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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir…

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892)

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Gotta love Sherlock Holmes, the iconic detective. Nothing could endure like he does if it weren't amazing. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
A fun read with some interesting comments about human nature along the way.


‘It saved me from ennui’ he answered, yawning. ‘Alas, I already feel it closing in upon me! My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplaces of existence. These little problems help me to do so.’ (p. 67)


‭’My dear fellow,’ said Sherlock Holmes, as we sat on either side of the fire in his lodgings at Baker Street, ‘life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.’ (p. 68)


By eleven o’clock the next day we were well upon our way to the old English capital. Holmes had been buried in the morning papers all the way down, but after we had passed the Hampshire border he threw them down, and began to admire the scenery. It was an ideal spring day, a light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east. The sun was shining very brightly, and yet there was an exhilarating nip in the air, which set an edge to a man’s energy. All over the countryside, away to the rolling hills around Aldershot, the little red and grey roofs of the farm-steadings peeped out from amidst the light green of the new foliage.
‘Are they not fresh and beautiful?’ I cried, with all the enthusiasm of a man fresh from the fogs of Baker Street.
But Holmes shook his head gravely.
‘Do you know, Watson,’ said he, ‘that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation, and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.’
‘Good heavens!’ I cried. ‘Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads ?’
‘They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.’
‘You horrify me!’
‘But the reason is very obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard’s blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going,* and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser. Had this lady who appeals to us for help gone to live in Winchester, I should never have had a fear for her. It is the five miles of country which makes the danger. Still, it is clear that she is not personally threatened.’ (pp. 300-301)


It took me a long time to read [The Martyrdom of Man] and I relished every moment.
The church, the Bible and religious instruction at school had always bored me. After years of regular church-going I still had to watch the rest of the congregation in order to know when to stand, sit or kneel. The words of the service were still to me meaningless. I loathed hymns, found the clerical voice grotesque and the uttering of responses absurd.
Of course, I had kept those thoughts to myself. Religion wasn’t something one was permitted to like or dislike. You accepted it in the form provided, as you accepted tap water, or you were damned. Young clergymen sometimes had doubts, it appeared, but as these always turned out to arise from some theological quibble or a dispute over ritual, they were small consolation to a doubter who was against clergymen of all ages and denominations. Now though, here at last, was a book by an articulate, and patently educated, writer which proclaimed, with a wealth of historical evidence and reasoned argument to support its case, that the whole thing was, and always had been, an elaborate hoax.
That, at least, was how I interpreted Reade’s findings, and I was sure that Holmes had done the same. It was an enormous relief. My own doubts could now be explained in terms other than those of innate wickedness or incipient madness.
The euphoria, however, was brief. Priggish youngsters seeking theoretical justification for their likes and dislikes are, though often successful, not always as fortunate as I was. After the first excitement of recognizing in Winwood Reade a kindred spirit had worn off, and I had grown used to what Watson called ‘die daring speculations of the writer’, I became more interested in the paths by which he had arrived at them than in the speculations themselves. Before long I had begun an exploration of social history which still continues.
I remain grateful to Holmes. (pp. 9-10) ( )
  toby.neal | Jun 1, 2018 |
There's a lot to like in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; what particularly piques my academic interest, however, is the vision of Sherlock Holmes. There are a lot of good stories here, but when I teach Holmes, I usually stick to three different stories from this volume, because between "A Scandal in Bohemia," "A Case of Identity," and "The Five Orange Pips," I think you get the whole Holmesian theory of vision in theory and in practice.

For my purposes it actually makes the most sense to handle these stories in reverse order. My scholarly interest is in "scientific sight," in the way that scientific reasoning is often figured as a literal visual power. Doyle makes the connection between Holmes's vision and science its most explicit in "The Five Orange Pips," where Holmes compares himself to the paleontologist Cuvier: "As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents, should be able to accurately state all the other results which the reason alone can attain to" (108). Holmes utilizes inductive reasoning (I think; I always get these things confused), moving from a part of the system to understanding the whole of the system, through observation and reason. Like Cuvier, he is a scientist.

Holmes sort of undersells himself there, though, because part of his prowess is that he observes the right thing, picking up on the little details that no one else notices. Holmes might be like Cuvier in that he can go from single bone to whole dinosaur, but the problem of other people isn't that they can't perform that inductive logic, it's that they don't even see the bone to perform induction on it! In "A Case of Identity," Watson complains that Holmes sees what is "quite invisible," but Holmes rebuts him: "Not invisible, but unnoticed, Watson. You did not know where to look, and so you missed all that was important. [...] Watson, you are coming along wonderfully. You have really done very well indeed. It is true that you have missed everything of importance, but you have hit upon the method [...]. Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details" (61). Holmes then proceeds to enumerate a number of details of sleeves, nose, boots, and gloves that allowed him to induce (deduce?) a whole range of truths about the client.

Oddly, Holmes's ability to observe probably reaches its apex in the very first Sherlock Holmes short story, "A Scandal in Bohemia." To a degree, everything after this is anticlimax. But then, Watson does tell us from the story's first line that it is an unusual case for Holmes. Why Doyle started Holmes's (short form) adventures with an exceptional one I don't know, but it makes for one of the best Holmes stories in terms of entertainment, but also in terms of my interests. Again, the story emphasizes the distinctions between Watson's sight and Holmes's: both see, but only Holmes observes (4).

In this story, we're told that Holmes feels no emotions in this "cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind" and that he is the "most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen" (1). For Holmes, emotions "were admirable things for the observer—excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained observer to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results" (1). Holmes does not experience emotion in his observations because, like a scientist, he must remain objective in his work. But unlike (say) Star Trek's Mister Spock, he understands the emotions that he observes, and accounts for them in his reasoning.

