Of blackmail, a Canadian in New York and Irish life

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in Voice, brought to Second Life by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library SL.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday September 22nd, 13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Caledonia Skytower and Corwyn Allen return to read another installment in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s volume of stories The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

Watson (l) and Holmes (c) confront Charles Augustus Milverton (Sidney Paget, Stand Magazine, 1904)

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, first published in 1904, but thought to be set in 1899, sees Holmes and Watson retained by wealthy débutante Lady Eva Blackwell, who is being threatened by one Charles Augustus Milverton.

Milverton has obtained compromising letters written by Lady Blackwell, and is demanding £7,000 (around $700,000 today) in order not to reveal them and so put an end to her engagement, and bring shame down on her family.

Holmes regards Milverton as the “king of the blackmailers”, and more repulsive than any of the fifty or so murderers he has brought to account in his career. He resolves to recover the letters by any means necessary…

This is one of Sir Conan Doyle’s more unusual tales for the Great Detective, as it is believed to be based on a real-life blackmailer, Charles Augustus Howell. Howell was an art dealer who preyed upon an unknown number of people, including the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He met his end under mysterious circumstances in 1890, when his body was found near a public house in Chelsea, London. His throat had been posthumously slit and a ten-shilling coin placed in his mouth. The presence of the coin was known to be a criticism of those guilty of slander.

Monday September 23rd, 19:00: Sci-fi Shorts

Join Gyro Muggins as he reads Hemeac and Dance of the Changer and the Three.

Tuesday September 24th, 19:00: The Words and Wit of David Rakoff

David Rakoff (1964-2012) - image courtesy of The New Yorker
David Rakoff (1964-2012) – image courtesy of The New Yorker

David Benjamin Rakoff was a Canadian-born writer and humorist most noted for his autobiographical writings. Rakoff was heavily influenced by David Sedaris, a former subject of a piece at Seanchai Library, and with whom Rakoff worked in both the theatre and on National Public Radio while based in New York City.

Rakoff was an essayist, journalist, and actor. He sometimes humourously / self-depreciatingly described himself as a “New York writer who also happened to be a Canadian writer”, a “mega Jewish writer”, a “gay writer” and an “East Asian Studies major who has forgotten most of his Japanese” writer.

Crap Mariner delves in to the Rakoff’s writings and presents an hours’ insight into his life and work – as seen through his own eyes.

Wednesday September 25th, 19:00: A Year in Tulfarris (3)

TulferrisFrom the book jacket:

“My boss was wondering if I’d be up for working in Dublin for a year. What would you think of moving to Ireland for a year?”

And so began the adventure, chronicled by his photographs and her written musings, as they explore monuments and meet people (and animals) who will leave an indelible mark on them and their children forever.

Follow them as they trek down livestock-riddled narrow lanes, traipse through fields to standing stones and megalithic tombs, and deal with the delightful and at-times maddening resistance on the Irish to the intrusions of the modern world.

Join Caladonia Skytower as she reads from this very personal and charming tale, laced as it is with a bittersweet twist.

Thursday September 26th, “Get yer spook on!”

Join Shandon Loring in getting into the Halloween spirit


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for September and October is Water for People. Have questions? IM or notecard Caledonia Skytower.

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