Hudson and the Irish Invincibles. Barry S. Hudson do their best to convince the year old that she has misunderstood her father's situation. When, a short time later, they read that Moira's father was found dead in a sleazy waterfront inn, the members of London's premier consulting detective agency have a new client and a singular purpose. The origins of 'Sherlock' have been variously attributed to an Irish name, a well-known cricketer, or even one of Doyle's old school friends at Stonyhurst, a Peter Sherlock. What is more certain is that his surname, 'Holmes', was a conscious tribute to the American author Oliver Wendell Holmes Doyle never met him, but admired him as a 'glorious fellow, so tolerant, so witty, so worldly-wise'.
It is the merging of the unusual Christian name Sherlock with the commonplace surname Holmes that gives us the first clues about the detective's personality - methodical routine analysis on the one hand, linked with a flash of deductive genius on the other. Doyle had long enjoyed the Dupin stories of Edgar Alan Poe, and the lesser-known detective stories of the French writer Gaborieau, but felt he could improve on the formula.
Whilst training to be a doctor at Edinburgh University, he had come under the influence of a remarkable man, Dr Joseph Bell, a professor of medicine. His insistence that his students observe their patients minutely before making a diagnosis had stayed in Doyle's mind. Bell had made the art of deduction into a science, and it was this scientific 62 approach to solving crime that Doyle so successfully grafted on to the creations of Poe and Gaborieau to produce the world's greatest detective - 'a scientific detective who solved cases on his own merits and not through the folly of the criminal'.
Familiar as we are today with fictional detectives using such methods, this was entirely original in , when the detective story was in its infancy. Originality, however, often takes time to be recognised. Doyle sent his manuscript off to the Cornhill Magazine and met with rejection.
Two other publishers followed suit. It was a blow to the confidence of a developing young writer who wavered, and considered putting the manuscript back in a drawer, and concentrating a little more on his medical practice. With great reluctance Doyle accepted the offer and, as he said cynically in his autobiography, 'I never at any time received another penny for it'.
The novel scarcely caused a ripple when it did eventually appear. Perhaps this was because it was sandwiched between short stories, seasonal articles and advertisements in Beeton's Christmas Annual of However, it was thought promising enough to be published separately a year later. It is a curious novel, as the central character, Holmes, disappears for a third of the book, while Doyle in a flashback sequence explains the crime's origins in America.
In this section Doyle adopts the 'Western' style of the American writer Bret Harte , but tension and excitement replace historical and geographical accuracy. Likewise, Doyle's epic description of the Mormons' arrival at Salt Lake Valley - 'nigh upon ten thousand' - belies the truth of the event. The first settlement in was a mere Mormons, though thousands followed in the months after.
It is intriguing to ponder on why Conan Doyle chose to include a lengthy section illustrating the foundation and habits of the Mormon state of Utah. The Mormons, properly known as the Latter-day Saints, had had a troubled existence since their founder Joseph Smith had received a vision of the Book of Mormon in New York in It records the relations of the early inhabitants of America with God. The Mormon religion rejects the harshness of Calvinism for a more optimistic creed of free will and effort for man's salvation. Such freethinking, which included a belief in polygamy, made the sect unpopular with ordinary Americans.
Mistrust and violence led them on a number of occasions to move on and seek a 'holy land' for themselves. It was Brigham Young who succeeded Joseph Smith as leader, who entered the valley of Salt Lake with followers, declaring 'This is the right place'. Doyle, with an eye for topicality in his stories, reflects the strong feelings of opposition to the Mormons in America in the late s. The issue of polygamy had come to a head, and by the year of the publication of A Study in Scarlet , the U.
Government succeeded in making the Mormons submit to the law that made polygamy a crime. Conan Doyle was looking for an American audience when he wrote this novel and he found one. Sales of the novel in America when it first appeared were healthier than in Britain. But Doyle may have had other motives for attacking the Mormons so viciously in this tale. Since the early s, he had begun to lose his faith in Roman Catholicism, and was becoming an agnostic.
He naturally felt an aversion therefore to confident religious cults like the Mormons who retained many traditional Christian values. The evils of religion', he said, 'have all come from accepting things which cannot be proved. This search for faith would encourage him to adopt some very strange 'causes' including many lost ones , and to settle eventually on the controversial faith of spiritualism. Yet perhaps the most remarkable feature of A Study in Scarlet is that here, in the very first Sherlock Holmes novel, Doyle succeeded in creating not only a unique and vivid character in the detective himself, but also the key relationship with Dr Watson that proved very much a part of the success of the many subsequent stories.
Joseph Marshall Stoddart from Philadelphia. The success of the first Holmes novel in America prompted Doyle to make the detective the subject for this new commission, for as he said, 'I notice that everyone who has read the book wants to know more of that young man', and more is what we discover in The Sign of Four as the new novel was titled although in America it was published as The Sign of the Four'.
Doyle is at pains to show us that his hero is not without certain flaws, flaunting convention and generally a law unto himself - characteristics that were associated with another aspiring writer that Doyle met at the dinner at the Langham, Mr Oscar Wilde. Two more dissimilar characters it is hard to imagine than Wilde and Doyle, yet the latter recalled that Wilde's conversation 'left an indelible impression upon my mind'.
As he set about expanding the character of Holmes, maybe Oscar's conversation, languidness and louche Bohemianism suggested to Doyle some interesting dimensions to add to the personality of his burgeoning detective creation. The very opening of the novel, for instance, introduces us to Holmes's use of cocaine for stimulation; his arm is 'dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture marks', from its obviously regular use. Cocaine was readily 66 available over chemist's counter in Victorian Britain, when it was frequently used as a tonic for nerves, nevertheless Dr Watson's admonition of Holmes indicates that doctors at least were well aware the drug was open to abuse and could lead to addiction.
