Sunday, 8 March 2015

Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in man's attic


Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in man's attic

Proof that there remains many unknown and long-lost treasures from the past [100 years] still to be found in attics, skips etc. comes this news of a newly-unearthed Sherlock Holmes story, written over 110 years ago and rediscovered more than 80 years since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle last put pen to paper on the subject of The Great Detective.

As it turns out this is not quite the great literary discovery of the century that it sounds, although it is still quite remarkable and most interesting.  The "story" turns out to be of the short variety (1,300 words), written by Conan Doyle in 1904 in support of the fundraising for a new bridge in Selkirk, Scotland, to replace the previous one that was destroyed in 1902.  Thus it was penned very much as a 19th century "sponsored article", with Holmes using his famous powers of deduction to determine Watson's forthcoming trip to Scotland to - attend a new bridge-opening event.  Having read it, it could even be argued that the whole scene is an "imagining" of a Holmes-Watson discussion by the third party and the thing reads in such a slightly exaggerated way that I wouldn't be surprised if Doyle had his tongue firmly in his cheek at the time.

Nevertheless it was obviously something of a coup to have such a well-known "literateur" endorse Selkirk's little bridge (still standing today!) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name rightly stands proud in The Book o' the Brig

Whether there are any further, more substantial lost works from Doyle remains to be seen but as a Sherlockian and a vintage enthusiast I am delighted to see a prevously unknown Holmes story come to light in so interesting a manner.  Well done to Mr Elliot for finding it (eventually), hanging on to it and donating it to the local pop-up museum, who I'm sure will be proud and welcome custiodians.

1 comment:

  1. Well, well..
    Thank you ever so much for sharing this info.
    As a fellow Sherlockian, I do appreciate any and all such interesting tales. So, again: thanks!



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