i will never understand people who get pissed off at emilie, a mentally ill person who uses art as a creative outlet to cope, for “romanticizing mental illness” but then turn around and stan melanie martinez, a neurotypical whose entire career is dedicated to glorifying mental illness and trauma, making them look quirky & cute and treating them like tropes. i’m not saying emilie is perfect when it comes to that sort of thing, i’m just saying it’s hypocritical to call her out and then praise melanie, who is FAR worse.
If we look at The Abominable Bride as having both an “author” and an “illustrator”, we reach the conclusion that Sherlock must be the illustrator and John is the author. Since the Victorian footage is in Sherlock’s head he technically is the author, too, but he’s abdicated that responsibility to Watson, which is why we see the story start with Watson’s eyes opening and him narrating. Watson thinks the illustrator is “out of control” – no fans recognize him without the mustache because he’s too plain – Watson grew it to combat the ridiculous illustrator. There is a battle here, the author and illustrator have separate visions and Watson harbors a little bitterness.
So Sherlock gives Watson the role of the author. Later, Watson reveals he’s known for awhile that he’s in a story since he’s a storyteller, himself. Watson then tries to change the outcome of events. He tells Sherlock to wake up.
“Since when do you call me John?” - “You’d be surprised” - “No, I wouldn’t.”
“It’s time you woke up, Sherlock.”
But here’s the thing… Sherlock doesn’t wake up. The Victorian images are the last we see as they meld into modern times. John in Series 4 is still the Author and Sherlock is still the Illustrator. It takes awhile for John to realize it, but he figures it out. He doesn’t have his mustache anymore and nobody recognizes him. Nurse Cornish doesn’t even know John writes the blog.
“I’ll break every bone in your body while naming them” – this is exactly the threat John follows through on in The Lying Detective. Sherlock does not stay clean, Sherlock does not hold himself to a higher standard. “Wake up!” John yells.
Sherlock illustrates and John writes. The Final Problem is Sherlock writing as John would in one of his “idiot stories”.
Series 4 is just a continuation of The Abominable Bride. Sherlock delegates the writing once again but is supplying the imagery.
During the Age of Romance people liked to build artificial ruins. They can be found in parks and castle grounds all over England, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and other countries. In this period such artificially decayed artifacts were regarded as picturesque and suffused with the atmosphere of former times.
Another key feature of the Romantic Age is the Gothic novel as represented by authors like Mary Shelley, Ann Radcliffe, Horace Walpole, and many others.
In TAB Mofftiss keep playing with elements of romance and Gothic novel. Even the cemetery in the 2nd modern scene quickly turns into a Gothic stage design, complete with dramatic gravestones, a rotten coffin, and a decayed body dressed in ragged finery. The scene is clearly not real and is preceded by Moriarty’s comment:
“Is this silly enough for you yet? Gothic enough? Mad enough, even for you? It
doesn’t make sense, Sherlock, because it’s not real. None of it.”
Every time a cemetery is mentioned in the show, it has a very Gothic quality and is connected to something that is fake or unreal.
There’s the blind greenhouse in Kew Gardens and the leaning tomb in Hampstead
Mary Morstan was stillborn in October 1972. Her gravestone is in
Chiswick Cemetery where – five years ago – you acquired her name and date of birth and
thereafter her identity. (HLV)
But what does it mean for TFP? Well, here we get the real ruins of a manor house, surrounded by an artificial cemetery. Can there be anything more Gothic?
MYCROFT: The ancestral home, where there was always honey for tea and Sherlock played among the funny gravestones.
JOHN: Funny how?
MYCROFT: They weren’t real. The dates were all wrong.
SHERLOCK: The wrong dates. She used the wrong dates on the gravestones as the key to the
cipher and the cipher was the
A cipher consisting of wrong dates on gravestones standing on (probably) fake graves next to the ancestral home? This is very Gothic. The same goes for the burnt down house itself which is strongly reminiscent of Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre and Manderley in Rebecca, both of which can be regarded as standing in the tradition of the Gothic novel. (Eurus also reflects the Victorian image of the “madwoman in the attic” as discussed by Gilbert and Gubar but this would deserve its own post).
Therefore the house and the cemetery in TFP are echoes of echoes of the Gothic. And as such they are completely in accordance with the atmosphere of TAB. I leave you to your deductions.
Some images I took of the Johns Hopkins library’s copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer (1896). For more on William Morris, the creator of the Kelmscott Press, and the other elements of the Arts & Crafts movement, click here.
I’m mentally ill and I love EA… People tend to forget that she is mentally ill when they write many of these confessions. She isn’t acting like a sane person, and mostly likely she’s being manipulated by people who just want more money. She’s not a piece of cake, but she’s not the only one that “exploits” mental illness to get $$. The EA Alice game series is an example. And you know what? I frankly am grateful to her and many others for using mental illness as inspiration. I prefer to call myself a lunatic than for some stranger to do it. At least I know I’m calling myself so because I want to, not to hurt myself, like a stranger would do.
