Les Aventures du fils de Sherlock Holmes
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Les Aventures du fils de Sherlock Holmes (The Adventures of the Son of Sherlock Holmes) is a book written anonymously and published circa 1910-1914 by the French publisher Librairie Richonnier (40 rue des Saint Pères, Paris).
The title page had the sub-title : "Racontées par le docteur Watson (L'Ami de Sherlock Holmes père)" i.e. "Told by Dr. Watson (the friend of the father of Sherlock Holmes)".
The book contains 3 short stories.
The stories were initially published in november 1909 by the Dutch publisher C. J. J. Dalmeyer as De Avonturen van den Zoon den Sherlock Holmes, verhaald door Dr. Watson, de Vriend van Sherlock Holmes. The publisher announced 12 short stories but only 6 or 7 have been published : No. 3: De veranderde polsslag (The Changed Pulse), No. 4: De verdwenen emigrante (The Missing Emigrant), No. 6: De vrijheidsbond (The Freedom Union), De wraak van Mevrouw Woodhouse (Mrs. Woodhouse's revenge), De hangende koord (The hanging cord), De hallucinaties van Mevrouvw Arlington (The Hallucinations of Mrs. Arlington), De vreselijke nacht (The Terrible Night).
- Le Double réveil de M. Woodhouse (in 1909, De wraak van Mevrouw Woodhouse)
- L'Enfant substitué
- Les Variations du pouls de Madame Touraine (in 1909, De veranderde polsslag)
In his editorial The Bowling Green (The Saturday Review of Literature, 12 may 1934, p. 690), Christopher Morley wrote :
- « H. G., [..], found in a second-hand bookstore a copy of Les Aventures du Fils de Sherlock Holmes ("racontées par le Dr. Watson"). This entertaining work was published — no date given, but my guess is about 20 years ago — by Richonnier, 20 rue des Saint-Pères, Paris. Dr. Watson settles in New York City in the Late Hansom Cab era and becomes a wealthy and fashionable physician to the Four Hundred. I shall report on this more in detail presently. »
And in another editorial The Bowling Green (The Saturday Review of Literature, 26 may 1934, p. 715), Morley wrote :
- DR. WATSON IN FRENCH
- The anonymous French author of Les Aventures du Fils de Sherlock Holmes, to which we alluded before, has entered with much understanding into the character of Doctor Watson. If the worthy doctor were to have emigrated to New York, and them become a fashionable practitioner, he would doubtless act and think much as described. Holmes, according to the French Autolycus, inherited a huge estate in Devonshire, where "he led the existence of a gentleman, divided between the care of his property and the education of his children." His oldest son, Sherlock Jr., graduated at 23 from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in London and at 26 we find him, at his father's express desire, acting as assistant to Watson who holds a chair at the Post-Graduate Hospital in New York. But Watson also has a wealthy private practice and lives in solid comfort on West 57th Street. His patients are all members of "la haute societe New-Yorkaise."
- But old Watson finds Holmes Jr. very different from his austere and misogynist father. He is more than a little shocked by young Sherlock's luxurious quarters in an expensive bachelor apartment called the "Croyendon" on 43rd Street, near Fifth Avenue. Junior is the idol of the "Tenderloin," which our Frenchman explains is New York's region of gilded society. He has a box at the Opera, spends his vacations at Narragansett Pier, plays bridge "as skilfully as Elwell," drives a fast Panhard, collects sumptuous bibelots and modern French paintings, frequents the Waldorf, Sherry's, Shanley's, and Delmonico's. The period of the stories appears to be about 1910.
- By an ingenious variation of the traditional situation, Dr. Watson suspects (with horror) that his assistant is guilty of the murder of Helen Clawson, a beautiful young governess found dead in a building contractor's shack on Central Park West. But by the aid of a couple of delightful young women from the Riverside telephone exchange, young Sherlock is able to show what actually happens. He proves not only his inherited acumen but also she value of a wide feminine acquaintance. His tall slender figure, pale aquiline face, and always elegant attire ("suivant son habitude le jeune dandie était en frac") are very attractive to ladies.
- The three stories in this volume are considerably entertaining. One is bound to enjoy the mixed humor and simplicity of the French Watson. When a wealthy patient offers them champagne, he remarks "Je ne contrarie jamais mes malades. Je bus donc. Holmes, lui, oublia de boire ; il ne sera jamais un médecin de famille." — And when one of Watson's lady invalids is in a low nervous state, he tells as that "Desiring to drive away sad thoughts from her mind, I set to work to tell her some of my best and most amusing stories of the clinic."
- I wish the Publications Richonnier, 40 rue des Saint-Père, Paris, would tell us the author of these yarns; he must have visited New York at some time or other. Was more than one collection issued?