Monday Miscellany

Writing ‘Rudolph’: The Original Red-Nosed Manuscript

From NPR comes a delightful tale of how Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer, came to be, first in a story, then in a song, and finally in a movie.

Sherlock Holmes stories enter public domain in U.S.

A federal judge has issued a declarative judgment stating that Holmes, Dr. John Watson, 221B Baker Street, the dastardly Professor Moriarty and other elements included in the 50 Holmes works that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published before Jan. 1, 1923, are no longer covered by U.S. copyright law and can therefore be freely used by others without paying any licensing fee to the writer’s estate.

This article provides some insight into the complex workings of copyright law in the United States.

According to the article, all of the Sherlock Holmes are in the public domain in Britain.

Shakespeare’s last house: Archaeologists reveal more

The BBC reports:

Archaeologists have discovered “as much as they can” about the house where William Shakespeare spent his final years, the project leader says.

The house, called New Place, was built in 1483. Shakespeare bought it in 1597. In the eighteenth century the house was demolished and a new house built. Experts believe they have now separated the newer building’s features from those of the older house inhabited by Shakespeare. According to the project director:

“We have identified pretty accurately the footprint of Shakespeare’s New Place and can say what kind of activities would have gone on in the rooms, such as the brew house, which ran down the side of the house, and the kitchens.”

The article contains photos of the restoration project and links to related news stories.