The Daily Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Quotes from the Case-Book of the World's Greatest Detective

The Daily Sherlock Holmes: A Year of Quotes from the Case-Book of the World's Greatest Detective

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Overview

“Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford, introducing us.
“How are you?” he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”
“How on earth did you know that?” I asked in astonishment.
“Never mind,” said he, chuckling to himself.

At that first sight of Watson, Sherlock Holmes made brilliant deductions. But even he couldn’t know that their meeting was inaugurating a friendship that would make himself and the good Doctor cultural icons, as popular as ever more than a century after their 1887 debut. Through four novels and fifty-six stories, Arthur Conan Doyle led the pair through dramatic adventures that continue to thrill readers today, offering an unmatched combination of skillful plotting, period detail, humor, and distinctive characters. For a Holmes fan, there are few pleasures comparable to returning to his richly imagined world—the gaslit streets of Victorian London, the companionable clutter of 221B Baker Street, the reliable fuddlement (and nerves of steel) of Watson, the perverse genius of Holmes himself.

It’s all there in The Daily Sherlock Holmes, the perfect bedside companion for fans of the world’s only consulting detective. Within these pages readers will find a quotation for every day of the year, drawn from across the Conan Doyle canon. Beloved characters and familiar lines recall favorite stories and scenes, while other passages remind us that Conan Doyle had a way with description and a ready wit. Moriarty and Mycroft, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson; the Hound, the Red-Headed League, the Speckled Band, and the dread Reichenbach Falls—it’s all here, anchored, of course, in that unforgettable duo of Holmes and Watson. No book published this year will bring a Holmes fan more pleasure. Come, readers. The game is afoot.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226659640
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Series: A Year of Quotes Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 562,170
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author


Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) was a doctor and writer. In addition to creating Holmes and Watson, he wrote numerous fantasy, science fiction, and adventure stories. Levi Stahl is the marketing director of the University of Chicago Press and the editor of The Getaway Car: A Donald E. Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany. Stacey Shintani is a designer and project manager.
 

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England

Education:

Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

January

"I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life. You have shown your relish for it by the enthusiasm which has prompted you to chronicle, and, if you will excuse my saying so, somewhat to embellish so many of my own little adventures."

"The Red-Headed League" (1891)

January 1

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

"Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," said Stamford, introducing us.

"How are you?" he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. "You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive."

"How on earth did you know that?" I asked in astonishment.

"Never mind," said he, chuckling to himself.

January 2

"The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" (1904)

It was on a bitterly cold night and frosty morning, towards the end of the winter of '97, that I was awakened by a tugging at my shoulder. It was Holmes. The candle in his hand shone upon his eager, stooping face, and told me at a glance that something was amiss.

"Come, Watson, come!" he cried. "The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!"

January 3

The Sign of Four (1890)

"My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world."

"The only unofficial detective?" I said, raising my eyebrows.

"The only unofficial consulting detective," he answered. "I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection."

January 4

"The Five Orange Pips" (1891)

"On the fourth day after the New Year I heard my father give a sharp cry of surprise as we sat together at the breakfast table. There he was, sitting with a newly opened envelope in one hand and five dried orange pips in the outstretched palm of the other one." (— John Openshaw)

January 5

"The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez" (1904)

When I look at the three massive manuscript volumes which contain our work for the year 1894, I confess that it is very difficult for me, out of such a wealth of material, to select the cases which are most interesting in themselves, and at the same time most conducive to a display of those peculiar powers for which my friend was famous. As I turn over the pages, I see my notes upon the repulsive story of the red leech and the terrible death of Crosby, the banker. Here also I find an account of the Addleton tragedy, and the singular contents of the ancient British barrow. The famous Smith-Mortimer succession case comes also within this period, and so does the tracking and arrest of Huret, the Boulevard assassin — an exploit which won for Holmes an autograph letter of thanks from the French President and the Order of the Legion of Honour.

January 6

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of extraordinary delicacy of touch, as I frequently had occasion to observe when I watched him manipulating his fragile philosophical instruments.

January 7

"The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" (1892)

"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

January 8

"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" (1892)

I seated myself in his armchair and warmed my hands before his crackling fire, for a sharp frost had set in, and the windows were thick with the ice crystals. "I suppose," I remarked, "that, homely as it looks, this [hat] has some deadly story linked on to it — that it is the clue which will guide you in the solution of some mystery, and the punishment of some crime."

"No, no. No crime," said Sherlock Holmes, laughing. "Only one of those whimsical little incidents which will happen when you have four million human beings all jostling each other within the space of a few square miles. Amid the action and reaction of so dense a swarm of humanity, every possible combination of events may be expected to take place, and many a little problem will be presented which may be striking and bizarre without being criminal."

