As the winter solstice comes ever closer and the days draw shorter and darker, the world of Sherlock Holmes beckons to us more strongly. There is something comforting in knowing that Sherlock Holmes is solving the crimes of late-Victorian England. We feel safer because the people of the Canon are as well. With our curtains drawn, nestled into an easy chair, we open the Canon at random, and immediately find solace in the Baker Street sitting-room. We watch the parade of visitors beseeching Holmes for aid: royalty, shopkeepers, scholars, doctors. . . . And we wish that we, too, could have ascended those seventeen steps and been ushered into that crowded room so redolent of its tenant.
As much fun as it is to see Holmes and Watson on the screen or the stage, it is never as all-consuming as meeting them on the page. Open a book and suddenly we can feel the heat of the Baker Street coal fire or feel the warmth of Watson's restorative brandy being coaxed down our throat as we imagine ourselves the reviving client. And when we need fresh air, we can sit still while our imagination chases the hound, finds the Agra treasure, or breathes the coal dust of Vermissa.
Being a Sherlockian means always being attuned to Baker Street, to hearing every echo of the Canon. You know that redheads come in leagues and messages are left on sundials. Your life is richer and your winter is warmer because of it. So settle in, open a book, and be content.
The Editor's Gas-Lamp, Winter 2014, Vol. 64, No. 4.