Happy birthday, Sherlock Holmes!

6 January is generally assumed to be Sherlock Holmes' birthday, so let's wish the immortal sleuth a happy birthday! Not that he would have cared much for such a thing, I believe, but sometimes birthdays are more of an opportunity for other people to celebrate the life (even if it's fictional) of someone they love. 

Considering his was the first fandom, with people mourning him in public, wearing black armbands and accosting Arthur Conan Doyle on the streets when he killed off Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls in The Final Problem, I'd say he's pretty well loved. (I can only imagine the mobs of London shaking their fists and screaming "Doooooooyle!" in much the same way that our current generation of Sherlock fans screams "Moffaaaaaat!")

But he doesn't die, does he? He comes back. He always comes back. #Sherlocklives. And that is why we're here today (well, I am, I don't know about the rest of you), to celebrate his life. 

Let me close with a lovely poem by Vincent Starrett, journalist, writer and Sherlockian (learn more about him at this great blog).


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.

-- Vincent Starrett (1886-1974)
1895 began about 7 months after Holmes' return from the dead. BBC Sherlock has returned and is now celebrating his best friend's wedding nine months later. For Sherlock and John, right now, it is their 1895.

I love those closing lines. Starrett wrote this poem in 1942, during World War 2. But it is just as true today: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are still alive, 126 years after A Study in Scarlet was first published. They have lived on in countless incarnations, on radio, in movies and on TV, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books and in the thousands of stories written by Holmes aficionados (the Sherlock Holmes fandom: Producing fanfic since 1893.)
Their faces may change, but somewhere, those two will always sit in their chairs by the fire, smoking their pipes (or applying nicotine patches or experimenting with eyeballs to deal with quitting smoking), reading the papers, and Sherlock Holmes will explain his deductions to his adoring John Watson.

Happy birthday, Mr Holmes.

Captain Spacenails Sherlocked


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