Sherlock Holmes: A Character of the City. Analysis of the Nineteenth Century city in Arthur Conan Doyle’s series.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Character of the City. Analysis of the Nineteenth Century city in Arthur Conan Doyle’s series.

Type: Master thesis
Title: Sherlock Holmes: A Character of the City. Analysis of the Nineteenth Century city in Arthur Conan Doyle’s series.
Author: Weise, Brooke
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Sherlock Holmes, City, London
Abstract: There are few literary characters who speak to the imagination such as Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr John Watson. The city in which these stories are set has an equally strong grasp on the imaginations of the masses: the moment Sherlock Holmes and London are mentioned within the same breath, a very iconic and somewhat stereotypical image of the city comes to mind. A foggy, smoke ridden city, congested with traffic, populated by exotic figures, which in the nineteenth century has become the heart of a global Empire.1 This of course, is a stereotypical image of the city, a way of describing the city by authors in order to gain some form of control over the immense city. This will be discussed in greater depth in the following chapter. The characters Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are still quite as popular as they were in the nineteenth century, maybe even more so. In the recent years the two iconic characters have starred in movies, various TV-shows as well as new books. There are some authors who have tried to recapture the magic of Sherlock Holmes.2 Whether they have succeeded is another matter, and does not fit within the scope of this research. Though the stories have always focussed on the world’s only consulting detective and the good doctor, they are always connected to capital of an Empire, London. This connection between Sherlock Holmes and London is precisely the subject of this research. The question which has been centralised in this work is: What was the message that Conan Doyle was possibly trying to send his contemporary readers through his description of London and his use of the genre of crime fiction?
Supervisor: Schulte Nordholt, A.E.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Literary Studies (Master)
Specialisation: Literature in Society
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52402
 

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