Diogenes Club

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Diogenes Club)
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Diogenes (disambiguation).
Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Mycroft Holmes in the Stranger's Room

The Diogenes Club is a fictional gentleman's club created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and featured in several Sherlock Holmes stories, most notably "The Greek Interpreter". It seems to have been named after Diogenes the Cynic (although this is never explained in the original stories) and was co-founded by Sherlock's indolent older brother, Mycroft Holmes.

The club is described by Sherlock Holmes in the stories thus:

"There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger's Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere."

The Greek Interpreter

It is described as a place where men can go to read without any distractions, and as such the number one rule is that there is no talking, to the point where club members can be excluded for coughing.

Relation to British Secret Service[edit]

Although there is no hint in the original Sherlock Holmes canon that the Diogenes Club is anything but what it seems to be, several later writers developed and used the idea that the club was founded as a front for the British secret service. This may have its root in "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans", in which Mycroft Holmes is revealed to be the supreme and indispensable brain-trust behind the British government, who pieces together collective government secrets and offers advice on the best way to act.

The idea was popularised by The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), a 1970s motion picture directed by Billy Wilder, and has since been frequently used in pastiches of Conan Doyle's stories.[citation needed]

In other media[edit]

The Diogenes Club has appeared, in various forms, in a great many other settings, most of which take as given the Club's connection to the British Secret Service:

  • British horror writer Kim Newman has featured versions of the Diogenes Club in both his Anno Dracula and Diogenes Club series. In both settings it is an organisation dedicated to investigating the paranormal, and many of the same characters appear across the two, most notably Charles Beauregard and Geneviève Dieudonné.
  • Also in 2011, the club was mentioned in Guy Ritchie's movie Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, when Watson made a deduction about Mycroft prior to the stag party. It was named again when Sherlock Holmes reveals where he ordered Watson to send the telegram under Moriarty's torture.
  • In the BBC TV series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall", the Diogenes Club is shown; Watson goes there, desperate to see Mycroft Holmes, gets into trouble for talking, and is briskly and not too gently escorted to the Stranger's Room by two muffle-shoed bouncers who hold a white gloved hand over his mouth to prevent his continued speaking.
  • In the CBS TV series Elementary, Mycroft is a restaurateur who owns a gourmet international restaurant chain called Diogenes.

References[edit]