The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-02) is Arthur Conan Doyle's most celebrated Sherlock Holmes adventure. At the end of the yew tree path of his ancestral home, Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead. Close by are the footprints of a gigantic hound. Called to investigate, Holmes seems to face a supernatural foe. In the tense narration of the detective's efforts to solve the crime, Conan Doyle meditates on late Victorian and early twentieth-century ideas of ancestry and atavism, the possible biological determination of criminals, the stability of the British landed classes, and the place of the supernatural. Historical documents included with this fully-annotated Broadview edition help contextualize the novel's debates and reveal its cultural and literary significance as a supreme instance of early detective fiction. Also included is the Conan Doyle short story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.”
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