Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Christchurch

Cover of Sherlock: The CasebookConfession time. I’ve never actually read any Sherlock Holmes stories. I even made a resolution to a few years back, and then the BBC started making the brilliant Sherlock series (and let’s not forget Elementary) and I never got any further. Why would I with Benedict Cumberbatch filling the Holmesian slot in my pop culture wishlist?

But perhaps I need to revisit this, for a couple of reasons. First, the Christmas break approaches and I should (theoretically, at least) have a bit of extra time up my sleeves with which to sink into a Victorian mystery.

Second, I’ve recently learned that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle actually visited Christchurch. He arrived on 15 December 1920 to give a series of lectures at the Theatre Royal, mainly focusing on spiritualism.

The Conan Doyle Lectures, The Press, 15 December 1920
The Conan Doyle Lectures, The Press, 15 December 1920 via Papers Past.

While in Christchurch he stayed with the Kinsey’s on Papanui Road, who had, 15 years earlier, hosted another famous author in the form of Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain and in 1934 would play host to George Bernard Shaw.

You can read more about Conan Doyle’s interest in spiritualism and his New Zealand visit in this interesting article from Lost Christchurch.

For Doyle’s own reflections on visiting New Zealand read his 1921 book The Wanderings of a Spiritualist.

If, like me, you’re a Holmes novice then there’s no better place to start than at the beginning with the novel A Study in Scarlet before progressing on to the other novels and short stories.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in our catalogue

 

Cover of The Sherlock Holmes book  Cover of The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes Cover of Sherlock Holmes: The Collection Cover of The Hound of the Baskervilles

 

Books in to movies – I say yes, you say …?

Christchurch City Library catalogue link to Sherlock Holmes
His last bow; and the case-book of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This in response to Zac’s blog post Should books really be made into movies. I know I could have commented in the comments but the more I thought about it, the more I had to say so bear with me. Now Lisa has swung into the debate with her blog Shutter Island : Good; Leo : Not so Good, now here is my two cents or is the going rate 10 cents? 

I too saw some movies over summer including Sherlock Holmes and The Lovely Bones – yes, both books. One of the things I noticed was that over half of the movies that were being advertised were based on books.

A lot of people are of the school that movies based on books aren’t as good as the real thing. In many cases this is true but look what it does to the reserve lists at the library. Because of the movie Sherlock Holmes, my husband and I have discovered the joys of Sherlock Holmes – the novels. Holmes was as Guy Ritchie portrayed him – a brilliantly analytical, drug-taking, street fighter who was more than likely manic depressive. Who would have thought! They’re a really good read.

And then there is the True Blood series. I couldn’t get Prime when it first came out so I tried the books to see if they were worth giving a go. Sadly they were – great pulp reading. I say sadly because now my reading is centring around Sookie Stackhouse, closely chased by Sherlock Holmes with the odd novel thrown in to break it up a little. So are any movies that inspired you to read? Or any movies that are better than the book?