BIOGRAPHY, BOOKS, FAMILY HISTORY, general biography, Relationships, WW1
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New Book: The Curse of Sherlock Holmes

At last we Rathbone fans have a new book about our hero to read! David Clayton’s book The Curse of Sherlock Holmes: The Basil Rathbone Story has just been released in the U.K., and is scheduled to be released in the U.S.A. through Trafalgar/IPG Book distributors November 2020.  I haven’t seen the book yet (my copy is on its way), but I’ll post an update after I’ve read the book. Here is the press release:

The first definitive biography of Basil Rathbone, from the trenches of WWI to Hollywood fame

New biography The Curse of Sherlock Holmes is the first complete account of one of Britain’s most loved actors.

Though Basil Rathbone had a long and distinguished acting career, it was as Sherlock Holmes that he achieved worldwide fame.

Appearing in fourteen Holmes films, Rathbone made the role his own, and every actor who has since played the ingenious detective has been compared to him — almost always failing to live up to Rathbone’s legacy.

He continued his career in Hollywood, appearing in numerous roles, but he found it difficult to free himself of Holmes, eventually accepting he never would.

This book spans Rathbone’s journey from the trenches of the First World War, when he was awarded a Military Cross for bravery, through to a Hollywood career that earned him three Walk of Fame stars.

It also takes in his life away from the silver screen and his relationship with the son he left behind for a new life in America and also his lifelong friendship with Nigel Bruce, his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson in all the Sherlock Holmes films.

David Clayton, the author of this book, has authored more than fifty books, including The Richard Beckinsale Story and Ollie: The Autobiography of Ian Holloway.

Endorsement from Jilly Cooper: “David Clayton is a wonderful writer. His books are as entertaining as they are revealing and he really brings his characters to life.”

Hardback ISBN 9780752494463

Price:  £18.99



  1. ticobasiljd says

    OK, I have read the book on Kindle over two days. It is very good–the author is an intelligent fan, obviously, who did his research. It is nice to have all the ducks in a row, chronologically, with dates in most cases, etc. As students of this website we are deeper into these subjects than the book goes, but he addresses many of the same issues, and adds some things about his first marriage and so forth. He was able to get good info from Rodion’s daughter Dounia about that relationship and how Ouida interfered with it. Unfortunately, who is there left to interview who could bring further light to his days. Why on earth did he stick with Ouida; how shattered had he been by the war? One is left wondering what things would be like if he had returned to making movies in England as he wished, instead of those awful unwatchable bill-payers in his last years. Imagine him working at the wonderful Ealing Studios instead in the 1960s, with all those great actors and comedians; yikes, imagine him as the costar in “Brief Encounter”!! By the end of the book I was in tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ticobasiljd says

    I just tried Amazon and it was listed as being available on Kindle ($11.99 or so), so I downloaded it and now have a dedicated mission for the rest of today!!! I can buy the hardcover later! Break out the martinis!! O frabjous day, calooh callay!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ticobasiljd says

    Oh, what a great surprise! Just found it on ebooks but I want to hold out for the actual 3-D book in November or hopefully sooner. From the above, looks like I should have checked out Amazon, not Bing! The chapter list is sure intriguing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Basilikum says

    Wow, I’m excited now! It’s already on Amazon Germany, also with release date Nov 1st. But will this book tell anything we don’t know yet? Hm… Will definitely buy tho. 🙂

    Thank you for the information, Marcia.

    Liked by 1 person

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