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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Jay Finley Christ

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Jay Finley Christ (©SHJ, Vol. 6 No. 4, spring 1964)
Jay Finley Christ (©BSJ, Vol. 14 No. 3, sept 1964)

Jay Finley Christ (1884-1963) was a wellknown sherlockian scholar also known as: J. A. Finch and Langdale Pike.



Biography

Jay Finley Christ (1884-1963) was a professor of law at the University of Chicago (1920-1950) and a sherlockian scholar. He is mostly famous for having created the system of Abbreviations which shorten in 4 letters the titles of 60 Sherlock Holmes stories, which was published for the first time in his book An Irregular Guide to Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street (1947). This system is still a reference today and still in use. He is also known for his original chronology of the Sherlock Holmes adventures (according to him the hiatus lasted only 11 months), which has some very consistent point (the presence of Watson in Baker Street is logical). This chronology was published in 1947 as An Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street.

He started to be interested for The Baker Street Irregulars (society) by reading the article Books Alive written by Vincent Starrett in the Chicago Tribune. In 1944, he began a correspondence with Starrett, who invited him to join the BSI in 1949 as nickname: The Final Problem.

Christ was also member of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) of Chicago (january 1945), one of the first member of The Hugo's Companions. He also was one of the creator of The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis. He was described as one of the most scholarly of Starrett's band of Holmesian acolytes.

He gave two series of lectures in his university of Chicago : The Life and Times of Mr. Sherlock Holmes (5 lectures in 1946) and Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street (6 lectures from 7 january to 11 february 1947, then from 4 october to 8 november 1947).

He contributed several articles in The Chicago Tribune entitled: A Line o' Type or Two, where he addressed various sherlockian topics, some were initiated by him. He wrote 127 articles in this section from 19 september 1945 to 21 april 1951. He signed as Jay Finley Christ but also as J. A. Finch and Langdale Pike. 68 of his articles were re-edited by Magico Editions, as 5 booklets between 1947 and 1963 (100-500 copies). The first three booklets: Gleanings by Gaslight (1947), Flashes by Fanlight (1947) and Sounding in the Saga (1948) were published by himself under the collection The Fanlight House. The last two: Sherlock's Anniversaries (1961) and Finch's Final Fling (1963 just before his death) were published by Crowborough Press of Peter Ruber.

he died on 10 december 1963 at 79 years-old.

The BSI awarded him a posthumous Two-Shilling Award in 1964.


His Sherlockian Bibliography

  • A New Chronology of the Sign of the Four, by Jay Finley Christ (1944, Privately printed) 18 pages


  • Review of Theodor Reik, The Unknown Murderer (1945)
    by Jay Finley Christ (1945, reprinted from American Journal of Police Science, incorporated in Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 36, no. 4, Nov.-Dec., 1945)


  • James Boswell and the Island of Uffa, by Jay Finley Christ (jan 1946, The Baker Street Journal, Vol 1 No. 1) p. 24-27


  • The Gasogene: Sometimes Called Seltzogene, by Jay Finley Christ (jan 1946, The Baker Street Journal, Vol 1 No. 1) p. 69


  • The Old Tin Box, by Jay Finley Christ (1946, Privately printed) 4 pages


  • Pamphlets, by Jay Finley Christ (1946)


  • Sherlock's Headgear: His Other Hats, by "J. A. Finch" (29 nov 1946, Chicago Tribune)


  • Flashes by Fanlight, by "J. A. Finch" (1946, The Fanlight Press, 250 copies) 24 pages, including:
    • Editor's Foreword
    • Sherlock Holmes Is Everywhere
    • A Rare Fit of Laughter
    • Names in Holmesian Tales
    • Keeping Score on Sherlock Holmes
    • Sherlock at the Phone
    • Sherlock's Hangover
    • Such Language, Dr. Watson!
    • Sherlock and the Bible
    • Sherlock Pulls a Fast One
    • Machinery of Detection
    • In Defense of Sherlock
    • Mme. Tussaud's Neighbour
    • A House Facing East
    • That House in Baker Street


Gleanings by Gaslight (1947)
  • Gleanings by Gaslight, by "J. A. Finch" (1947, The Fanlight House) 16 pages. Including:
    • Editor's Foreword
    • The Portmans of Baker Street (November 9, 1946)
    • Baker Streets to Spare (August 31, 1946)
    • A Tree Grew in London (September 5, 1946)
    • Sherlock's Domicile: The Rooms (February 26, 1947)
    • Sherlock's Domicile: The Furnishings (March 1, 1947)
    • "B" Culture on Baker St. (January 14, 1947)
    • Irregular Scout on Baker Av. (January 25, 1947)
    • Sherlock as Pinup Man (December 13, 1946)
    • Profile with Pipe (September 6, 1946)
    • The Moon and Dr. Watson -- I (March 22, 1947)
    • The Moon and Dr. Watson -- II (April 8, 1947)
    • Sherlock's Friend Charlie (October 14, 1946).


