You know the name. Sherlock Holmes is a pop culture icon, someone who everyone knows even if they haven’t read his books, seen his movies, or watched his numerous tv shows. He’s a focal point of British history and literature, having influenced dozens of fictional and even real detectives throughout his literary life. On this day (Oct. 14th), one of the seminal Holmes collections was published, entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of twelve short stories.
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First featured in The Strand magazine, the stories were very popular and boosted the subscriptions to the magazine, allowing Sherlock Holme’s author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to demand increased payment with each story published. Sidney Paget illustrated all twelve of the stories that came to be featured in the Adventures collection, in time coming to best known for his artwork accompanying the series. The collection includes numerous famous Sherlock Holmes tales, such as A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure with the Speckled Band, and A Scandal in Bohemia. The last one was especially notable for featuring the character of Irene Adler, who although only made on appearance in the Holmes canon nevertheless became a feature of numerous adaptations, such as the BBC show Sherlockstarring Benedict Cumberbatch.
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The stories were well received upon their serialization, with critics describing them holding a ‘unique power’ and some even saying Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the best short story writer since Edgar Allen Poe. The stories themselves had been adapted frequently in other media, with many of the stories being featured in the Granda Television adaptation of the Holmes canon, which ran from 1984 to 1995. They were also adapted on the BBC Radio 4 program, which ran from 1990 to 1991. Elements, such as the previously noted Irene Adler, have of course being taken out and used as an overall influenced over numerous Holmes adaptations as well without specifically adapting a single story.
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Happy birthday to this seminal collection of Sherlock Holmes tales! Crack open your volume if you own one and give these stories another read together. What’s your favorite short story featured here? Tell us in the comments!
As Britain experiences another confusing chapter in the Brexit farce, David Cameron’s For the Record struggles to attract readers’ attention. Clocking in at an absolutely massive 752 pages, Cameron’s memoir promises a candid look at his time in parliament. It arrives in bookstores at a particularly inopportune moment in British politics, with Brexit dominating the news cycle for the past month or so. Preorder sales have been…less than stellar for For the Record.
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Cameron’s memoir languished low on the charts all of last week. In some sense, who can blame readers for not jumping at the opportunity shell out for such a hefty tome? The book was slated for publication last year, but Cameron’s publishers insisted on cutting nearly 100,000 words. But nearly 752 pages (even after the cut!) is quite the commitment for any reader. Still, for politics junkies, perhaps a book based on nearly 53 hours of recorded meetings Cameron held with Daniel Finkelstein (a conservative Times columnist) is well worth it.
HarperCollins, Cameron’s publisher, purchased to For the Recordthe rights for nearly £800,00, so the book’s lackluster preorder figures are causing quite a bit of stress for them. Now they’re relying on the former prime minister’s name to drive attention to the memoir. Though, given how events since 2016 have unfolded in the UK, perhaps the fact that Cameron’s name was on the book doomed it from the start. Comparisons made to Tony Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, about his time as prime minister don’t bode well for Cameron either. Blair’s book broke sales record when it first hit shelves, but the initial preorder figures for For the Record have been abysmal, ranking as low as 335th last Thursday on Amazon charts.
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The memoir features Cameron’s opinions on Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and the now-infamous 2016 European referendum that ultimately ended his tenure as Prime Minister. He suggests Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit and merely supported it to further his political career without thinking it would ever succeed. Cameron’s inside perspective is interesting in light of the fact that Johnson currently finds himself at Downing Street in large part because of he championed the leave movement.
For The Record releases this Thursday, September 19. So help out ya boy Dave and pick up a copy. Please, he’s begging you, like actually.