“What do you mean, you’re taking Theodosia Burr?” Alex asked
with a chill.
“Pops, I find her to be quite charming. I would like to take
her.” Charming? If she’s anything like
her father than that’s a fat load of crap. You tried to convince yourself
of that, it didn’t work. Alex was about to say something, he looked very
against this whole thing. But Eliza nudged him with her elbow and cleared her
“Of course you can take Theodosia, my son.” She smiled.
“Thank you, mom.” For a second, Philip looked over at you.
Every once in a while you’d think you’d see it. Your Sunshine, not this dark
cloud trying to hide him. Something sparked in his eyes for that single second.
Was it regret? Was it longing? Was it remembrance? Was it an apology? You couldn’t
tell, he built a wall between you.
‘In this same
interlude it doth befall
That I, one Snout by
name, present a wall.
And such a wall, as I
would have you think,
That had in it a
crannied hole, or chink,
Through which the
lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe,
Did whisper often very
This loam, this
roughcast, and this stone doth show
That I am that same
wall. The truth is so.
And this the cranny
is, right and sinister,
Through which the
fearful lovers are to whisper.’
That should’ve been a passage he marked. As quick as the
second had come, it was gone once again.
Philip tightened his lips and walked away, the same way he always did.
“You’re going to let our son take my rival’s daughter to a
party? Are you crazy, Betsy?” Alex asked. Eliza shook her head.
“Trust me, love. A mother knows what she’s doing.” She
assured, winking at you after she finished her sentence. What’s that supposed to mean?
days passed and you were left to your same routine. You were dusting off the
shelves in Alex’s study when you heard someone come in. You looked over to see
Lafayette leaning against one of the cleaned shelves.
“Oh, hey Laf. Did you need something?” You asked. He tapped
his finger against his chin and took a step forward.
“Yes actually, I do have a small favor to ask of you Miss
“You can just call me Y/N or Titania like Alex does, but
sure, what’s the favor?”
“I was invited to a party by a friend of mine. I would like
to ask you to allow me the pleasure of escorting you there.” WHAT?!
“Um, wait what? A party? Oh no, no, no, no! I’ve never been
to one before! Besides, why would you need me to go?” You asked nervously.
“Well you see, I am not exactly the best dancer and every
time I try to go to a gathering by myself a madam will ask me to dance. I just
cannot find it in my heart to say no to them, it seems rude but I always
accidentally step on their feet…” His face flushed a bit. Fucking Marie
Antoinette, this is all your fault! “If I take you with me, I believe I will be
asked to dance far less.” Honestly, I should’ve expected that this was the
reason. Lafayette was known for being extremely awkward in many situations.
“I mean; alright I guess? As long as I don’t have to talk to
many people because honestly I do not know the proper etiquette for these
things…” Lafayette smiled at your answer.
“Merci, we can both not know the proper etiquette together,
how does that sound?” He asked humorously, you chuckled.
“Sounds like a plan!” You laughed.
Eliza about what Lafayette suggested and she seemed very pleased that you said
yes. She even said she would help you get ready, of course Angie decided she
would as well. When the day came, Eliza summoned you to her room and she pulled
out this very elegant blue dress.
“What’s this?” You asked.
“Well, as much as I love the dress Hercules gave you, it
simply is not ball appropriate. So, you shall wear this.” She informed. Angie,
who was sitting on the bed called out excitedly.
“That’s the dress Mama says she fell in love with Daddy in!”
You looked at the beautiful blue color.
“Eliza…this is too much, you’re so sweet to me!” She brushed
off the comment.
“Nonsense! I would do anything for my girls and you are
certainly no exception! Now, come over here! We are wasting precious time!” You
went over and she immediately started to work on you.
“Mama, how did you and Daddy fall in love exactly?” Angie
asked curiously. Ohhh, I’ve never heard
this story before! Eliza giggled to herself.
“That is actually quite the fascinating tale. You see, many
people in our family believe that Alexander and I were in love at first sight…”
“Wait, are you saying you weren’t?” You questioned, she
“I had met Alexander once at my Father’s estate. He brought
a message from Mr. Washington and stayed over for dinner. At the time, I had no
intentions of courting with him.”
“Really? Why?” Angie seemed confused.
“Well… I was in love with someone else at the time. He was a
red coat named Andre.” She explained. WAIT!
“You were in love
with someone on the opposite side?” You were astounded. Eliza nodded with an
amused smile. Am I the Andre to Philip’s
Eliza? Was I just a phase?
