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holmesian
09-04-2006, 10:11 AM
i have a few questions. these are:

1) the story started in 20th march 1888. but in "the sign of four", mary morstan says, "About six years ago–to be exact, upon the fourth of May, 1882–an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward."

if 1882 was six years ago, then the story of "the sign of four" occured in 1888. and we know that it occured in either July (according to the postmark) or September (according to watson). so there is no way watson could have been married in 20th march 1888. yet that is what is told in "A Scandal in Bohemia"

2) the king says, “Then I must begin by binding you both to absolute
secrecy for two years; at the end of that time the matter will be of no
importance."

why two years?

3) how did holmes find out that he was addressing the King of Bohemia?

4) the king said, “Because she has said that she would send it on the day when the betrothal was publicly proclaimed. That will be next Monday.”
“Oh, then we have three days yet,” said Holmes with a yawn.

but 20th march 1888 was tuesday. three days after that cannot be monday.

5) "You don’t mind breaking the law?"
"Not in the least."

shocking, isn't it? :)

6) The photograph was of Irene Adler herself in evening dress, the letter was superscribed to “Sherlock Holmes, Esq. To be left till called for.” My friend tore it open, and we all three read it together.

all three??? reading holmes' personal letter??? :)

crisaor
11-06-2006, 10:25 AM
i have a few questions. these are:
1) the story started in 20th march 1888. but in "the sign of four", mary morstan says, "About six years ago–to be exact, upon the fourth of May, 1882–an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward." if 1882 was six years ago, then the story of "the sign of four" occured in 1888. and we know that it occured in either July (according to the postmark) or September (according to watson). so there is no way watson could have been married in 20th march 1888. yet that is what is told in "A Scandal in Bohemia"
Indeed, it is as you say. Interesting. I recall Watson saying that in some occasions he changed the name of the people and places involved in Holmes's cases and witheld the date in which they ocurred, but I recall nothing about changing the dates. It could be assumed that this was the case in these stories, or that there was a typo in the month/year date when the story was published, but the simplest (and truthful) explanation IMO is that Arthur Conan Doyle merely mixed up the dates, which is what I believe you're implying.



2) the king says, “Then I must begin by binding you both to absolute secrecy for two years; at the end of that time the matter will be of no importance."
why two years?
Given that the king was still playing a part (he hadn't identified himself yet), requiring that time of silence could've been a way of securing privacy (it's easier to keep something secret for 2 or a few years than forever) and at the same time getting Holmes and Watson to cooperate. If things worked out as he hoped (ie. recovering the picture, Irene Adler no longer posing a threat), then it wouldn't matter what happened later, the problem would be resolved, he would have married, and the publicity would have no evidence to hold ground. In this way, the two years constitute an arbitrary amount, it could easily have been 3, or 4, or another number.


3) how did holmes find out that he was addressing the King of Bohemia?
With his usual skills, to say it unoriginally. Without giving one of Doyle's "it's really simple when you consider that…" I think that there are a number of possible clues as to why he guessed he was adressing the king, it doesn't strike me a as conflictive issue.


4) the king said, “Because she has said that she would send it on the day when the betrothal was publicly proclaimed. That will be next Monday.”
“Oh, then we have three days yet,” said Holmes with a yawn.
but 20th march 1888 was tuesday. three days after that cannot be monday.
See number one.


5) "You don’t mind breaking the law?"
"Not in the least."
shocking, isn't it? :)
Not really. In fact, in almost every case Sherlock does something illegal (breaking and entering, stealing, passing judgement on those involved and leaving out the courts, etc.), and Watson either helps him do it or accompanies him. They care for justice, not just the law.


6) The photograph was of Irene Adler herself in evening dress, the letter was superscribed to “Sherlock Holmes, Esq. To be left till called for.” My friend tore it open, and we all three read it together.
all three??? reading holmes' personal letter??? :)
Why not? They were all in it together. The king was bound to ask him what did the letter said, and Watson was Sherlock's biographer, he also would have asked him later. So they might as well read it together then.

For a more personal effect, he asked the king for Irene's picture.



That's my 0,02 cents, Hope it helps.

Fulgour Prentic
01-18-2008, 12:14 AM
Hi crisaor! Why the hasty wedding ceremony?
It's dramatic, but why was it necessary that
they rush off at once to do it all of a sudden?
Best regards, Fulgour

brambleshire
03-08-2008, 08:46 PM
Hi Fulgour Prentic! Can I suggest a theory I have in answer to your question about the hurried wedding?
I think that Godfrey Norton and Irene Adler had already discussed marriage - especially in the light of their situation i.e. They knew the King was likely to be in Town to employ Holmes to retrieve the photograph. (He was, after all, pretty desperate!) I get the impression that the clergyman was a really awkward character "...the clergyman absolutely refused to marry them without a witness of some sort.."I know he was being technically correct, but he doesn't seem over-co operative. My theory is that Norton had to do work on the clergyman to get him to agree, but being awkward he only gave Norton a short time to fetch Irene Adler. When he was in the house he was very agitated - obviously stressed out getting her to agree at such short notice. Can you imagine being told you've got 10 minutes to get ready before you need to leave for your wedding?!
As I say, this is just a humble theory. A quick comment on the previous posts - Conan Doyle was not meticulous when it came to detail, nor did he research all his facts carefully. He was, after all, writing up these cases while waiting for his patients in the Surgery. But the numerous discrepancies throughout the Canon make it fun for Sherlockians to theorise!

Fulgour Prentic
05-01-2008, 11:07 AM
Hello Brambleshire! Many Thanks!
Best Wishes ~ Fulgour Prentice