We can’t wait for the new Sherlock Holmes movie to be released!
The film looks to promise the same action, adventure, and intrigue found in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved tales, which total four novels and fifty-six short stories! The books are particularly special to us at Carlton Hobbs, and here are a couple of reasons why:
One of the most notable portrayals of the fictional detective was on an English radio production that began in 1952. The actor, and one of radio programming’s first great stars, was none other than….Carleton Hobbs. Hobbs (1898-1978), known to his friends as “Hobbo,” played Sherlock Holmes on the radio for 17 years, where he “[exemplifyed] that ‘less is more’: he could communicate a thinking, feeling presence with very few words, and was famed for his use of silence.”1 Our own Carlton was named after this very actor, as his mother, Kitty, was a fan of the program, completely mesmerized by the star’s voice.
Another thing that makes these stories particularly interesting are the regular allusions to elements of spiritualism, a belief system based on the science, philosophy and religion of continuous life stemming from communication with spirits.2 After the deaths of several family members, including his wife and son, Sir Conan Doyle fell into a depression which he overcame by investigating the phenomena; he then converted and is considered one of the founders of Modern Spiritualism. Among the tenets of the religion is the belief in the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), cause and effect, and the laws of attraction. All things attract to themselves according to their quality of emotion, negativity, and love3 and thoughts or actions attract like events and cause things into being. Sherlock Holmes displays a number of spiritualist principles in his thinking. For example, in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” when a villain is bitten by a poisonous snake, Holmes explains: “Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.”4 Not such a bad principle to live by, if we do say so ourselves.
We’ll be sure to let you know our thoughts on the film, as well as list a few of our favorite Sherlock Holmes stories, and hope you share your opinions with us too!
1. “Who Was Carleton Hobbs?”, bbc.co.uk
2. Vogt, Drew. Life Affirming Principles: An Introduction to Modern Spiritualism. www.ourcreation.org, 2008.
4. Doyle, Arthur Conan. Sherlock Holmes, the Complete Novels and Stories. New York: Bantam, 1986. 421.