Arthur Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes Symposium | Newberry

Arthur Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes Symposium

Drawing by Arthur Conan Dolye of a medieval knight

Drawing by Arthur Conan Dolye from his notebook for The White Company, The Newberry Library Vault Folio Case MS 5116 no. 2

Saturday, September 29, 2012

9 am

Ruggles Hall

Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower
“Dangerous Work: Conan Doyle’s Diary of Arctic Adventure”

“I came of age at 80 degrees north latitude,” Conan Doyle remarked of his seven-months as ship’s surgeon on an arctic whaling ship in 1880 at the age of twenty/twenty-one. The voyage took him into unknown regions, gave him unimagined sights and experiences, and plunged him into dangerous and bloody work on the ice floes of the Arctic Sea.

Hidden from public view more than 50 years, the detailed diary Conan Doyle kept throughout the adventure is being made available for the first time, written in his inimitable style and illustrated with pen and ink sketches in his own hand. Conan Doyle’s arctic experience proved to be, he boasted, “the first real outstanding adventure of my life.” Now, at long last, this adventure comes to life as never before.

This remarkable volume is annotated and introduced by Jon Lellenberg and Dan Stashower, long-time award-winning students of Conan Doyle’s life; their previous collaborations include Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters (winner of three “best critical work” awards, and a BBC Book of the Week), and last year’s The Narrative of John Smith, Conan Doyle’s unpublished first attempt at a novel.

S.E. Dahlinger
Essanay Studios, William Gillette, and the Lost Film of Sherlock Holmes

Much of what we know about William Gillette, the charmingly reticent American actor and playwright who became for three generations the living incarnation of Sherlock Holmes is depicted in ancient photos by Byron and Sarony of a stiff, frozen figure in period dress. Yet Gillette, a farceur in his early years, wrote a play as full of laughs as it was of thrills, assuring that Sherlock Holmes was received with joy as well as with shivers.

 At the height of the Depression when he himself was in his late 70s, Equity suspended its rules of playing so that he could troupe the country in a Farewell tour. The President, governors, mayors, the aged, the youthful, and troops of cheering boys turned the tour into a Royal Progress. Today, it seems impossible that this beloved Holmes is almost forgotten. Yet, people who debate “the greatest Sherlock Holmes of all time” rarely mention him.

Editor and writer S.E. Dahlinger joins us from New York to talk about the filming of Sherlock Holmes in Chicago and to share her latest anecdotes about this witty and enigmatic figure, of whom the novelist Booth Tarkington wrote: “I would rather see you play Sherlock Holmes than be a child again on Christmas morning.”

Geoffrey M. Curley
The Science of Deduction: The Interpretations of Sherlock Holmes for an Engaging Museum Experience

Geoffrey M. Curley is the lead content developer and designer for Sherlock Holmes, the Science of Deduction, a hands-on minds-on educational museum exhibition. We will discuss the designers insights on how to create authentic environments of the late 19th century London as referenced in the Sherlock Holmes stories, develop interactive experiences that place the guest in the shoes of the greatest Sleuth in history, and the challenges of accurately presenting facts with a fictional character and setting.

A professional theater artist, Mr. Curley began his career in Chicago but his experience in developing exhibitions and theater stage designs now crisscrosses the United States, Europe, and Asia. The breadth of topics and content in his work has provided opportunities to work with exceptional partners in science, culture and design including LucasFilm, National Geographic Society, Google, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel, FermiLab, and The Goodman Theater and Steppenwolf Theater Companies, among many others.


Cost and Registration Information 

This program is free and no reservations are required.