1st Edition

The Alternative Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, Parodies and Copies

By Peter Ridgway Watt, Joseph Green Copyright 2003

    Between 1887 and 1927, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote sixty Sherlock Holmes stories, and his great Canon has become the most praised, most studied, and best-known chapter in the history of detective fiction. Over twenty thousand publications pertaining to the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon are known to have been published, most of them historical and critical studies. In addition, however, almost since the first stories appeared, such was their uniqueness and extraordinary attraction that other authors began writing stories based on or derived from them. A new genre had appeared: pastiches; parodies; burlesques; and stories that attempted to copy or rival the great detective himself. As the field widened, there was hardly a year in the twentieth century in which new short stories or novels did not appear. Many hundreds are now known to have been published, some of them written by authors well-known for their work in other literary fields. The non-canonical Sherlock Holmes literature not only constitutes a literary field of considerable historical interest, but includes many stories that are both enjoyable and fascinating in their own right. Although a large bibliography on these stories exists, and a few limited anthologies have been published, no attempt has previously been made to collect them all and discuss them comprehensively. The Alternative Sherlock Holmes does so: it provides a new and valuable approach to the Sherlock Holmes literature, as well as making available many works that have for years remained forgotten. Presented as an entertaining narrative, of interest to both the aficionado and the scholar, it provides full bibliographic data on virtually all the known stories in the field.

    Contents: Introduction; The vaults of Cox & Co: Watson's unchronicled cases and their pastiches; Baker Street revisited: period pastiches; However improbable: non-period pastiches; Friends, relations, and one enemy; The sincerest form of flattery: parodies and impostors; Complimentary (complementary?), my dear Holmes: copies and rivals; Bibliography; Indexes.


    Peter Ridgway Watt, Joseph Green

    '...not only a treasure trove of information but also superb research tool.' Sherlock '... a magnificent achievement, and Messrs Watt and Green have done a great service to all serious scholars of the world-wide phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes.' District Messenger '... the book is a fine survey, intended for the academic community, but any Sherlockian interested in the genre will find the book fascinating, if only for the many opportunities to mutter 'I haven't read that one'.' Sherlockians and Doyleans '... scholars and passionate lay readers of the Holmes canon will appreciate the book's wit and scope: no other book so entertainingly and comprehensively discusses the field of alternative Holmesiana.' Australasian Victorian Studies Journal