It is certain that the character of Thaddeus Sholto is a thinly veiled caricature of Wilde, the figurehead of Aestheticism. He is prone to speak like Wilde. Sholto describes his 'sanctum' as 'An oasis of art in the howling desert of South London', and his mannerism wickedly apes Wilde's own: 'Nature had given him The first impression that Holmes had given Watson, and thereby the reader, in A Study in Scarlet was of a single- minded man devoted to the cause of scientific detection.
Holmes said that 'he would acquire no knowledge which did not bear upon his object.
Therefore all the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him. Knowledge of Philosophy - Nil Knowledge of Sensational Literature - Immense'. However, in The Sign of Four, Doyle seems eager to impress the reader with Holmes's wide-ranging knowledge of both literature and philosophy, thereby implying that first impressions should not be relied upon. Indeed, Holmes refers twice in passing to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , the German poet and playwright; and also to two philosophers, more obscure to a modern reader than they would have been in the nineteenth century.
Winwood Reade was a traveller and novelist whose 'daring speculations' formulated within his book The Martyrdom of Man shocked Victorian society with the notion that, 'The soul must be sacrificed; the hope in immortality 67 must die'. A book perhaps well suited to Holmes's neurotic temperament but hardly likely to appeal to the lovesick Watson!
Indeed, Holmes carries a philosophical air about him throughout The Sign of Four. Earlier he had impressed Watson by talking 'on miracle plays, on medieval pottery, on Stradivarius violins, on the Buddhism of Ceylon, and on the warships of the future - handling each as though he had made a special study of it'. Doyle did not want to leave his reader in any doubt about the eclectic and eccentric nature of his hero.
Watson's character, too, is broadened in this novel; he is given a love interest, which is prefaced by a reference to a romantic past: ' Sadly, we never again get to hear of this fascinating aspect of Watson's life. The Doctor's inherent modesty no doubt forbids it, but it is obvious throughout the canon that he is always susceptible to a pretty face. Here he falls hopelessly for the 'sweet and amiable' Mary Morstan, and after much noble struggling over the differences in their financial positions, proposes and is accepted by her. Holmes characteristically receives the news with 'a dismal groan'.
The completely opposite natures of Holmes and Watson, which leads to much friendly chaff and debate in the stories - and is one of the joys of reading them - are established here for the first time. As for Watson's war wound, about which whole libraries of books have been written, it is perhaps best not to enquire too deeply. In A Study in Scarlet it is clearly stated that he was hit in the shoulder during the Afghan campaign by a Jezail bullet, but in The Sign of Four he nurses his wounded leg. Was he shot twice? Or, as one ingenious medic proposed, did the bullet ricochet downwards describing a spiral curve deep under the skin of the chest and 68 abdomen Or is it just another example of Doyle's carelessness through not correcting his manuscripts?
The Sign of Four was written within a month of its commission; Doyle did not wish to spend too much time away from the serious work he had in hand - his novel of knights and chivalry, The White Company. The recent success of his novel Micah Clarke, published in , had persuaded him that this was where his true talents lay - in historical novels, which in his opinion gave an author a degree of 'literary dignity'.
Nevertheless, in The Sign of Four Doyle produced a cracking yarn crowded with incident; the pace and excitement he maintains in the river chase, for instance, is worthy of a modern action film. The American public was delighted with this new story when it duly appeared in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in Once again, as in A Study in Scarlet, Doyle draws upon his substantial knowledge of history to provide a convincing backdrop for his story, in this case the Indian Mutiny of That event, still recent history for Doyle's readers in , provided a sinister oriental air to this tale of stolen treasure, clashing cultures and broken oaths.
However, if Doyle is historically accurate, he is geographically uncertain. To enhance still further the exotic atmosphere of his story, Doyle created Tonga, the native of the Andaman Islands, but he is anthropologically inaccurate in portraying these natives as vicious and cannibalistic, when they were in fact anything but. When the Islanders heard how they were portrayed in The Sign of Four they were appalled. The adventure begins properly when Holmes, Watson and Miss Morstan keep an assignation with Thaddeus Sholto's servant at 'the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theatre', and it may be of interest in passing to recall Doyle's involvement with that establishment.
From , the Lyceum was the Victorian equivalent 69 of a National Theatre, presided over for more than 25 years by that theatrical legend, Sir Henry Irving. Doyle had admired Irving for years, and in offered him a one-act play entitled A Story of Waterloo - a slight story about a veteran of the great battle. Irving knew a good part when he saw it, and despite George Bernard Shaw, a perennial thorn in Irving's flesh, who reviewed it scathingly 'he depicts with convincing art the state of an old man's joints' , the piece was played as a curtain-raiser over times.
Every time it was played Doyle received a royalty of one guinea. It was to the Lyceum as well, in , that William Gillette, an American actor, brought his play, simply entitled Sherlock Holmes see Holmes in the Media. The listener may find the following translations useful: 'Le mauvais gout, mene au crime. As he ruefully remarked in later years: 'I was soon to find that they were both waiting rooms.
The Strand magazine was one such. They were sensationally successful, and Doyle wrote modestly to his mother: 'Sherlock Holmes appears to have caught on. Following hard upon the success of the first set of Holmes short stories in , Greenhough Smith eagerly commissioned six more. They were written at white-hot speed by Doyle in a matter of weeks. It was in fact Doyle's own favourite story; he put it first in a list he compiled of the twelve best Holmes stories for The Strand in Holmes later comments that 'when a Doctor goes wrong he is the first of criminals', and cites as examples Dr William Palmer who poisoned a friend, for which he was executed in ; and the Glasgow practitioner Edward Pritchard, who killed his wife and mother-in-law and was hanged in Violence is second nature to Roylott, who famously took the poker in the Baker Street rooms and 'bent [it] into a curve with his huge brown hands'.
He intimidates his step-daughters, even threatening them with a deadly snake that is the 'speckled band' of the title. Zoologists have had difficulty in identifying this snake. Holmes at a glance describes it as 'a swamp adder - the deadliest snake in India'; but this is not a type recognised by students of the snake. The puff-adder might be a contender, but is a native of Africa, not India. The banded krail is venomous, but its alternate rings of black and yellow are hardly to be described as 'speckled'.
