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Authors > Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver I have never been a big fan of those who done it mystery type stories which Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories help popularize so I had never much interest in the Holmes' stories, but when I was required to read a collection of them for one of my courses, I enjoyed them more than I thought I would.

I am now currently reading The Hound of the Baskervilles and so far I am quite enjoying it. One of the things which I quite like about this story is the illusion to the supernatural, even though you know in the end it will have a logical explanation. I am quite fascinated with the black dog lore of Ireland. In which there have been stories for centuries of people claming to see these mysterious black hounds. Some people view them as an ill omen and a sign of death while others actually see the black hound as a potent of good luck.

"The Hounds of Baskervilles" draws upon this myth in presenting a dark mystery in which it seems a curse has been case over this old manor, in which a myth surrounds the house of a large black hound which have killed the inhabitants of the house.

One of the things which I really enjoy about this story is the gothic elements which Doyle draws from in creating this rather ominous and eerie atmosphere. I love the way in which he described the dark gloom of the manor and creates this haunting atmosphere. In addition the manor is surrounded by the moor, which is a perfect setting to further enhance the eeriness as well as the since of isolation.


message 2: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) This is my favorite Holmes b/c of the gothic atmosphere. I thought it was very well done. You've described it perfectly! I want to read all the Holmes' stories again. It's been years.


Victoria (vikz writes) (VixtoriaVikzwrites) Martha wrote: "This is my favorite Holmes b/c of the gothic atmosphere. I thought it was very well done. You've described it perfectly! I want to read all the Holmes' stories again. It's been years."

I love this book. I too would like to read Homes, a group read perhaps;)


message 4: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I would love to do a group or buddy read, but not until after April. Am involved in several reads now and having trouble keeping up as it is! LOL


message 5: by Silver (new)

Silver I found this interesting article about The Hound of Baskervilles with images of some of the locations mentioned in the story

http://www.herbertholeman.com/sherloc...


Victoria (vikz writes) (VixtoriaVikzwrites) Martha wrote: "I would love to do a group or buddy read, but not until after April. Am involved in several reads now and having trouble keeping up as it is! LOL"

Any one else interested in in a summer Sherlock buddy read


message 7: by Gitte (new)

Gitte (GitteTofte) | 32 comments I read this one last Christmas and really enjoyed it!


message 8: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (LauraTa) | 498 comments I don't particulary love Doyle's novels: I find Sherlok Holmes insufferable! But this particular one I liked: maybe because of the gothic athmosephere as Martha said ...


Victoria (vikz writes) (VixtoriaVikzwrites) LauraT wrote: "I don't particulary love Doyle's novels: I find Sherlok Holmes insufferable! But this particular one I liked: maybe because of the gothic athmosephere as Martha said ..."

I think that the fact that it is a full novel, rather than a short story, that makes this novel so enjoyable. You really get the chance to soak up the atmosphere. In addition, it's a good Holmes novel for those who hate Holmes. He's not in it much. ;)


message 10: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2551 comments I don't know whether my observations are anything more than just people I know, or whether they are more general, but I have found that most of the people I know who like Holmes are men, and that women are considerably less fond of him. Almost all my male friends when I was a teenager read and loved the short stories. My sister and her friends didn't.


message 11: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 129 comments I'm really glad there's a new section for these categories and I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes and have read all the short stories and three out of the 4 novels. I too, would love to join in for a discussion but after April, till then I'm really busy.


message 12: by Sara (new)

Sara | 24 comments Everyman wrote: "I don't know whether my observations are anything more than just people I know, or whether they are more general, but I have found that most of the people I know who like Holmes are men, and that w..."

I am a woman who loves Holmes. He is IMO one of the greatest fictional characters ever. What's not to love? Sure, he could be a bit conceited, but it was justified. I mean, he was undeniably awesome!


message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Johnson (jrjohnson1408) | 97 comments I don't believe you can really say "men like this and women like that" about anything, but especially not about books. I'm a female and I LOVE Sherlock Holmes. I read all 64 short stories and 4 novels when I was in 4th grade. I have read them numerous times since. I also read westerns and Techno-thrillers, as well as Historical Romance and cozy murder mysteries. As far as classics are concerned, my reading has varied from Pride and Prejudice to Lord Jim.


message 14: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (foxwrapped) | 2 comments Hmm... I never really thought of Sherlock Holmes stories as being heavily uh, gendered... but now that I think about it, it is of the "boys adventure" genre, no? I do question how rigid these things are, though. Sherlock Holmes's popularity with, well nearly everyone being an example of something breaking through gender barriers quite easily. I wonder what I would think if I was confronted with a woman who decided she didn't like the stories because they were too masculine for her? I don't think I would care unless she believed gender rules should apply to everyone and that social penalities should be enacted to discipline people into behaving "correctly."

