While researching my book, The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz
Book, I amassed a collection of Holmes reference books that now occupy much
of my bookshelf. Occasionally, I pull one down, dust it off, reread it, and am
reminded of the enjoyment I experienced while gathering hundreds of Holmes
trivia facts. One of my favorites is A
Sherlock Holmes Companion, a collection of essays and articles written
about Holmes and edited by Peter Haining. P. G. Wodehouse, Franklin Roosevelt,
Basil Rathbone, Winifred Paget, John Bennett Shaw, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
contributed to the compendium.
Here are some great Holmes trivia
gleaned from Haining’s book. If you haven’t added it to your collection,
you don’t know what you’re missing.
1. In 1955, Sherlockian Nathan L. Bengis claims to have
discovered Sherlock Holmes’ will in which the detective leaves Dr. Watson five
thousand pounds and any books he wanted, his dictionary went to Lestrade, a
collection of poetry to Tobias Gregson, a copy of each of his monographs to
Scotland Yard, and the remainder of his estate to Mycroft.
2. Conan Doyle published an article in the Strand magazine in March 1927, asking his readers to list their
twelve best Holmes stories. Conan Doyle drew up his own list, placed it in a
sealed envelope, and gave it to the editor to be revealed and compared later. F
eeling that his detective had outlived his time, Conan Doyle, in the article, announced his plan to bid farewell to Holmes and all future stories.
3. From 1942 until his death three years later, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a member of the Baker Street Irregulars. When he published his
essay, Sherlock Holmes Was An American,
in The Baker Street Journal, he was critically
attacked for his theory.
The photo of the book cover was taken from amazon's web page.
A Sherlock Holmes Companion was published in 1980 by Barnes & Noble Books.