The cobra seems the most likely, having the colouration, and ability to rear itself when roused, though its venom could not kill in 10 seconds. Experts, too, find difficulty with Dr Roylott's ability to whistle his venomous pet back and reward him with a saucer of milk, as snakes are stone-deaf and loathe milk! Once again it is evidence of Conan Doyle's habitual lack of research in his stories; but why should we quibble when it is such a cracking tale! The latter is described as a 'wonder woman', and Miss Hunter is no shrinking Violet. Her no-nonsense, practical approach to her situation, not to mention her courage, impress Holmes who praises her as a 'quite exceptional woman'.
Some commentators go so far as to suggest the attraction was mutual, and that her exhortation in her letter to Holmes, 'Do cornel' is more of a personal, even romantic appeal, than a matter of business. Miss Hunter would have been far too 'modern' for Dr Watson's tastes no doubt, but he expresses regret that Holmes did not take an interest in the girl once the case was over, and took the trouble to note her subsequent career: 'She is now the head of a private school at Walsall.
It is worth noting that before he wrote this story, Conan Doyle was already beginning to have murderous intentions towards his creation, and it was only his mother's suggestion for the plot of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches that earned Sherlock Holmes a reprieve. He had established himself in a practice in Paddington, then still a fashionable part of London, despite the proximity of the railway station where Watson is called to attend to the young engineer's thumb in the adventure of the same name.
Watson is all optimism, happily married and convinced that his 'youth and energy' will enable him to make a success of a dwindling practice. It is one of the enduring puzzles: had his wife left him, or died? No convincing explanation is ever given by Dr Watson.
It is nostalgic to think that despite it being , when Holmes and Watson alighted at New Street station they would have been greeted by cobbled streets, eighteenth-century houses and a town still largely undeveloped. Such quaintness did not survive the bombs of World War II, or twentieth-century planning. In fact so enthusiastic is he for his new job, that after eight weeks' progress on the As, he hoped ere long to move on to the Bs.
Wishful thinking: the first volume of the Encyclopaedia edition is pages long, and the article on 'Attica' referred to by Wilson is a further pages in to Volume 2! That would mean that in eight weeks, working merely four hours a day, to reach 'Attica' he would have had to copy 33, words an hour!! It was an understatement by Holmes that Mr Wilson 'has done a considerable amount of writing lately'. To assist him to 'introspect', Holmes goes with Watson to hear the 75 internationally-renowned violinist Pablo Sarasate , performing a concert of largely German music, which would no doubt have also included pieces of his own composition, such as Gypsy Airs which he recorded in the early years of the phonograph.
Holmes may have felt a particular affinity with Sarasate, as they both were fortunate enough to own violins made by the master, Stradivarius. John Clay, the villain in this story, is described by Holmes as 'the fourth smartest man in London'. Professor Moriarty was no doubt the first; his right-hand man, Colonel Moran, whom Holmes encounters in The Adventure of the Empty House see The Return of Sherlock Holmes was probably the second, but as to the third it is anyone's guess.
For Clay to be included in such a list shows that he must be a very dangerous man. He had committed murder, according to Detective Jones, and may have got rid of Jabez Wilson, Holmes's client who unaccountably disappears from the story.
- See a Problem?!
- Subscribe to Omnimystery News.
- With Passion Collection (Mills & Boon e-Book Collections) (Mills & Boon Special Releases).
- Get A Copy.
Clay's smartness is testified to by the ingenious way he was able to dig a tunnel, single-handed, without arousing the suspicion of his master, and only using basic tools! Holmes may also have deduced that such an exceptional opponent was most probably a leading figure in Professor Moriarty's criminal network.
The quote from Flaubert that ends this tale that has required considerable brain-power on the part of Holmes translates aptly as: The man is nothing, the work is everything. In fact there is a strong sense of sexual attraction throughout the whole story. The King of Bohemia seeks Holmes's help to avert a blackmail scandal after his liaison with the woman has 76 ended.
This is the very first story in the collection entitled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, published in , and it is curious that Doyle should begin with one of Holmes's rare failures. Irene Adler is an operatic diva of some reputation and proves almost a match for Sherlock Holmes, which seems to lead the great man to reassess his chauvinistic views: 'He used to make merry over the cleverness of women, but I have not heard him do it of late,' writes Watson. Perhaps there is an autobiographical touch here, as Conan Doyle, though opposed to the Suffragettes, nevertheless worked hard to get the outmoded divorce laws, so biased against the interests of women, changed.
In this story Holmes shows he is a master of disguise, appearing as an eccentric clergyman, which brings to Watson's mind the real-life comic actor John Hare. He flourished in the London theatre during the s and 70s, creating parts in the naturalistic dramas of T. Robertson, such as Caste. Though unknown today, a bust of him still graces the foyer of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Holmes himself remarks, ' The sense of urgency and impending doom is brilliantly caught by Conan Doyle. It was in that an inquiry from an American magazine, as to whether the author of A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story, would be interested in repeating the exercise, first heralded the success of the stories.
It seems the American reading public saw the potential of a character that Conan Doyle always regarded as something of a pot-boiler. To gratify his many American fans, Doyle included in this 77 story sinister elements from their recent history, the Civil War The reference to sailing ships in the story brings to mind that Doyle himself, whilst a young man, had been a surgeon on board a whaler. The seafaring stories of the crew taught him a great deal about how to construct a good narrative see notes on The Adventure of the 'Gloria Scott'. No doubt, too, he was a keen reader, like Watson at the beginning of this story, of the now largely forgotten writer of nautical adventures, William Clark Russell He wrote over 60 tales of the sea, and had been a merchant seaman.
His writings led to improvements in the merchant service, which Doyle would have approved of as an espouser of causes. The detailed description of the hand minus its thumb reads as a medical textbook description, and it is ironic to think this story might never have been written if Doyle had been a successful doctor.
