The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

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Overview

About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh of Irish ancestry, and came from an artistic family, with a father who was a painter and a grandfather who was a cartoonist.

Like Dr. Watson, who narrates almost all of the roughly sixty stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, Doyle was a physician....
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The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

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Overview

About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh of Irish ancestry, and came from an artistic family, with a father who was a painter and a grandfather who was a cartoonist.

Like Dr. Watson, who narrates almost all of the roughly sixty stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, Doyle was a physician. At medical school he studied under Dr. Joseph Bell who was renowned for his powers of forensic observation.

After medical school Doyle took two voyages as a ship’s surgeon where he met people from every part of the British Empire which gave him valuable insight for his stories. Later in his life he became very interested in spiritualism and politics, topics that surfaced in his later works. In fact it was for The Great Boer War (1902) justifying British colonial policy, that Doyle was knighted.

Note to Adobe eBook Customers: The Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader version is printable, but there is a known problem printing to printers that do not use the PostScript page description language. This problem occurs with some HP LaserJet, Epson Stylus inkjet, and Epson impact printers. Consult your printer’s documentation to find out if it is PostScript compatible. This does not affect your ability to read the book on screen.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"Elementary, my dear Watson," remains the infamous line of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Though in Doyle's collection of mysteries Sherlock never actually says those words, he does solve even the trickiest cases without fail. Sherlock Holmes is a rather private yet intriguing character. Typically, a mysterious employer in need of information or with some problem will hire him. For example, in "A Case of Identity," Miss Mary Sutherland employs Holmes' legendary skill to explain a great mystery. It appears that her clandestine marriage with a near stranger has ended most abruptly, and her parents have quite absurd reactions! As in all his stories, Holmes' extraordinarily acute attention to detail (because of Doyle's medical training) leaves the reader dumbfounded, yet captivated. Miss Sutherland's mystery turns into a surprising case, not of "Whodunnit?" but of "Whowasit?" As usual, Sherlock is brilliant, according to the firsthand testimony of his accomplice, Watson. Against all reasonable probability, he pieces together fragments of clues that invariably lead to a breathtaking conclusion. Reading one mystery only entices one to read more! Each of Holmes' mysteries have elements appealing to young adult readers: scandal, suspense, and a good pace. They can serve as excellent leisure reading or as options for required class books. Though Holmes was not Doyle's favorite character, his popularity has made him the most well-known for over 100 years, and it will keep his tales on shelves in the future. 2001 (orig. 1892), Penguin Classics, and Ages 12 up.
—Katie Schooler
From the Publisher
"Doyle's modesty of language conceals a profound tolerance of the human complexity . . . No wonder, then, if the pairing of Holmes and Watson has triggered more imitators than any other duo in literature."  —John Le Carré, author, The Constant Gardener

"Arthur Conan Doyle is unique in . . . ushering in a genre of writing that, while imitated and expanded, has never been surpassed."  —Stephen Fry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375760020
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/9/2002
  • Series: Modern Library Classics Series
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 950,107
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Berendt is the author of the bestselling Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. He lives in New York City.

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

Read an Excerpt

The Adventure of a Scandal in Bohemia

I.

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen; but, as a lover, he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer-excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.

I had seen little of Holmes lately. My marriage had drifted us away from each other. My own complete happiness, and the home-centred interests which rise up around the man who first finds himself master of his own establishment, were sufficient to absorb all my attention; while Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in Baker-street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues, and clearing up those mysteries, which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police. From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers at Trincomalee, and finally of the mission which he had accomplished so delicately and successfully for the reigning family of Holland. Beyond these signs of his activity, however, which I merely shared with all the readers of the daily press, I knew little of my former friend and companion.

One night-it was on the 20th of March, 1888-I was returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker-street. As I passed the well-remembered door, which must always be associated in my mind with my wooing, and with the dark incidents of the Study in Scarlet, I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again, and to know how he was employing his extraordinary powers. His rooms were brilliantly lit, and, even as I looked up, I saw his tall spare figure pass twice in a dark silhouette against the blind. He was pacing the room swiftly, eagerly, with his head sunk upon his chest, and his hands clasped behind him. To me, who knew his every mood and habit, his attitude and manner told their own story. He was at work again. He had risen out of his drug-created dreams, and was hot upon the scent of some new problem. I rang the bell, and was shown up to the chamber which had formerly been in part my own.

His manner was not effusive. It seldom was; but he was glad, I think, to see me. With hardly a word spoken, but with a kindly eye, he waved me to an armchair, threw across his case of cigars, and indicated a spirit case and a gasogene in the corner. Then he stood before the fire, and looked me over in his singular introspective fashion.

"Wedlock suits you," he remarked. "I think, Watson, that you have put on seven and a half pounds since I saw you."

"Seven," I answered.

"Indeed, I should have thought a little more. Just a trifle more, I fancy, Watson. And in practice again, I observe. You did not tell me that you intended to go into harness."

"Then, how do you know?"

"I see it, I deduce it. How do I know that you have been getting yourself very wet lately, and that you have a most clumsy and careless servant girl?"

"My dear Holmes," said I, "this is too much. You would certainly have been burned had you lived a few centuries ago. It is true that I had a country walk on Thursday and came home in a dreadful mess; but, as I have changed my clothes, I can't imagine how you deduce it. As to Mary Jane, she is incorrigible, and my wife has given her notice; but there again I fail to see how you work it out."

He chuckled to himself and rubbed his long nervous hands together.