And I love that Holmes is insufferably arrogant... but only because he's got Watson for a friend. I'm going to get really nerdy here... but there was a X-files TV special and David Duchovny was talking about his Mulder character, about how Scully was his "human ticket" and that Mulder would not be relatable without her character. So Watson is Holmes's human ticket.

Hound of the Baskervilles is actually one of my least favorite stories. IDK.


message 15: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 139 comments Joanna wrote: "Hmm... I never really thought of Sherlock Holmes stories as being heavily uh, gendered... but now that I think about it, it is of the "boys adventure" genre, no? I do question how rigid these thing..."

I read both volumes of the Sherlock Holmes stories that were in my parents' library when I was young, perhaps only around 10 or 11. I loved them all! I was fascinated with Holmes' character, and thought he was among the best I'd found in books at that time. I still love reading them! And I was a really feminine little girl, too, so I can't agree that appeals more to boys than to girls. LOL!


message 16: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 89 comments I knew most of Holmes by heart by the time I was 14.

The only difference, maybe, is that as a girl I was in love with Holmes.

But then again, maybe not.


message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2551 comments Jackie Renee wrote: "I don't believe you can really say "men like this and women like that" about anything,n..."

As an absolute rule, certainly not. Tastes vary widely. But as a broad generalization, about some books, I think some books tend to appeal more to girls and women and some more to boys and men.

Think, for example, Anne of Avonlea and Tom Swift.

But one thing about the classics is that they tend to appeal to both genders. Which is great!


message 18: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 89 comments I do think (although my feminist views contradict me) that many genres seem to have strong reader bases located within one gender or another (which also means that there are many exceptions to the generalization). Even within classics, I think certain kinds of reads are popular in gender-specific ways.

Holmes *she says proudly* seems to appeal to both genders.

And although Hound is not my personal favorite, it was my introduction to Holmes which makes it a nostalgic favorite. I believe-if anyone knows please correct or corroborate-it was also the first Holmes.

If that's true, that alone would make it important.


message 19: by Judy (new)

Judy Olson | 26 comments According to online encyclopedia, Hound of B was published in 1902, while his first Holmes story was A Study in Scarlet, published in 1897.


message 20: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 89 comments That's right, Judy, Thanks. Scarlet was the first story. But which was the first book-length Holmes?


message 21: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (foxwrapped) | 2 comments Ellie wrote: "That's right, Judy, Thanks. Scarlet was the first story. But which was the first book-length Holmes?"

A Study in Scarlet


message 22: by Ellie (last edited Jun 25, 2011 08:00PM) (new)

Ellie (EllieArcher) | 89 comments Oops. I'm reading it & thinking Scandal in Bohemia. Don't ask me why. I need to go to sleep. 'Night! :D


message 23: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 83 comments Love The hound of the Baskervilles, and in particlar the whole spooky atmosphere of Dartmoor. In Norfolk there are legends of black dogs or black shucks which go back to the vikings. Conan Doyle is believed to have been on holiday in Cromer, Norfolk with a friend and heard of the Black Shuck of Bungay.
Prefer books to be spooky, the type that has you lying in bed questioning wether the creak is the house settling or somethingelse.


message 24: by Sara (last edited Jun 26, 2011 12:43PM) (new)

Sara | 24 comments The order of publication is "A Study in Scarlet" in Nov. 1887, "The Sign of Four" in Feb. 1890, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" from Jul. 1891 to Jun. 1892, "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" from Dec. 1892 to Dec. 1893, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" from Aug. 1901 to Apr. 1902, "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" from Sept. 1903 to Dec. 1904, "The Valley of Fear" from Sep. 1914 to May 1915, "His Last Bow" in Sep. 1917 and "The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes" in Jun. 1927. :)


message 25: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 129 comments Joanna wrote: "And I love that Holmes is insufferably arrogant... but only because he's got Watson for a friend. I'm going to get really nerdy here... but there was a X-files TV special and David Duchovny was talking about his Mulder character, about how Scully was his ..."

Oh no, not nerdy at all, I'm not sure of the X-files thing you're talking about ( I kind a lost the interest around the 4th season) but the most well-known and well done re-creation of Holmes is FOX's House, medical drama.