In a fever of creativity Conan Doyle wrote the first six short stories about Sherlock Holmes between April and July A testimony to his phenomenal energy, and his lack of patients. It shows Doyle getting into his stride, having set a formula which would change little - the two companions, setting out from Baker Street to some remote part of England where the local police are baffled by singular events.
The format is repeated often, but seldom restricts Doyle's inventiveness. In this story Holmes and Watson, investigating the disappearance of the racehorse Silver Blaze, are plunged into the shady world of the Turf, with its dapper, moneyed owners, touts and less than honest trainers. The 78 story has as many turns as a racetrack, and we should marvel at Doyle's ability to write on a subject about which he confessed himself he knew absolutely nothing. The tale contains the famous reference to ' Doyle seems not to have been fond of dogs, at least in his fiction. In The Adventure of the Copper Beeches he relates with relish the shooting by Watson of a 'brute' of a mastiff, and his anti-canine feelings reached their peak in his masterpiece The Hound of the Baskervilles in Doyle used the desolate and eerie background of Dartmoor as a backdrop for his tale; the same setting he had used to create the mood and atmosphere of The Adventure of Silver Blaze.
Watson wrote: 'I cannot recall any case It is perhaps surprising to us that drugs we consider harmful and anti-social were readily available to the Victorians. Holmes's 'little weakness', cocaine, could be bought over the chemist's counter without prescription, as could laudanum, without which many a respectable elderly lady would have complained of a sleepless night.
Opium, for the trade of which England had fought a war with China, was almost an addiction of epidemic proportions. But by far the most widely used drug was tobacco. Holmes, with his old briar pipe and 'an ounce of shag tobacco' to consume, solves this mystery, and Conan Doyle himself was a prodigious smoker, though he tended to smoke and eat less when writing. Even women by the s were known to indulge in a discreet cigarette. As a doctor, Watson's distaste for drug abuse sets the tone for the opening of this tale of disguise, false names and deception.
To help sustain the unreal atmosphere Doyle, unusually 79 for him, creates a fictional London. But why does Mrs Watson call her husband James, when we all know he is John? It adds to the air of uncertainty in the story, but was it deliberate? Conan Doyle was notorious for not revising his stories, which were often written in a rush of creativity. But whether it was a mistake or not, it has spawned amongst Sherlockian scholars a score of explanations, including Dorothy Sayers's brilliant invention that Watson's middle name was Hamish, a Scottish name, which his wife anglicised to her pet name for him, James.
The case centres round the hidden meaning of the ancient Musgrave family ritual, with its echoes of Freemasonry. Doyle had joined the Freemasons early in his medical career at Portsmouth, presumably in an attempt to make contacts, but although references are made to the Masonic Craft elsewhere in the Holmes stories, he does not seem to have taken an active part in their proceedings. Doyle makes splendid use of his sense of history in this story. He always felt his historical novels were of more literary value than the 'trivial' Holmes stories. They were meticulously researched, and he once declared the most influential book he had ever read was Macaulay's Essays.
Here, Doyle creates atmosphere with glimpses of the complicated political times that followed the execution of Charles I. The opening description of the Bohemian lifestyle at Baker Street is one of the best of the whole canon, and fixes forever the popular image of the rented rooms, and Holmes's 'queer humours'. Holmes himself makes reference in this story to their first recorded case together, A Study in Scarlet. Watson is still a struggling general practitioner, not yet having established himself sufficiently to afford a holiday by 'the shingle of Southsea'.
This suburb of Portsmouth was in fact where Conan Doyle struggled as a young man to make a living as a GP and where he met his future wife. Doyle uses his medical knowledge here, as in many other stories, with a clinical assessment of the two grisly severed ears. Dr Doyle undoubtedly put a lot of himself into Dr Watson, and it is surprising that, like Watson, he did not become a soldier.
His height, six feet, and athletic prowess acquired during his schooldays, not to mention his innate sense of patriotism, would surely have given him a sound military career. He was certainly tempted to join up when he moved his practice to London, and still met with little success. Fortunately the might of his pen saved him from the sword.
The tale begins with one of Holmes's characteristic displays of his powers as he minutely describes Watson's unspoken train of thought. The archetype of the fictional detective, Edgar Alan Poe's Dupin, was similarly gifted with close observation, and Doyle pays homage to him here through the mouth of his own creation. Watson's thoughts are dwelling on General Gordon, a soldier and administrator of the Egyptian Sudan, who perished at the siege of Khartoum in - redoubtable Victorian hero of the British Empire.
His message, however, fell 81 on deaf ears when he visited England in Clearly, Doyle, despite his patriotism, wishes to remind us of this disgraceful English response. Holmes finds time in the investigation for a musical reminiscence: he describes how he used his powers to detect a genuine Stradivarius in a junk shop, and reflects on the artistry of Niccolo Paganini This violinist, whose skills were so astounding it was rumoured he was in league with the devil, was an early 'star', performing everywhere and making a fortune.
His published Caprices require considerable proficiency for an amateur player, like Holmes, to perform. A set piece of deduction by Holmes in this story of Watson's thoughts, as he sits in a 'brown study', was later reproduced in The Adventure of the Resident Patient when published in book form.
Holmes has a positive twinkle in his eye as he proceeds on this literal wild-goose chase through central London. Doyle provides a detailed description of the streets they traverse, and it would be an easy journey to reconstruct today, as London has changed so little, though Covent Garden Market in its original state is no more.
A woman with a profession. Even by the end of the nineteenth century there were few areas of work open to young women, but the typewriter, which had been invented in America in , 82 was now opening doors to the world of commerce. As Holmes says, 'a single lady can get on very nicely upon an income of about sixty pounds'. Her strength of purpose in determining her own future by defying her stepfather, Mr Windibank, makes one think that perhaps, in the new century, she would have been 'shoulder to shoulder' with the suffragettes.
