Wednesday, August 21, 2019

“a man might as well live in Russia” [VALL] 


The connections between Sherlock Holmes an Russia—in the Sherlock Holmes stories themselves, as least—would seem to be limited. Yet it provides much information for a robust discussion.

From exported goods to crimes from two decades previous, we encounter a smattering of mentions of the Land of Rus. What do they tell us about Sherlock Holmes? And what was happening in the world at the time? It's just a Trifle.

Download | 11.1 MB, 24:19



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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, August 14, 2019

“He started in his little yacht” [BLAC] 


There are plenty of instances of maritime transportation in the Sherlock Holmes stories. But when it comes to pleasure crafts, we're left with a scant few.

The use various boats for leisure and sporting activities is present sporadically throughout the Canon, so you have to pay attention. We investigate these few instances, plus a supposition. It is of course a trifle.

Download | 9.9 MB, 21:32 



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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

--

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

“you were on the battlefield” [BLAN] 


In the last episode, Robert Katz, BSI began to take us through his theory of where Dr. Watson spent his early years. He used the facts given to us by Watson himself, combined with the reasoning of Sherlock Holmes to arrive at some conclusions.

This week, he brings us the other half of the story: after Watson moved from Australia to America, he tells us about the connection with Henry Ward Beecher and Watson's heroics on U.S. soil.

It's just a trifle.

Download | 8 MB, 17:24 

 

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Links / Notes

  • This episode: ihose.co/trifles136
  • Get your own "Signs of Four" merchandise from our store. Over 20 designs to choose from on mugs and a variety of colored t-shirts. Special Summer sale happening now - 25% off with code SUMMER.

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Music credits

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

--

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

“I travelled in my youth” [TWIS] 


We know little about Dr. Watson's life, aside from what he managed to tell us. Yes, he was in the Army's medical department. Yes, he was wounded. And he needed to find a flatmate to be able to afford London on his pension.

But what about beyond that? Sherlock Holmes was able to make some inferences from a watch that Watson's brother bequeathed to him. There are a few other clues here and there to give us a scent to pick up. And Robert Katz, BSI joins us to begin to weave those threads together.

It's just a trifle.

Download | 7.7 MB, 16:47 



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Links / Notes

  • This episode: ihose.co/trifles135
  • Get your own "Signs of Four" merchandise from our store. Over 20 designs to choose from on mugs and a variety of colored t-shirts. Special Summer sale happening now - 25% off with code SUMMER.

Sponsor


Music credits

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

--

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“her people have been leaders in Pernambuco for generations” [3GAB]  


South America and its exotic tropical climate is about as far removed from the dampness of England as one can find. Its collective countries stand in juxtaposition to proper Victorian customs, and anything in the Sherlock Holmes stories that touches South America is suspect.

We look at some of the men and women associated with the continent that is mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, and the implications for each story.

It's just a trifle.

Download | 8.2 MB, 17:54 



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Links / Notes

  • This episode: ihose.co/trifles134
  • Get your own "Signs of Four" merchandise from our store. Over 20 designs to choose from on mugs and a variety of colored t-shirts. Special Summer sale happening now - 25% off with code SUMMER.

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Music credits

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

--

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

“a boarding house that was recommended” [VALL]  


When traveling or settling into a city for a bit, Victorians had options. Hotels were commonplace, but could be expensive. So what's a reasonable alternative? A boarding house!

There were two stories in which mysterious boarders caught the attention of Sherlock Holmes, and his visits with their landladies proved fruitful for Watson's writing. What do we know about these, and other instances of boarding houses in the Sherlock Holmes stories?

It's just a trifle.

Download | 8.6 MB, 18:41 

 

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Music credits

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

--

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

“Come into the billiard-room and have a quiet cigar.” [GLOR]  


Rack 'em up! Our monthly discussion of games and sports turns to billiards.

While the game itself is mentioned once in a significant way, there are a number of times when a room dedicated to the activity pops up in the Sherlock Holmes stories. What is it about billiards that captured English attention during this time period?

It's just a trifle.

Download | 7.4 MB, 16:14 


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Music credits

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

“he sang your praises very loudly” [STOC]  


As early as A Study in Scarlet, we discover that Sherlock Holmes "was as sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty." Then once again toward the end of the Canon, in "The Red Circle," Watson reminds us that "Holmes was accessible upon the side of flattery."

We previously covered some of the insults and invective that Holmes had to endure. But what about praise? What about epithets that were acclamatory rather than derogatory. It is just a trifle.

Download | 10.9 MB, 23:54 



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Music credits

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

--

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

“a member of an aristocratic club” [BERY]  


From golf clubs to gentlemen's clubs...

Ask any Sherlockian to name a club in the Canon and they'll invariably say the Diogenes Club (that's right after Tonga's club. You don't have to be a Penang lawyer to get that one.). And there were a number of fictional clubs as well.

But one club that gets just a passing mention is Watson's club. Which one was it? Speculation abounds, so we gave it a shot. It's just a trifle.

Download | 9.1 MB, 19:51 

 

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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

--

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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Music credits

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

--

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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Music credits

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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Music credits

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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Music credits

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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Links / Notes


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Music credits

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

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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