It Wasn’t Freud

In response to:

Sherlockology from the February 20, 1975 issue

To the Editors:

The least one can expect of your reviewers is that they will at least read the books that they are reviewing. Clive James in your issue of February 20 in his article on the recent books on Sherlockology gives ample proof that he hasn’t read The Seven PerCent Solution. He has Professor Moriarity being Sigmund Freud. If he had read the book he would know that Moriarity was a math professor who taught the young Sherlock.

John E. George

Dallas, Texas

Clive James replies:

It’s not so much that books like The Seven-Per-Cent Solution are difficult to read—although of course they are—as that they are impossible to remember. As with all the other culprits in the line-up, I did what I could to separate the plot from the prose. Unfortunately in this one case I misinterpreted my resulting notes. It is doubly distressing to have this forced to my attention: first because the book turns out to be even less interesting than I thought, second because such a blunder does not sit well in a piece where I so freely accuse other people of inaccuracy. I must apologize, then, to Nicholas Meyer for the way I read his book, although I can’t suppress a lingering belief that he ought to apologize to me for the way he wrote it.