Day: April 14, 2020

My Book Notes: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Included in The Complete Sherlock Holmes and Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Signature Edition The Complete Works Collections, 2011. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 2804 KB. Print Length: 1592 pages. ASIN: B004LE7PCM. ISBN: 2940012102744.

41LO0VIDDCL._SY346_Book Description: This collection brings together Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Tales of Terror and Mystery along with all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels in a single, convenient, high quality, but extremely low priced Kindle volume! This volume has been authorized for publication by the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. which holds the copyright to this title.

Stories: A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891); “The Red-Headed League” (1891); “A Case of Identity” (1891); “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” (1891); “The Five Orange Pips” (1891); “The Man with the Twisted Lip” (1891); “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” (1892); “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (1892); “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb” (1892); “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” (1892); “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet” (1892); “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” (1892).

My Take: Hi everyone! hope you’re all safe and sound. At the end of this first month of confinement at our homes, the situation in Spain is far from being resolved, and we must prepare to continue locked up for a while. Particularly those of us who already have a certain age. Under these circumstances I can’t concentrate much in my readings. However, I have found now an opportunity to read short stories. And there’s nothing better than to start with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is the third book published by Conan Doyle featuring Sherlock Holmes. It follows The Sign of the Four and precedes Doyle’s masterpiece The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Adventures is in fact a collection of twelve short stories that were all published originally in twelve monthly issues of The Strand Magazine from July 1891 to June 1892. His first short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, soon become extremely popular and helped to increase the sales of The Strand. Which enabled Conan Doyle to ask more money for his following stories.

The stories are, broadly speaking, highly entertaining and are wonderfully written. They are narrated in the first person from Dr Watson point of view, as it is generally the case in most of Sherlock Holmes stories, and they all tend to follow a similar pattern. The reader is presented with some extremely puzzling situation which is difficult to explain. Someone addresses Sherlock Holmes in search of an explanation. And Holmes, invariably, develops a solution underpinned by the facts. Finally, Holmes manages to find the evidence that supports his interpretation. In any case, all the stories tend to cover as well a wide range of subjects.

It is of interest to note how Conan Doyle himself provides us with some criticism to these short stories when in “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” puts these words into the mouth of Holmes:

“At the same time”, [Holmes] remarked …., “you can hardly be open to a charge of sensationalism, for out of these cases which you have been so kind as to interest yourself in, a fair proportion do not treat of crime, in its legal sense, at all. The small matter in which I endeavoured to help the King of Bohemia, the singular experience of Miss Mary Sutherland, the problem connected with the man with the twisted lip, and the incident of the noble bachelor, were all matters which are outside the pale of the law. But in avoiding the sensational, I fear that you may have bordered on the trivial.”

“The end may have been so,” I [Dr Watson] answered, “but the methods I hold to have been novel and of interest.”

In a nutshell, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is an excellent place, in my view, to start getting acquaintance first-hand with Sherlock Holmes.

My favourite stories are: “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891); “The Red-Headed League” (1891); “The Man with the Twisted Lip” (1891); “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” (1892); and “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” (1892).

My rating: A (I loved it)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes has been reviewed, among others, at Past Offences.

About the Author: Arthur Conan Doyle, in full Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, (born May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland—died July 7, 1930, Crowborough, Sussex, England), Scottish writer best known for his creation of the detective Sherlock Holmes—one of the most vivid and enduring characters in English fiction. While a medical student, Conan Doyle was deeply impressed by the skill of his professor, Dr Joseph Bell, in observing the most minute detail regarding a patient’s condition. This master of diagnostic deduction became the model for Conan Doyle’s literary creation, Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in A Study in Scarlet, a novel-length story published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. Driven by public clamour, Conan Doyle continued writing Sherlock Holmes adventures through 1926. (Source; Britannica)

The canon of Sherlock Holmes:  Four novels: A Study in Scarlet (1887); The Sign of the Four (1890); The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901–1902); The Valley of Fear (1914–1915). And five collections of short stories: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892); The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894); The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905); His Last Bow (1917); and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927).

The Official Site of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate

The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopaedia

Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes, de Arthur Conan Doyle

Relatos: “Escándalo en Bohemia” (1891); “La liga de los pelirrojos” (1891); “Un caso de identidad” (1891); “El misterio del valle Boscombe” (1891); “Las cinco semillas de naranja” (1891); “El hombre del labio torcido” (1891); “El carbunclo azul” (1892); La banda de lunares” (1899); “El dedo pulgar del ingeniero” (1892); ”El aristócrata solterón” (1892); “La diadema de berilos” (1892); y “El misterio de Copper Beeches” (1892).

