The Sign of Four

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Broadview Press, Jul 8, 2010 - Fiction - 224 pages
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Arthur Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel is both a detective story and an imperial romance. Ostensibly the story of Mary Morstan, a beautiful young woman enlisting the help of Holmes to find her vanished father and solve the mystery of her receipt of a perfect pearl on the same date each year, it gradually uncovers a tale of treachery and human greed. The action audaciously ranges from penal settlements on the Andaman Islands to the suburban comfort of South London, and from the opium-fuelled violence of Agra Fort during the Indian ‘Mutiny’ to the cocaine-induced contemplation of Holmes’ own Baker Street.

This Broadview Edition places Doyle’s tale in the cultural, political, and social contexts of late nineteenth-century colonialism and imperialism. The appendices provide a wealth of relevant extracts from hard-to-find sources, including official reports, memoirs, newspaper editorials, and anthropological studies.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
7
Introduction
9
A Brief Chronology
39
A Note on the Text
43
THE SIGN OF FOUR
47
Domestic Contexts
157
Colonial Contexts Accounts of the Indian Mutiny 185758
163
Colonial Contexts The First and Second AngloAfghan Wars
185
Colonial ContextsThe Andaman Islands
193
Contemporary Reviews
209
Select Bibliography
215
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Shafquat Towheed is a Lecturer in English at the Open University, UK.

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