Gripping and ingeniously plotted, this Sherlock Holmes novel is also an important document of late-Victorian imperialism. Arthur Conan Doyle's second Sherlock Holmes novel is both a detective story and an imperial romance. Ostensibly the story of Mary Morstan, a beautiful young woman enlisting the help of Holmes to find her vanished father and ...Read MoreGripping and ingeniously plotted, this Sherlock Holmes novel is also an important document of late-Victorian imperialism. Arthur Conan Doyle's second Sherlock Holmes novel is both a detective story and an imperial romance. Ostensibly the story of Mary Morstan, a beautiful young woman enlisting the help of Holmes to find her vanished father and solve the mystery of her receipt of a perfect pearl on the same date each year, it gradually uncovers a tale of treachery and human greed. The action audaciously ranges from penal settlements on the Andaman Islands to the suburban comfort of South London, and from the opium-fuelled violence of Agra Fort during the Indian 'Mutiny' to the cocaine-induced contemplation of Holmes' own Baker Street. This edition places Doyle's tale in the cultural, political, and social contexts of late nineteenth-century colonialism and imperialism. The appendices provide a wealth of relevant extracts from hard-to-find sources, ranging from official reports to memoirs, and newspaper editorials to anthropological studies.Read Less
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The Sign of Four (also known as The Sign of the Four) is one of four Sherlock Holmes novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). While most of the events of this 1890 novel take place in London, many events related to the story take place in India at the time of the Sepoy Rebellion of the late 1850s.
Numerous elements of a good mystery story are intertwined in this fast-moving novel: an unexplained disappearance, a cryptic message, a hidden treasure, the use of a dog to track the scent of the murderer, a thrilling boat chase on the Thames River, and exotic Indian locations. In the first few pages of the book, we also learn about the qualities which make the ideal detective. In a conversation with Doctor Watson, Holmes states that knowledge, the ability to make deductions, and the power of observation are the three qualities necessary for the ideal detective. While I liked The Hound of the Baskervilles better, I did enjoy reading The Sign of Four and I highly recommend it.
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