Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club discussion

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches - a Sherlock Holmes Short Story (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #12)
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Archived Off-Topic > Violet Hunter: Another Young Woman of Holmes' Interest

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message 1: by Regan (new)

Regan | 87 comments I just finished reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and in the last story, The Copper Beeches, the young woman, Violet Hunter, who brings Holmes the case really takes his interest. We never hear much about her, with all the focus on Irene Adler as THE woman.

Violet is not an adversary, but a compatriot and at the end of the story Watson seems surprised that the relationship didn't continue. She also seems like she might have been a bit of inspiration for Mary Russell, though I'm just speculating here and have never heard Laurie King mention any such thing.

Here are some quotes from the story describing her, Holmes complementing her, etc.

"She was plainly but neatly dressed, with a bright, quick face, freckled like a plover's egg, and with the brisk manner of a woman who has had her own way to make in the world."

"As you may observe, Mr. Holmes, my hair is somewhat luxuriant, and of a rather peculiar tint of chestnut."

"I am naturally observant, as you may have remarked, Mr. Holmes, and I soon had a pretty good plan of the whole house in my head."

"Well, Mr. Holmes, from the moment that I understood that there was something about that suite of rooms which I was not to know, I was all on fire to go over them."

(Holmes asks her) “Do you think that you could perform one more feat? I should not ask it of you if I did not think you a quite exceptional woman."

""You have done well indeed!" cried Holmes with enthusiasm."

"As to Miss Violet Hunter, my friend Holmes, rather to my disappointment, manifested no further interest in her when once she had ceased to be the centre of one of his problems, and she is now the head of a private school at Walsall, where I believe that she has met with considerable success."



message 2: by MaryL (new)

MaryL (maryl1) | 234 comments Watson-ever the romantic.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Perry (amy_perry) | 201 comments I think that's it Mary, Watson romanticised something that wasn't really there. Holmes treated her very much as a student (nod to Mary Russell) but that once her case was solved, he moved on to the next. Much as a teacher encourages and takes interest in an exceptional student, but then moves on once that student has left. I think that is very much the case here...


message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve We could also see this as the first time Holmes realized a woman could be observant. Thus of course setting up a thought in the back of his mind that perhaps a woman could someday learn from him...

The rest, as they say, is un-history. ;)


message 5: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Flynn | 1158 comments Mod
Mary wrote: "Watson-ever the romantic."

Hah, yes, Watson, the 'many nations and three continent' ladies man.


message 6: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (vickivanv) | 282 comments Mod
I agree with Steve--it perhaps planted the seed in his mind. :) Isn't this the character that a young Natasha Richardson (may she R.I.P.) played in the Granada series?


message 7: by Regan (new)

Regan | 87 comments I hadn't really thought of it as a possible romantic interest, but more, as Amy says, in the way a teacher has interest in an exceptional student.

Maybe not pursuing this was something Holmes regretted and made him think twice about Russell.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I want Laurie King to resurrect Violet and have Russell and Holmes meet her again. Maybe Violet and Russell become friends. Maybe Russell gets jealous of Holmes and Violet. Oh, the possibilities.

(And, Vicki, I just looked on IMDB, and you're correct, that was Natasha Richardson.)


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