Friday, June 25, 2010

Mansfield Park: Study

While Professor Plum is being interviewed by Dr Watson, Sharli of Montgomery Park, Midnight Cowgirl and Lady Iris Seyton of Brightmore Manor (aka Mademoiselle Stella) amuse themselves with a game of cards.

During their card game they speak of the latest gossip and news. They are most excited about Meredith of Austenesque's latest book acquisitions...

To Conquer Mr. Darcy
by Abigail Reynolds

Darcy's Voyage
by Kara Louise

Mr. Darcy's Little Sister
by C. Allyn Pierson

The ladies' voices steadily increase with their excited chatter. Dr Watson must interrupt his interview with Professor Plum to alert them of their volume.

Things to know about Watson:
--> full name, Dr John Hamish Watson

--> British Doctor who is the friend, assistant, and flatmate of detective Sherlock Holmes

--> used to be an athlete

--> Assistant Surgeon of the Army Medical Department (attached to the 66th Foot) in Afghanistan, but he was discharged following an injury

--> Watson often uses his service revolver in the cases. He is a crack shot, apparently a better marksman than Holmes.


Shelock Holmes pokes his head into the study.

psst. Watson, have you examined the body?

No, not yet.

Well, what are you waiting for ol' boy. Be off. I shall finish the narratives here.

Dr Watson concludes his interview with Professor Plum, writes down final notes, gathers his things and leaves the room.

Dr Watson found that...
Professor Plum is almost the smartest man on the planet. If he wasn’t so scatterbrained, he would definitely be the smartest. Slightly balding and middle-aged, Peter Plum can’t remember where he’s been the last five minutes of any part of any day, so how could he remember if he murdered Mr. Boddy or not? He’s a simple, intelligent man and good-natured at heart, but he likes to steal his own things. That’s because he's just scatterbrained enough to do so! -Plum bio

Before Holmes continues with questioning the remaining guests he notices a crumpled letter that did not make it into the trash bin. It lay on the floor beckoning him. With curiosity, Holmes picks up the letter and smoothes it out...


Whenever I think of mummies, I think of them buried in the Valley of the Kings or in grand pyramids in Giza or lying behind glass in a museum. I never thought there were other more disturbing uses for mummies employed in the past. Here are a few that I find the most interesting.

* The bitumen was considered to have healing properties and was used as a medicine. People believed for a long time that bitumen was used in the mummification process. Because of this, people would grind up mummies into powder and use it for medicinal purposes. This practice is over 500 years old and was used as recently as 1972. When mummies were hard to find, merchants would embalm corpses themselves and market them as mummies.

* The Mummy Brown or Egyptian Brown is a color of paint that contained powdered mummy. It was primarily used in the 1500’s and 1600’s in oil and watercolor painting. The color was no longer used after the contents were well known in the 1800’s.

* Mummies were used as entertainment as well. Mummy unwrapping parties were popular in the 1830’s and 1840’s. This was most likely to discover if there were any valuables within the wrappings. Gail Carriger added this tidbit in her new novel, Changeless (the second of the Parasol Protectorate series). I was horrified that it was considered acceptable, let alone a form of entertainment, but I accepted that it was a part of actual history.

* The tombs of Ancient Egyptians have been robbed throughout history by a variety of different people. This practice was accepted and not criminalized until that late 1800’s.

* There is speculation that there may have been papyrus paper imported into America in the 1850’s that was made from linen wrappings of mummies.

* Mummified cats were shipped to Europe to sell as fertilizer.
I find these facts also saddening because these practices destroyed so many mummies and tombs that may have led to important discoveries about the Ancient Egyptian people.


More mummy facts. Holmes is intrigued. First the marked book in the Library and now this letter. Whatever could be the meaning of it all?

*** Watson Book Giveaway ***

Courtesy of Quirk Books:

The Crimes of Dr. Watson
An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery
Author: John H. Watson, M.D.,
Edited and with an Introduction by, Duane Swierczynski
-for 2 winners

Open to all.

Offer ends: July 31, 2010

Visit the Quirk Books site and tell me 2 things of interest that you found there in comments along with your email.

Contest has ended - winner is here



* guest post of mummy facts from Titania of Fishmuffins of Doom

* image source Dr Watson

~ Mansfield Park schedule ~

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