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A Study In Scarlet
(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

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A STUDY IN SCARLET (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)This is the novelette of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle where his renowned and the greatest ever detective that lived, of course fictional, Sherlock Holmes, is introduced. The narrator of the story (and future adventures of Sherlock Holmes) is none other than Dr. John H. Watson, a Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, again a purely fictional character. Whoever, who knows Sherlock Holmes, does not know, Dr. Watson? Life isseen as a ball of threads in which crime runs like a scarlet thread and no crime, however mysterious the circumstances of the crime may be, can go undetected. All it needs is a powerful mind which has a sound knowledge of life, a mind which knows the science of deduction and analysis. A study in scarlet here is actually a study in crime.

The setting of the novelette is the last quarter of nineteenth century England. Dr. Watson, having retired from service in the British army due to ill health caused by his adventures in Afghanistan, is in search of lodgings and a friend takes him to Sherlock Holmes. The very first meeting of the protagonists shows the immense power of observation of Sherlock Holmes. By connecting various facts in his mind in a flash of a second Sherlock Holmes finds out and tells Dr. Watson that he is from Afghanistan. They decide to share the two bed roomed apartment in 221B, Baker Street, now perhaps the most famous ?address' in London. The historic friendship begins and lovers of literature in the world have got two of their dearest literary characters.

Dr. Watson is piqued by an article of Sherlock Holmes on the science of deduction in a newspaper which, he thinks, is impractical. Incidentally Dr. Watson comes to know that Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective and, though not yet famous, respected even by the two well known detectives of Scotland yard, Tobias Gregson and Lestrade. Gregson sends a note to Holmes asking his advice and if possible a direct visit to the scene of a crime, where one Enoch Drebber from Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A., is found murdered. Taking along with him Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes visits the scene of the crime, an unoccupied building in Brixton Road. The reputed detectives of the Scotland Yard are at a loss to understand the motive of the crime and its perpetrator. By reasoning backwards and the few clues available at the scene of the crime, Sherlock Holmes visualizes the whole story and in a matter of three days he solves the case and even captures the criminal by making him come to his lodgings even when the two detectives are present there. As told by Holmes to Dr. Watson the Scotland Yard officials take full credits for solving the case.

The story behind the crime is told by the author in a gripping manner. It is a story of vengeance taken by one Jefferson Hope from the Nevada region of U.S.A. Two influential men of the Mormon sect Mr. Drebber and Mr. Stangerson, kill the father of Lucy Ferrier, the lady love of J.Hope and the former makes her one of his wives. Lucy Ferrier dies broken hearted and before her burial Jefferson Hope removes her wedding ring and carries it along with him. What follows is a determined man's relentless pursuit of the criminals who have to leave for Europe to escape the nemesis from Jefferson Hope. They meet their end in the hands of Jefferson Hope at London eighteen years after their crime.

The novelette also narrates how the Scotland Yard detectives bungle the case and come to a dead end before Sherlock Holmes solves the case. To know how Sherlock Holmes solves the case one has to go to the book itself. At the end it may seem everything was so simple, but it takes the powerful mind of Sherlock Holmes to know the whole case by a few clues and but for him the Scotland Yard would not have been able to solve the case. Though the books seems to be a detective novel at first, it is much more than that. Its literary value is immense because of the richness of the language used and thdeepknowledge of the author of his contemporary world and life in general. Hence the undying popularity of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes even today, though more than a century has passed in the meantime.

SATHYA



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- A Study In Scarlet

- A Study In Scarlet

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