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The Baskerville Legacy: A Confession by John…

The Baskerville Legacy: A Confession

by John O'Connell

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I like to get something Holmesian each Christmas, and this was 2011's offering.

Being a fictionalised account of the collaboration between Arthur Conan Doyle and Bertram Fletcher Robinson on The Hound of the Baskervilles, I did wonder as I read through quite how much was real and how much fiction. Fortunately, O'Connell provides an Afterword in which all is clarified.

So, an interesting book, which gets better in its second half, when Doyle and Robinson are scouting locations for The Hound in Dartmoor, Robinson's childhood home, and when the creative and personal tensions between them start to surface.

I liked the section dealing with Doyle's (lamentable) dabbling in Spiritualism, and his gullibility and self-deceit as presented in this book seems to be true to the accounts I've read in a couple of biographies.

O'Connell has made Robinson into an interestingly flawed character, which he states in the Afterword is probably far from the truth, but which carries the story forward.

A relatively quick read in a nicely bound volume. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Mar 30, 2013 |
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When a young journalist, Bertram Fletcher Robinson, meets his writer hero Arthur Conan Doyle on a troop ship returning from South Africa he is delighted - especially when the creator of Sherlock Holmes suggests they collaborate on a 'real creeper' of a story. But the experience will prove traumatic for both of them. And when the result of their labours, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is finally published, it will be credited to one author alone...… (more)

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