The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. Sherlock Holmes and his companion Doctor Watson investigate the case. This was the first appearance of Holmes since his intended death in "The Final Problem", and the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novel." Plot
Sir Charles Baskerville, Bart, is found dead on the grounds of his country house, Baskerville Hall. The cause is ascribed to a heart attack. Fearing for the safety of Sir Charles's nephew and the only known heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, coming from Toronto, Canada to claim his inheritance, Dr James Mortimer travels to London and asks Sherlock Holmes for help. Mortimer explains that the Baskerville family is afflicted by a curse. According to an old account, said to have been written in 1742 and describing events which had occurred a century earlier still, during the English Civil War, Hugo Baskerville was infatuated with a farmer's daughter. He kidnapped her and imprisoned her in his bedroom. She escaped and the furious Baskerville offered his soul to the devil if he could recapture her. Aided by friends, he pursued the girl onto the desolate moor. Baskerville and his victim were found dead. She had died from fright, but a giant spectral hound stood guard over Baskerville's body. The hound tore out Baskerville's throat, then vanished into the night. Sir Charles Baskerville had become fearful of the legendary curse and its hellhound. Mortimer decided that Sir Charles had been waiting for someone when he died. His face was contorted in a ghastly expression, while his footprints suggested that he was running away from something. The elderly man's heart wasn't strong, and he had planned to go to London the very next day. Mortimer says he had seen the footprints of a "gigantic hound" near Sir Charles's body, nothing was revealed at the inquest. Main characters
Sherlock Holmes –Sherlock Holmes is the famed 221B Baker Street detective with a keen eye, acute intelligence and a logical mind. He is observant and deduction personified, and although he takes a back seat to Watson for much of this particular adventure, we always feel his presence. In the end, it takes all of his crime-solving powers to identify an ingenious killer, save the life of his next intended victim, and solve the Baskerville mystery. Dr John Watson – The novel's narrator, Watson is Holmes' stalwart assistant at Baker Street and the chronicler of his triumphs as a private investigator. He steps into Holmes' boots for a while, expressing his eagerness to impress his colleague by cracking this most baffling of cases before Holmes returns to the fray. Sir Hugo Baskerville – The 17th-century Baskerville who spawned the legend of the family curse. Sir Hugo was a picture of aristocratic excess, drunkenness and debauchery until, one night, he was reputedly killed near Baskerville Hall, in the wilds of Dartmoor, by a demonic hound sent to punish his wickedness. Sir Charles Baskerville – The recently deceased owner of the Baskerville estates in Devon, Sir Charles was a superstitious bachelor in waning health. Long terrified by the Baskerville legend, his footprints show that he must have been fleeing from something at the time of his death in the grounds of Baskerville Hall. Furthermore, the paw-prints of a large dog marked the soil near his corpse. Sir Charles had been a philanthropist. His enlightened plans to invest funds in the isolated district surrounding Baskerville Hall prompt his heir, Sir...
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