From Wikipedia:

References to Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes serves as an inspiration for the series.Similarities between Gregory House and the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle appear throughout the series. Shore explained that he was always a Holmes fan and found the character's indifference to his clients unique. The resemblance is evident in House's reliance on inductive reasoning and psychology, even where it might not seem obviously applicable, and his reluctance to accept cases he finds uninteresting. His investigatory method is to eliminate diagnoses logically as they are proved impossible; Holmes used a similar method. Both characters play instruments (House plays the piano, the guitar, and the harmonica; Holmes, the violin) and take drugs (House is addicted to Vicodin; Holmes uses cocaine recreationally). House's relationship with Dr. James Wilson echoes that between Holmes and his confidant, Dr. John Watson. Robert Sean Leonard, who portrays Wilson, said that House and his character—whose name is very similar to Watson's—were originally intended to work together much as Holmes and Watson do; in his view, House's diagnostic team has assumed that aspect of the Watson role. Shore said that House's name itself is meant as "a subtle homage" to Holmes. House's building number is 221B, a direct reference to Holmes's street address.

Individual episodes of the series contain additional references to the Sherlock Holmes tales. The main patient in the pilot episode is named Rebecca Adler after Irene Adler, a character in the first Holmes short story. In the season two finale, House is shot by a crazed gunman credited as "Moriarty," the name of Holmes's nemesis.


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (TheDoctorsCompanion) | 252 comments Another new, VERY well done re-creation of Sherlock Holmes is the BBC series "Sherlock". The idea of the show is Sherlock Holmes in today's world. I raced through the 3 episodes, they are about 1 1/2 hours each I believe. What I loved about them was how clever the writing is. Steven Moffat is one of the writers, so if anyone here is a Doctor Who fan like myself, you will be happy to hear that. :)
Season 2 is being planned, and one of the episodes in it called "The Hound of the Baskervilles". I am so excited!
Another great thing about the series is that now I am planning on reading the Sherlock Holmes adventures. When a movie/series is well done, it usually inspires me to read the book, which is almost always better!

Here is a trailer in case anyone is interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSQq_b...

Thanks Sara for putting the order of publication, since I wasn't sure what order I should read in.

From reading the above comments, it seems that the BBC series did a really good job of making his character true to the book. In the way that he is arrogant and has a big ego. I think I will really enjoy the books!


message 27: by Sara (new)

Sara | 24 comments Hooray for Steven Moffat! I had reservations going into that series, as I wasn't sure about the modernization, but I ended up really enjoying it. What a cliff-hanger though!


message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (TheDoctorsCompanion) | 252 comments Sara wrote: "Hooray for Steven Moffat! I had reservations going into that series, as I wasn't sure about the modernization, but I ended up really enjoying it. What a cliff-hanger though!"

I know, right? Makes you crazy to know what happened.
I wasn't sure about the modernization either, since sometimes adaptions are ruined that way, but I felt like this was very well pulled off. That's what I love about classics, the story has the same meaning no matter where it is set!


message 29: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 83 comments Got the DVD's of the first series and looking forward to the second series of Sherlock.


message 30: by Everyman (last edited Jun 30, 2011 09:27AM) (new)

Everyman | 2551 comments Rachel wrote: "Another new, VERY well done re-creation of Sherlock Holmes is the BBC series "Sherlock". The idea of the show is Sherlock Holmes in today's world. I raced through the 3 episodes, they are about 1 1..."

My experience was different. I found the whole concept absurd and the attempt to transplant Sherlock Holmes into the modern world unconvincing and unsuccessful.

What, for just one example, is the point of Holmes having made such a detailed study of tobacco ash or mud in London locales if you can just send a sample off to a lab and have them analyze it for you? A large part for me of what makes Holmes so interesting is the quirky knowledge he brings to his cases. That's meaningless in the age of CSI.

Just shows how differently different people see the same production!


message 31: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (TheDoctorsCompanion) | 252 comments Oh my gosh, that is a different view on it! lol

I'm just not sure what you meant by this: "A large part for me of what makes Holmes so interesting is the quirky knowledge he brings to his cases. That's meaningless in the age of CSI." Did you mean that he didn't have his quirky knowledge in the new series? Personally, I thought he did, but maybe I misunderstood that statement?

A lot of above comments said that he was full of himself or arrogant in the books, so I thought that the BBC did a good job of doing that in the series. However, I haven't read the books, so I can't judge it for myself. Did you feel like his personal character changed in the new series?


message 32: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2551 comments Rachel wrote: "Did you mean that he didn't have his quirky knowledge in the new series? Personally, I thought he did, but maybe I misunderstood that statement?"

The quirky knowledge isn't necessary in this day and age because it's now so widely available.

When the stories were written, and even when I first encountered them in the 1950s, to find cigar ash and be able to tell what cigar it came from was almost magical. It just wasn't done. It was something that Holmes brought to his work that nobody else could do. Gregson or Lestrade would never have that information but for Holmes.

