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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Quotes
Table of Contents
AP English Language
AP English Literature
SAT Test Prep
ACT Exam Prep
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Themes
Little Words, Big Ideas
Cunning and Cleverness
The very first paragraph of the first story in this collection, "A Scandal in Bohemia," includes the following line: "[Holmes] was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that...
Justice and Judgment
Sherlock Holmes is no Dark Knight: he's not zooming around London dispensing vigilante justice. But he is a private detective, which means that he too doesn't have to obey the rigid rules of police...
Foreignness and 'The Other'
Conan Doyle is writing his Holmes novels and stories at a time when money is pouring into the U.K. from its colonial territories. But with rising capital comes huge anxiety over the social effects...
First of all, Sherlock Holmes basically has his own cheering section in the form of Dr. John Watson, a man who has devoted his literary life to following Holmes around and seeing what he does. That...
Drugs and Alcohol
There are two general threads that drugs and alcohol follow in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. First, there are lots and lots of examples of substance abuse ruining lives and destroying otherwis...
Women and Femininity
Women are incredibly vulnerable in Sherlock Holmes's world, from poor Helen Stoner's murdered sister in "The Speckled Band" to Miss Rucastle, locked up by her own family in "The Copper Beeches." Th...
Society and Class
Sherlock Holmes says time and time again that the status of the clients he serves is less important to him than the intrigue of the problems they bring him. And in fact, we see him interacting with...
Literature and Writing
Conan Doyle is an intensely self-conscious writer. Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes often squabble over the value of truth versus fiction and over the ways Watson represents Holmes's work. As a write...
Basically, all crime stories are about moral weakness: giving in to temptation, giving in to rage, giving in to the desire for revenge – whatever. But even if weakness is a general theme of t...
How many times have you been told not to judge a book by its cover? Well, Sherlock Holmes would say – no, totally, feel free to judge a book by its cover. Or a woman by her clothing (see Mary...
Respect and Reputation
We've mentioned, in our "Character Analysis" of Inspector Lestrade, that the policeman makes a good foil for Sherlock Holmes because he works inside the law while Holmes is a free agent. Holmes get...
Contrasting Regions: London and the Countryside
Holmes loves the city: after all, it's "a hobby of [his] to have an exact knowledge of London" (League.148). The countryside? Not so much. In the scattered households of the countryside, Holmes see...
Technology and Modernization
There would be no Sherlock Holmes without technology and modernization: without the telegraph service, how would Holmes send his messages in "The Five Orange Pips?" Without trains, how could he tra...
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