February 18, 2007


Rankin battles Jowell to save Conan Doyle's home (Oliver Duff, 19 February 2007, Independent)

Tessa Jowell is setting herself up to become a villain or victim in the forthcoming, and final, Inspector Rebus crime novel, currently being written by Ian Rankin.

Rankin accuses the Culture Secretary of a disregard for the literary opus of Arthur Conan Doyle, akin to that of the pigeons who decorate Edinburgh's statue of Sherlock Holmes. He has joined a campaign for better protection of Conan Doyle's Surrey house, Undershaw, where he wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles. It is boarded up; the roofs leak. Grade I listed status would secure its future.

Jowell believes the property to be "an unremarkable late-19th-century domestic house ... with many of the original features long gone". She has tried to placate Conan Doyle fans by offering to Grade I-list 221b Baker Street.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2007 10:13 PM

When in fact all of the buildings on Baker Street (that end at least) are built on top of the remains of any that existed 100 years ago.

Posted by: Bartman at February 19, 2007 10:30 AM

The last Rebus crime novel? What a bummer! Hope he pulls a Conan Doyle with "The Return of Rebus".

Posted by: jdkelly at February 19, 2007 12:45 PM