The Hound of the Baskervilles
How does Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle develop and maintain an eerie
atmosphere throughout his novel The Hound of the Baskervilles?
Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s novel, the Hound of the Baskervilles, was
originally published as a novel in 1902. This was an age when many
people were interested in historical matters to do with things like
ancient documents and there ancestors. Many of the popular books were
in the supernatural and detective genres. These books were
particularly popular with male readers and this is often due to the
amount of main characters being male.
The Hound of the Baskervilles was originally published episodically in
the Strand magazine from August 1901 through to April 1902. Each month
the chapter would end with a cliff-hanger, this was mainly so people
would buy the next issue to find out what happens subsequently in the
story. After the serialised version of the story it was then published
as a novel buy George Newnes Ltd in London, 1902.
Not only was The Hound of the Baskervilles popular as book, it was
also popular as a film. In 1939 the Hound of the Baskervilles was
released for the first time as a film. The film was directed by Sidney
Lanfield and starred Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. It was then
filmed again and released in 1959 when it was directed by Terrence
Fisher with Peter Cushing and Andre Morell starring. Most recently the
story was filmed for the BBC as a ‘Christmas Special’ in 2002 for its
Even The Hound of the Baskervilles is over 100 years old it is still a
popular book, it is the only one of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s books not
to be out of print and this is why it is regarded as his best novel.
In Chapter 2 the curse of the Baskervilles is first introduced, the
curse is that Hugo Baskerville captured a young maid from an unguarded
farm and took her back to Baskerville Hall. He locked the maid away.
That night he had a party with friends of his, Hugo and his friend’s
drank lots of wine and he boasted of this girl he had captured. He
staggered upstairs to get the girl, when he unlocked the room he saw
that she had escaped. Hugo was furious and ordered for his Horses to
be ready for riding, Hugo rode ahead and his friend’s followed over
the moorlands, they passed a Shepard who told of Hugo riding past him.
The pack continued on to find Hugo lying on the floor next to the maid
with a large beast standing over Hugo, there stood a foul thing, a
great, black beast, shaped like a hound, yet larger than any hound
that ever mortal eye has rested upon and it was plucking at his
throat. The tale of the Hound plagued the Baskerville family ever
The curse is portrayed in a manuscript written by Sir Charles
Baskerville, the narrative of this story is very hesitant and this
creates suspense and an eerie atmosphere within this chapter. Chapter
2 also tells the reader that Sir Charles Baskerville has died. “Sir