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Victorian Pharmacy

With sincere thanks to only_po, who posted about this on the watsons_woes comm:

BBC recently released a 4-episode series called "Victorian Pharmacy", which is a recreation and exploration of a Victorian times pharmacy. One can learn more about the medicines Watson might have prescribed:

Episode 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thoAq11-t7E

Episode 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmHXKy9NjjI

Episode 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIfVLTyUMdo

Episode 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY6NweOvjFY

"It was on the 3rd of May..."

Doyle_FINA manuscript
(from the original FINA manuscript)

It was on the 3d of May that we reached the little village of Meiringen, where we put up at the Englischer Hof, then kept by Peter Steiler the elder. Our landlord was an intelligent man, and spoke excellent English, having served for three years as waiter at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. At his advice, on the afternoon of the 4th we set off together, with the intention of crossing the hills and spending the night at the hamlet of Rosenlaui. We had strict injunctions, however, on no account to pass the falls of Reichenbach, which are about half-way up the hill, without making a small detour to see them.

It is indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is a immense chasm, lined by glistening coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring forever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing forever upward, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamor. We stood near the edge peering down at the gleam of the breaking water far below us against the black rocks, and listening to the half-human shout which came booming up with the spray out of the abyss.

The path has been cut half-way round the fall to afford a complete view, but it ends abruptly, and the traveler has to return as he came. We had turned to do so, when we saw a Swiss lad come running along it with a letter in his hand. It bore the mark of the hotel which we had just left, and was addressed to me by the landlord. It appeared that within a very few minutes of our leaving, an English lady had arrived who was in the last stage of consumption. She had wintered at Davos Platz, and was journeying now to join her friends at Lucerne, when a sudden hemorrhage had overtaken her. It was thought that she could hardly live a few hours, but it would be a great consolation to her to see an English doctor, and, if I would only return, etc. The good Steiler assured me in a postscript that he would himself look upon my compliance as a very great favor, since the lady absolutely refused to see a Swiss physician, and he could not but feel that he was incurring a great responsibility.

The appeal was one which could not be ignored. It was impossible to refuse the request of a fellow-countrywoman dying in a strange land. Yet I had my scruples about leaving Holmes. It was finally agreed, however, that he should retain the young Swiss messenger with him as guide and companion while I returned to Meiringen. My friend would stay some little time at the fall, he said, and would then walk slowly over the hill to Rosenlaui, where I was to rejoin him in the evening. As I turned away I saw Holmes, with his back against a rock and his arms folded, gazing down at the rush of the waters. It was the last that I was ever destined to see of him in this world.

An interview with Dame Jean Conan Doyle

Do have a look; it actually addresses some of the questions ACD didn't really answer in the questionnaire I posted a few days ago!

As to your practice, if a gentleman walks into my rooms smelling of iodoform, with a black mark of nitrate of silver upon his right forefinger, and a bulge on the right side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted his stethoscope, I must be dull, indeed, if I do not pronounce him to be an active member of the medical profession."

I thought, therefore, that it might be of interest to some members of this community to read more about the history of stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers, here is an excellent article, with quotations from newspapers of the day, and illustrations:

I thought this would be of interest to the members of this comm.
How very him! ;) Especially the last two questions.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Wants Nothing To Do With Your Proust Questionnaire



Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at 11:20 AM

The Vault is Slate's new history blog. Like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter @slatevault; find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

When some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s papers arrived at the Harry Ransom Center

at the University of Texas at Austin, archivists found this mysterious questionnaire filed among his other works. Doyle signed the bottom of the sheet and indicated that he had taken the quiz on Oct. 29, 1899, at Undershaw, the family’s residence in Surrey, England. But we don’t know why or for whom he filled it out.

Archives assistant Arcadia Falcone, who has worked with the Doyle papers, speculates that the quiz may have been part of a parlor game. The famous list of personal questions that Marcel Proust answered, and that Vanity Fair asks celebrities to respond to in each issue, was a fashionable diversion in the late 19th century.If the parlor game hypothesis is true, it doesn’t seem like Doyle was much interested in playing along. The answers to the questions reveal a taciturn and stolid Victorian nature, with Doyle resisting speculation and elaboration at every turn.

Favorite occupation? “Work.” Favorite food and drink? “Anything when hungry—nothing when not.” Favorite color and flower? “Quite impartial.” Favorite heroes in real life? “Men who do their duty without fuss.”When asked “If not yourself, who would you be?” Doyle contributed an answer, crossed it out elaborately, then puckishly noted in a parenthetical: “Hope this is clear.”

Doyle did admit to enjoying the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, whom he had visited personally in Vermont in 1894, and the 1861 historical novel The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade.Thanks to Arcadia Falcone and Jennifer Tisdale of the Harry Ransom Center.

Doyle Quiz

Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.

source: slate.com

A recent article by Jennifer Petkus, I thought some of you might find it of interest, if you'd not seen it before. It is detailed, thorough, and interesting, and may be found here: http://myparticularfriend.com/?p=2033

159 Years Of Sherlock Holmes

Today is the 159th birthday of Sherlock Holmes.  To mark the occasion I have written an article which you can read below

Hope you enjoy it!

Violin Birthday


Edward Hardwicke

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