Book Discussion · Resources

Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part

This year, The Baskerville Pups have been given the opportunity to share our thoughts on the works published by MX Publishing. To start, I chose Maureen Whittaker’s Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part. Some of you may be familiar with her first Jeremy Brett biography, Jeremy Brett IS Sherlock Holmes, which is a mere sample of what is inside of the larger biography encompassing more than his career portraying Sherlock Holmes.

Quite like many Sherlockians, JB’s Holmes is close to my heart. “His persona and accurate portrayal of Holmes is most admirable. Just as Sir Arthur allows us to sharply envision Holmes thanks to his wonderfully descriptive writing, the quirkiness and physicality that JB dedicated to his Sherlock Holmes could snatch viewers of all ages, taking them to a world of adventure and thrill. Etched into my brain, his laugh and smile is unforgettably lovable” (Boodram, 2021).

I haven’t had the opportunity to see or experience any other performances by Jeremy Brett. However, upon such admiration, I was inevitably interested in the person responsible for bringing Sherlock Holmes to life, on screen.

So, to anyone who picked up Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part in one of those modern High Street bookshops that are now online, not on High Street, and is considering to take the book either by purchase or by other means of getting a book without sticking it down their trousers or pirating it off of the dark web, I would like to congratulate the potential reader on their interest in Jeremy Brett.

The potential reader, or re-reader, will soon realize this book contains more than Sherlock Holmes. It’s mostly about this gentleman who, like Holmes, had a very big heart, but unlike Holmes, did not hide his emotions or choose cold reasoning over showing a friendly smile and warm gestures.

From childhood to the later parts of his life, Maureen Whittaker does a most wonderful job detailing Jeremy Brett’s life. Complementing the long passages are a great deal of photographs that the eyes can examine without being hindered by watermarks or Pinterest ads. Since Jeremy Brett’s career had much to do with life in the theater, the book has a very lengthy detail about every performance he brought on stage (and film). I highly recommend this book to anyone who is (of course, not only a fan of JB) interested in the theatrical world of England.

Most importantly, I would like to address the reader once more. Furthermore, I would like to follow up that address with a spoiler alert for the foreword and the afterword. I won’t tell you which, but the honourable guest appearances are from Mr David Burke and Ms Linda Pritchard. Here we learn more about how Jeremy Brett impacted those around him with his exuberant spirit.

Lovely words by our friend Jim.

I’d like to thank MX Publishing for sharing this book with us. It was a great read, and it might be useful to me someday in my studies. I would also like to encourage our fellow Sherlockians to share their thoughts about this book and the work of Jeremy Brett. We have a new community on Twitter, where Sherlockians can share photos, links, and follow each other. We also interview Sherlockians and post feature articles on our Medium publication. I hope you enjoy the discussions and great activities the Sherlockian world has to offer!

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Cheerio my dear friends! We’ll see you next post. Do comment, like, and share!

Boodram, M. F. (2021, September 12). The Baskerville Pups Update #1 – The Baskerville Pups. Medium.

2 thoughts on “Jeremy Brett: Playing a Part

  1. I have seen several of Brett’s other performances. He spent a lot of the 70s and 80s in Hollywood and did a lot of TV guest spots and Masterpiece episodes. I really liked him in The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Rebecca (where he acted with his ex wife Anna Massey) but he really was THE Sherlock Holmes. There is a book just about the making of the Holmes series called “Bending the Willow” written about 20 years ago.


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