Cover image for The hound of the Baskervilles
Title:
The hound of the Baskervilles
Author:
Doyle, Arthur Conan, 1859-1930.
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, [2003]
Physical Description:
298 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780786258703
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In this, one of the most famous of Doyle's mysteries, the tale of an ancient curse and a savage ghostly hound comes frighteningly to life. The gray towers of Baskerville Hall and the wild open country of Dartmoor will haunt the reader as Holmes and Watson seek to unravel the many secrets ofthe misty English bogs.


Author Notes

The most famous fictional detective in the world is Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. However, Doyle was, at best, ambivalent about his immensely successful literary creation and, at worst, resentful that his more "serious" fiction was relatively ignored. Born in Edinburgh, Doyle studied medicine from 1876 to 1881 and received his M.D. in 1885. He worked as a military physician in South Africa during the Boer War and was knighted in 1902 for his exceptional service. Doyle was drawn to writing at an early age. Although he attempted to enter private practice in Southsea, Portsmouth, in 1882, he soon turned to writing in his spare time; it eventually became his profession. As a Liberal Unionist, Doyle ran, unsuccessfully, for Parliament in 1903. During his later years, Doyle became an avowed spiritualist.

Doyle sold his first story, "The Mystery of the Sasassa Valley," to Chambers' Journal in 1879. When Doyle published the novel, A Study in Scarlet in 1887, Sherlock Holmes was introduced to an avid public. Doyle is reputed to have used one of his medical professors, Dr. Joseph Bell, as a model for Holmes's character. Eventually, Doyle wrote three additional Holmes novels and five collections of Holmes short stories. A brilliant, though somewhat eccentric, detective, Holmes employs scientific methods of observation and deduction to solve the mysteries that he investigates. Although an "amateur" private detective, he is frequently called upon by Scotland Yard for assistance. Holmes's assistant, the faithful Dr. Watson, provides a striking contrast to Holmes's brilliant intellect and, in Doyle's day at least, serves as a character with whom the reader can readily identify. Having tired of Holmes's popularity, Doyle even tried to kill the great detective in "The Final Problem" but was forced by an outraged public to resurrect him in 1903. Although Holmes remained Doyle's most popular literary creation, Doyle wrote prolifically in other genres, including historical adventure, science fiction, and supernatural fiction. Despite Doyle's sometimes careless writing, he was a superb storyteller. His great skill as a popular author lay in his technique of involving readers in his highly entertaining adventures.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The Illustrated Classics graphic-novel series takes on the master of deduction with this invigorating slant on one of Conan Doyle's best-loved works. The story unfolds faithfully: Dr. Mortimer arrives at 221B Baker Street to rope Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the strange case of Charles Baskerville, who recently (and quite mysteriously!) became the latest in his lineage to die, possibly at the hands of the legendary beast who haunts the grounds. Holmes, as depicted by Culbard, is a long-faced, dagger-nosed, boulder-chinned aristocrat a caricature, but one still agile enough to exude pleasure when uttering that the case presents some features of interest. Each character's features are similarly comic yet present fun counterparts to the verbose untanglings. The large word balloons are often the only visual breaks from the warm/cold colors that balance each page except, of course, when the hound bounds onto the stage in glowing greens. The fascinating back matter includes early designs for Holmes and Watson, an overhead schema of their office, and a preview of the upcoming A Study in Scarlet.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Of all Doyle's stories about the redoubtable Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend and chronicler Dr. John Watson, arguably the best known is their investigation into what appears to be a homicidal "gigantic hound" pursuing the Baskerville clan. There have been numerous film, radio, and television adaptations, but rarely has one been as flat-out entertaining as this radio-like full-cast performance, directed by Alexis Jacknow and recorded before a live audience. Much of this is due to the clever script by Pichette and Wright, which includes most of Doyle's original plot but manages to be as humorous as it is thrilling and, though set in Victorian times, ends with a refreshingly contemporary noirish twist. Assisted by splendid sound effects, the cast performs with energy, enthusiasm, and invention. For example, Moira Quirk portrays the 221B Baker Street housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, with