The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle; W. W. Robson | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

THE Hound of the Baskervilles is often acclaimed as the best of the Sherlock Holmes long stories, and its popularity has doubtless been increased by its being the basis of the best Holmes film yet made (with Basil Rathbone in the leading role). The first matter for the critic to investigate is its authorship, that is to say the extent of Fletcher Robinson's contribution. Arthur Conan Doyle ( 1859-1930) met Bertram Fletcher Robinson ( 1872-1907) on board the Briton in July 1900. Both men were returning from South Africa: in Doyle's case a holiday was imperative, his health having been affected by his exertions in the Boer War. Whether or not they had met before, it is probable that Doyle would have heard of the younger man from his uncle Sir John Robinson ( 1828-1903), the editor of the Daily News. At this time Fletcher Robinson was establishing himself as a successful journalist, editor, and man of letters. He was a close friend of the young P. G. Wodehouse ( 1881-1975), who was one of Doyle's warmest admirers.1

In March 1901 the idea of The Hound of the Baskervilles took shape when Doyle and Robinson went on a short golfing holiday to Cromer, on the north coast of Norfolk. J. G. Hodder Williams, in an article for the Bookman ( April 1902), described a busy Sunday they spent together, during which Robinson mentioned an old country legend. In a few hours the plot of a sensational story was conceived, and it was agreed that Doyle should write it. Early in April he spent some days on Dartmoor. In his life of Doyle, John Dickson Carr says that it was Doyle's first visit to Dartmoor, but this seems unlikely, for Doyle had lived in Plymouth in 1882, with Dartmoor on his doorstep. In any case, it clearly made a deep impression on him. At the end of 1905 Robinson wrote:

____________________
1
See the 1992 article on Robinson by Richard Lancelyn Green in Hound and Horse: A Dartmoor Commmonplace Book, ed. Shirley Purves.

-xi-

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The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Hound of the Baskervilles i
  • Oxford World''s Classics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • General Editor''s Preface to the Series vii
  • Introduction xi
  • Note on the Text xxx
  • Select Bibliography xxxi
  • A Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle xxxvii
  • Chapter 1- Mr Sherlock Holmes 3
  • Chapter 2- The Curse of the Baskervilles 9
  • Chapter 5- Three Broken Threads 41
  • Chapter 7- The Stapletons of Merripit House 61
  • Chapter 8- First Report of Dr Watson 75
  • Chapter 9- The Light upon the Moor 82
  • Chapter 10- Extract from the Diary of Dr Watson 99
  • Chapter 11- The Man on the Tor 109
  • Chapter 12- Death on the Moor 122
  • Chapter 13- Fixing the Nets 136
  • Chapter 14- The Hound of the Baskervilles 146
  • Chapter 15- A Retrospection 157
  • Explanatory Notes 169
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