Ed here: Pic showed fine when I posted it but not so much as the day progressed. My apologies to Andy and blog readers. Ed: Thought this piece about Rex Stout and Sherlock Holmes might be fun. The attached charcoal sketch is the very one that hung in Rex's office.
A Special to Ed Gorman’s Blog
from Andrew McAleer
This “controversial” charcoal sketch of Sherlock Homes hung for many years in the High Meadow, Connecticut study of Rex Stout, where he wrote a majority of the Nero Wolfe stories. The sketch was given to Rex’s authorized biographer John McAleer after Rex’s death on October 27, 1975 and has held a prominent spot in McAleer’s study since! Sherlockian and Neronean fans will recall how Archie Goodwin mentions a picture of Sherlock Holmes hanging above his office desk located in Wolfe’s W. 35thStreet Brownstone. While writing Rex’s biography, McAleer had occasion to ask Stout about the genesis of the Holmes picture during the following conversation:
McAleer: Did Archie hang up the picture of Sherlock Holmes that is found over his desk, or did Wolfe put it there?
Stout: I was a damn fool to do it. Obviously it’s always an artistic fault in any fiction to mention any other character in fiction. It should never be done. (Royal Decree: Conversations with Rex Stout, John McAleer, Pontes Press – 1983 [p.52])
Stout may have been a bit hard on himself. Or perhaps he found some fraternal need to cover for Goodwin. In a June 14, 1955 letter to the Baker Street Journal, Stout clarified his helpful role in codifying Wolfe’s fight against crime. Stout claimed he served merely as literary agent to Goodwin and was not privy to most of the day-to-day complexities within the brownstone. Accordingly, the “artistic fault”—if indeed it was one—would fall on Goodwin – not Stout. Regardless, Ed Gorman Blogdevotees can now enjoy this satisfactory and rare glimpse of Sherlock Holmes’s W. 35th Street visit, where undoubtedly Wolfe consulted the great detective on various cases. —Andrew McAleer