However, something I often see in stories of scientific observation is that the keenest observers are able to observe the observations of others. I have a whole article in the Gaskell Journal actually, as regards Wives and Daughters, called "Observing Observation." That happens in "A Scandal in Bohemia": at the climax of the story, Holmes figures out where the incriminating photograph is by faking a fire and making Irene Adler look to where the photograph is hidden; he observes her observations: "The smoke and the shouting were enough to shake nerves of steel. She responded beautifully" (21).

But! It turns out that she was aware that Holmes was watching her, but he was unaware of this. In her letter to Holmes at the story's end, she tells him, "I followed you to your door, and so made sure that I really was an object of interest to the celebrated Mr. Sherlock Holmes" (24). That is to say, Irene Adler was observing Holmes's observations of her observations! So she ends up winning, and Holmes is awed by her.

At the beginning of the story, like I said, Watson claims that Holmes experiences no emotion. But something I've noticed throughout my reading of stories about observation, is not only are keenest observers able to observe observation itself, but that there is a correlation between this and emotion; my Gaskell Journal article ends with the claim that "to observe others carefully is to love them." Watson claims that Holmes knows no emotion, but we know by the story's end that this is untrue. If to observe others carefully is to love them, then to observe others' observations is the highest form of love, and that is why for Holmes, Irene Adler will always be "the woman" (25).
  Stevil2001 | May 25, 2018 |
This was a quick read of short stories featuring the classic Sherlock Holmes. The stories were simple and fun to read. I enjoyed the personality and thought-process of Holmes more than the mysteries, but I think it was worth the read. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
A Scandal in Bohemia - 10/10
The Red-Headed League - 10/10
The Speckled Band - 9/10
The Copper Beeches - 10/10

The other stories from "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" are missing from my edition, although there are several other stories, mostly from "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (4 stories) and the "Final Problem" from "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes", but I will rate it as it is til I read the others. ( )
  aljosa95 | Mar 27, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (147 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sir Arthur Conan Doyleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bonura, GiuseppeContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gatiss, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, Richard LancelynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ibeas, Juan ManuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lázaro Ros, AmandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, SidneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paget, Sydney EdwardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Queen, ElleryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosati Bizzotto, NicolettaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Edgar WadsworthEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tull, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes: Complete Illustrated Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The adventures of Sherlock Holmes ; The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ; The return of Sherlock Holmes ; The hound of the Baskervilles ; A study in scarlet ... the Bruce-Partington plans (Masters Library) by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.
'You have the grand gift of silence, Watson,' said he. 'It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.'
'I think, Watson, that you are now standing in the presence of one of the most absolute fools in Europe. I deserve to be kicked from here to Charing Cross.'
'Crime is common. Logic is rare.'
'Data! data! data!' he cried impatiently. 'I can't make bricks without clay.'
'If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing – a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the original collection of 12 short stories. Examples of this work include the Oxford World's Classics edition (ISBN 0192835084), the Scholastic Classics edition (ISBN 0439574285), Books of Wonder #0001 (ISBN 9780688107826). Be careful not to combine with omnibus editions that contain other works, as they sometimes carry the same title as this work, or with adaptations, abridgements, etc.
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  1. A Scandal in Bohemia
  2. The Red-headed League
  3. A Case of Identity
  4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  5. The Five Orange Pips
  6. The Man with the Twisted Lip
  7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  9. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
  10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

From the first page:
(From the Red-Headed League)

Sherlock Holmes shook his head with a smile. "Beyond the obvious facts that our visitor has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else."

"How did you know all that, Mr Holmes?" our visitor asked?

"Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is a size larger than your left. I won't insult your intelligence about the snuff and the Freemasonary, especially as, against the strict rules of your order, you wear a breastpin."

"But the writing?"

"Your right cuff is shiny for five inches, and your left has a smooth patch near the elbow ehre you lean it on the desk."

"But China?"

"The tattooed fish above your right wrist could only have come from China."
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0192835084, Paperback)

Complete in nine handsome volumes, each with an introduction by a Doyle scholar, a chronology, a selected bibliography, and explanatory notes, the Oxford Sherlock Holmes series offers a definitive collection of the famous detective's adventures. No home library is complete without it.
Comprising the series of short stories that made the fortunes of the Strand, the magazine in which they were first published, this volume won even more popularity for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Holmes is at the height of his powers in many of his most famous cases, including "The Red-Headed League," "The Speckled Band," and "The Blue Carbuncle."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:13 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Este ebook presenta Las aventuras de Sherlock Holmes, con un indice dinmico y detallado. Sherlock Holmes es un personaje ficticio creado en 1887 por Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, es un detective ingls de finales del siglo XIX, que destaca por su inteligencia, su hbil uso de la observacin y el razonamiento deductivo para resolver casos difciles. El libro consta de doce cuentos: doce asuntos en los que Sherlock Holmes se valdr de su deslumbrante inteligencia para dejar boquiabierto a su ayudante Watson -y tambin al lector- con su lgica implacable y sus certeras deducciones. Tabla de contenidos: 1. Escndalo en Bohemia. 2. La Liga de los Pelirrojos. 3. Un caso de identidad. 4. El misterio del valle Boscombe. 5. Las cinco semillas de naranja. 6. El hombre del labio torcido. 7. El carbunclo azul. 8. La banda de lunares. 9. El dedo pulgar del ingeniero. 10. El aristcrata soltern. 11. La corona de berilos. 12. El misterio de Copper Beeches. Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) fue un mdico y escritor escocs, creador del clebre detective de ficcin Sherlock Holmes. Fue un autor prolfico cuya obra incluye relatos de ciencia ficcin, novela histrica, teatro y poesa.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141034351, 0141045167, 0241952905

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1907832580, 1907832599

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