ISBN-10:
3736802358
ISBN-13:
9783736802353
Pub. Date:
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The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four

by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Overview

The Sign of Four, is the second novel featuring Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sign of the Four has a complex plot involving service in East India Company, India, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts ("the Four" of the title) and two corrupt prison guards. It presents the detective's drug habit and humanizes him in a way that had not been done in the preceding novel A Study in Scarlet. It also introduces Doctor Watson's future wife, Mary Morstan.

In 1888 a client, Mary Morstan, comes with two puzzles for Holmes. The first is the disappearance of her father, British Indian Army Captain Arthur Morstan in December 1878. According to Mary, her father had telegraphed her upon his safe return from India and requested her to meet him at the Langham Hotel in London. When Mary arrived at the hotel, she was told her father had gone out the previous night and not returned. Despite all efforts, no trace has ever been found of him. Mary contacted her father's only friend who was in the same regiment and had since retired to England, one Major Sholto, but he denied knowing her father had returned. The second puzzle is that she has received 6 pearls in the mail from an anonymous benefactor once a year since 1882 after answering an anonymous newspaper query inquiring for her. With the last pearl she has received a letter remarking that she has been a wronged woman and asking for a meeting. Holmes takes the case and soon discovers that Major Sholto had died in 1882 and that within a short span of time Mary began to receive the pearls, implying a connection. The only clue Mary can give Holmes is a map of a fortress found in her father's desk with the names of Jonathan Small and three Sikhs named Dost Akbar, Abdullah Khan, and Mahomet Singh.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783736802353
Publisher: BookRix
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 173
Sales rank: 860,133
File size: 683 KB

About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) started to write as a doctor, whilst waiting for patients to arrive. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in A Study in Scarlet (1887). The Holmes stories soon attracted such a following that Conan Doyle felt the character overshadowed his other work. In The Final Problem (1893) Conan Doyle killed him off, but was obliged by public demand to restore the detective to life.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals.

Date of Birth:

May 22, 1859

Date of Death:

July 7, 1930

Place of Birth:

Edinburgh, Scotland

Place of Death:

Crowborough, Sussex, England

Education:

Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Sign of Four

Appendix A: Domestic Contexts

  1. From Havelock Ellis, The Criminal (1890)
  2. From Cesare Lombroso, The Man of Genius (1891)

Appendix B: Colonial Contexts: Accounts of the Indian “Mutiny,” 1857–58

  1. From Sir William Muir, Agra in the Mutiny and the Family Life of W. & E.H. Muir in the Fort, 1857: A Sketch for their Children (1896)
  2. From Sir William Muir, Agra Correspondence during the Mutiny (1898)
  3. From James P. Grant, The Christian Soldier: Memorials of Major-General Sir Henry Havelock (1858)
  4. From Rev. Frederick S. Williams, General Havelock and Christian Soldiership (1858)
  5. From Mrs. R.M. Coopland, A Lady’s Escape from Gwalior and Life in Agra Fort during the Mutinies of 1857 (1859)
  6. From Sir J.W. Kaye and G.B. Malleson, The History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–8 (1888–89)

Appendix C: Colonial Contexts: The First and Second Anglo-Afghan Wars

  1. From Sir Henry Havelock, Narrative of the War in Affghanistan, 1838–9 (1840)
  2. From Lady Florentia Sale, A Journal of the Disasters in Affghanistan, 1841–2 (1843)
  3. From J.W. Kaye, History of the War in Afghanistan. From the Unpublished Letters and Journals of Political and Military Officers Employed in Afghanistan throughout the Entire Period of British Connexion with that Country (1851)
  4. From “The Murder of Lord Mayo,” The Times (15 April 1872)

Appendix D: Colonial Contexts: The Andaman Islands

  1. “The Andaman Islands, A Penal Settlement for India,” letter to the editor of The Times (11 November 1857)
  2. From Frederic J. Mouat, Adventures and Researches Among the Andaman Islanders (1863)
  3. From the Annual Report on the Settlement of Port Blair and the Nicobars for the Year 1872–3 (1873)
  4. From “The Andamans Penal Settlement,” The Times (13 February 1872)
  5. From “The Andaman Settlements: From Our Own Correspondent,” The Times (26 December 1873)
  6. From the Annual Report on the Settlement of Port Blair and the Nicobars for the Year 1873–4 (1874)
  7. From Edward Horace Man, On the Aboriginal Inhabitants of the Andaman Islands (1884)
  8. From Maurice Vidal Portman, A History of Our Relations with the Andamanese. Compiled from Histories and Travels, and from the Records of the Government of India (1899)

Appendix E: Contemporary Reviews

  1. Anon., “Magazines for February,” Liverpool Mercury (5 February 1890)
  2. Anon., “Notes on Novels,” Dublin Review (April 1890)
  3. Anon., “Novels of the Week,” The Athenaeum (6 December 1890)
  4. Anon., “New Novels,” The Academy (13 December 1890)
  5. Anon., “A Batch of Novels,” Liverpool Mercury (24 December 1890)
  6. Anon., “New Novels,” The Graphic (7 February 1891)
  7. Anon., “Review of Books,” The Cape Illustrated Magazine (1 October 1894)
  8. Anon., The Cape Illustrated Magazine (1 November 1894)
  9. From Andrew Lang, “The Novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” The Quarterly Review (July 1904)

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