“Madly in love, in fact. When I saw Alexander that night at
a winter’s ball, everything changed. Love is a very complicated feeling, that’s
what I realized in that moment. You can’t control it, you can’t change it and
that’s scary.” Yeah…I know the feeling…
“At first, I didn’t think Alexander was interested in me. Although my sister
was already married at the time, I assumed he fancied her more. But here we
are, many years later. Alexander has taught me many things, but mostly he’s
shown me that love is not easy. You will doubt each other, hurt each other and
not even intend to, or even worse… You do it to protect them.” Eliza finished
putting the dress on you and quickly worked with your hair. She took two pieces
from the front and braided them to the back, making sure your hair stayed out of
your face. Was my sparkle not enough? Did
someone give him more than I could offer? “You look beautiful dear!” Eliza
teared up, Angie got off the bed, an idea burning in her pupils.
“Wait! Don’t go anywhere! I have an amazing idea!” She ran
out of the room and you were left to wonder for a moment. After a few minutes
she came running back in with something in her arms. You froze when you
realized what it was. Five bushels of
baby’s breath… She stepped behind you and laced the stems into your braid. “The
best accessory a lady can wear is fresh flowers.” She stated. You felt odd
about using the flower. You looked at yourself in the mirror. You were pretty
but felt, out of place. Monachopsis, that’s the word that came to mind in that
moment. You didn’t feel like you belonged there anymore, you tried not to think
about it too much. Once you were all
dressed and ready, Eliza led you out to the main room.
“Alexander has already called the coach. He should be waiting
outside with Lafayette.” You took a step out the door and let your eyes adjust
to the bright light. Alex was talking with Lafayette outside the carriage and
once they noticed you and the other woman with you they smiled. You went down
the steps and Alex took your hand, turning your wrist and signaling for you to
“Oh, I wonder where that dress came from!” He hinted while
you span in place, his banter made you feel a bit better about everything. Alex
gave your hand to Lafayette so you turned your attention to him. He smiled at
“Miss Titania, Alexander instructed me to call you that, you
look quite elegant, if I must say.” You fanned your face jocularly.
“Monsieur, you flatter me so!” You said with fake
bashfulness. He opened the carriage door
and helped you into it, when he got in he sat across from you. You waved
everyone goodbye and joked that you would be back before tomorrow. The carriage
pulled forward and you watched as it drove out of the yard. Just as the house
was starting to fade out of sight, you saw another carriage pull in. Another carriage? The house was too far
away at that point for you to investigate any further. You were starting to get
a bit nervous and your leg began to bounce from under your dress. You stared
out the window until you felt something tap your arm. You jumped slightly and
turned your gaze toward Lafayette.
“Miss Titania, you seem a bit flustered. May I ask what is
“Oh, um, yes. I’m just a bit anxious is all. I’ve uh, never
been to anything like this before.” You chuckled and scratched your cheek.
“Do not fear! As a gentleman, it is my job to ensure that
you have as nice of a time as possible. After all, those who can’t dance shall
not dance together! Or…something of that effect.” Wow…he’s just as awkward as me. What a precious lil baguette!
long before the carriage pulled in front of a large house. It was mostly brick
and was almost the model image of Victorian styling. The carriage stopped in
front of the estate and Lafayette stepped out first to help you down. The two
of you made your way up the grand stone steps, the door was opened for you. You
thought you were going to be early but there were already tons of people inside
the large, open room. It wouldn’t have bothered you so much if not a good majority
of the people looked over at you. Lafayette had his arm linked with yours and
pulled it slightly to get your attention as he led you through the room.
“I think they like you.” He whispered.
“Who’s party is this anyway?” You questioned.
“The Price’s, I was quite close with the father of the
house, the rest of the family was more than happy to allow me to attend.” You
nodded to show that you understood. You felt several eyes gaze at you from time
to time, you weren’t sure how to feel about it. Lafayette was nice enough to
make sure you never felt too uncomfortable. At one point he was leading you
across the room by stopped halfway. “I will be right back; I must greet the
lady of the house. Would you mind waiting for just a moment?” He asked.
“Go ahead, I’ll be here.” He continued to walk across the
room. A young man approached you not long after. Well, not quite young, he
still seemed quite a bit older than you.
“Hello Miss, what is a fair lady, such as yourself, doing here
all by your lonesome?” He certainly knew that you were not alone. Can’t a girl be by herself for ten seconds
and not be bothered?! “May I get you a drink?” He asked.
“No thank you, I don’t drink.” I don’t trust the alcohol in this century! He tried to insist but
you declined, that didn’t stop him from trying to ask again but he was stopped
by a voice interrupting him. You felt someone standing behind you.
“Excuse me sir, thank you for keeping my friend company for
me. Now if you don’t mind…” The man quickly walked away from the masculine
voice behind you. Why does that sound so familiar?
“Thank you, I wasn’t sure how I wa-“ You turned around and
“Hello Titania, it’s been quite a while hasn’t it?” A bright
color filled your eyesight.