Rachel Hilbert

May 3, 2003

Post #1634 – 20030503

I am a high school student who has long been a fan of your books. Recently, I have been writing an English paper on the influence of Sherlock Holmes on twentieth century American humanities, especially novels. I noticed during my research that “Ormond Sacker,” the sidekick of Osgood Sigerson in the Snark Out Boys and the Avocado of Death, was the name Conan Doyle originally considered for the character of Watson. Intrigued, I decided to look into the name “Osgood Sigerson” as well, discovering that Sigerson was the name that Sherlock Holmes traveled under during the time in which he was presumed dead. I was wondering whether you have always been a Sherlock Holmes fan, or only researched these names for your book. If you could tell me anything that would possibly be helpful to my paper, I would really appreciate it.

Daniel replies:

Let me see if I have this right--you claim that someone, presumably a writer, named Doyle considered the name ""Ormand Sacker,"" for a character he ultimately named ""Watson."" Is that it? And who is this Sherlock Holmes who once called himself Sigerson, (the name of another character of mine)? I don't believe I've ever heard of him, his influence on the humanities, and his fannish following. This kind of recurrence of names in literature is more common than one might think. I think it has to do with a collective unconscious. I knew a Holmes, a very old man, at the Fat Boys Club in London where I once had a guest membership, but his first name was Mycroft, not Sherlock. Sort of a smart guy, as I recall. He was crazy about lox and bagels.