I keep reading about the controversy over Amanda Abbington and Mary Morstan, or rather, I keep reading posts that say “don’t hate Amanda, because Mary dies and John goes to live on a bee farm with Sherlock so your ship can still sail.” This annoys me to no end, because it really isn’t so simple as that. (Also, I should add that I think it’s great they’re finally including Mary, and I don’t know much about Amanda Abbington but I’m sure she’ll be great.) So below I have posted a nice summary from Chris Redmond of Sherlockian.net.
This is a perennial issue amongst Sherlockian scholars, and one which could continue to be hotly debated long into the future. Opinions range from Watson having been married only once, to as many as six times! Part of the confusion arising from this crux is that the good Doctor never once mentioned his wife by name throughout any of the Canon, only referring to her as “my wife”.
It is generally agreed that Watson met Mary Morstan in September of 1888 (The Sign of the Four) and married her several months later, presumably in the Spring of 1889. Watson, in “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”, and Holmes in “The Stockbroker’s Clerk”, made comments definitely linking this “wife” with The Sign of the Four. In “The Empty House”, Watson mentioned that Holmes had learned of his “own sad bereavement”. Since Holmes had ostensibly gone over the Falls in April of 1891 and returned in April of 1894, Mary Morstan must have passed away sometime between those dates. In “The Blanched Soldier”, which occurred in 1903, Holmes wrote that “Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife”. This “wife” was clearly someone other than Mary Morstan, and so it would appear that Watson was married twice. This seems simple enough.
The real difficulty, however, starts in “The Five Orange Pips” when Watson wrote that his “wife was on a visit to her mother’s”. Since Mary Morstan stated that her mother was dead in The Sign of the Four, and since Watson recorded that “The Five Orange Pips” occurred in September of 1887 (a full year before he met Mary),then this “wife” could not have been her. To make matters even more complex, Watson also mentioned “The Sign of Four”, as part of a dialogue with Holmes, in this same story.
And the crux continues in “A Scandal in Bohemia”, where Watson clearly recorded that the case started on March 20, 1888 and again referred to being married. Based upon these two stories, one might argue that Watson had a wife before Mary Morstan, but if this is true, then what became of her?
In an attempt to explain these inconsistencies, some Sherlockian scholars re-assigned dates to these stories. But those actions introduced new contradictions, didn’t they? As for myself, I’ll go with the three-marriage theory.
Not to mention that in addition to all of this, Watson does not go live with Holmes on his bee farm. In fact, in His Last Bow, Holmes calls Watson up after they have been separated for a time. Holmes lives alone on his bee farm.
Please stop being annoying fandom and if you’re going to cite the canon at least do it right.
Behold: The Angry Southerner
I’m very passionate about John and Mary okay
Before anyone bothers - I don’t hate Johnlock. I’m not homophobic. Don’t even bother sending me messages saying anything along those lines because I will publish it and go back to it when I need a good laugh.
I think I might have decided to adopt Nicole. She’s made of equal parts adorable and good sense.
I think I accidentally came across a Sherlock s3 spoiler I did not want to see and I hate myself but totally excited because if I think what I saw is what I saw…. My canon ship is back!
One of the underappreciated (and under-noticed) lines of Sherlock.