Sherlock Holmes story translated into Welsh by Powys group

Media caption,
The Speckled Band - Y Cylch Brith - is one of Conan Doyle's 56 short stories

It has taken over 120 years but fans of the fictional Victorian detective Sherlock Holmes say one of his cases has finally been translated into Welsh.

The Deerstalkers of Welshpool, a Welsh Sherlock Holmes society with 20 members, has published The Speckled Band - Y Cylch Brith - in Welsh.

It is one of 56 short stories penned by author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who also wrote four long stories about Holmes.

His books have now been translated into 99 different languages.

Deerstalkers founder Roy Upton-Holder said the group now had ambitions to publish one of Conan Doyle's longer stories about the super sleuth, such as The Hound of the Baskervilles or A Study in Scarlet.

The group intends to ask the Welsh government for money towards the publishing costs.

Mr Upton-Holder, 83, an enthusiast of Conan Doyle's books for 60 years, said it cost £1,400 to translate and publish Y Cylch Brith.

He announced plans to translate The Speckled Band into Welsh in November 2012.

The first 100 books were delivered to his home in Welshpool on Tuesday and he hopes they will sell quickly, even though most of those who have ordered a copy cannot speak Welsh.

"The president of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London has asked for a copy as have members of societies in the United States and Northern Ireland," said Mr Upton-Holder.

"They're collectors. It doesn't matter that they can't read the book in Welsh. I collect the books too and I have copies in Polish, Spanish and Danish.

"There are 400 Sherlock Holmes societies worldwide so we don't think selling the books will be a problem."

Mr Upton-Holder said his group had received donations from the United States towards the translation and publishing costs of Y Cylch Brith.

Image caption,
Conan Doyle's hero is enjoying a resurgence thanks to the BBC Wales-produced TV drama Sherlock

Its translator Eurwyn Pierce Jones, from nearby Montgomery, worked for up to five months on the text, translating around 10,000 words and producing four or five drafts before he was satisfied.

Mr Upton-Holder, whose house is called Baskerville after the detective's most famous case and his pet cat Mycroft in honour of Holmes's brother, said the group chose to translate The Speckled Band because it was one of Conan Doyle's favourite books.

It tells the story of a greedy stepfather who murders one of his stepdaughters.

First published in the Strand Magazine in 1892, Mr Upton-Holder said it was written for commuters and designed to be read in about 30 minutes.

Holmes has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years thanks to the BBC Wales-produced TV drama Sherlock and director Guy Ritchie's two cinema adaptations starring Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law.

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