A Study in Scarlet


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(1887)


This is the first novel for Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Published in Beeton's Christmus Annual in 1887, in this novel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the legendary and probably the most beloved and greatest fictional detective of all time, who took forth his undisputed reputation forwards through 4 novels and 56 short stories over 40 years till the last book of Sherlock Holmes' stories 'The case book of Sherlock Holmes' was published in 1927. Doyle's incomparable tales bring to life a Victorian England of horse drawn cabs, fogs and the famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street. The novel has two parts. In the first part, Mr. Sherlock Holmes unspools a mystery around a murder committed in a forlorn house near Brixton Road in London, while his chronicler Dr. Watson astutely observes how his process of observations and deductions, laid together, makes a whole chain complete, unravelling it's every knot of complexity. The second part of the novel has been partly narrated in 3rd person and partly taken from Dr. Watson's recordings. This part discloses the perpetrator's long poignant past singed with love, jealousy, betrayal and animosity.--Submitted by Kris Das


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Recent Forum Posts on A Study in Scarlet

The Classic Murder Mystery

Whenever Sherlock Holmes was first introduced he revolutionized the murder mystery. He still leads the detective spot today, with Hercule Poirot in the number two spot of the classics. :thumbs_up :thumbs_up


*spoilers*

I KNEW it was a peg-legged man the moment I started reading! :idea:


A Study in Scarlet - Plot Summary

Hey guys, I need a complete plot summary of "A Study in Scarlet". It's very important - please help me! Thanks, Dr Watson


questions: A Study in Scarlet

i have a few questions. these are: 1) is it really true that there were no tests for identifying dried blood before holmes' test? 2) which year did holmes and watson meet? was it 1881? 3) holmes is ignorant about the Copernican theory and the composition of the solar system because according to holmes, "If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.” but he mentions Euclid's propositions ("His conclusions were as infallible as so many propositions of Euclid"). does it make any difference to him or his work whether Euclid's propositions were infallible or not? (by the way, he also mentions Euclid's fifth proposition in The Sign of Four) 4) holmes says that a man's height can be calculated from the length of his stride. i am really interested to know the relationship between a man's height and the length of his stride. can anyone help? 5) why did holmes give an advertisement about the ring before he knew whether it was mentioned in the evning papers or not? 6) in chapter 6 (Tobias Gregson Shows What He Can Do), watson wrote that gregson came up the stairs three steps at a time and burst into their sitting room. how did he know that it was "three steps at a time" if he only heard his footsteps? he didn't even know the total number of steps in the staircase. 7) why did Hope leave the pills in stangerson's room? 8) why did Hope went as a cabman to 221B Baker Street when he knew that his accomplice (who went to retrieve the ring) was followed by a man from that same house? 9) what does the following mean: “Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplar in arca.”


No Subject

When one encounters an instant literary classic, it is acknowledged almost instantaneously. The plot is immediately deemed brilliant, the characters at once named congenial, and relevant to toady’s society; and the element of style and vocabulary appeasing. Thus are the three components of an outstanding piece of writing. Thus are the components of A Study in Scarlet.

The Plot of A Study in Scarlet is an exceptional one; Conan Doyle created a feasible history for Dr. Watson, making him the typical military surgeon of the Victorian era, trying to make his way during an epoch poverty and industrialization. It was the fact that John Watson was impoverished himself that brought him into contact with Sherlock Holmes. Halving rooms was not so uncommon in the Victorian age, creating yet another feasible plot event relevant to society. To be succinct regarding the message of this paragraph, the tale was wholly and entirely believable until we encounter Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes is purposely and likeably anomalous; few are the men that keep their tobacco in a Persian slipper, purposely scratch madly at a violin when they may play excellently when they so choose to and wear a deerstalker in public regularly. This sudden twist to the plot diverts the reader from the actual storyline of the piece—murder. Whilst we, the readers are caught up in the abnormalities of Holmes, we are completely unaware that there is virtually nothing occurring. In a way, this is necessary, such a unique character deserves more that a simple four line introduction, as that of Lestrade and Gregson.
When the actual mystery is placed before Holmes and Watson, there were greater expectations upon this work (in retrospect) compared to all other Sherlock Holmes stories. Not only must Holmes brilliantly solve an unsolvable crime, but explain thoroughly (though not too deeply, “A conjurer does not reveal his tricks, for then they seem too obvious” says Holmes) his methods. In conjunction with this, Watson must be far more awestruck than usual, this being his first experience with Holmes. Holmes used his usual methods in solving the crime, bringing forth the supposition that Doyle actually had created a workable, deductive system for the usage of Sherlock Holmes, showing that consistency is a key to writing well.
As with all Sherlock Holmes novels in contrast to Sherlock Holmes short stories (With the exception of The Hound of the Baskervilles) the villain, once arrested, tells his story which, in A study in Scarlet is an exceptional piece. Though it comprises fully half the novel, it is essentially well though out and corresponds lovely with the rest of the novel. There is, however, a poor transition from this portion of the book back to Holmes and Watson, which could have been developed more.

In essence, the characters of the book are well embodied and were worked on very closely, so that every hint of personality could be distinguished from one another, from the pompous, but brilliant Holmes to the humble and amazed Watson, the personalities are each unique characters as only Conan Doyle could personify.
Lastly is the style of Arthur Conan Doyle. He has a consistent and mature writing style that allows him to explore subjects as no other author could. His vocabulary and grammar surpass those of his infamous predecessors, Charles Dickens included. His consistency makes for the same excellent character embodiment and vocabulary with every book he writes. It is his style that has preserved his novels thus far, and shall preserve them for many years to come.


No Subject

June 24, 2004

I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for years. Some years ago I obtained the complete anthology and have read and re-read it. I have always treasured A Study in Scarlet because even though we are thoroughly introduced to Holmes, we never really know him.

I have always said that every new police cadet should have a copy of A Study in Scarlet on their desk. New technology notwithstanding, the deductive process as applied by Holmes, would not go amiss in today's police academies.

Gayle Kohlenberg


No Subject

Excellent. The introduction of Holmes and Watson and the begining of the friendship is interesting, and the motives of the criminal, though it's hard to think of him as that, and the flash back in regards to that, were unexpected and very well done. The flashback is a bit disconcerting at first, but you soon get over that as you become emotionally invested in the characters it introduces, and it really gives a lot of insight into someone that might otherwise just be seen as a common murderer. It's quite good, and a great starting place for the literary adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

:)


Holmes

Who was introduced in the story "A Study In Scarlet"? Admin Response:::cough::cough::


No Subject

Why does Jefferson Hope go to 221B Baker Street the 2nd time not suspecting
a trap? The first time (wedding ring) he expected one and sent a friend
that posed as an old women. The friend detected Holmes and escaped, which
comfirmed Hope's theory. Surely when heard the address 221B for the second
time in so many day's he must know it's a trap.


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