Writer: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Publishing House: Penguin Clothbound Classics
Date of Publication: October 1st 2009 (first published August 1901)
Rating: 5 stars
(Oh, come on…I was looking for a chance to use a Sherlock screencap for my header image…😁)
‘’It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.’’
The task of safeguarding a family estate has been bestowed on a young heir. But there is a problem,. A dark curse has been plaguing the Baskerville House for centuries as a result of the actions of a vile ancestor and Hell has found a face in the presence of a black hound with glowing red eyes. Sir Henry Baskerville has come to the one man who knows where to look when everyone else is blind. Sherlock Holmes.
What darkness has covered Dartmoor? What is the source of those strange screams and howls? A light appears and disappears on a window and Dr. Watson sees a tall man standing on a rock, illuminated by the moonlight. And the hound is still at large. This is how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the most fascinating adventure of Sherlock Holmes and one of the finest mysteries in Literature.
‘’It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light.’’
Conan Doyle used the unique landscape of Dartmoor with the bogs and the rocks and the inspiration provided by hundreds of dark myths related to elves, apparitions and the Devil himself to compose a mystery where the past presents a heavy burden to the kind-hearted Sir Henry. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson try to decipher an enigma that defies the laws of science, a riddle that lies within the actions of a cursed family and a supernatural threat. Through a haunting adventure and in a story that presents us with some of the best moments of Conan Doyle’s writing, the tradition of the British folklore and the impact of the landscape challenges our favourite detective.
‘’A strong wind sang sadly as it bent the trees in front of the Hall. A half moon shone through the dark, flying clouds on to the wild and empty moor.’’
‘’It came with the wind through the silence of the night, a long, deep matter, then a rising howl, and then the sad moan in which it died away. Again and again it sounded, the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild and menacing.’’
I read The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was nine and this was how my love for Sherlock Holmes was born. The mystery of Dartmoor, the folklore and one of the greatest literary characters have provided the best material for countless adaptations in cinema, TV, and Theatre. My personal favourite remains the BBC Sherlock 2012 episode with the title The Hounds of Baskerville, a fabulous modern adaptation of Sherlock’s most popular adventure. A mystery for Halloween and a cold winter’s night.
‘’The devil’s agents may be of flesh and blood, may they not?’’