I just got back in from seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It’s a pistol – as a fella I ran into tonight pointed out, Guy Ritchie started making good movies again once he broke up with Madonna. It also totally taps one of my great preoccupations of late –the Western 19th century. Pretty broad stroke, I know, but I’m still learning the fine grains of the history. On my long drive to and from the family homestead for Christmas, I’m listening to two great books – Steven Bown’s Scurvy and Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map. These books are about the development of modern science in an age of loose thinking and persistent superstition, the main point of my interest in that broad sweep, and a theme shared with Ritchie’s Victorian brawler.
Sherlock Holmes is, even in this new, more physical adaptation, the very embodiment of reason and logic. As he demands repeatedly in the film,