with an inarticulate roar of fury, the prisoner wrenched himself free from Holmes's grasp, and hurled himself through the window. Woodwork and glass gave way before him; but before he got quite through, Gregson, Lestrade, and Holmes sprang upon him like so many staghounds. He was dragged back into the room, and then commenced a terrific conflict."

This passage also interests me because of the utter surprise that Holmes gives them all, then an almost time slowing effect as they all just stand and stare at Holmes and Mr. Hope. Then Mr. Hope realizes he's been caught and tries to run for it, but is once again caught by the three men.

Any question??

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Adventure of Connecting-- Chp. 6-10 A Study in Scarlet (Week 4)

by Claire

So! This week we finish Part I of A Study in Scarlet and start Part II. The end of the first Part was exciting, we catch the killer (Jefferson Hope) and make Gregson and Lestrade look like fools! 

Now, onwards to the connections! First, I would like to point out that Wiggins, the "dirty street urchin", IS in BBC Sherlock!, though he is a lot older, and not a street urchin, but a drug addict. 
Source: http://i.imgur.com/ccXxyfG.gif
Nevertheless, he is Sherlock's protege, similar to how in the books, he was Holmes' eyes and ears around the city. :)

Now, commence Part II! We begin in the desert of Sierra Blanco--which, unfortunately for us, does not exists. Google said so:
Click to make it bigger......I made this pic from a screencap, so as far as citing sources, um, I cite myself, with help from google. 
After Lucy and John Ferrier are rescued, we meet the Mormons. I need not remind you of our LDS/Brigham Young Homework assigned by Legg last semester (yay. insert enthusiasm here). From that, you should know all about our friend Brigham Young and the exile out of Illinois, etc.

We leave off with poor Lucy distraught because Jefferson is gone and Mr. Young said she had to marry one of the prominent Mormon boys. Click this link to know alllllll there is to know about Mormon dating and whatnot, in case you are ever in that position. :) They are pretty strict as far as dating, modesty, and marriage go. Very similar to how it is portrayed in A Study in Scarlet.

Enjoy the rain!