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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Personal Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge



I volunteered to be the library resource person for a Fall freshman seminar with the working title Investigating Sherlock Holmes and Early Detective Fiction. I've been reading Kerrie's postings for the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge and decided to adapt it to my Sherlock Holmes Project.

In preparation, my first object is to read the original four novels and fifty-six short stories in publication order. Similar to Kerrie's goal with the ACRC, I want to see how Doyle develops Holmes - the types of problems Holmes is called upon to solve, Holmes' methods, his relationship with Watson, and is there evidence that Doyle was tiring of Holmes (other than trying to kill him off, that is).

The original works
1. A Study in Scarlet (published 1887)
2. The Sign of the Four (published 1890)
3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1891–1892 in The Strand)
4. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1892–1893 in The Strand as further episodes of the Adventures)
5. The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialised 1901–1902 in The Strand)
6. The Return of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1903–1904 in The Strand)
7. The Valley of Fear (serialised 1914–1915)
8. His Last Bow (contains stories published 1908–1913 and 1917)
9. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (contains stories published 1921–1927)

Wikipedia has a list of the individual Sherlock Holmes short stories here.

In addition to the canon listed above, I will work on a reading list of stories that feature or allude to Holmes. The universe of Holmesian literature is too vast for my list to be comprehensive but I will see what I can put together that is representative. Suggestions are welcome.

There will be much more to the course including an examination of the forensic techniques, the genesis of Holmes, translation into film, and other early detective fiction.

I'm looking forward to turning my hobby in a scholarly direction.