But today, we expect that as a normal part of police work. Gregson or Lestrade would just tell a beat cop to scrape up the ashes from the rug and send them to a lab and they'll tell what cigar they came from. It's pretty much ho-hum. Who needs Holmes and his specialized knowledge?

When it's done in the context of the original stories, I think it's still effective today because we know that that knowledge wasn't available to the police then. But bring it into the modern world, and suddenly it's a yawner.

That's one aspect of what I meant.


message 33: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (TheDoctorsCompanion) | 252 comments Thanks for explaining. I really enjoyed his quirky personality, since most cop shows seem just about the blood and drama. It was more of a game to Sherlock, which made it interesting. To me, it was a nice change of pace.


message 34: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 129 comments I just came across this children's novel Baker Street Boys by Anthony Read. I don't know if it's good yet but I think the whole idea is interesting. Another re-creation.


message 35: by Annie (new)

Annie Flanders | 2 comments Hello everyone. I am new to this group.

I love all the Sherlock Holmes stories. And yes, this one in particular is one of my favourites.

My library includes not only the entire collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and books done by Doyle but also many of the pastiches.

annie!


message 36: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1153 comments Mod
I have renamed this thread so it could be housed in our Authors folder. Please feel free to continue the discussion there.


message 37: by Renee, Moderator (new)

Renee M | 1153 comments Mod
Originally posted by Maryalice...

Here is the official website.

http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/

Some interesting facts....

May 22 was the birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, born in 1859. Of course, Doyle is best known for creating the most famous sleuth in the world, Sherlock Holmes. Here are a few things you may not know about him:
1. Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies. Or, at least he believed in the Cottingley fairy photographs, a famous hoax perpetrated in 1917. Doyle reproduced the photographs in his book, The Coming of the Fairies, published in 1921. The book also discussed the nature and existence of fairies and other spirits.

2. He was interested in a variety of other occult and spiritual subjects, and he believed that Harry Houdini possessed supernatural powers. Houdini, who spent a great deal of time and energy attempted to debunk Spiritualists, was disgusted when he could not convince Doyle that his feats were simply magic tricks. The men had been friends at one time, but the friendship did not withstand their pronounced differences of opinion on the subject.

3. The character of Sherlock Holmes was modeled after a real person, a former university professor of Doyle's named Joseph Bell. Bell's powers of observation were so well reproduced in Doyle's depiction of Holmes that Rudyard Kipling recognized him at once, asking Doyle, "Is this my old friend, Dr. Joe?"

4. Arthur Conan Doyle got pretty sick of Sherlock Holmes before he was done with him. He wrote to his mother in 1891, "I think of slaying Holmes... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother told him the public would never accept it. Mom was right -- when he "killed" Holmes in "The Final Problem", public outcry was so great that he was forced to bring him back with a convoluted explanation in "The Adventure of the Empty House." In all, Holmes appears in a total of 54 short stories, and 4 novels.

5. The "better things" he wanted to concentrate on were probably his other writings -- historical novels, science fiction, plays, poetry, and considerable non-fiction.

6. It was a good thing Doyle was successful with his writing; he was pretty much a failure as a medical doctor. Still, he didn't seem to particularly mind not having many patients -- it gave him more time to write.

7. Perhaps as a result of his unspectacular medical career, Arthur Conan Doyle also undertook specialized studies in the eye, and set up an ophthalmology practice in London. Not a single patient ever crossed his door.

8. He was knighted, not for his popular work in fiction, but for his work on propaganda regarding the Boer War. (Although it's likely that the popular esteem for his work didn't hurt, either.)

9. Doyle ran for Parliament, twice, and lost both times. He received a fairly respectable vote both times, however.

10. Arthur Conan Doyle was involved in two real-life mysteries, and his work resulted in the freeing of two men who had been wrongly convicted in unrelated cases, George Edalji and Oscar Slater. Edalji had been convicted of mutilating animals and sending threatening messages. Doyle proved that the killings and the messages had continued while Edalji had been in jail, that Edalji was physically incapable of committing the crimes, and that the evidence that had been used against him was faulty. Oscar Slater, on the other hand, had been convicted of bludgeoning a woman to death. Doyle quickly proved that the practically all the evidence used against him was faulty and that he had a valid alibi for the time of the murder. Unfortunately, there was no legal process for giving Slater a new trial, and the man served 18 and a half years in prison before he was finally released.

Images for the cottingley fairies...
http://www.google.com/search?q=cottin...


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The Hound of the Baskervilles (other topics)
The Case of the Disappearing Detective (other topics)

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Anthony Read (other topics)