The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Penguin Books Limited, 1902 - Fiction - 195 pages
20 Reviews
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles gripped readers when it was first serialised and has continued to hold its place in the popular imagination to this day. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Christopher Frayling. Could the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville have been caused by the gigantic ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his family for generations? Arch-rationalist Sherlock Holmes characteristically dismisses the theory as nonsense. And, immersed in another case, he sends Dr Watson to Devon to protect the Baskerville heir and observe the suspects at close hand. With its atmospheric setting on the ancient, wild moorland and its savage apparition, The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural and good against evil as Sherlock Holmes sets out to defeat a foe almost his equal. This edition contains a full chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle's life and works, an introduction by renowned horror scholar Professor Christopher Frayling discussing the background to the novel and the legends and events that inspired the story, with further reading and explanatory notes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals. If you enjoyed The Hound of the Baskervilles, you might enjoy Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Arthur Conan Doyle is unique ... Personally, I would walk a mile in tight boots to read him to the milkman'Stephen Fry

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About the author (1902)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for 25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed. Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur--he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War--became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.

Christopher Frayling teaches at London's Royal College of Art.

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