The Hound of Baskervilles
QUIZZES & GAMES
About the author
Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied at Edinburgh University and became a doctor. Conan Doyle, like Holmes, had very acute powers of observation. He had a very practical mind but also a great imagination. He developed an interest in spiritualism while he was a doctor in South sea, joined the Society for Psychical Research and for nearly 30 years carried out a series of experiments in telepathy and spiritual investigations. Finally, at the peak of his literary career, he wrote two books on spiritualism – The New Revelation and The Vital Message. Conan Doyle rather resented the success of his Sherlock Holmes books, feeling that they overshadowed his more important historical and scientific books. This was never more apparent than when he gave a lecture on spiritualism in Amsterdam shortly before his death in 1930. Ignoring the lecture’s title, many of the questions from the audience were about Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle refused to answer them and told the audience he had nothing more to say about the detective or his cases.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of Conan Doyle’s most famous mysteries featuring the detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his friend, Dr Watson. The eerie mists of Dartmoor form the setting to the sinister events at Baskerville Hall. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found
dead, the people living in the neighbouring area are sure that he didn’t die from natural causes. Strange sightings of a giant fire-breathing hound and stories from the past have convinced them of this.
The new heir to the property, Sir Henry Baskerville, arrives from Canada determined not to let the stories frighten him away from his new home. He braves the loneliness of the moors, takes pleasure in getting to know his neighbours, and is careful to follow the advice and guidance of the great detective, Holmes. Holmes and Watson slowly unravel a tangle of mystery as the case takes them deep into the heart of the Baskerville family.
Chapter 1: Dr Mortimer pays Sherlock Holmes a second visit with the excuse that he left his walking stick behindthe day before. The real reason is that he has a serious problem to solve.
Chapter 2: Dr Mortimer presents Holmes and Watson with some old papers, which tell the Baskerville Story. In order to recapture the girl who had escaped Hugo Baskerville’s trap, he made a deal with the devil and sent his hounds to chase the girl. Hugo’s friends followed him only to find both the girl’s and Hugo’s bodies lying in the centre of a hollow. A large black hound was biting at Hugo’s throat. Ever since the supernatural hound has haunted the family and it is believed that Sir Charles Baskerville, the latest inhabitant of the Hall, has just been killed by the hound.
Chapter 3: Holmes asks Dr Mortimer for more details and the doctor suggests that Sir Charles’s death was the result of some supernatural evil. The local people themselves have seen a spectral hound roaming the moors. Dr Mortimer is mainly concerned about the fate of Sir Henry, Sir Charles’s second brother’s son, who is arriving at Waterloo that day. Sir Henry is said to be the last of the Baskerville family because Roger, Sir Charles’s third brother, is presumed dead in Central America. Holmes
promises to consider the matter and asks Dr Mortimer to
pick up Henry at the station. Holmes decides they must
examine all explanations, not only the supernatural one.
Chapter 4: Sir Henry Baskerville visits Holmes and tells
him about a letter he has received in which he is warned
to keep away from the moor. The other unusual thing that
has happened to Sir Henry is that one of his new boots
has disappeared. Holmes considers it will soon appear.
He also concludes that the person who wrote the letter
is an educated person who reads The Times. Sir Henry
and Dr Mortimer walk back to the hotel and Holmes and
Watson follow them. They find out that a bearded man is
following them in a cab.