“221 B”

Here dwell together still two men of note

Who never lived and so can never die:

How very near they seem, yet how remote

That age before the world went all awry.

But still the game's afoot for those with ears

Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:

England is England yet, for all our fears—

Only those things the heart believes are true.

 

A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane

As night descends upon this fabled street:

A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,

The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.

Here, though the world explode, these two survive,

And it is always eighteen ninety-five.

 By Vincent Starrett

I’m a member of The Survivors of the Gloria Scott, a Scion Society of the Baker Street Irregulars, based in Greenville.  We’re an eclectic mix of people, but what we have in common is that we all enjoy studying and discussing the Sacred Writings, as the original 56 short stories and 4 novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are called.  We meet once a month for dinner, and once a year we have a grand gala where some of us dress as the characters from the books.  My ‘nom’---a special name in the group---is ‘the daintiest thing under a bonnet’

I share my love of Sherlock Holmes with my students every year.  I offer a Humanities class called ‘Detecting Humanities: Or Everything I Needed To Know About HUM 101 I Learned From Sherlock Holmes.’  We use the stories as a way of looking at events and people from the Victorian age, and for asking questions about issues of justice, morality, and friendship.  I also frequently offer an interim course called ‘The Game’s Afoot: Victorian England Through The Lens of Sherlock Holmes.’  Here’s a shot of a guest appearance by Dr. Moeller of the Biology Department, who introduced my students to a real version of the ‘speckled band.’

In 2009, the Beacon Society, a Scion Society that works to introduce young people to Sherlock Holmes, honored me with the 2009 Beacon Society Award for my classes at Wofford.  As part of the award, Wofford will be receiving the Baker Street Journal, which will help students with their future research projects.

It’s no mystery that Sherlock Holmes plays a large role in my life and in my teaching.  I’ve been a ‘Sherlockian’ since fifth grade, and I have a huge collection of pastiches, parodies, games, artwork, and artifacts related to the Great Detective.  As you can see from this photograph, an entire bookshelf is devoted to the collection.  I’m always happy to loan out books to students.