Conan Doyle seems to have liked these independent young women who crop up throughout these stories. He was by no means a supporter of the 'new woman', but where he saw a social injustice being committed, as in the divorce laws, which were heavily weighted against women, he threw his considerable support behind the efforts to change them.
On the subject of income, it is interesting to examine Holmes's own. He was still establishing himself in these early stories, set in the s, and Conan Doyle makes a particular point of Holmes showing off his considerable acquisitions from recent successfully concluded cases. His 'snuff box of old gold, with a great amethyst in the centre of the lid', and a 'remarkable' ring on his finger, were both gifts from Royal Houses of Europe, who seem to prefer this method of acknowledging their debt to Holmes rather than give him hard cash.
Indeed, the fledgling detective may have been distinctly short of funds at this time, which led to Dr Watson sharing the Baker Street rooms and the connected expenses. It should be noted, though, that these expenses seem to have included a 'boy in buttons' to usher clients in! However, one should remember Holmes's own philosophy from The Adventure of the Speckled Band, that, 'as to reward, my profession is its 83 reward'. A particularly interesting case was always pursued, even if there was little chance of a fee.
Cartridges at this time were sealed with pork grease; to load them, it was necessary to bite off the seal. This direct contact with pork was anathema to the Hindu soldiers, whose protestations were ignored. The ensuing conflict unleashed decades of pent-up resentment and the end results were bloody and savage. The mutiny was finally quelled by the British in With the skill of a born storyteller Conan Doyle mixes truth with fiction. Thus, whilst the besieged town of Bhurtee is fictional, it was relieved by a genuine hero of the mutiny, James George Smith Neill , a British soldier and Indian administrator who was one of the leaders of the relief column that journeyed towards Lucknow, relieving besieged towns on its way.
He met his death in the lifting of the siege there. This clever mingling of fact and fiction by Doyle gives edge and immediacy to the stories, such as when he places invented London street names next to genuine ones, a device he was fond of using. Although the popular image of Sherlock Holmes is of a brilliant mind solving crimes single-handedly, it is evident that he relied on a network of helpers that could be called upon when needed. Watson seems always to be available at a moment's notice, and able to change his plans and follow wherever Holmes leads.
At the start of this story, for instance, though late at night when Holmes turns up, without 84 so much as a hesitation Watson agrees to go with Holmes on the morrow to Aldershot. His newly-married wife, and his neighbour Dr Jackson, seem ever to be accommodating. Holmes made frequent use of a group of beggar- boys only too common in the streets of London in the s , whom he organised into an efficient band known as the Baker Street Irregulars.
They were to 'go everywhere, see everything, overhear everyone'. It is certain that their relative anonymity as street urchins produced results, and young Simpson in this story, assigned to keep a watch on Henry Wood in Aldershot, would have been well rewarded for his keenness, for Holmes paid the boys a shilling a day, with the bonus of a guinea for any boy bringing in the information first.
This league between Austria-Hungary, Germany and Italy, formed for mutual benefit in , seriously threatened the balance of power in Europe. The position Britain adopted towards the Alliance was crucial. Thus when the papers are stolen and a 'leak' seems inevitable, Holmes is put on his mettle to prevent a serious international complication. Once again Conan Doyle cleverly mingles historical fact with fiction.
Throughout these stories the official police force often seem less than enamoured with Holmes's interventions in their investigations. Here, it is the detective Forbes who is 'decidedly frigid' towards Holmes. Holmes, for his part, does not seem to have a very high opinion of Scotland Yard. The Detective Department of the Metropolitan Police only came into being in and by had a force of only 15! So it was a relatively new branch of policing in Holmes's day, and developed slowly - too slowly for Sherlock Holmes.
He was ever pursuing the very latest 85 developments in criminology. A student of chemistry, like his creator Conan Doyle, Holmes used science to prove his theories, as in this story:if this paper remains blue all is well. The construction of Olympic and Titanic took place virtually in parallel, with Olympic ' s keel laid down first on 16 December and Titanic ' s on 31 March They were designed essentially as an enormous floating box girder , with the keel acting as a backbone and the frames of the hull forming the ribs.
They terminated at the bridge deck B Deck and were covered with steel plates which formed the outer skin of the ships. The 2, hull plates were single pieces of rolled steel plate , mostly up to 6 feet 1. Above that point they were laid in the "in and out" fashion, where strake plating was applied in bands the "in strakes" with the gaps covered by the "out strakes", overlapping on the edges. Commercial oxy-fuel and electric arc welding methods, ubiquitous in fabrication today, were still in their infancy; like most other iron and steel structures of the era, the hull was held together with over three million iron and steel rivets , which by themselves weighed over 1, tons.
They were fitted using hydraulic machines or were hammered in by hand. It is believed that, by the standards of the time, the steel plate's quality was good, not faulty, but that it was inferior to what would be used for shipbuilding purposes in later decades, owing to advances in the metallurgy of steelmaking. One of the last items to be fitted on Titanic before the ship's launch was her two side anchors and one centre anchor.
The anchors themselves were a challenge to make with the centre anchor being the largest ever forged by hand and weighing nearly 16 tons. From there it was shipped by rail to Fleetwood in Lancashire before being loaded aboard a ship and sent to Belfast. The work of constructing the ships was difficult and dangerous. For the 15, men who worked at Harland and Wolff at the time,  safety precautions were rudimentary at best; a lot of the work was carried out without equipment like hard hats or hand guards on machinery.
As a result, during Titanic ' s construction, injuries were recorded, 28 of them "severe", such as arms severed by machines or legs crushed under falling pieces of steel. Six people died on the ship herself while she was being constructed and fitted out, and another two died in the shipyard workshops and sheds. Pierpont Morgan, J. Bruce Ismay and , onlookers. Although Titanic was virtually identical to the class's lead ship Olympic , a few changes were made to distinguish both ships.
The most noticeable exterior difference was that Titanic and the third vessel in class, Britannic had a steel screen with sliding windows installed along the forward half of the A Deck promenade. This was installed as a last minute change at the personal request of Bruce Ismay, and was intended to provide additional shelter to First Class passengers. These changes made Titanic slightly heavier than her sister, and thus she could claim to be the largest ship afloat.
