A study in scarlet

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  • A Study in Scarlet was Sherlock Holmes' first outing into the literary world. Published in 1887 (after many rejections) it was an immediate success. Conan Doyle's quirky hero, with his cold deductive mind, violin playing and cocaine addiction, fascinated the reading public, and laid the foundation for the many Sherlock Holmes books and short stories that were to follow over the next three decades.

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  • had a vague recollection of having heard my friend Edward Malone, of the Gazette, speak of Professor Challenger, with whom he had been associated in some remarkable adventures. I am so busy, however, with my own profession, and my firm has been so overtaxed with orders, that I know little of what is going on in the world outside my own special interests. My general recollection was that Challenger has been depicted as a wild genius of a violent and intolerant disposition. I was greatly surprised to receive a business communication from him which was in the following terms:...

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  • Asurging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation’s glory and his own vanity. During the greater part of the day the guillotine had been kept busy at its ghastly work: all that France had boasted of in the past...

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