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Mrs. Hudson’s Tea

October 6, 2017

Lily Guillen / The Courier

In celebration of the 130th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes, the English department put together a casual tea party dubbed “Mrs. Hudson Tea.” The lounge of Mellinger was adorned with Sherlock Holmes paraphernalia of all sorts, from books to old audiobooks in the form of records. A buffet of sandwiches, strawberries and crème, cookies, and tea was provided. Professor Watson also provided authentic English biscuits for the tea. Like any good tea time, the event was kicked off by a series of toasts, first of which was to the Queen, since this was in the good old British style. Then followed a toast to Dr. Watson from the stories, followed by a toast to the man himself, Mr. Holmes. Finally, a toast to Mrs. Hudson, celebrating her tolerance of Sherlock Holmes and his shenanigans.

After the toasts, Professor Watson introduced the guest speaker, nationally known Sherlockian, William Cochran. Cochran has been a scholar of Sherlockian lore for over forty years, and thus his achievements are no mystery. Cochran is a former editor of The Baker Street Journal and cofounded “the Occupants of the Empty House of Southern Illinois”, of which he has been the president for nearly forty years.

Cochran began with the question “why? Why devote so much time over forty years to this study?” He went on to talk about the first Sherlock Holmes story published, A Study in Scarlet, and the story’s importance to him. Cochran discussed various artifacts that he had collected over the years and brought in, including a book once owned by one of his idols, another profound Sherlockian. Cochran also discussed one of the primary focuses of Sherlockian, “The Game”. This the continuation of the classic style of detective work popularized by Sherlock Holmes. He explained that the first step is to assume that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories were not fiction and that Sherlock Holmes was a real person due to the fact that his name has never appeared in any obituary must be alive and continuing his work to this day.

This is meant to immortalize Sherlock Holmes not only in literature but in our hearts, to honor the fact that the modern detective is a descendent of that great man. That is also the reason people gathered for the tea, to honor a long-lasting tradition of curiosity and puzzle solving.

Cochran ended his presentation with a quote referencing Sherlock Holmes and his trusted partner Dr. Watson. “Two men of note have never lived, and thus, can never die. The game is still afoot…”

Kurt Holzer
Contributing Writer

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