Monday, March 9, 2009

Sherlock Holmes and The Two Detectives...

I sometimes think that we are a little odd (me and Alex) with our constant wandering in search of adventure. I say that because we never seem to meet a stranger and think that everyone has a story to tell as long as you are willing to take the time to listen. I personally subscribe to the theory that life is lived between two doors. You open the first door and start walking... and then you reach the other door and life ends. I really believe that is true, and I have resolved that as long as I am walking between those two doors it makes sense look around a bit, and if possible take a picture.

That said, I am overjoyed to be able to invite you to view one of my favorite passions. I love mysteries, but not just any kind of mystery. The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes kind of mystery. I am a sucker for Holmes and never tire of reading the Sherlock Holmes Anthology or watching a Holmes movie. And, if you add the mindset of Holmes himself it is more than exciting. He is a walking brain that is only happy when he is struggling to put it to use.

You can therefore imagine my excitement roaming around Springfield when we discovered the Karpeles Manuscript Museum and learned their current exhibit was “The Detective (Sherlock Holmes), The Detective Scholar (Dorothy Sayers) and The Spy (James Bond). Right here in Jacksonville were copies of their original manuscripts. We simply had to go...!

To add to the adventure we were going to do a little handwriting analysis of the writers. We did some research on the subject because pressure and slant tell you a lot about a person. We were now ready to take off and dig into the psyche of..."The Detective!"

Deep stuff huh...?!

The museum... no long lines or crowds even though admission is free. Back to our being odd, because we welcomed the solitary aspect and viewed this as opportunity for us to roam around and ask questions. Crowds mean competition and it was apparent we would have none.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

Conan Doyle as a medical student was the assistant to Doctor Joseph Bell and it is widely believed that Bell was the person who inspired the character Sherlock Holmes. In a strange twist you could almost say Conan Doyle was actually Watson observing Bell.

Let's first view the handwriting of Dr. Bell. There appears to be deep pressure but not as much slant except for his "t's"

Conan Doyle's script on the other hand does not seem that different from Dr. Bell's except that there is not as much pressure.

Funny, but what actually got me started down this handwriting analysis rabbit hole is that Conan Doyle frequently received suggestions from readers about things he could use in the Holmes series, and one reader suggested having Holmes analyze someone's handwriting to solve a case. Conan Doyle corresponded frequently with the reader to understand the concept of handwriting analysis but abruptly stopped when the reader one day made the mistake of analyzing Conan Doyle's.

Dorothy Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey)

Dorothy Sayers strokes appear to exert moderate pressure and also have a slightly more right slant.

Ian Fleming (James Bond)

Ian Fleming's notes from "You only live Twice" seem to have pressure but not nearly as much as Dr. Bell's, and yet a lot more flair than Sayers.

I'll leave it to you to dig deeper into how each of them is different but we asked tons of questions. The caretaker could see he had some willing snoopers and gave us the grand tour of other exhibits not currently on display. The next three photos are part of our tour.

And then a friend of the caretaker came by to help him close. He had a guitar, and right in the middle of the building was a stage with a piano. Alex could not resist and offered to play a few songs with him while I sat in the balcony.

Would you like to hear them play? Of course you would...

We closed the afternoon convinced that we learned a lot and also accepted that yes we truly are odd, but in a pleasant sort of way...


  1. "I have resolved that as long as I am walking between those doors it makes sense look around a bit, and if possible take a picture."
    I love this sentence and I couldn't agree more !
    Listening to the man with a guitar was fun and your photos of the Egyptian statuettes reminded me of the visit I made to Egypt last year. One day I should post my photos on Flickr for you to see. As for your taste for graphology, I'm glad I can only TYPE my comments on your blog for you'd be horrified seeing my handwriting ! Heaven knows what your Sherlock Holmes'mind would detect there in... Kind regards to you both.

  2. It sounds like a lazy fun day that was full of adventure. The song at the end is very soothing. AND, no handwriting for YOU!

  3. JLBO, yes do post your pictures. I would love to see them. As to the handwriting analysis, I didn't mention that we are not very good (smile)

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  5. Fascinating! I was especially interested to see Dorothy Sayers' manuscript. She has long been a favorite/idol of mine.

  6. Terre,

    Glad you liked it. She is one my favorites as well. That is, after Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle. I can't tell you how glad I am that you stopped by.!