Monday, April 25, 2011

CONTEST: Enter the “Better Holmes & Gardens” Trivia Contest and Win a Sherlock Holmes Reference Prize Package

[Update, May 3: New Contest Rules, see below for a new way to win!]

Sometimes I wonder if being a Sherlockian doesn’t ultimately go hand-in-hand with an innate love of trivia.  How many of us have uttered the line, “I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles” (LION), as if it were a personal maxim, engraved on our family crest?  But there’s some truth to it.  Sherlock Holmes devotees effortlessly remember dates, ramble off long lists of authors and scholars, and can be depended on to spot the smallest mistake in accuracy or continuity.  On the whole, the Sherlock Holmes community tends to be well-read, devoted academics, tireless researchers, with minds like industrial magnets when it comes to information that interests them.
In that spirit, I’m launching a new blog contest, and all you have to do to win is brush off your own personal bank of Sherlockian trivia, and correctly answer any of three questions in the following categories: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes on the Page, and the London of Sherlock Holmes.  Here are the details:

·    A new, hardcover edition of Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower, and Charles Foley.  The collection of previously unpublished correspondence creates a unique, well-rounded portrait of the multifaceted man who created Sherlock Holmes.  The letters in the volume reveal Doyle’s thoughts on nearly every aspect of his life, from the death of his wife, his fascinating friendships with many well-known contemporary figures, and even his apparent ambivalence towards his most famous creation.  A must-read for fans of the Great Detective, though they may not necessarily enjoy what they learn about his maker.
·    A new, paperback copy of the Sherlock Holmes Handbook (Second Edition), by Christopher Redmond.  Author of In Bed with Sherlock Holmes: Sexual Elements in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stories of the Great Detective and Welcome to America, Mr. Holmes: Victorian America Meets Arthur Conan Doyle, Redmond has created an infinitely readable reference work on the Great Detective, covering all aspects of the works, the scholarship, and the community.  Redmond is also the proprietor of
Correctly answer any of the following three trivia questions:
1.   Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a fan of what type of fountain pen, and even used it to write some of the final Sherlock Holmes stories? (You only need to provide make and model—all other details are superfluous, but not unwelcome.)
2.  Sherlock Holmes on the Page:
In the famous pastiche, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., edited by Nicholas Meyer, Watson states that four stories from the canon are “forgeries by other hands than mine.”  Name them.  (I do not mean the two canon stories that Watson claims to have made up himself, in order to protect Sherlock Holmes.)
3.   The London of Sherlock Holmes:
What actual London residence has been claimed by several scholars as the mostly likely model for Pondicherry Lodge, the home of the Sholto family in The Sign of Four?

Submit your answers via e-mail at betterholmesandgardens[at]gmail[dot]com.  Please do not leave answers in the comments.  Submissions with one correct answer will count for one entry; submissions with two correct answers will count for two entriesAny submission with all three correct answers will count for six contest entries.

You may enter multiple times if you believe you answered incorrectly, but your entry will only count once for each question.  Please use the subject line: “Sherlock Holmes Trivia Contest Entry,” so I don’t accidentally delete your entry as spam.
The contest is open from now until 11:59p.m. EST on Saturday, May 21, 2011.  At that time, a random entry will be chosen from the correct entries using Random.orgThe winner will be announced on Monday, May 23, 2011 via blog post, Twitter, and Facebook. 
Best of luck, and have fun!

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