Arthur Conan Doyle: Beyond Baker Street

By Janet B. Pascal | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
THE RETURN OF
SHERLOCK HOLMES

Arthur Conan Doyle received his knighthood because of his service to his country in the Boer War, but few people remember this fact, and some refused to believe it even at the time. For that same year, he had done something else that in the public eye made him worthy of any honor. He had brought back Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes was still dead—Conan Doyle insisted on that—but in The Hound of the Baskervilles he allowed Watson to tell one of their earlier adventures. The idea for this book came in 1901, when his friend Fletcher Robinson told him some legends of the bleak northern region of England called Dartmoor, renowned chiefly for its maximum security prison. Conan Doyle's imagination was fired in particular by the story of a ghostly supernatural hound that had haunted one family for generations, and he decided to use it as the basis of a novel. He found the legend so great an inspiration that he spoke of Robinson as coauthor of the book, even though he had almost certainly written none of it. Together the two men explored the bleak moors, prehistoric stone huts, and prison of Dartmoor, gathering material for what, he wrote to his

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