Mi opinión: ¡Hola a todos! Espero que esteis sanos y salvos. Al final de este primer mes de confinamiento en nuestros hogares, la situación en España está lejos de resolverse, y debemos prepararnos para continuar encerrados por un tiempo. Particularmente aquellos de nosotros que ya tenemos cierta edad. En estas circunstancias, no puedo concentrarme mucho en mis lecturas. Sin embargo, ahora he encontrado la oportunidad de leer relatos breves. Y no hay nada mejor que comenzar con Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes.

Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes es el tercer libro publicado por Conan Doyle con Sherlock Holmes. Sigue a El signo de los cuatro y precede a la obra maestra de Doyle,El sabueso de los Baskerville. Las aventuras es, de hecho, una colección de doce relatos que se publicaron originalmente en doce números mensuales de la revista The Strand desde julio de 1891 hasta junio de 1892. Su primer cuento, “Un escándalo en Bohemia”, pronto se hizo extremadamente popular y ayudó a aumentar las ventas de The Strand. Lo que permitió a Conan Doyle pedir más dinero por sus siguientes historias.

Los relatos son, en términos generales, muy entretenidos y están maravillosamente escritos. Están narrados en primera persona desde el punto de vista del Dr. Watson, como suele ser el caso en la mayoría de las historias de Sherlock Holmes, y todos tienden a seguir un patrón similar. Al lector se le presenta una situación extremadamente desconcertante que es difícil de explicar. Alguien se dirige a Sherlock Holmes en busca de una explicación. Y Holmes, invariablemente, desarrolla una solución respaldada por los hechos. Finalmente, Holmes logra encontrar la evidencia que respalda su interpretación. En cualquier caso, todos los relatos tienden a cubrir también una amplia gama de temas.

Es interesante resaltar cómo el propio Conan Doyle nos proporciona algunas críticas a estos relatos cuando en “El misterio de Copper Beeches” pone estas palabras en boca de Holmes:

“Al mismo tiempo”, advirtió [Holmes] … “, apenas usted puedes ser acusado de sensacionalismo, porque de estos casos en los que ha sido tan amable como para interesarse, una proporción justa no trata de crimen, en su sentido legal, en absoluto. El pequeño asunto en el que me esforcé por ayudar al Rey de Bohemia, la experiencia singular de la señorita Mary Sutherland, el problema relacionado con el hombre con el labio torcido y el incidente del noble soltero , fueron todos asuntos que están fuera del alcance de la ley. Pero al evitar lo sensacional, me temo que es posible que haya bordeado lo trivial “.

“El final puede haber sido así”, respondí yo [Dr. Watson], “pero los métodos mantengo que han sido novedosos e interesantes”.

En pocas palabras, Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes es un excelente lugar, en mi opinión, para comenzar a conocer de primera mano a Sherlock Holmes.

Mis relatos favoritos son: “Escándalo en Bohemia” (1891); “La liga de los pelirrojos” (1891); “El hombre del labio torcido” (1891); “El carbunclo azul” (1892); y “La banda de lunares” (1899).

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Arthur Conan Doyle, su nombre completo Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, (nacido el 22 de mayo de 1859, Edimburgo, Escocia, fallecido el 7 de julio de 1930, Crowborough, Sussex, Inglaterra), fue un escritor escocés más conocido por su creación del detective Sherlock Holmes, uno de los personajes más vivos y permanetes de la novela inglesa. Mientras estudiaba medicina, Conan Doyle quedó profundamente impresionado por la habilidad de su profesor, el Dr. Joseph Bell, al observar los detalles más minuciosos con respecto a la condición de un paciente. Este maestro de la deducción aplicada a sus diagnósticos se convirtió en el modelo de la creación literaria de Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, quien apareció por primera vez en A Study in Scarlet, una historia de la extensión de una novela, publicada en el Beeton’s Christmas Annual de 1887. Empujado por el fervor del público, Conan Doyle continuó escribiendo aventuras de Sherlock Holmes hasta 1926. (Fuente; Britannica)

El canon holmesiano: Cuatro novelas: Estudio en escarlata (1887); El signo de los cuatro (1890); El sabueso de los Baskerville (1901 – 1902); El valle del terror (1914 – 1915). Y cinco colecciones de relatos: Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes (1892); Las memorias de Sherlock Holmes (1894); El regreso de Sherlock Holmes (1905); Su última reverencia (1917); El archivo de Sherlock Holmes (1927).

