Monday, June 20, 2016

Sherlock Holmes and the Suffragettes

Sherlock Holmes’s relationship with the ladies has always been a point of curiosity for fans. He has always shown respect for certain feminine weaknesses and, at the same time he was slow to embrace female strengths.  His lifestyle and work enabled him to walk this line. However, in Sherlock Holmes - The Golden Years, he could not help but confront some formidable ladies in the streets, as the suffrage movement was in full swing in 1913.  With a major election cycle underway in the United States, I thought a post about women’s suffrage was appropriate -- particularly as the women’s vote will be so critical in the coming presidential election.

While the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom began about 1872, with the formation of the National Society for Women’s Suffrage, it didn’t make the daily headlines until the early 1900’s when the movement became more militant and violent.

WWI caused a temporary halt to suffrage activity and, in 1918, the Representation of the Peoples Act granted women limited voting rights. However, it wasn’t until 1928 when all women in Britain gained full voting rights. Women in the U.S. gained the right to vote eight years earlier, in 1920.

One of the key figures in Britain’s suffrage movement was Emmeline Pankhurst, who is one of several infamous historical characters that can be found in Sherlock Holmes-The Golden Years.

In the Curse of the Black Feather, Holmes and Watson meet Emmeline Pankhurst at a party where Watson has the dubious honour of escorting her to dinner.  Holmes, however, had a much more fascinating dinner partner that evening – Irene Adler, “the woman” who mysteriously reappears his life and haunts him in all five of the stories in this 345-page collection.

In Sherlock Holmes-The Golden Years the reader gets all the mystery and magic of Holmes at his best, interesting real-life historical characters, and a rich and highly accurate historical background, all of which adds great depth to the stories. Available at AMAZON as soft cover, Kindle and audiobook.

Would that Holmes could take the mystery out of the U.S. Presidential Election.

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