The Game is Afoot!: The Significance of Gratuitous Transfers in the Sherlock Holmes Canon
37 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2010
Date Written: September 14, 2010
This article presents a recently discovered and previously unpublished manuscript written by John H. Watson, M.D., and annotated by Professor Stephen Alton. Dr. Watson’s manuscript records an extended conversation that took place between the good doctor and his great friend, the renowned consulting detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes, regarding issues of gratuitous transfers of property – issues involving inheritances, wills, and trusts – that have arisen in some of the great cases solved by Mr. Holmes. This felicitous discovery confirms something that Professor Alton has long known: these gratuitous transfer issues permeate many of these adventures. Often, the action in the case occurs because of the desire of the wrong-doer to come into an inheritance, a bequest, or the present possession of an estate in land more quickly – perhaps by dispatching the intervening heir, beneficiary, or life tenant. Professor Alton has annotated this manuscript, providing extensive analysis of these issues and citations to relevant, contemporary authority in his footnotes.
Keywords: Gratuitous Transfers, Sherlock Holmes, Rule Against Perpetuities, Trusts, Estates, Wills
JEL Classification: K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation