Sherlockian Shorts #8 – The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes – Part 2

A series of posts, containing full spoilers, as I make my way once more through the complete canon, picking out points of interest and reflecting on my personal experience of the stories.

The Gloria Scott

  • Holmes describes this as his first case although he does nothing of value and almost causes the death of Mr Trevor when he tells him “you have been most intimately associated with someone whose initials were J. A. , and whom you afterwards were eager to entirely forget”. 
  • For some reason my Wordsworth Classic edition uses the illustration on the left rather than that on the right, even though all the others for the same story are by Sidney Paget.






The Musgrave Ritual

  • Watson opens his account with some of his friend’s unusual domestic habits including his (presumably infrequent) habit of sitting “in an armchair with his hair-trigger and a hundred Boxer cartridges, and proceed(ing) to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R. done in bullet-pocks”.
  • Another narration from Holmes, this time of his third professional case.
  • I love the treasure rhyme and Musgrave recollecting his trigonometric exercises as a boy which means he knows the height of the old elm. I remember at primary school using a piece of paper folded at 45 degrees and a trundle wheel to find the height of features visible from the playground.

The Reigate Squires

  • Holmes makes some deductions from a scrap of paper found in the dead man’s hand. Is this the first replica clue that ever appeared in detective fiction?




Previous posts in this series can be found here.

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