January 9

"The Adventure of the Dancing Men" (1903)

"Perhaps you can account also for the bullet which has so obviously struck the edge of the window?"

He had turned suddenly, and his long, thin finger was pointing to a hole which had been drilled right through the lower window-sash, about an inch above the bottom.

"By George!" cried the inspector. "How ever did you see that?"

"Because I looked for it."

January 10

"The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax" (1911)

"By the way, Holmes," I added, "I have no doubt the connection between my boots and a Turkish bath is a perfectly self-evident one to a logical mind, and yet I should be obliged to you if you would indicate it."

"The train of reasoning is not very obscure, Watson," said Holmes with a mischievous twinkle. "It belongs to the same elementary class of deduction which I should illustrate if I were to ask you who shared your cab in your drive this morning."

January 11

"The Greek Interpreter" (1893)

"An old soldier, I perceive," said Sherlock.

"And very recently discharged," remarked the brother.

"Served in India, I see."

"And a non-commissioned officer."

"Royal Artillery, I fancy," said Sherlock.

"And a widower."

"But with a child."

"Children, my dear boy, children."

"Come," said I, laughing, "this is a little too much."

January 12

"The Five Orange Pips" (1891)

"If I remember rightly, you on one occasion, in the early days of our friendship, defined my limits in a very precise fashion."

"Yes," I answered, laughing. "It was a singular document. Philosophy, astronomy, and politics were marked at zero, I remember. Botany variable, geology profound as regards the mud stains from any region within fifty miles of town, chemistry eccentric, anatomy unsystematic, sensational literature and crime records unique, violin player, boxer, swordsman, lawyer, and self-poisoner by cocaine and tobacco. Those, I think, were the main points of my analysis."

January 13

"The Naval Treaty" (1893)

"Do you see any clue?"

"You have furnished me with seven, but of course I must test them before I can pronounce upon their value."

"You suspect someone?"

"I suspect myself."

"What!"

"Of coming to conclusions too rapidly."

January 14

"The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" (1910)

In recording from time to time some of the curious experiences and interesting recollections which I associate with my long and intimate friendship with Mr. Sherlock Holmes, I have continually been faced by difficulties caused by his own aversion to publicity. To his sombre and cynical spirit all popular applause was always abhorrent, and nothing amused him more at the end of a successful case than to hand over the actual exposure to some orthodox official, and to listen with a mocking smile to the general chorus of misplaced congratulation.

January 15

"The Man with the Twisted Lip" (1891)

"Written in pencil upon the fly-leaf of a book, octavo size, no water-mark. Hum! Posted to-day at Graves-end by a man with a dirty thumb. Ha! And the flap has been gummed, if I am not very much in error, by a person who had been chewing tobacco."

January 16

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

"They say that genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains," he remarked with a smile. "It's a very bad definition, but it does apply to detective work."

January 17

"The Red-Headed League" (1891)

I took a good look at the man and endeavoured, after the fashion of my companion, to read the indications which might be presented by his dress or appearance.

I did not gain very much, however, by my inspection. Our visitor bore every mark of being an average commonplace British tradesman, obese, pompous, and slow. He wore rather baggy grey shepherd's check trousers, a not over-clean black frock-coat, unbuttoned in the front, and a drab waistcoat with a heavy brassy Albert chain, and a square pierced bit of metal dangling down as an ornament. A frayed top-hat and a faded brown overcoat with a wrinkled velvet collar lay upon a chair beside him. Altogether, look as I would, there was nothing remarkable about the man save his blazing red head, and the expression of extreme chagrin and discontent upon his features.

Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning glances. "Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else."

January 18

"Silver Blaze" (1892)

"Nothing clears up a case so much as stating it to another person."

January 19

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)

"Well, Watson, what do you make of it?"

Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no sign of my occupation.

"How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head."

"I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me."

January 20

The Sign of Four (1890)

"There is nothing more unaesthetic than a policeman."

January 21

"The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" (1904)

"I must admit, Watson, that you have some power of selection, which atones for much which I deplore in your narratives. Your fatal habit of looking at everything from the point of view of a story instead of as a scientific exercise has ruined what might have been an instructive and even classical series of demonstrations. You slur over work of the utmost finesse and delicacy, in order to dwell upon sensational details which may excite, but cannot possibly instruct, the reader."

"Why do you not write them yourself?" I said, with some bitterness.

"I will, my dear Watson, I will. At present I am, as you know, fairly busy, but I propose to devote my declining years to the composition of a text-book, which shall focus the whole art of detection into one volume."

January 22

"The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" (1904)

"I think there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge."

January 23

"The Resident Patient" (1893)

"Good-evening, Doctor [Trevelyan]," said Holmes cheerily. "I am glad to see that you have only been waiting a very few minutes."

