"recognize the wool from the lamb"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Oct 4 18:58:56 UTC 2011

On Oct 4, 2011, at 12:39 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Well, it pays to think twice, after having slept on it, and re-read
> and re-watch once.  In Doyle's text, Isadora Klein says to Holmes,
> "He [Douglas Maberley] wrote a book in which he described his own
> story. I, of course, was the wolf; he the lamb."  Aha!
> So I re-watched the video.  The English subtitle, when Holmes and
> Watson are discussing the last and only extant page of Douglas's
> book, certainly is "All of London would recognize the wool from the
> lamb".  The audio is indistinct to my sub-par ears, but Brett perhaps
> slurs the F in "wolf" (lip movement didn't help me enough) and it is
> quite possible that the subtitler put "wool".  (There is one place
> where Holmes says Steve Dixie was "easily cowed"  and the subtitle is
> "easily coward", and there are one or two other, similar mis-hearings.)
> So -- I now think Holmes said "recognize the *wolf* from the lamb",
> which is simply "recognize Isadora Klein, the predator, from
> Douglas's, the victim's, text."
> (It is evident that the writer of the one Google hit for "recognize
> the wool" wrote from the Granada DVD -- like me, not hearing a clear
> F and/or reading the subtitle.  Holmes's line is not in Doyle.)
> Apologies!
> Joel
That's OK, it was a nice image, while evoking both the difficulty of telling the singer from the song and the origin of "wool in sheep's clothing".


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