The work took longer than expected due to design changes requested by Ismay and a temporary pause in work occasioned by the need to repair Olympic , which had been in a collision in September Had Titanic been finished earlier, she might well have missed her collision with an iceberg. No domestic staff appear to have been aboard. Sanderson of IMM. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were too ill to attend. Jack Phillips and Harold Bride served as radio operators, and performed fine-tuning of the Marconi equipment.
Francis Carruthers, a surveyor from the Board of Trade, was also present to see that everything worked, and that the ship was fit to carry passengers. The sea trials consisted of a number of tests of her handling characteristics, carried out first in Belfast Lough and then in the open waters of the Irish Sea. After a journey lasting about 28 hours she arrived about midnight on 4 April and was towed to the port's Berth 44, ready for the arrival of her passengers and the remainder of her crew.
Both Olympic and Titanic registered Liverpool as their home port. The offices of the White Star Line as well as Cunard were in Liverpool, and up until the introduction of the Olympic , most British ocean liners for both Cunard and White Star, such as Lusitania and Mauretania , sailed out of Liverpool followed by a port of call in Queenstown, Ireland.
Since the company's founding in , a vast majority of their operations had taken place out of Liverpool. However, in White Star Line established another service out of the port of Southampton on England's south coast, which became known as White Star's "Express Service". Southampton had many advantages over Liverpool, the first being its proximity to London. In addition, Southampton, being on the south coast, allowed ships to easily cross the English Channel and make a port of call on the northern coast of France, usually at Cherbourg. This allowed British ships to pick up clientele from continental Europe before recrossing the channel and picking up passengers at Queenstown.
The Unpleasantness at Parkerton Manor (Mrs. Hudson of Baker Street Book 1)
Out of respect for Liverpool, ships continued to be registered there until the early s. Queen Elizabeth 2 was one of the first ships registered in Southampton when introduced into service by Cunard in Titanic 's maiden voyage was intended to be the first of many trans-Atlantic crossings between Southampton and New York via Cherbourg and Queenstown on westbound runs, returning via Plymouth in England while eastbound. Indeed, her entire schedule of voyages through to December still exists. When the Olympic entered service in June , she replaced Teutonic , which after completing her last run on the service in late April was transferred to the Dominion Line's Canadian service.
The following August, Adriatic was transferred to White Star Line's main Liverpool-New York service, and in November, Majestic was withdrawn from service impending the arrival of Titanic in the coming months, and was mothballed as a reserve ship. White Star Line's initial plans for Olympic and Titanic on the Southampton run followed the same routine as their predecessors had done before them.
Each would sail once every three weeks from Southampton and New York, usually leaving at noon each Wednesday from Southampton and each Saturday from New York, thus enabling the White Star Line to offer weekly sailings in each direction. Special trains were scheduled from London and Paris to convey passengers to Southampton and Cherbourg respectively. Titanic had around crew members on board for her maiden voyage.
The original Second Officer, David Blair , was dropped altogether. Pitman was the second to last surviving officer. Titanic ' s crew were divided into three principal departments: Deck, with 66 crew; Engine, with ; and Victualling pronounced vi-tal-ling , with The lower-paid victualling staff could, however, supplement their wages substantially through tips from passengers. There were children aboard, the largest number of whom were in Third Class. Usually, a high prestige vessel like Titanic could expect to be fully booked on its maiden voyage.
However, a national coal strike in the UK had caused considerable disruption to shipping schedules in the spring of , causing many crossings to be cancelled. Many would-be passengers chose to postpone their travel plans until the strike was over. The strike had finished a few days before Titanic sailed; however, that was too late to have much of an effect. Some of the most prominent people of the day booked a passage aboard Titanic , travelling in First Class. Charles M. Hays , Mr. Henry S. Harper , Mr. Walter D. Douglas , Mr. George D. Wick , Mr. Henry B.
Harris , Mr. Arthur L. Ryerson , Mr. Allison , Mr. Alfons Simonius-Blumer, James A. Ross, Washington Roebling 's nephew Washington A. Clark 's nephew Walter M. Pears with wife, John S. Pillsbury 's honeymooning grandson John P. Titanic ' s owner J. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden voyage but cancelled at the last minute. The exact number of people aboard is not known, as not all of those who had booked tickets made it to the ship; about 50 people cancelled for various reasons,  and not all of those who boarded stayed aboard for the entire journey.
Titanic ' s maiden voyage began on Wednesday, 10 April Stewards showed them to their cabins, and First Class passengers were personally greeted by Captain Smith. Additional passengers were to be picked up at Cherbourg and Queenstown. The maiden voyage began at noon, as scheduled. Her huge displacement caused both of the smaller ships to be lifted by a bulge of water and then drop into a trough. New York ' s mooring cables could not take the sudden strain and snapped, swinging her around stern-first towards Titanic.
Mrs. Hudson in the Ring
A nearby tugboat, Vulcan , came to the rescue by taking New York under tow, and Captain Smith ordered Titanic ' s engines to be put "full astern". The incident delayed Titanic ' s departure for about an hour, while the drifting New York was brought under control. After making it safely through the complex tides and channels of Southampton Water and the Solent , Titanic disembarked the Southampton pilot at the Nab Lightship and headed out into the English Channel. Both had been designed specifically as tenders for the Olympic -class liners and were launched shortly after Titanic.
Four hours after Titanic left Southampton, she arrived at Cherbourg and was met by the tenders. Twenty-four passengers left aboard the tenders to be conveyed to shore, having booked only a cross-Channel passage. Titanic weighed anchor and left for Queenstown  with the weather continuing cold and windy. It was a partly cloudy but relatively warm day, with a brisk wind. In addition to the 24 cross-Channel passengers who had disembarked at Cherbourg, another seven passengers had booked an overnight passage from Southampton to Queenstown. Among the seven was Father Francis Browne , a Jesuit trainee who was a keen photographer and took many photographs aboard Titanic , including the last-ever known photograph of the ship.
