06 Jun 2014
Today’s installment from the 223B Casebook is a multiple parody. “Three Rousing Cheers!!! The Parody Adventures of Our Youthful Heroes” is a Sherlock Holmes parody. It is a Rover Boys parody. It is a “Green Hat” parody.
The Rover Boys were the heroes of a series of boys’ stories. It was created in 1899 by Edward Stratemeyer. Like the Hardy boys (which Stratemeyer also created), they investigated mysteries and experienced adventures of all kinds. The 30 volumes published between 1899 and 1926 are still in print today, and many can be found at Project Gutenberg.
While it’s natural to equate the Rover Boys with Sherlock Holmes, “The Green Hat” is odd beast. Michael Arlen (born Dikran Kuyumjian in Bulgaria) is best remembered for “The Green Hat” (1924). This satirical novel of London’s smart set was a roaring success on the scale of “Less Than Zero,” only without the cocaine. Arlen became instantly famous, particularly for his impeccable clothing and driving around London in his yellow Rolls-Royce.
“The Green Hat” and Arlen is forgotten today except as a curiosity, but little more than a year after its publication “The Green Hat” was still worthy of parody.
The author, Corey Ford (1902–1969) was an American humorist, author, outdoorsman, and screenwriter. He is probably best known, if that, for giving the name Eustace Tilley to the New Yorker magazine’s mascot, a dandy with a top hat eying a butterfly through a monocle.
Stories from the 223B casebook — stories 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.