The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Background

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Background

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of stories relating to the infamous character Sherlock Holmes, a notable detective who investigates various mysteries and crime set in the 1900’s. George Newness publishing company first published the collection on October 1892.

The collection consists of a series of twelve stories told from the view of Holmes’s close friend, Dr. Watson. The stories resonate the social injustices faced by many at the time and Doyle includes stories of "a king's betrayal of an opera singer, a stepfather's deception of his ward as a fictitious lover, an aristocratic crook's exploitation of a failing pawnbroker, a beggar's extensive estate in Kent; as a reference to the unjust world that many civilians lived in during the 1900’s. Doyle addresses all these problems by introducing Holme’s as a person who is trying to bring justice to the world by rightfully solving crimes and mysteries.

The Sherlock Holmes series has been adapted multiple times, with the a recent adaptation Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows being released on 2011 by Warner Bros. Pictures and stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the titular roles. A more recent adaptation of the novel follows the plot even more closely, putting a modern twist on the classic tale with BBC's Sherlock, which cast Benedict Cumberbatch as the famous sleuth and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. This adaptation is currently in production for its fourth season, to be released later in 2016.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes does contain twelve unique narratives. It is recommended to read them in chronological order, but they can be read as independent stories. The first story is "A Scandal in Bohemia". In this story, the reader first meets the alluring (and cunning) Irene Adler, the closest Holmes will ever come to having a love interest. The next story in the novel is "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League", which involves a pawnbroker and theives that have an affinity for digging tunnels. The third story is "A Case of Identity", followed by "The Boscombe Valley Mystery", "The Five Orange Pips", "The Man with the Twisted Lip", "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" (generally considered to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite of the collection), "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb", "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor", "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet", and finally "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches".

These stories range in length, but they are generally considered to be short stories. Some, such as "A Scandal in Bohemia", are much longer. The subject matter of each story varies greatly, but each one highlights a key mystery that Holmes miraculously unravels, no matter how daunting the task may seem. Throughout the course of the twelve stories, the reader progressively learns more about both Holmes and Watson. The stories deal with serious issues such as murder and drug abuse. Often, Holmes seems to be a questionable character, but his brilliance is never doubted. Dr. Watson provides an excellent foil for Sherlock Holmes, and the two highlight one another's strong suits as well as weaknesses. Holmes once said, "Some people without posessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it in others."

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