an amusingly flippant attitude. Seamus Dever is a sharp-witted and sharp-tongued Holmes, but, as in the novel, the character spends quite a bit of time observing events from afar (and is therefore often away from the mike). In his absence, Watson and potential victim Sir Henry Baskerville carry the plot, with Geoffrey Arend presenting the good doctor as a capable and humane straight man considerably out-charmed by actor James Marsters's Sir Henry. The production also features comments by Leslie S. Klinger, editor of the Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Originally published as a magazine serial in 1901, this is one of the best-known Sherlock Holmes stories. Decades ago, Sir Hugo Baskerville was killed on the moor, ostensibly by a huge, slavering hound. Now his descendant Sir Charles has been found dead on the grounds at Baskerville Hall. Will the curse be visited on Sir Henry Baskerville, recently arrived from Canada to claim his inheritance? Watson travels to Dartmoor to investigate. He meets the neighbors, including a brother and sister named Stapleton, and learns that an escaped convict is on the loose. Meanwhile, in London, Holmes conducts inquiries and finds connections between Sir Charles and Mr. Stapleton. This adaptation reimagines the classic tale as an energetic radio drama. The dialog is lively, and the sound effects include storms, howling hounds, creaking doors, and train whistles. The performance is followed by a live audience talkback with Leslie Klinger, editor of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, who puts the story into literary and historical context. An excellent companion to the original text. VERDICT Recommended for middle and high school students as well as the general public.-Nann Blaine Hilyard, formerly with Zion-Benton P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Sherlock Holmes takes on the intriguing case of the heir to the Baskerville estate who seems destined to be the next victim of the mysterious, and deadly, hound thought to have killed several of his ancestors. Dodgy servants, an escaped prisoner, and a supposed brother-and-sister duo test the famous detective's mettle. Prebble is more than up to the task of directing listeners through myriad characters, clues, and deceptions. Subtle voicing differentiates the large cast and expert pacing heightens the tension. Be sure to have students watch the first-rate British (Granada Television) production starring Jeremy Brett as Conan Doyle's brilliant, but decidedly peculiar detective. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CHAPTER I Mr. Sherlock Holmes Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a "Penang lawyer." Just under the head was a broad silver band, nearly an inch across. "To James Mortimer, M.R.C.S., from his friends of the C.C.H.," was engraved upon it, with the date "1884." It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family practitioner used to carry--dignified, solid, and reassuring. "Well, Watson, what do you make of it?" Holmes was sitting with his back to me, and I had given him no sign of my occupation. "How did you know what I was doing? I believe you have eyes in the back of your head." "I have, at least, a well-polished, silver-plated coffee-pot in front of me," said he. "But, tell me, Watson, what do you make of our visitor's stick? Since we have been so unfortunate as to miss him and have no notion of his errand, this accidental souvenir becomes of importance. Let me hear you reconstruct the man by an examination of it." "I think," said I, following so far as I could the methods of my companion, "that Dr. Mortimer is a successful elderly medical man, well-esteemed, since those who know him give him this mark of their appreciation." "Good!" said Holmes. "Excellent!" "I think also that the probability is in favour of his being a country practitioner who does a great deal of his visiting on foot." "Why so?" "Because this stick, though originally a very handsome one, has been so knocked about that I can hardly imagine a town practitioner carrying it. The thick iron ferrule is worn down, so it is evident that he has done a great amount of walking with it." "Perfectly sound!" said Holmes. "And then again, there is the 'friends of the C.C.H.' I should guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt to whose members he has possibly given some surgical assistance, and which has made him a small presentation in return." "Really, Watson, you excel yourself," said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. "I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements you have habitually underrated your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt." He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a way which earned his approval. He now took the stick from my hands and examined it for a few minutes with his naked eyes. Then, with an expression of interest, he laid down his cigarette, and, carrying the cane to the window, he looked over it again with