Invisible Library: Sherlock Holmes’ Publications January 11, 2017Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern , trackback
Beach once before ran a post on missing Sherlock Holmes stories in the Invisible Libraries series: books that do not exist save in the imagination. However, he missed a trick. There are not just missing Sherlock Holmes stories there are also missing Sherlock Holmes publications. On several occasions in the canon Sherlock refers, en passant, to an article or pamphlet that he has penned, in that infuriatingly dilettante fashion that he has. Here is a list sent in by Chris S (for whom many thanks!) and gleaned from the works of the master. Some are named as publications, others are planned publications, which Holmes will, of course, have completed. Beach has added references and discarded a couple of apparent inventions (ahem).
Question: does anyone else get a thrill at making titles into italics?
Chaldean Roots in the Ancient Cornish Language (‘Devil’s Foot’, ‘the study of those Chaldean roots which are surely to be traced in the Cornish branch of the great Celtic speech’)
Early English Charters (Three Students ‘some laborious researches in early English charters’)
Malingering (‘Dying Detective’, ‘monograph’ planned for the future)
Of Tattoo Marks (‘Red-Headed League’, ‘I have made a small study of tattoo marks, and have even contributed to the literature of the subject’)
On Secret Writings (‘Dancing men’, ‘a trifling monograph’)
On the Polyphonic Motets of Lassus (‘the Bruce-Partington Plans’, in November 1895, ‘Holmes lost himself in a monograph’)
On the Human Ear (Cardboard Box ‘Each ear is as a rule quite distinctive and differs from all other ones. In last year’s Anthropological Journal you will find two short monographs from my pen upon the subject.’)
On the Typewriter and Its Relation to Crime (‘Mistaken Identity’, a planned ‘monograph’)
Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen (‘The Last Bow’, ‘the magnum opus of my latter years’)
The Tracing of Footsteps (Sign of Four, ‘my monograph’)
Upon the Influence of a Trade upon the Form of the Hand (Sign of Four, ‘a curious little work’; note that this is not unambiguously by Holmes)
Upon the Uses of Dogs in the Work of the Detective (‘The Creeping Man’, Holmes plans ‘writing a small monograph’)
Whole Art of Detection (‘Abbey Grange’, ‘I propose to devote my declining years to the composition of a textbook, which shall focus the whole art of detection into one volume’)
There are supposedly two other books, which I have not though tracked down: ‘Upon the Dating of Old Documents’ (confusion with Early English Charters?); and On the Study of Tobaccos and their Ashes (which Holmes certainly could have written but seems not to have)*. Beach would be glad to add to the list.
Beach was charmed to see that Oakmagic actually brought out one of these… Is there a market for publishing non-existent books? drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com It would make for a beautiful series of notebooks…
Nathaniel sorts out, 19 jan 2017, one I couldn’t find. In the Boscombe Valley Mystery, ‘I found the ash of a cigar, which my special knowledge of tobacco ashes enables me to pronounce as an Indian cigar. I have, as you know, devoted some attention to this, and written a little monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco.’