My Favorite Sherlockian Adventure (1947)
  • The Story I Like Best, by Jay Finley Christ (oct 1947, The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 2 No. 4) p. 427-428 (reprinted by JFC: My Favorite Sherlockian Adventure in dec 1947, privately printed. 4 pages).


  • Some Items of Sherlockiana, by Jay Finley Christ (1947)


An Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street (1947)
  • An Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, by Jay Finley Christ (1947, The Fanlight House, 175 copies) 82 pages. Including:
    • 1 errata sheet, 1 chronological supplement sheet (09/1948)
    • Alphabetical List of the Cases
    • Author's Preface
    • Canons of This Research
    • A Study in Scarlet
    • The Sign of The Four
    • The Adventures
    • The Memoirs
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • The Return
    • The Valley of Fear and His Last Bow
    • The Casebook
    • Chronological Table
    • Unsolved Problems


Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes. I. Fragments (1947)
  • Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes. I. Fragments, by Jay Finley Christ (1947, The Fanlight House, 250 copies) 24 pages. Including:
    • Author's Preface
    • The Canons of This Research
    • A Study in Scarlet
    • The Sign of the Four
    • Silver Blaze
    • The Cardboard Box
    • The Final Problem


  • An Irregular Guide to Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street (1947)
  • An Irregular Guide to Sherlock Holmes: A Supplement (1947)
  • An Irregular Guide to Sherlock Holmes: Second Supplement (1948)
    • by Jay Finley Christ (Argus Books, NY & The Pamphlet House)


Soundings in the Saga (1948)
  • Soundings in the Saga, by Jay Finley Christ (1948, The Fanlight House, 100 copies) 13 pages. Including:
    • Explanatory
    • "I am Sherlock Holmes"
    • Watson and Marriage
    • An M. P. Writes to Baker Street
    • Dr. Watson's Literary Agent
    • Watson Reads the Strand
    • Dr. Watson and Mr. Pickwick
    • Sherlock and Pickwick
    • The Sign of the Missing Four
    • Sherlock Borrowed Something Blue
    • A Case of Arrested Development
    • A Baskerville Goes to the Dogs
    • A Fast Man with a Sixpence (Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1948).


  • Musgrave Mathematics (1948)


  • Perpetual calendar: Sherlockian era (1948)


  • John H. Watson Never Went to China, by Jay Finley Christ (1949) 4 pages


Sherlock Holmes, Raffles, and Their Prototypes, by Friedrich Depken (1949)
  • Sherlock Holmes, Raffles, and Their Prototypes, by Friedrich Depken, translated and annotated by Jay Finley Christ (1949, The Fanlight House) 89 p.


The Man with Three Eyes (1949)
  • London Society. The Christmas Number for 1882. The Man with Three Eyes, by Jay Finley Christ (1949, Privately printed) 4 pages


  • Christmas 1950, by "Langdale Pike" (1950, The Fanlight Press) 4 pages. Including The Missing Three.


  • Glittering Golden Guineas, by Jay Finley Christ (1951). 3 unnumbered pages reprinted from the Numismatist, Oct. 1951.


  • Sherlock Comes to America, by Jay Finley Christ (1952, Privately printed) 4 pages


  • The Dancing Men, by Jay Finley Christ (dec 1953, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 1 No. 4) p. 24-25


  • Thumbs Up: Thumbs Down?, by Jay Finley Christ (1954, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1) p. 41-42. Observations on the missing thumb of Victor Hatherley.


  • Song of Hiawatson, by Jay Finley Christ (july 1956, The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 6 No. 3) 4 pages


  • Song of Dr. Watson, by "Langdale Pike" (dec 1956, privately printed) 4 pages


Song of Hi-Aurora (1957)
  • Song of Hi-Aurora, by "Langdale Pike" (1957, J.F. Christ ed.) 2 pages


  • The Fiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle arranged alphabetically and chronologically, by Jay Finley Christ (1959, Privately printed) 31 pages


  • The Pipe and the Cap, by Jay Finley Christ (jan 1959, The Baler Street Journal, Vol. 9 No. 1) p. 43-45. Conjectures on the curved pipe and the ear-flapped deerstalker.