A decidedly unofficial departure was that of a crew member, stoker John Coffey, a Queenstown native who sneaked off the ship by hiding under mail bags being transported to shore. Titanic was planned to arrive at New York Pier 59  on the morning of 17 April. The weather cleared as she left Ireland under cloudy skies with a headwind. Temperatures remained fairly mild on Saturday 13 April, but the following day Titanic crossed a cold weather front with strong winds and waves of up to 8 feet 2. These died down as the day progressed until, by the evening of Sunday 14 April, it became clear, calm and very cold.
The first three days of the voyage from Queenstown had passed without apparent incident. A fire had begun in one of Titanic 's coal bunkers approximately 10 days prior to the ship's departure, and continued to burn for several days into its voyage,  but passengers were unaware of this situation. Fires occurred frequently on board steamships of that day due to spontaneous combustion of the coal.
Titanic received a series of warnings from other ships of drifting ice in the area of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Close calls with ice were not uncommon, and even head-on collisions had not been disastrous. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that. Five of the ship's watertight compartments were breached. It soon became clear that the ship was doomed, as she could not survive more than four compartments being flooded. Titanic began sinking bow-first, with water spilling from compartment to compartment as her angle in the water became steeper.
Those aboard Titanic were ill-prepared for such an emergency. In accordance with accepted practices of the time, where ships were seen as largely unsinkable and lifeboats were intended to transfer passengers to nearby rescue vessels,  [l] Titanic only had enough lifeboats to carry about half of those on board; if the ship had carried her full complement of about 3, passengers and crew, only about a third could have been accommodated in the lifeboats.
The Unpleasantness at Parkerton Manor by Barry S. Brown
The officers did not know how many they could safely put aboard the lifeboats and launched many of them barely half-full. Sudden immersion into freezing water typically causes death within minutes, either from cardiac arrest , uncontrollable breathing of water, or cold incapacitation not, as commonly believed, from hypothermia , [m] and almost all of those in the water died of cardiac arrest or other bodily reactions to freezing water, within 15—30 minutes. Distress signals were sent by wireless, rockets, and lamp, but none of the ships that responded was near enough to reach Titanic before she sank.
Her journey was slowed by pack ice, fog, thunderstorms and rough seas. Later that day, confirmation came through that Titanic had been lost and that most of her passengers and crew had died. Some of the wealthier survivors chartered private trains to take them home, and the Pennsylvania Railroad laid on a special train free of charge to take survivors to Philadelphia. Carpathia was hurriedly restocked with food and provisions before resuming her journey to Fiume , Austria-Hungary. The ship's arrival in New York led to a frenzy of press interest, with newspapers competing to be the first to report the survivors' stories.
Some reporters bribed their way aboard the pilot boat New York , which guided Carpathia into harbour, and one even managed to get onto Carpathia before she docked. Lloyd's paid the White Star Line the full sum owed to them within 30 days. Many charities were set up to help the victims and their families, many of whom lost their sole breadwinner, or, in the case of many Third Class survivors, everything they owned. In New York City, for example, a joint committee of the American Red Cross and Charity Organization Society formed to disburse financial aid to survivors and dependents of those who died.
One such fund was still in operation as late as the s. In the United States and Britain, more than 60 survivors combined to sue the White Star Line for damages connected to loss of life and baggage. Even before the survivors arrived in New York, investigations were being planned to discover what had happened, and what could be done to prevent a recurrence. Inquiries were held in both the United States and United Kingdom, the former more robustly critical of traditions and practices, and scathing of the failures involved, and the latter broadly more technical and expert-oriented.
The U. Senate's inquiry into the disaster was initiated on 19 April, a day after Carpathia arrived in New York. Smith also needed to subpoena all surviving British passengers and crew while they were still on American soil, which prevented them from returning to the UK before the American inquiry was completed on 25 May. Smith, however, already had a reputation as a campaigner for safety on U. Morgan, Titanic ' s ultimate owner.
Being run by the Board of Trade, who had previously approved the ship, it was seen by some as having little interest in its own or White Star's conduct being found negligent. Each inquiry took testimony from both passengers and crew of Titanic , crew members of Leyland Line's Californian , Captain Arthur Rostron of Carpathia and other experts. The American inquiry concluded that since those involved had followed standard practice, the disaster was an act of God. Lord Mersey did however find fault with the "extremely high speed twenty-two knots which was maintained" following numerous ice warnings,  noting that without hindsight, "what was a mistake in the case of the Titanic would without doubt be negligence in any similar case in the future".
The recommendations included strong suggestions for major changes in maritime regulations to implement new safety measures, such as ensuring that more lifeboats were provided, that lifeboat drills were properly carried out and that wireless equipment on passenger ships was manned around the clock. Its final report recommended that all liners carry the system and that sufficient operators maintain a constant service.
Californian had warned Titanic by radio of the pack ice that was the reason Californian had stopped for the night but was rebuked by Titanic ' s senior wireless operator, Jack Phillips. A reasonable and prudent course of action would have been to awaken the wireless operator and to instruct him to attempt to contact Titanic by that method. Had Lord done so, it is possible he could have reached Titanic in time to save additional lives.
Lord wanted to know if they were company signals, that is, coloured flares used for identification. Stone said that he did not know and that the rockets were all white. Captain Lord instructed the crew to continue to signal the other vessel with the Morse lamp, and went back to sleep.
Lord asked again if the lights had had any colours in them, and he was informed that they were all white. Californian eventually responded. He got news of Titanic ' s loss, Captain Lord was notified, and the ship set out to render assistance. She arrived well after Carpathia had already picked up all the survivors. The inquiries found that the ship seen by Californian was in fact Titanic and that it would have been possible for Californian to come to her rescue; therefore, Captain Lord had acted improperly in failing to do so.
