Sherlock Holmes The Major Stories with Contemporary Critical Essays

ISBN-10: 0312089457

ISBN-13: 9780312089450

Edition: N/A

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Description: 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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Book details

List price: $16.99
Publisher: Bedford/Saint Martin's
Publication date: 11/15/1993
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 452
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

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.

About This Book
Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: Biographical and Critical Contexts
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
Contemporary Critical Essays
Sherlock Holmes--The Series
Reading for the Plot
Sherlock Holmes: Ethics, Logic, and the Mask
The Recoil of "The Speckled Band": Detective Story and Detective Discourse
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Dancing Men and Women
The Case of the Great Detective
Deconstructing the Text: Sherlock Holmes
"The Speckled Band": The Construction of Woman in a Popular Text of Empire
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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