Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“It is always a joy to meet an American” [NOBL]  


Americans have been avid fans of Sherlock Holmes since the earliest days. The novels were pirated and the short stories were syndicated to reach millions of American readers.

And Sherlock Holmes himself was a fan of Americans. There's a wide variety of Americans and American locales that popped up in the Canon quite frequently. And those are worth trifling over.


Download | 7.9 MB, 17:20 


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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

“'Fore God, Mr. Holmes, it’s all right,” [SHOS]  


Sherlock Holmes and golf don't necessarily go together. That is clearly represented by the few times that the sport is mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories.

His creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had a few connections to golf. Together, we explore these scant details and come up with enough for another episode of Trifles in our monthly look at games and sports.


Download | 8.9 MB, 19:33 



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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

“Light-houses, my boy! Beacons of the future!” [COPP]  

An elite private school in the Sherlock Holmes stories

We first hear of boarding-schools in "The Naval Treaty," in which Watson mentions his fellow alumnus Percy Phelps, who needs Sherlock Holmes's help. And of course, the Priory School (from the adventure of the same name) is private boarding school of some note.

When did boarding-schools come to be? What changed in the legislation of England at the time that made education more of a thing? We explore the societal forces that came to bear on schools at the time.


Download | 10.2 MB, 22:28 

 

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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

“the calculation now was a simple one” [MUSG]  


The questions in the Musgrave Ritual lead us to answers that are nearly as cryptic as the questions themselves. Among the questions was "Where was the shadow?" The answer, of course, is "Under the elm."

But how was Sherlock Holmes able to calculate the location of the object of the Musgrave Ritual, given the lack of an elm and the passing of over 200 years? It's one of the trifles in the Canon.


Download | 9.3 MB, 20:24 

 
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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

“an autograph letter of thanks from the French” [GOLD]  


France and England have always had a close relationship, if contentious at times. Is it any small wonder that we find plenty of French influences in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

From quoting French philosophers to referencing French detectives and from earning French accolades and casually revealing French relatives, Sherlock Holmes was well versed with all things French. We investigate a few trifling examples.


Download | 8.2 MB, 17:49 


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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

“He could carve a bit and gild and frame, and do odd jobs.” [SIXN]  


There were scores of jobs mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories, but we focus on some of the more trifling titles in this episode.

You've heard of doctors and lawyers and even consulting detectives as professions. But what about gamekeepers? Or yeggmen? Mendicants (amateur or otherwise), tide-waiters and an abbess await your inquiry as well.


Download | 10.2 MB, 22:19



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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

“I would not have missed it for a good deal” [BERY]  


Eight episodes ago, we talked very specifically about a card game: whist. But we're aware that there's more to cards than whist, and there are additional references in the Sherlock Holmes Canon.

A brief review of a number of Sherlock Holmes stories will show "card playing" as well as one or two specifically named card games. Oh, and what about a card game specifically related to Sherlock Holmes? It's all here in Trifles.

Download | 11.1 MB, 24:20

 


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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

“less poisonous than one might expect” [BRUC]  


From the very first Sherlock Holmes story, we're introduced to poisons and their role in crime and detective fiction. From there, it's a hopscotch of poisonings and poisons in the Canon.

From alkaloids to airborne toxins, we come across a variety of substances that cause harm, both intentionally and accidentally. What are they? Tune in and you may pick up a Trifle or two...

Download | 11.7 MB, 25:31




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

“old coins, apparently” [MUSG]  


This is National Coin Week, according to the American Numismatic Association. What better week to consider old money in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

The terminology and math can be confusing to us today. Quid? Sovereign? Shilling? How do these relate to each other and how much buying power did they have? Greg Ruby, BSI of The Fourth Garrideb put a bug in our ear and that became a Trifle...

Download | 10 MB, 21:47




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

“distinctly Australian” [BOSC]  


To readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories in the late Victorian era, Australia was an exotic and dangerous place. It was not all that far removed from the days of transportation, when some criminals and the destitute were put on ships bound for the land Down Under.

Australia makes a number of appearances in the Canon. What do these have in common and what inferences can we make? These are but a Trifle...

Download | 11.2 MB, 24:23




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

“two on the lawn” [CROO]  


Sherlock Holmes and tennis — they go together like...like... Well, we're here to tell you that while combining the great detective with a lawn sport is actually elementary.

There are a handful of passing references to this sport in the Canon, and pointing them out is merely a Trifle...

Download | 9.8 MB, 21:28




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

“we can't have tomfoolery of this kind” [FIVE]  


The beginning of April dependably brings April Fools' Day. And while there weren't outright hi-jinks in the Sherlock Holmes stories, there were a fair share of instances where individuals were fooled.

You might think that it's Watson who's fooled frequently, but there were a number of times when Sherlock Holmes himself had the wool pulled over his eyes. We explore examples that add up to a little more than a Trifle...

Download | 8.2 MB, 17:58




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

“It is Porlock's writing” [VALL]  


The opening of The Valley of Fear introduced us to a mysterious individual: Porlock, who sent a cryptic note to Sherlock Holmes to warn him of doings afoot at Birlstone.

Sherlock Holmes didn't look into Porlock's identity too closely, but we do have a number of clues and inferences that may lead us to an identification. Or that may at least narrow things down a bit. It's just a Trifle...

Download | 8.8 MB, 19:17



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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

“The dancing Irish deviltry” [VALL]  


The Irish make scant appearances across the earlier Sherlock Holmes stories, but once we pass The Valley of Fear, it's as if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brogue has been released onto the pages.

We explore some of those instances — including the subtle and passing ones early on — and just how Sherlock Holmes found himself inside of an Irish secret society in America.

Download | 9.1 MB, 19:56




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Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“the game was whist” [EMPT]  


We continue our monthly investigation into Games and Sports in the Sherlock Holmes stories, and in this case, we turn our attention to a card game. Specifically, whist.

There aren't too many instances of card games in the Canon, but whist comes up a couple of times. How was it played? We discuss that, and something of a trifle with respect to the game of whist that was played in "The Devil's Foot."

Download | 6.9 MB, 15:24

 


Have you left us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts yet? You don't need to own an Apple device, and every review helps more people find the show. 

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Music credits

Performers: Uncredited violinist, US Marine Chamber Orchestra
Publisher Info.: Washington, DC: United States Marine Band
CopyrightCreative Commons Attribution 3.0

Our Team

Scott Monty and Burt Wolder are both members of the Baker Street Irregulars, the literary society dedicated to Sherlock Holmes. They have co-hosted the popular show I Hear of Everywhere since June 2007.

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