- File Size: 2016 KB
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1291264213
- Publisher: Hidden Tiger Books (February 2, 2014)
- Publication Date: February 2, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00I80M76E
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,366,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Theatrical Sherlock Holmes Kindle Edition
|Length: 338 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“The Painful Predicament of Sherlock Holmes” involves Holmes in a one-act comedy, though it’s more of a skit than a play, the sort of thing someone might throw together as an interlude or a parlor room diversion. And that was how it was presented by Gillette on 13 September 1905, as an effort to save the evening after a dismal performance of his play “Clarice.” The one-act was first presented at a charity benefit about six months earlier, but it would have been new to the disappointed playgoers that night Gillette picked it up and dusted it off. Fortunately for Gillette and the others, it featured only three characters, and only one of them had any real speaking lines—and it wasn’t Sherlock Holmes. It was then and remains today an entertaining curiosity rather than a subject for serious study. It is interesting to note, however, that in the role of Billy the pageboy that September evening was one Charlie Chaplin.
“The Speckled Band—An Adventure of Mister Sherlock Holmes” was written by Conan Doyle, and is of course derived from the story of the same name, a story familiar to many people because it used to be required reading in most high school English classes. According to what I’ve read in other books about Conan Doyle, the play was not as well received as Conan Doyle would have liked, mostly due to changes from the story and the appearance of the snake (a real snake refused to cooperate and a fake snake looked…well, fake), but it did well enough to lift its author from the mire of his financial woes. Whatever shortcomings it might have as a play, it reads very well, and is quite enjoyable.
If “The Crown Diamond—An Evening With Sherlock Holmes” stirs a sense of the familiar with the reader it may be that you are getting echoes from the short story, “The Mazarin Stone.” For years, “The Mazarin Stone” was something of a conundrum for Sherlock Holmes fans. Of all the stories and novels in the Holmes canon, it was the only one told in the third person. In the third-person section of “A Study in Scarlet” we can hypothesize it was written by Watson from information gathered because he was the voice of the story up to that point. In “The Mazarin Stone,” we have no such option because both Holmes and Watson are characters in the story, not narrators. With this publication of “The Crown Diamond,” general readers can see what scholars have always suspected, that Conan Doyle wrote the story from the play, changing some points, but not enough to hide the origin of the story. After reading the play, I had a better understanding, and a little more respect, for the printed story.