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The Hound of the Baskervilles

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How does Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle develop and maintain an eerie atmosphere throughout his novel The Hound of the Baskervilles? Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's novel, the Hound of the Baskervilles, was originally published as a novel in 1902. This was an age when many people were interested in historical matters to do with things like ancient documents and there ancestors. Many of the popular books were in the supernatural and detective genres. These books were particularly popular with male readers and this is often due to the amount of main characters being male. The Hound of the Baskervilles was originally published episodically in the Strand magazine from August 1901 through to April 1902. Each month the chapter would end with a cliff-hanger, this was mainly so people would buy the next issue to find out what happens subsequently in the story. After the serialised version of the story it was then published as a novel buy George Newnes Ltd in London, 1902. Not only was The Hound of the Baskervilles popular as book, it was also popular as a film. In 1939 the Hound of the Baskervilles was released for the first time as a film. The film was directed by Sidney Lanfield and starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. It was then filmed again and released in 1959 when it was directed by Terrence Fisher with Peter Cushing and Andre Morell starring. ...read more.


There is an obvious connection that the reader would notice between the curse and this revelation, the curse is then seen as something which could in fact be true and not myth. This adds to the tension and eeriness in the atmosphere. The fact that Conan-Doyle would leave each chapter on a cliff hanger adds more tension and eeriness to the book as you are drawn in to reading the story even more. Moving on the title of Chapter 3 prepares the reader for something to happen soon and this adds to the atmosphere. The title of the third chapter is 'The Problem' this tells the reader that something important is going to happen in the story, this adds to the eerie atmosphere and tension as you begin to wonder what might happen. Conan Doyle then describes the reports of the Hound with the character Dr Mortimer, the name Mortimer could be linked to death with the Mort part. We then hear of the heir to the Baskerville fortune, Sir Henry, who has been living in Canada. He is moving to England to take over the estate but there is worry for him as the Hound of the Baskervilles is on the loose and may try to kill him, this then adds to the atmosphere. In Chapter 6 we are introduced Dartmoor and Baskerville Hall. Baskerville Hall is described like a Haunted House in a vast reclusive space. ...read more.


In Chapter 10 Watson talks about a mysterious man on the moor, the reader speculates about whom this could be and this adds eeriness. In Chapter 12 the atmosphere is building rapidly as the convict is killed and due to the description we are lead to believe it is Sir Henry which adds tension and eeriness. Chapter 14 is the climax of the novel and Conan Doyle adds atmosphere using the personification of the fog, he makes it sound as if the fog was part of Stapleton's plan and this adds to the eeriness. When the dog is finally unleashed Conan Doyle describes it as 'In mere size and strength it was a terrible creature which was lying stretched before us. It was not a pure bloodhound and it was not a pure mastiff; but it appeared to be a combination of the two -- gaunt, savage, and as large as a small lioness. Even now in the stillness of death, the huge jaws seemed to be dripping with a bluish flame and the small, deep-set, cruel eyes were ringed with fire. I placed my hand upon the glowing muzzle.' This description and similar ones add to the eeriness. To conclude Conan Doyle uses several features to maintain an eerie feeling. He uses an ancient family ghost story, a mysterious house inhabited by a strange butler and his wife, treacherous moorland with 'living' weather and an escaped convict along with the threat of the hound. George Williams English essay The Hound of the Baskervilles - 1 - ...read more.

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