Editor’s Foreword: Rediscovered Treasures
As I’ve noted elsewhere, I discovered Sherlock Holmes in 1975, when I was ten years old. Of course, I was aware of this universally known figure before that, but I can be specific as to when I actually discovered Holmes – reading my first Holmes adventure, and owning my first Holmes book.
Not long after, I discovered those post-Canonical adventures known as pastiches – before I’d even found and read all of The Canon. Nicholas Meyer created the new Golden Age of Holmes with his 1974 novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and I was right there, enjoying every bit of it as it grew. The fire that Nick lit had more gasoline poured upon it the following year with his film version of his book, and that fire has only grown bigger in the nearly fifty years since.
After reading through the pitifully few sixty stories of the original Canon a few times, I realized that it simply wasn’t enough. Those very few recollections of limited pieces of Holmes and Watson’s lives only provided the barest hint of The Great Holmes Tapestry. I knew that there must be more.
Over the years, I could only find a few new Holmes adventures each year, usually by accident. There was no internet then, so I could only discover new Holmes adventures when I ran across one in a bookstore, or perhaps on a library shelf. But as I grew older, I was able to winkle out more and more – one seemed to lead to another, and eventually I’ve managed to collect almost every traditional Canonical pastiche that’s been written. (My wife is an amazing and tolerant person, and I give thanks for her every day.)
I’ve collected, read, and chronologicized literally thousands of Canonical Holmes pastiches since the mid-1970’s in the form of books, short stories, radio and television episodes, movies and scripts, comics, fan fiction, and unpublished manuscripts, but I’ll never have all of them, because some are so rare that it just isn’t worth the cost to obtain them, and others are hidden away, known only to a few people – or maybe even just one.
I’ve now personally written and published nearly one-hundred Holmes pastiche of my own, but when I wrote my first ones, back in 2008 while laid off from an engineering job, I never intended that they would be seen by anyone else. It was simply an exercise to see if I could do it, and because I wanted to contribute in a small way to that bigger part of the Holmes world that I admired so much – pastiches. But gradually I had the itch to show them to someone, and then another person, and the feedback was positive, leading to the idea that maybe they should be published after all. It was a slippery sublime slope, and one of the best life-changing decisions that I ever made.
There are other people out there like I was – they started writing Holmes pastiches just to be a part of The Great Holmes Tapestry – even if nobody knew it but themselves. (Those are the pastiches that I don’t know about and can’t collect and read.) Some of these authors never intended to share their efforts, and they still haven’t. Others eventually went ahead and cracked open the door and saw their stories published. It’s an addiction, as they know, and writing one leads to writing more.
Terry Golledge wrote a number of Holmes adventures in the 1980’s and 1990’s before his death, and sadly they remained unknown for too long – until now, when they’re finally being shared with the world.
In early 2022, I received an email from Niel Golledge, Terry’s son, with a sample story, “The Addleton Tragedy”. Terry had written it, along with nine others, before his death, but they were never published. Niel had recently approached another editor about them, but that chap felt that it would be too much work to convert and prepare the original typewritten manuscripts for modern publication. That was his massive mistake, for it was absolutely worth the extra editorial work, as Terry Golledge’s stories are both wonderful and Watsonian.
Niel graciously agreed to let me edit the entire set, and then to initially include six of them in the Spring 2022 volumes of The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – 2022 Annual (Parts XXXI, XXXII, and XXXIII). The royalties from this series go to support the Undershaw school for special needs students at Undershaw, located in Hindhead, England, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes. The MX anthologies were created in 2015 to present traditional Canonical Holmes adventures set in the correct period, and with Holmes and Watson portrayed as the heroes they were, rather than how they were being shown more and more in various contemporary books and television programs.
Initially, the MX anthologies were supposed to be a one-time project, but they were so popular that they kept going, and we’re now at 33 volumes – with more in preparation! They contain over 750 traditional Canonical pastiches from over 200 contributors worldwide. By June 2022, the books have raised over $100,000 for the school – that’s One-Hundred-Thousand Dollars!!! – and I’m told by the school that of even more importance is how the books have made the world aware of the school.
Niel Golledge generously agreed to allow the royalties from the six stories included in the Spring 2022 MX Anthologies to be donated to Undershaw, and he’s also doing the same with the royalties from this volume, containing all of his father’s Holmes pastiches.
Terry Golledge (according to his son Niel) had a life-long love of all things Conan Doyle, and in particular Sherlock Holmes. This was obviously inspired by the fact that his mother worked as a governess for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for several years in the early Twentieth Century when he lived in Windlesham, Crowborough in Sussex. She married Terry’s father after leaving Sir Arthur’s employment around 1918.
Terry was born in 1920 in the East End of London, and left school at fourteen, like so many back then. In 1939, he joined the army in the fight against the Germans in World War II. He left the Army in 1945 at the war’s end, residing in Hastings. There he met his wife, and his life was a mish-mash of careers, including mining and bus and lorry driving. He owned a couple of book shops, selling them in the 1960’s. He then worked for the Post office, (later to become British Telecom, equivalent to AT&T), ending his working life there as a training instructor before his retirement.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Terry Golledge wrote these Holmes stories as a retirement project and he passed away in 1996.
As mentioned above, I am always on the lookout for more Holmes pastiches. Being the editor of the MX Anthologies, as well as quite a few other Holmes anthologies, has allowed me to meet – in person and by email – hundreds of amazing Sherlockians and writers. It has also put me in the position where my love and support of Sherlockian pastiche is well known, and therefore I receive over two-hundred new pastiches every year. Occasionally I also receive additional unexpected treasures, such as the stories in this collection.
Terry Golledge’s stories perfectly capture Watson’s voice and Holmes’s personality and methods. I am thrilled that Niel Golledge reached out to me, and then trusted me to edit them, and that he is generous enough to allow the book’s royalties to be donated to Undershaw.
I know that there are other caches of unknown Holmes pastiches out there – perhaps by authors who passed away before sharing them, or written by living authors who just create for themselves – and I hope that by seeing these, other treasures will be nudged into the light.
In the meantime, we have these ten amazing stories, thanks to Terry Golledge who wrote them, and Niel Golledge who curated them and then sent them into an appreciative world. I know that you’ll enjoy them as much as I have, with both joy and a tinge of sadness because there won’t be any more from such a talented Sherlockian author.
July 20th, 2022