“Why I Jilted Nan” | A 1910 Sherlock Holmes Parody

ad-Sherlock-Holmes-1904-safe-adToday’s Sherlock Holmes parody from the 223B Casebook has not been seen since it appeared in the Ann Arbor High School yearbook for 1910. “Why I Jilted Nan” by Helen Gillespie features Sheerluck Jones, the great detective, and a misunderstand hinted at in the title. It’s a fine story, considering it was written by a high school student, and demonstrates how deep into the culture Conan Doyle’s creation had penetrated.

Following Helen Gillespie runs into a dead end quickly. The 1910 Census IDs an 18-year-old living in Ward 1 of Ann Arbor. That’s most likely her. In ’20, the University of Michigan hired a Helen Gillespie as stenographer for its law school in 1920. She would have been in her mid-20s at that time.

Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches published during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s lifetime (plus later ones I liked) — are published here every Monday and Friday. The up-to-date list can be found here.

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