Sherlock Holmes: The Major Stories with Contemporary Critical Essays / Edition 1

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Overview

The fifteen Sherlock Holmes stories reprinted in this volume are generally held to be the most significant, innovative and influential tales featuring Arthur Conan Doyle's archetypal detective. Drawn principally from the first three Holmes collections, these selections are each followed by a concise commentary on its relation to Doyle, other Holmes tales, and the genre of detective fiction. The nine accompanying essays, which reflect the recent critical interest in Holmes, examine the stories from a variety of contemporary critical perspectives. The first five essays (by Martin Priestamn, Peter Brooks, Gian Paolo Caprettini, John A. Hodgson , and Alastair Fowler) focus in questions of narrative, deduction, and plot; the next four (by Stephen Knight, Catherine Belsey, Rosemary Hennessey and Rajeswari Mohan, and Audry Jaffe) social, historical, ideological, and gender issues. Each critical essay is preceded by a headnote that discusses the essay's critical approach. An introduction by the editor discusses the relation of Sherlock Holmes to Doyle's own life, reviews the history of the stories' publication and reception, and provides a brief overview of the contemporary critical essays. Additional sources of enrichment and direction for further study are provided by the four appendices: a chronology of Doyle's life; a note on Doyle's favorite Holmes stories; an annotated bibliography of aholmes collections and critical studies; and a list of film and video versions of the stories in the book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312089450
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 11/28/1993
  • Series: Sherlock Holmes Mystery Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was both a doctor and a believer in spirits, which may partly explain why his Sherlock Holmes is one of literature's most beloved detectives: Holmes always approaches his cases with the gentility and logic of a scientist, but the stories are suffused with an aura of the supernatural. Narrated by devoted assistant Dr. John H. Watson, Holmes's adventures were so addictive that fans protested the master deducer's "death" in 1893 and Doyle had to resurrect him.

Biography

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for £25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed.

Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur -- he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War -- became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 22, 1859
    2. Place of Birth:
      Edinburgh, Scotland
    1. Date of Death:
      July 7, 1930
    2. Place of Death:
      Crowborough, Sussex, England

Table of Contents

About This Book

Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: Biographical and Critical Contexts

PART I. THE MAJOR SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES

From A Study in Scarlet
A Scandal in Bohemia
The Red-headed League
A Case of Identity
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Man with the Twisted Lip
The Blue Carbuncle
The Speckled Band
Silver Blaze
The Musgrave Ritual
The Final Problem
The Empty House
The Dancing Men
Charles Augustus Milverton
The Second Stain

PART II. CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL ESSAYS

Martin Priestman, Sherlock Holmes--The Series
Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot
Gian Paolo Caprettini, Sherlock Holmes: Ethics, Logic, and the Mask
John A. Hodgson, The Recoil of "The Speckled Band": Detective Story and Detective Discourse
Alastair Fowler, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Dancing Men and Women
Stephen Knight, The Case of the Great Detective
Catherine Belsey, Deconstructing the Text: Sherlock Holmes
Rosemary Hennessy and Rajeswari Mohan, "The Speckled Band": The Construction of Woman in a Popular Text of Empire
Audrey Jaffe, Detecting the Beggar: Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry Mayhew, and "The Man with the Twisted Lip"

Appendices
A Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle
Doyle's Favorite Sherlock Holmes Stories
Sherlock Holmes on Film
Select Bibliography

Index

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