Followers of The Redacted Sherlock Holmes series have often asked how many of the historical events retold in the collections published to date actually happened as described. So, taking examples from each volume backwards from VI to I:
- Was there a French female composer called Augusta Holmès who was Sherlock Holmes’s sister?
- Did Winston Churchill seek Holmes’s help at the height of the Battle of Britain and of the Blitz, and was the bombing of neutral Ireland by the Germans in 1941 one of the results of this consultation?
- Was the 1930s German tennis star, Gottfried von Cramm, Sherlock Holmes’s grandson, and was von Cramm’s redoubtable mother the result of a liaison between Holmes and Irene Adler?
- Was the winter of 1894/5 one of such monstrous ferocity that Holmes was asked to investigate whether 19th century industrialisation was causing changes in the climate?
- Did the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, plot to usurp Queen Victoria as monarch, and did Sherlock Holmes make a discovery that thwarted this?
- Was Holmes engaged by the British government in 1945 to assess whether Hitler’s deputy, Rudolph Hess, was fit to stand trial at Nuremburg?
Followers of the series who look up for themselves more details about the events referred to in the thirty-seven works (thirty-six short and one long) published to date, will find that the series presents the matters covered in a way that is consistent with the known facts. The redaction of the involvement of Sherlock Holmes was generally made on grounds of national security or because the matters Holmes uncovered were too shocking for them to be made public knowledge. It is to be rejoiced that the publication of these accounts of historic events withheld by Dr Watson allow the record to be set straight, and that the role of Sherlock Holmes at some of the key turning points in world history can finally be revealed.
Sherlock Holmes’s dealings with famous people was the inspiration for the front covers of the books. It is not spoiling the plot of the works in this collection when I disclose that the people featured on the front of this book are two kings, two poets, an artist, a model, a menagerist, a Classical scholar, a diplomat, a man found guilty of high treason, a drinks manufacturer, and an accountant. Some may note that this list gives more people than the seven figures shown opposite Sherlock Holmes. The aim of this introduction is not to solve mysteries when it precedes writings about the greatest mystery-solver of all, but a reading of The Poet and his Muse and of The Cherry-Tree and the Comma will resolve the apparent anomaly.
In this volume I have decided for the first time to put a brief explanation after each work of how much of what Dr Watson retells is the history of the event as we know it, and how much is new or may have been romanticised (Holmes’s words about Watson’s writings) or elaborated by Watson.
I hope readers of these works find the explanation enhances their enjoyment, and I am available under the email address name OrlandoDLPearson@gmail.com to answer any questions.