a convex lens. "Interesting, though elementary," said he, as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. "There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several deductions." "Has anything escaped me?" I asked, with some self-importance. "I trust that there is nothing of consequence which I have overlooked?" "I am afraid, my dear Watson, that most of your conclusions were erroneous. When I said that you stimulated me I meant, to be frank, that in noting your fallacies I was occasionally guided towards the truth. Not that you are entirely wrong in this instance. The man is certainly a country practitioner. And he walks a good deal." "Then I was right." "To that extent." "But that was all." "No, no, my dear Watson, not all--by no means all. I would suggest, for example, that a presentation to a doctor is more likely to come from an hospital than from a hunt, and that when the initials 'C.C.' are placed before that hospital the words 'Charing Cross' very naturally suggest themselves." "You may be right." "The probability lies in that direction. And if we take this as a working hypothesis we have a fresh basis from which to start our construction of this unknown visitor." "Well, then, supposing that 'C.C.H.' does stand for 'Charing Cross Hospital,' what further inferences may we draw?" "Do none suggest themselves? You know my methods. Apply them!" "I can only think of the obvious conclusion that the man has practised in town before going to the country." "I think that we might venture a little farther than this. Look at it in this light. On what occasion would it be most probable that such a presentation would be made? When would his friends unite to give him a pledge of their good will? Obviously at the moment when Dr. Mortimer withdrew from the service of the hospital in order to start in practice for himself. We know there has been a presentation. We believe there has been a change from a town hospital to a country practice. Is it, then, stretching our inference too far to say that the presentation was on the occasion of the change?" "It certainly seems probable." "Now, you will observe that he could not have been on the staff of the hospital, since only a man well-established in a London practice could hold such a position, and such a one would not drift into the country. What was he, then? If he was in the hospital and yet not on the staff, he could only have been a house-surgeon or a house-physician--little more than a senior student. And he left five years ago--the date is on the stick. So your grave, middle-aged family practitioner vanishes into thin air, my dear Watson, and there emerges a young fellow under thirty, amiable, unambitious, absent-minded, and the possessor of a favourite dog, which I should describe roughly as being larger than a terrier and smaller than a mastiff." I laughed incredulously as Sherlock Holmes leaned back in his settee and blew little wavering rings of smoke up to the ceiling. "As to the latter part, I have no means of checking you," said I, "but at least it is not difficult to find out a few particulars about the man's age and professional career." From my small medical shelf I took down the Medical Directory and turned up the name. There were several Mortimers, but only one who could be our visitor. I read his record aloud. "Mortimer, James, M.R.C.S., 1882, Grimpen, Dartmoor,Devon. House surgeon, from 1882 to 1884, at Charing Cross Hospital. Winner of the Jackson Prize for Comparative Pathology, with essay entitled 'Is Disease a Reversion?' Corresponding member of the Swedish Pathological Society. Author of 'Some Freaks of Atavism' (Lancet, 1882). 'Do We Progress? (Journal of Psychology, March, 1883). Medical Officer for the parishes of Grimpen, Thorsley, and High Barrow." "No mention of that local hunt, Watson," said Holmes, with a mischievous smile, "but a country doctor, as you very astutely observed. I think that I am fairly justified in my inferences. As to the adjectives, I said, if I remember right, amiable, unambitious, and absent-minded. It is my experience that it is only an amiable man in this world who receives testimonials, only an unambitious one who abandons a London career for the country, and only an absent-minded one who leaves his stick and not his visiting-card after waiting an hour in your room." "And the dog?" "Has been in the habit of carrying this stick behind his master. Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle, and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible. The dog's jaw, as shown in the space between these marks, is too broad in my opinion for a terrier and not broad enough for a mastiff. It may have been--yes, by Jove, it is a curly-haired spaniel." He had risen and paced the room as he spoke. Now he halted in the recess of the window. There was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I glanced up in surprise. "My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure of that?" Excerpted from The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.