Elementary, My Dear Dodgson

Holmes and Dodgson/Carroll? It is not terribly surprising that these two 19th-century literary icons with ontological dilemmas* sometimes appear together as dual protagonists in fiction and drama. From novels like In Pursuit of Lewis Carroll (1994), Sherlock Holmes and the Alice in Wonderland Murders (2000), and Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Deadly Illusion (2013), short stories like “The Case of the Detective’s Smile” and “Alimentary, My Dear Watson” from Sherlock Holmes in Orbit (1995), through Sherlock Through the Looking-Glass (2013), a play, these two have been amusingly intertwined.

A new novel joins the fray: Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Grinning Cat by Joseph W. Svec III. “When the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter turn up at 221-B Baker Street to enlist the help of Sherlock Holmes in locating Alice, who is missing from Wonderland, and Lewis Carroll himself, who is also nowhere to be found, there begins an adventure more stranger and curious than anything Sherlock ever encountered.” The book will be reviewed in an upcoming Knight Letter.

* Sherlockians insisting on treating him as having actually existed, and, at least in the latter part of his life, Dodgson’s denial that he was Carroll (if not he, who?).