"It is simplicity itself," said he; "my eyes tell me that on the inside of your left shoe, just where the firelight strikes it, the leather is scored by six almost parallel cuts. Obviously they have been caused by someone who has very carelessly scraped round the edges of the sole in order to remove crusted mud from it. Hence, you see, my double deduction that you had been out in vile weather, and that you had a particularly malignant boot-slitting specimen of the London slavey. As to your practice, if a gentleman walks into my rooms smelling of iodoform, with a black mark of nitrate of silver6 upon his right fore-finger, and a bulge on the side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted his stethoscope, I must be dull indeed if I do not pronounce him to be an active member of the medical profession."

I could not help laughing at the ease with which he explained his process of deduction. "When I hear you give your reasons," I remarked, "the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning I am baffled, until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my eyes are as good as yours."

"Quite so," he answered, lighting a cigarette, and throwing himself down into an armchair. "You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room."

"Frequently."

"How often?"

"Well, some hundreds of times."

"Then how many are there?"

"How many! I don't know."

"Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now, I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed. By the way, since you are interested in these little problems, and since you are good enough to chronicle one or two of my trifling experiences, you may be interested in this." He threw over a sheet of thick pink-tinted notepaper which had been lying open upon the table. "It came by the last post," said he. "Read it aloud."

The note was undated, and without either signature or address.

"There will call upon you to-night, at a quarter to eight o'clock," it said, "a gentleman who desires to consult you upon a matter of the very deepest moment. Your recent services to one of the Royal Houses of Europe have shown that you are one who may safely be trusted with matters which are of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. This account of you we have from all quarters received. Be in your chamber then at that hour, and do not take it amiss if your visitor wear a mask."

"This is indeed a mystery," I remarked. "What do you imagine that it means?"

"I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. But the note itself. What do you deduce from it?"

I carefully examined the writing, and the paper upon which it was written.

"The man who wrote it was presumably well to do," I remarked, endeavouring to imitate my companion's processes. "Such paper could not be bought under half-a-crown a packet. It is peculiarly strong and stiff."

"Peculiar-that is the very word," said Holmes. "It is not an English paper at all. Hold it up to the light."

I did so, and saw a large E with a small g, a P, and a large G with a small t woven into the texture of the paper.

"What do you make of that?" asked Holmes.

"The name of the maker, no doubt; or his monogram, rather."

"Not at all. The G with the small t stands for 'Gesellschaft,' which is the German for 'Company.' It is a customary contraction like our 'Co.' P, of course, stands for 'Papier.' Now for the Eg. Let us glance at our Continental Gazetteer." He took down a heavy brown volume from his shelves. "Eglow, Eglonitz-here we are, Egria. It is in a German-speaking country-in Bohemia, not far from Carlsbad. 'Remarkable as being the scene of the death of Wallenstein, and for its numerous glass factories and paper mills.' Ha, ha, my boy, what do you make of that?" His eyes sparkled, and he sent up a great blue triumphant cloud from his cigarette.

"The paper was made in Bohemia," I said.

"Precisely. And the man who wrote the note is a German. Do you note the peculiar construction of the sentence-'This account of you we have from all quarters received.' A Frenchman or Russian could not have written that. It is the German who is so uncourteous to his verbs. It only remains, therefore, to discover what is wanted by this German who writes upon Bohemian paper, and prefers wearing a mask to showing his face. And here he comes, if I am not mistaken, to resolve all our doubts."

As he spoke there was the sharp sound of horses' hoofs and grating wheels against the curb, followed by a sharp pull at the bell. Holmes whistled.

"A pair, by the sound," said he. "Yes" he continued, glancing out of the window. "A nice little brougham9 and a pair of beauties. A hundred and fifty guineas apiece. There's money in this case, Watson, if there is nothing else."

"I think that I had better go, Holmes."

"Not a bit, Doctor. Stay where you are. I am lost without my Boswell.10 And this promises to be interesting. It would be a pity to miss it."

"But your client--"

"Never mind him. I may want your help, and so may he. Here he comes. Sit down in that armchair, Doctor, and give us your best attention."

A slow and heavy step, which had been heard upon the stairs and in the passage, paused immediately outside the door. Then there was a loud and authoritative tap.

"Come in!" said Holmes.

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Table of Contents

Biographical Note
Introduction
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 1
The Adventure of Scandal in Bohemia 3
The Adventure of the Red-Headed League 25
The Adventure of a Case of Identity 47
The Adventure of the Boscombe Valley Mystery 63
The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips 85
The Adventure of the Man with Twisted Lip 103
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle 125
The Adventure of the Speckled Band 144
The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb 167
The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor 187
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet 207
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches 229
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes 253
Silver Blaze 255
The Cardboard Box 278
The Yellow Face 297
The Stockbroker's Clerk 314
The 'Gloria Scott' 331
The Musgrave Ritual 349
The Reigate Squires 366
The Crooked Man 384
The Resident Patient 400
The Greek Interpreter 416
The Naval Treaty 433
The Final Problem 464
Note on the Text 481
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Supper great

    Im 12 and i love this book its not a fast rea but its a good book i love it from the scandle in bohema to many other great storys

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Undisputed Start To The Thrilling Mystery Genre

    To put it bluntly the reading can be dry, devoid of emotion. But thats what makes a Sherlock Holmes novel its remarkable and ingenious self. This book is just that, a remarkable and ingenious assortment of the imaginings of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spread throughout short stories portraying Sherlock Holmes. These adventures and memoirs will present to you the better part of the Sherlock Holme's series as it contains stories like A Scandal in Bohemia, a thrilling blackmail of foreign royalty, and numerous other infamous tales. The feats of intuition he performs in these stories ,like the remarkable events foreseen in The Red Headed League to the most miniscule observations Holmes conceives, will surpass your wildest imaginings. Because of these aspects any Sherlock Holmes novel will provide an exhilarating read that can keep you guessing until the very end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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