The number of casualties of the sinking is unclear, due to a number of factors. These include confusion over the passenger list, which included some names of people who cancelled their trip at the last minute, and the fact that several passengers travelled under aliases for various reasons and were therefore double-counted on the casualty lists. The water temperature in the area where Titanic sank, which was well below normal, also contributed to the rapid death of many passengers during the sinking.
Fewer than a third of those aboard Titanic survived the disaster. Some survivors died shortly afterwards; injuries and the effects of exposure caused the deaths of several of those brought aboard Carpathia. Similarly, five of six first-class and all second-class children survived, but 52 of the 79 in third-class perished. The differences by gender were even bigger: nearly all female crew members, first- and second-class passengers were saved.
Men from the First Class died at a higher rate than women from the Third Class. The last living survivor, Millvina Dean from England, who at only nine weeks old was the youngest passenger on board, died aged 97 on 31 May Of the victims that were eventually recovered, were retrieved by the Canadian ships and five more by passing North Atlantic steamships. Health regulations required that only embalmed bodies could be returned to port. As a result, many third-class passengers and crew were buried at sea. Larnder identified many of those buried at sea as crew members by their clothing, and stated that as a mariner, he himself would be contented to be buried at sea.
Bodies recovered were preserved for transport to Halifax, the closest city to the sinking with direct rail and steamship connections. The Halifax coroner, John Henry Barnstead , developed a detailed system to identify bodies and safeguard personal possessions. Relatives from across North America came to identify and claim bodies. A large temporary morgue was set up in the curling rink of the Mayflower Curling Club and undertakers were called in from all across eastern Canada to assist.
About two-thirds of the bodies were identified. Unidentified victims were buried with simple numbers based on the order in which their bodies were discovered. Only bodies of Titanic victims were recovered, one in five of the over 1, victims. Some bodies sank with the ship while currents quickly dispersed bodies and wreckage across hundreds of miles making them difficult to recover. By June, one of the last search ships reported that life jackets supporting bodies were coming apart and releasing bodies to sink.
Titanic was long thought to have sunk in one piece and, over the years, many schemes were put forward for raising the wreck. None came to fruition. The team discovered that Titanic had in fact split apart, probably near or at the surface, before sinking to the seabed. The separated bow and stern sections lie about a third of a mile 0. They are located Both sections struck the sea bed at considerable speed, causing the bow to crumple and the stern to collapse entirely.
The bow is by far the more intact section and still contains some surprisingly intact interiors. In contrast, the stern is completely wrecked; its decks have pancaked down on top of each other and much of the hull plating was torn off and lies scattered across the sea floor. The much greater level of damage to the stern is probably due to structural damage incurred during the sinking.
Thus weakened, the remainder of the stern was flattened by the impact with the sea bed. The two sections are surrounded by a debris field measuring approximately 5 by 3 miles 8. Most of the bodies and clothes were consumed by sea creatures and bacteria, leaving pairs of shoes and boots—which have proved to be inedible—as the only sign that bodies once lay there. Since its initial discovery, the wreck of Titanic has been revisited on numerous occasions by explorers, scientists, filmmakers, tourists and salvagers, who have recovered thousands of items from the debris field for conservation and public display.
The ship's condition has deteriorated significantly over the years, particularly from accidental damage by submersibles but mostly because of an accelerating rate of growth of iron-eating bacteria on the hull. On 16 April , the day after the th anniversary of the sinking, photos  were released showing possible human remains resting on the ocean floor. The photos, taken by Robert Ballard during an expedition led by NOAA in , show a boot and a coat close to Titanic 's stern which experts called "compelling evidence" that it is the spot where somebody came to rest, and that human remains could be buried in the sediment beneath them.
This means that all states party to the convention will prohibit the pillaging, commercial exploitation, sale and dispersion of the wreck and its artefacts. Because of the location of the wreck in international waters and the lack of any exclusive jurisdiction over the wreckage area, the convention provides a state co-operation system, by which states inform each other of any potential activity concerning ancient shipwreck sites, like the Titanic , and co-operate to prevent unscientific or unethical interventions.
Submersible dives in have found further deterioration of the wreck, including loss of the captain's bathtub. After the disaster, recommendations were made by both the British and American Boards of Inquiry stating that ships should carry enough lifeboats for all aboard, mandated lifeboat drills would be implemented, lifeboat inspections would be conducted, etc.
Many of these recommendations were incorporated into the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea passed in Further, the United States government passed the Radio Act of This Act, along with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, stated that radio communications on passenger ships would be operated 24 hours a day, along with a secondary power supply, so as not to miss distress calls.
Also, the Radio Act of required ships to maintain contact with vessels in their vicinity as well as coastal onshore radio stations. Once the Radio Act of was passed, it was agreed that rockets at sea would be interpreted as distress signals only, thus removing any possible misinterpretation from other ships. Finally, the disaster led to the formation and international funding of the International Ice Patrol , an agency of the United States Coast Guard that to the present day monitors and reports on the location of North Atlantic Ocean icebergs that could pose a threat to transatlantic sea traffic.
Coast Guard aircraft conduct the primary reconnaissance. In addition, information is collected from ships operating in or passing through the ice area. Except for the years of the two World Wars, the International Ice Patrol has worked each season since During the period, there has not been a single reported loss of life or property due to collision with an iceberg in the patrol area. A Marconi wireless was installed to enable her to communicate with stations on the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland. Titanic has gone down in history as the ship that was called unsinkable.
She is commemorated by monuments for the dead and by museums exhibiting artefacts from the wreck. Just after the sinking, memorial postcards sold in huge numbers  together with memorabilia ranging from tin candy boxes to plates, whiskey jiggers,  and even black mourning teddy bears. The first film about the disaster, Saved from the Titanic , was released only 29 days after the ship sank and had an actual survivor as its star—the silent film actress Dorothy Gibson. The Titanic disaster was commemorated through a variety of memorials and monuments to the victims, erected in several English-speaking countries and in particular in cities that had suffered notable losses.