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The Case of Sherlock Holmes

Secrets and Lies in Conan Doyle's Detective Fiction

Andrew Glazzard

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Reveals the secrets and stories that lie beneath the surface of Watson’s narratives

The Case of Sherlock Holmes uncovers what is untold, partly told, wrongly told, or deliberately concealed in Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes saga. This engaging study uses a scholarly approach, combining close reading with historicism, to read the stories afresh, sceptically probing Dr Watson’s narratives and Holmes’s often barely credible solutions. Drawing on Victorian and Edwardian history, Conan Doyle’s life and works, and Doyle’s literary sources, the book offers new insights into the Holmes stories and reveals what they say about money, class, family, sex, race, war, and secrecy.

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List of illustrations
Texts and References
Introduction: The Art of Deduction
Part I: Finance
1. Stone into Money
2. The Roylotts of Stoke Moran
3. The Guardians of Securities
Part II: Class
4. The Pick of a Bad Lot
5. The Fall of the House of Musgrave
6. A Scandal in East Yorkshire
Part III: Family
7. Singular Occurrence at a Wedding
8. The Rock of Gibraltar
9. The Discreetly Shadowed Corners
Part IV: Sex
10. The Worst Man in London
11. The Whole Queer Business of Wisteria Lodge
Part V: Race
12. Nice, Amiable People!
13. A Nobler Man Never Walked the Earth
14. The Heat of the Amazon Was Always in her Blood
Part VI: War
15. This Circle of Misery and Violence and Fear
16. Do We Progress?
17. The East Wind
Part VII: Secrecy
18. That Secret History of a Nation
19. Oaths and Secrets
20. The Giant Rat of Sumatra
Conclusion: The Problem of Finality

About the Author

Andrew Glazzard is a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. He is the author of Conrad’s Popular Fictions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and of numerous journal articles on late-Victorian and Edwardian fiction. He is an occasional contributor to the New Statesman.


Erudite and enjoyable, Andrew Glazzard’s book replaces the Sherlock Holmes stories in a contemporary context of small social details and large cultural and economic forces. If you thought you knew the Holmes stories, think again: this study detects a hoard of secret treasure in them, enriching our reading and leaving us with an even greater respect for their importance.

- Douglas Kerr, University of Hong Kong

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