The first appearance of Sherlock Holmes in print has been faithfully reproduced in a facsimile copy by Portsmouth publisher Life Is Amazing.
Copies of the original magazine published for Christmas 1887 are famously rare. There are only 11 complete copies of the original magazine, and the last to come up at auction sold for $130,000 US. This unlimited edition facsimile gives collectors and fans of Sherlock Holmes the opportunity to buy a great-looking reproduction at a fraction of the price.
Written by Arthur Conan Doyle while he was a resident in Southsea, the book is a celebration of the rich literary heritage of the city of Portsmouth, whose other associated writers include Rudyard Kipling, H G Wells, Charles Dickens, and many others beside.
Having looked at various versions of the original, rare Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, that first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, 1887, I have created this restoration of the original artwork.
I was working from this out-of-copyright image:
I’ve stripped away the ageing which darkened the paper of the covers and put the whites back in. Suddenly the design makes complete sense. The white around the “BEETON’S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL” is of course a layer of snow on the letters. The white behind the main title makes the words jump out.
One of the things I really enjoy about the Victorian era is this lovely clear design ethos, that really is eyecatching.
While I was working on this, my heart quickened with excitement as I suddenly “got” the design. Great stuff from those wonderful Victorian designers!
My story is a blend of fact and fiction, based on incidents that occurred within my own family. After meeting a helpful Conan Doyle, Bertie writes a letter detailing how he’s put newly acquired skills to good use. But what will the recipient make of it? There’s only one way to find out.
About Amanda Garrie
Reality is a foggy island to this author, having grown up in a place where the elderly still whispered of witches and skeletons lay on the road for weeks after a road widening scheme. It all makes for interesting writing, though, that promises something a little unexpected.
Amanda gained an MA, with Distinction, in Creative Writing in 2015 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same discipline. Her MA novel, ‘Fluvial’, currently awaits placement, and ‘The Eldritch Girls’, being written as part of the Ph.D., is in its first draft and due for completion in 2019.
Recently placed writing has seen her widen her repertoire:
The Rheum, an Elizabethan script written as part of the Much Ado about Shakespeare, festival (2016) was published in pamphlet form for Wymering Manor, where it is set. Extracts from the text also being printed on mirrors, as part of an art installation at the manor.
A monologue, Something Fishy and a prose poem, No Reason, nor no Rhyme – in artist Jon Everitt’s fabulous book, Octomorphosis (2016);
a poem, Counting Games, in the Edward King folder – Portsmouth City Museum (2016);
two poems, Beyond and Looking Back, in the Arts Council funded Ferry Tales anthology (2017) and on their website.
A further Ferry Tales’ poem The Wight-Link Whale was performed at the launch of the anthology, at The Square Tower, in May this year. She has also appeared as a guest author on Talk Solent TV, discussing news stories of local interest (2016).
Hudson and Lestrade AKA Janet Ayers & Matthew Parsons perform under many subtly crafted disguises. As Les Kazoos D’amour they have performed over the years at Tongues & Grooves, Lymington Library, Teapoet Collective, Open Word and the Front Room, plus guesting for book launches and community events in Portsmouth.
Q: “What do you love about Victorian music hall songs?”
The songs are a window into a world that we no longer inhabit. Finding the true meaning of the slang words puts the songs in context and you find they do mock the upper classes, with all the various performers taking on different identities: women dressing as young men, posh ladies affecting a common accent, men dressing as tramps… Above all, we’ve picked the best tunes and melodies and catchy choruses for the audience to join in with.
“What’s the worst thing about them?”
Some of them go on for ever and ever and ever… and lots of stereotyping and sentimentality. Also, not all of them would have been recorded or notated so some are lost forever! Perhaps they were the better songs?!
“If you could be any Victorian, who would you be?”
Matt: Queen Victoria
Janet: Prince Albert
Community choir singing for all over the summer:
If anyone would like to sing over the summer, then please join Sing for Water Portsmouth from Tuesday 18th July for 8 weeks! More info from Janet on email@example.com or this link only £45 for 8 weeks includes song sheet and audio cd. Raise money and awareness for Water Aid. Performance on Sunday 10th September 2pm outdoors in Old Portsmouth! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1632043353687486/
The Case of the Shyster Watson – My Story For Holmesfest 2017
‘My story for Holmes Fest 2017 is set later in their careers and was inspired when reading through Arthur Conan Doyle’s original ideas for the stories. There is a name in there I hope the Sherlock fans will recognise, a name that ties the piece together. Trying to write a very short detective piece has proved interesting and hopefully I have managed to pull together enough for the audience to both recognise the characters and to tell an interesting story.’
About A J Noon
AJ Noon was and born bred in Portsmouth, and, after an extended absence, returned home three years ago. The history of the area has a firm grip on his interests and when not writing and performing in the area he can be found skulking on the decks of HMS Victory. He writes short stories and is putting the finishing touches to his first novel in conjunction with studying his MA at Portsmouth University.
Any Housekeeper Worth Her Salt – My Story For Holmesfest 2017
Any housekeeper worth her salt knows it is not the number of staff in the household you are in charge of but the quality of the gentleman you serve. My story is a downstairs view of why we should sit back and trust our betters to look after us. Even if we don’t understand there decisions, surely the fact that they have been educated in the right school means that they are always right! Doesn’t it?
Charlotte Comley is a creative writing group organiser and self employed writer of educational resources. To the outside world she devotes her time to helping with homework, and trying to earn a crust. But in those brief moments of alone time she writes and dreams of seeing her work on a book shop fiction shelf. Her fiction has been published by Ether Books, Darwin Evolutions, Flash Flood, Chuffed Books, and 1000 words. Nonfiction work has appeared in magazines such as The Green Parent, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, The Motion Online and Grow It.
Charlotte Comley was one of the writers and script editors of Express FM’s Conway Street, a radio soap airing three times a week for eighteen months. She has also managed to win the odd writing award and came highly commended at The Winchester’s Writing Conference competition for children’s fiction. She regularly blogs at http://www.charlottecomley.com/ . In 2012 she read at The Umbrella Festival at The Groundlings Theatre, came third place at Alton’s Book Festival The Pint Pot of Fire, at Wordsouth Havant and in the Portsmouth Book Fest 20 x 12. She was short listed for the You, Me and Everyone project in Portsmouth. She has won various poetry prizes at poetry Cafes.
10 brilliantly talented storytellers will be joined by musicians, a projectionist and a duellist on Wednesday 28th June at the Square Tower to celebrate Arthur Conan Doyle’s life in Portsmouth.
The writers who will be regaling us with their stories include internationally published authors of Victorian crime fiction, local authors with a knack for spinning the perfect yarn and song writers, too.
The story tellers are:
William George Sutton – creator of the Campbell Lawless series of crime novels
Diana Bretherick – doctor of criminology and author of City of Devils and The Devil’s Daughters
Tony Noon – experienced storyteller well-known for his appearances at the Square Tower’s Day of the Dead event
Justin MacCormack – prolific author across genres, with a wicked sense of humour and a sense of the creepy
Christine Lawrence – author of Caught In The Web, with a unique brand of story-telling
Alan Morris – joyous performer who loves to dress up in Victorian gear and regale us with something unexpected
Zella Compton – playwright, short story writer, News columnist and children’s novelist
Charlotte Comley – organiser of Lovedean Writers’ Group and one of the funniest, wryest and most brilliant tale tellers in the south.
Amanda Garrie – smooth deliverer of intriguing tales.
Find out more about the musicians and the duellists, soon.