I have previously written about the paucity of mentions of London Underground in the original Holmes stories, and there have been other posts in which I have pointed up connections between detective fiction and London Underground including:
And a tangential connection involving the test for taxi drivers called “The Knowledge”, and a theory as to the origin of that term while covering Charing Cross and Embankment.
This post returns to the best known of all London based detectives…
ENHANCING THE CANON
Holmes caught the popular imagination right from the first, and there was never any question of his fans being satisfied with the original canon of stories by Conan Doyle. Many writers have turned their hand to Holmes and Watson, either providing write-ups of cases that Watson mentions in passing in the canon or creating entirely new ones.
One of my more recent extra-canonical Holmes finds is Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, edited by George Mann. This is a collection of 14 short stories. Whereas London Underground gets only a couple of mentions in the original canon, two of the stories in this collection feature parts of today’s London Underground.
Stewart Douglas’ The Adventure of the Locked Carriage is set on a branch of the Great Eastern Railway which ultimately became the eastern end of the Central line. The action starts and finishes at Leyton Station.
The second story in this collection to be concerned with London Underground is set during the construction of the Central London Railway. The motive for incapacitating the workers (the criminal did not intend to cause deaths, though he ended up doing so) and sabotaging the project turns out be an attempt to engender the view that not only can private enterprise not deliver the project on time, but that they are careless of the health and safety of their workforce.
GETTING HOLD OF THE BOOK
Although as so often I got hold of this book through the good offices of Norfolk Libraries I am ever mindful of those who prefer buying to borrowing, and am delighted to say that Encounters of Sherlock Holmes can be obtained from Book Depository for £7.99 with free worldwide delivery.