  • A Complete Concordance?, by Jay Finley Christ (Winter 1959, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3) p. 97-98


  • A Danish Irregular: In Memory of Robert Storm Petersen 10 years after his death, by A.D. Henriksen (1960, Translated by Jay Finley Christ) 2 pages


Sherlock's Anniversaries (1961)
  • Sherlock's Anniversaries, by "Langdale Pike" (1961, Crowborough Private Press, 500 copies)


  • The Later Holmes an Imposter: A Sequel, by Jay Finley Christ (1961, Baker Street Gazogene, Vol. 1 No. 1) p. 21-33. JFC denies the Anthony Boucher theory about the two different Holmes before and after hiatus.


  • An Adventure in the Lower Criticism Part, by Jay Finley Christ (1961-1962, Baker Street Gazogene). In 2 parts:
    • 1. Doctor Watson and the Calendar (Vol. 1 No. 3, 1961) p. 28-35
    • 2. Dr. Watson and the Moon (Vol. 1 No. 4, 1962) p. 13-19


  • Finch's Final Fling. Being the Last in the Series of Profound, if not Startling Observations on the Sherlockian Scene, by "J. A. Finch" (1963, The Candlelight Press, 200 copies) 22 pages. Including:
    • Editorial Preface
    • Testament of J. A. Finch
    • Baby Sitter in Brass Buttons
    • A Boo for the London Times. Sherlock Was an Irishman.
    • Sherlock at a Wedding
    • "It Won't Do," Said Sherlock
    • Sherlock Holmes as Author
    • Sherlock Holmes, Scientist
    • Dogging the Footprints
    • Sherlock's Slip of the Tongue
    • The Case of the Chinaman's Chance
    • Sherlock Comes to Grand Rapids
    • Henry Baker's Old Hat
    • How Are the Crops?


  • Henry Baker's Scotch Bonnet, by Jay Finley Christ (june 1963, The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2) p. 86


  • Who Spilled the Beans?, by Jay Finley Christ (dec 1963, The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 13 No. 4) p. 230-231. Comments on the editorial errors in the illustrations in Heritage Press editions.


  • The Gasogene: Sometimes Called Seltzogene, by Jay Finley Christ (sept 1964, The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3) p. 69, reprint


  • Sherlock's Headgear: His Other Hats, by J. A. Finch (1972, BSCL No. 10) p. 5, reprint


  • Sherlockian Studies, by Jay Finley Christ (1985, Magico Magazine) Reprints:
    • Flashes by Fanlight
    • Gleanings by Gaslight
    • Soundings in the Saga
    • Sherlock's Anniversaries
    • Finch's Final Fling.


  • Sherlock Holmes, Raffles, and Their Prototypes, by Friedrich Depken, translated and commented by Jay Finley Christ (1985, Magico Magazine) 89 p. Reprint.


File:Jfc-irregular-chronology-1985.jpg
An Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street (1985 reedition)
  • An Irregular Chronology of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, by Jay Finley Christ (1985, Magico Magazine) 82 pages. Reprint:
    • "A Chronological Supplement" (5 pages)
    • Alphabetical List of the Cases
    • Author's Preface
    • Canons of This Research
    • A Study in Scarlet
    • The Sign of The Four
    • The Adventures
    • The Memoirs
    • The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • The Return
    • The Valley of Fear and His Last Bow
    • The Casebook
    • Chronological Table
    • Unsolved Problems


His Professional Bibliography

  • Outlines of the Economic Order (University of Chicago Press, 1930) co-auteur
  • The Federal Courts and Organized Labor (1930)
  • Modern Business Law (1932)
  • The Law of Contracts and Sales (Longmans, Green & Co., 1938)
  • Study Outline for Commercial Law (American School, 1941)
  • Fundamental Business Law (American Technical Society, 1944)
  • Workbook for Fundamental Business Law (American Technical Society, 1945)
  • The Law of Contracts, Notes and Checks (American Technical Society, 1949)


Bibliography about Jay Finley Christ

  • To Jay Finley Christ (Upon Seeing His Diagram of a Gasogene in the Journal) (april 1946)
    by Florence Clum (The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2) p. 224


  • Sherlockian Studies: Seven Pieces of Sherlockiana (1947)
    by Robert A. Cutter (The Baker Street Press, 200 issues and reprinted in 1983 by Magico) 39 pages
    • Including:
      • The Sage of Baker Street (Jay Finley Christ)
      • Sherlock Backs a Turkey (Jay Finley Christ)


  • Illustrious Client's Case-Book (1948)
    by J. N. Williamson & H. B. Williams (The Illustrious Clients) 67 p.
    • contenant :
      • Musgrave Mathematics, by Jay Finley Christ.