"You spoke to my coachman, then?"

"No, it was the candle on the side-table that told me."

January 24

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

"Ha!" cried Gregson, in a relieved voice; "you should never neglect a chance, however small it may seem."

"To a great mind, nothing is little," remarked Holmes, sententiously.

January 25

"The Boscombe Valley Mystery" (1891)

"I found the ash of a cigar, which my special knowledge of tobacco ashes enabled me to pronounce as an Indian cigar. I have, as you know, devoted some attention to this, and written a little monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco."

January 26

"A Case of Identity" (1891)

"I think of writing another little monograph some of these days on the typewriter and its relation to crime. It is a subject to which I have devoted some little attention."

January 27

"The Adventure of the Dancing Men" (1903)

"I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writings, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyze one hundred and sixty separate ciphers."

January 28

"The Adventure of the Creeping Man" (1923)

"I have serious thoughts of writing a small monograph upon the uses of dogs in the work of the detective."

January 29

"The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" (1908)

One of the most remarkable characteristics of Sherlock Holmes was his power of throwing his brain out of action and switching all thoughts on to lighter things whenever he had convinced himself that he could no longer work to advantage. I remember that during the whole of that memorable day he lost himself in a monograph which he had undertaken upon the Polyphonic Motets of Lassus.

January 30

"The Adventure of the Dying Detective" (1913)

"But your appearance, Holmes — your ghastly face?"

"Three days of absolute fast does not improve one's beauty, Watson. For the rest, there is nothing which a sponge may not cure. With vaseline upon one's forehead, belladonna in one's eyes, rouge over the cheek-bones, and crusts of beeswax round one's lips, a very satisfying effect can be produced. Malingering is a subject upon which I have sometimes thought of writing a monograph. A little occasional talk about half-crowns, oysters, or any other extraneous subject produces a pleasing effect of delirium."

January 31

"The Red-Headed League" (1891)

"You reasoned it out beautifully," I exclaimed, in unfeigned admiration. "It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true."

"It saved me from ennui," he answered, yawning. "Alas! I already feel it closing in upon me. My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so."

CHAPTER 2

February

When we returned to Mrs. Warren's rooms, the gloom of a London winter evening had thickened into one grey curtain, a dead monotone of colour, broken only by the sharp yellow squares of the windows and the blurred haloes of the gas-lamps. As we peered from the darkened sitting-room of the lodging-house, one more dim light glimmered high up through the obscurity.

"Someone is moving in that room," said Holmes in a whisper, his gaunt and eager face thrust forward to the window-pane. "Yes, I can see his shadow. There he is again!"

"The Adventure of the Red Circle" (1911)

February 1

"A Case of Identity" (1891)

Looking over his shoulder, I saw that on the pavement opposite there stood a large woman with a heavy fur boa round her neck, and a large curling red feather in a broad-brimmed hat which was tilted in a coquettish Duchess-of-Devonshire fashion over her ear. From under this great panoply she peeped up in a nervous, hesitating fashion at our windows, while her body oscillated backwards and forwards, and her fingers fidgeted with her glove buttons. Suddenly, with a plunge, as of the swimmer who leaves the bank, she hurried across the road, and we heard the sharp clang of the bell.

"I have seen those symptoms before," said Holmes, throwing his cigarette into the fire. "Oscillation upon the pavement always means an affaire de coeur. She would like advice, but is not sure that the matter is not too delicate for communication. And yet even here we may discriminate. When a woman has been seriously wronged by a man she no longer oscillates, and the usual symptom is a broken bell wire. Here we may take it that there is a love matter, but that the maiden is not so much angry as perplexed, or grieved. But here she comes in person to relieve our doubts."

February 2

"The Adventure of the Three Students" (1904)

Soames hesitated.

"It is a very delicate question," said he. "One hardly likes to throw suspicion where there are no proofs."

"Let us hear the suspicions. I will look after the proofs."

February 3

"The Five Orange Pips" (1891)

Sherlock Holmes closed his eyes and placed his elbows upon the arms of his chair, with his finger-tips together. "The ideal reasoner," he remarked, "would, when he has once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it but also all the results which would follow from it."

February 4

A Study in Scarlet (1887)

"By Jove!" I cried; "if he really wants someone to share the rooms and the expense, I am the very man for him. I should prefer having a partner to being alone."

Young Stamford looked rather strangely at me over his wineglass. "You don't know Sherlock Holmes yet," he said; "perhaps you would not care for him as a constant companion."

(Continues…)


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Table of Contents

Foreword,
Preface,
January,
February,
March,
April,
May,
June,
July,
August,
September,
October,
November,
December,
Index of Sources,

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