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Hound of the baskervilles

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Introduction

Dannie Smith The Hound of the Baskervilles " 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' remains one of the most popular detective stories ever since its publication in 1902. " Looking closely at the structure of the text give reasons why this may be so. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a British author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction and were amongst the first of the detective genre stories. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction. He created the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes in the 19th century, initially published in the 'Strand' magazine. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories. Soon the character was so loved that people refused to believe he wasn't a real person. Conan Doyle became tired of Holmes as he wanted to been known for his more serious writing and decided to try kill him off. In December 1893, he did so and the nation went into mourning over the beloved character, obituaries appeared in newspapers, some wore black armbands, Conan Doyle was accused of murder. Public outcry led him to bring the character back. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a mentally engaging detective novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. ...read more.

Middle

Mortimer, is surrounded by the gloomy moors, and wild countryside with "brambles", and rushing streams. Watson is to stay with Sir Henry in case of danger. Unfortunately, "The Notting Hill Murderer" has escaped and is in the area. He is especially known for his brutality, and is possibly insane. While Watson and Sir Charles are traveling to the hall, they drive through "drifts of rotting vegetation" and a "valley dense with scrub oak and fir." They also notice "the gloomy curve of the moor" and "the jagged and sinister hills" in the distance. In the night there are frightening sounds. Local farmers claim to have seen a terrifying black dog roaming the moors at night in the vicinity of Baskerville Hall. Several of the Baskerville descendents meet their end mysteriously and violently. Dr Mortimer tells Holmes and Watson of the so-called Baskerville curse that has, he believes, been killing the Baskerville heirs for centuries, in revenge for the misdeeds of one Sir Hugo Baskerville. The legend of this hound and the presence of large paw prints by Sir Charles's body adds to the scary atmosphere of the novel. Watson also hears the baying of a hound upon the moor. The vast gloominess and supernatural atmosphere demonstrate a Gothic tale. The first five chapters on the other hand shows clues of a detective story. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Holmes returns to the story the explanation is simple. Over dinner at Baskerville Hall, the detective stares at Hugo Baskerville's portrait and then it hits him. He covers the hair to show the face to reveal none other than Jack Stapleton. This provides the motive in the crime - with Sir Henry gone, Stapleton could lay claim to the Baskerville fortune. Under the threat of advancing fog, they wait outside Merripit House, where Sir Henry has been dining. When the baronet leaves and sets off across the moor, the hound is soon let loose. It really is a terrible beast, but Holmes and Watson manage to shoot it before it can hurt Sir Henry seriously, as well as discovering that its hellish appearance was acquired by means of phosphorus. They discover the beaten Mrs. Stapleton bound and gagged in the bedroom, and when she is freed, she tells them of Stapleton's hideout deep in the Great Grimpen Mire. When they look for him next day, they are not able to find him, as he is dead, having being sucked down into the bottomless depths of the mire. Holmes and Watson are only able find and recover Sir Henry's boot used by Stapleton to give the hound Sir Henry's scent. So therefore the story is a conventional 'whodunit' with a suspect, weapon, motive, victims and a red herring. Despite the moor almost winning at the end with the unexpected fog. ...read more.

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