Sherlock Holmes' The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes story, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' was popular
when published and still remains so today for a variety of reasons.
Back in the Victorian period crimes stories were very well-liked by
the general public. A police force had just been formed and many
people didn't yet know how it worked. Crime was on the rise and it
wasn't safe to walk alone on the streets at night. People were fearful
of the streets but were also intrigued by the changes that were
occurring before them.
This is when characters such as Holmes began to appear. Holmes'
character was innovative idea as few crime fiction stories about
detectives had been written before. A detective like Holmes was rarely
found and could be described as an exotic character to the Victorians.
The stories about the new detectives satisfied the general public's
curiosity about the police force and the Holmes series began its
Now a days though we are much more familiar with detectives and how
they work because of television, radio etc. but a story like The Hound
of the Baskervilles still appeals to us.
As well as the book being part of the ever popular crime fiction genre
it also has many other aspects that make it such an exhilarating book.
The way that Conan Doyle writes the book is very interesting to the
reader. The story is told through the eyes of Watson and is also told
in a diary kept by Watson. This adds a new dimension to the book and
the way the book is written so well is the main reason why it remains
popular today and why it was popular in the Victorian era. There are
features of the book that make it popular in the way characters,
setting and atmosphere etc. are portrayed, these will examined in more
Setting and Atmosphere
London was an ideal place for Conan Doyle for Holmes to be situated.
At the time many of the Victorians lived in London so they may have
been able to relate to where Holmes lived and recreate the atmosphere
that's Holmes flat seems to conjure up in our own minds. The flat that
Holmes lived in was a typical London middle class home and this is why
many of the Victorians could have compared their flat to Holmes.
Holmes flat would make many of the readers feel at home and they would
feel that they were certainly more involved in the book.
The confined of his flat wouldn't be an unusual thing. I think this
environment helps Holmes to come to a conclusion of many of his
deductions by enabling him to concentrate his mind and help him pin
point key facts in the case. The atmosphere of the flat is
overwhelming as viscous smoke takes over the room. Watson describes
the room as 'poisonous atmosphere' and it also describes it as 'thick,
it is intolerable'. The solitude of the flat was also...