  • To Jay Finley Christ (Upon Seeing His Diagram of a Gasogene in the Journal) (sept 1964)
    by Florence Clum (The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3) p. 135 reprint


  • For Christ's Sake: An Evaluation of Jay Finley Christ (summer 2022)
    by Nicholas Utechin (The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 6–37). Very long list of Christ's Sherlockian publications.


Photos


His Sherlockian Poem

“The Old Tin Box” (1946)

In the vaults of Box was an old tin box
With Watson’s name on its lid.
What wouldn’t we pay for that box today?
And the secret notes there hid?

Old Russian dame, Ricoletti the lame,
The famous aluminum crutch;
For Alicia, the cutter, the parsley in butter,
What would you give for such?

Story of Randall, the Darling scandal,
The coptic patriarchs.
The opal tiara, the Addleton barrow —
Dollars? or francs? or marks?

The tale of the pinch of Victor Lynch,
The furniture warehouse mob,
The case at the Hague, the murder at Prague
The powderless Margate job.

The giant rat, the cardinal’s hat,
The Patersons (first name Grice),
The cormorant’s bill, the Hammerford will —
We’d take ‘em at any price.

The Phillimore fella who sought an umbrella,
The steamer Friesland (Dutch);
For Col. Carruthers or Atkinson brothers
One never could give too much.

The Vatican case and its cameo face,
The slitering, unknown worm,
The Abergavenny were none too many –
Where is this Cox’s firm?

Oh, wonderful box in the vaults of Cox!
You come with a touch of salt!
But I offer two blocks of the choicest stocks
For the treasure of Cox’s vault.


His Sherlock Holmes Chronology

  • GLOR : september 1876
  • MUSG : 24 june 1880
  • RESI : 26 october 1882
  • STUD : 3 march 1882
  • BERY : 23 february 1883
  • SPEC : 4 april 1883
  • YELL : 7 april 1883
  • SHOS : 9 may 1883
  • REIG : 25 april 1887
  • GREE : 29 august 1888
  • SIGN : 25 september 1888
  • NOBL : 9 october 1888
  • VALL : 7 january 1889
  • CHAS : 4 february 1889
  • SCAN : 20 march 1889
  • BOSC : 7 june 1889
  • STOC : 15 june 1889
  • TWIS : 19 june 1889
  • IDEN : 26 june 1889
  • SECO : 15 july 1889
  • NAVA : 29 july 1889
  • CROO : 28 august 1889
  • ENGR : 7 september 1889
  • FIVE : 24 september 1889
  • VEIL : 1890
  • REDH : 18 october 1890
  • DYIN : 30 november 1890
  • BLUE : 27 december 1890
  • COPP : 19 april 1891
  • CARD : 14 august 1891
  • SILV : 3 september 1891
  • WIST : 21 march 1892
  • REDC : january 1893
  • FINA : 14 april 1893
  • EMPT : 2 april 1894
  • NORW : august 1894
  • GOLD : 14 november 1894
  • SOLI : 23 march 1895
  • 3STU : 18 april 1895
  • BLAC : 3 july 1895
  • BRUC : 18 november 1895
  • SUSS : 20 november 1896
  • ABBE : 22 january 1897
  • DEVI : 16 march 1897
  • HOUN : 28 september 1897
  • MISS : 7 december 1897
  • RETI : 1898
  • DANC : 27 july 1898
  • PRIO : 16 may 1901
  • THOR : 4 october 1901
  • 3GAR : 26 june 1902
  • SIXN : 29 august 1902
  • ILLU : 3 september 1902
  • 3GAB : 14 september 1902
  • BLAN : 7 january 1903
  • CREE : 6 september 1903
  • LADY : 2 september 1903
  • MAZA : 1904
  • LION : 25 june 1907
  • LAST : 2 august 1914





Sources :

  • Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter, Vol. 4 No. 3, sept 2000.
  • The Sherlock Holmes Journal, Vol. 6 No. 4 spring 1964.
  • The Baker Street Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3 sept 1964.
  • Sherlock Holmes Miscellanea, No. 51, 1987 p. 45-46.

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