Ernest Bramah (1868 – 1942)

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Bramah was a reclusive soul, who shared few details of his private life with his reading public. His full name was Ernest Brammah Smith. It is known that he dropped out of Manchester Grammar School at the age of 16, after displaying poor aptitude as a student and thereafter went into farming, and began writing vignettes for the local newspaper. Bramah’s father was a wealthy man who rose from factory hand to a very wealthy man in a short time, and who supported his son in his various career attempts. Bramah went to Fleet Street after the farming failure and became a secretary to Jerome K. Jerome, rising to a position as editor of one of Jerome’s magazines. At some point, he appears to have married Mattie. More importantly, after being rejected by 8 publishers, the Wallet of Kai Lung was published in 1900, and to date, remains in print. Bramah wrote in different areas, including political science fiction, and mystery. He passed away at the age of 74. (Source: Goodreads)

See Ernest Bramah unofficial website for more information.

Max Carrados is a fictional blind detective in a series of mystery stories and books by Ernest Bramah, first published in 1914. The Max Carrados stories appeared alongside Sherlock Holmes stories in the Strand Magazine. Bramah was often billed above Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Carrados stories frequently outsold the Holmes stories at the time, even if they failed to achieve the same longevity. George Orwell wrote that, together with those of Doyle and R. Austin Freeman, Max Carrados and The Eyes of Max Carrados “are the only detective stories since Poe that are worth re-reading. (Source: Wikipedia)

Along with Arthur Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, R. Austin Freeman and H. C. Bailey, Ernest Bramah traditionally has been recognized as one of the great early twentieth-century masters of the English detective short story, though he only produced three volumes of the exploits of his blind detective, Max Carrados, each with eight stories apiece, for a total of twenty-four tales (plus an odd twenty-fifth tale, “The Specimen Case,” and a Max Carrados novel, The Bravo of London, evidently not very highly regarded).  To be sure, Bramah’s is a small output of short mystery fiction, but it’s high quality one. (Curtis Evans at The Passing Tramp).

George Orwell, a critic with stern opinions about the genre, said that Carrados’ case were, together with those of Arthur Conan Doyle and R. Austin Freeman, ‘the only detectives stories since Poe that are worth rereading’. (Martin Edwards at The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books).

Critics have praised the stories [Max Carrados (1914)]; highly, and the two other collections — The Eyes of Max Carrados (1923) and Max Carrados Mysteries (1927) — are also well worth attention, although the later stories tend to get ponderous and are uneven in quality. The only Max Carrados novel, The Bravo of London (1934), proves conclusively that Bramah was a good short-story writer. (Source: Mystery*File)

The first Max Carrados stories appeared in 1914. E. F. Bleiler, who wrote a brief introduction to one collection of these stories, says that 25 of the stories were published in three anthologies between 1914 and 1927. Not all the stories, as he says, are first-rate, but enough are so that any collection you find is very likely to include many of the really good stories. (Source: From the Vault: “Best Max Carrados Detective Stories”).

Bibliography: Max Carrados (Methuen & Co, London 1914); The Eyes of Max Carrados (Grant Richards, London 1923); The Specimen Case (Hodder and Stoughton, London 1924); Max Carrados Mysteries (Hodder and Stoughton, London 1927); and The Bravo of London (a novel) (Cassell & Co, London 1934). A selection of stories from the earlier volumes were later gathered into Best Max Carrados Detective Stories (1972).

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(Facsimile Dust Jacket, Grant Richards Ltd. (UK), 1923)

Max Carrados is one of the most unusual detectives in all fiction. He is blind – and yet he has developed his other faculties to such an amazing degree that they more than compensate for his lack of sight.‘Lose one sense and the others, touch, taste, smell, hearing improve…with a little dedicated training.’ Carrados can read a newspaper headline with the touch of his fingers, detect a man wearing a false moustache because ‘he carries a five yard aura of spirit gum’ and shoot a villain by aiming at the sound of his beating heart. Assisted by his sharp-eyed  manservant, Parker, Carrados is the mystery-solver par excellence. Here is a collection of the best of Max Carrados, a set of stories featuring a series of baffling puzzles to challenge the greatest of detectives. They are written by Ernest Bramah with great wit, style and panache. This is vintage crime fiction at its best. (Source: Amazon).