Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Arthur Conan Doyle: There just arrived in the mail a wonderful volume of Doyle’s weird and supernatural stories. It was published by Ash-Tree Press of Ashcroft, British Columbia. This is the small press which specializes in publishing ghost stories by the greats and not so greats. Most of these stories have been out-of-print for many years. It has been wonderful having them available once again. The only problem is keeping up. If I read nothing but short stories it would not be a problem. I could probably read the volumes as they came along. But as many of you have seen, I do not read only one kind of book. So there is no keeping up.

The Doyle volume is entitled The Captain of the Pole Star after one of the stories contained therein. I’ve not read any of the stories as yet. But I did read a very interesting and informative introduction by Christopher and Barbara Roden, the editors and publishers of Ash-Tree Press. (They also publish and edit Calabash Press, a Sherlockian venture.) It is fairly lengthy, being 24 pages long. In it they detail when the stories were written and when and published by what magazine. Many of them were published in The Strand, where most of the Sherlock Holmes stories were published. Along with this information we learn about Doyle’s first wife’s illness, his marriage to a second wife, his growing interest in Spiritualism and the falling off of the volume of his writing.

I have read the so-called Canon, the complete Sherlock Holmes stories probably three times. Once when I was a youngster and twice more recently. I’ll probably read them again one of these days. But these stories of the weird and supernatural will be new material for me. I’m looking forward to them and hoping they will give me as much pleasure as the Holmes has done. The Rodens hint in the introduction of in future publishing the Professor Challenger stories. That also would be delightful.


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