Some words about the author:
Arthur C. Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He lived from 1859-1930. He graduated at Stonyhurst and Edinburgh University and adopted the profession of medicine. He was made a peer. He will be remembered chiefly for his creaton of the amateur dedective, Sherlock Holmes, embodied in a cycle of stories like "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes" 1891, "The Memories of Sherlock Holmes" 1894, "The Hound of Baskerville"1902 and others. Everybody will also remember his second figure, Dr. Watson.
The main character of the book, "The Hound of Baskerville":
Sherlock Holmes: He is a private dedective who lives in Baker Street together with his best friend and assistant Dr. Watson. He helps people to fight for justice. He solves the most difficult problems with his amazing mental power. He has an excellent memory, courage and a power of deduction. He is really a clever and sympathetic man. The best way for him to think about a problem is in his office, smoking his pipes and cigarettes.
Dr. Watson: He is also an intelligent person, who helps Sherlock Holmes to solve the most mysterious cases. They both share the work. With the most cases Dr. Watson is responsible for the research and Sherlock Holmes normally discovers the truth with these facts. Dr. Watson is a very friendly person. Sometimes he seems a little confused. He doesn’t always understand Holmes.
Dr. Mortimer: He is a very tall and thin man. He is the proud possessor of a brown spaniel. He is confronted with a most serious and extraordinary problem. He was a personal friend and a medical attendant of Sir Charles Baskerville. He is an honest, nice man who helps Mr. Holmes as good as he can.
Sir Henry Baskerville: He is small, alert, dark- eyed man and about 30 years of age. He is the heir of Baskerville Hall. He seems very intelligent, warm- hearted and a well-educated man. At the beginning of the book he is very courageous but at the end he’s afraid. He always trust Sherlock Holmes. He loves a woman named Miss. Stapleton.
Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore: They have been with the Baskerville family for several generations. He is a tall and handsome man with a black beard. He is charge of the hall. His wife is a large heavy-featured woman with a stern expression. She keeps the household. She is also very sensitive and fragile. Both were deeply shocked about Charles Baskerville’s death.
Mr Stapleton: He is between 30 and 40 years old and very small and slim. He is a lover of nature and likes to catch butterflies and insects over the moor. He finds unlimited possibilities of work in these fields and he really likes the botany and zoology. He knows the deep and wide moor better than anyone else. He has a great power over his sister. On the one hand he treats her really nice but on the other hand he suppresses her.
Miss. Stapleton: She is an exotic, beautiful woman, who is loved by Henry Baskerville. She seems nervous, afraid and fragile.
Mr. Frankland: He is an elderly man and choleric. His passion is for the British law stands over all and he has spent a large fortune on litigation. He is also an amateur astronomer and so he has an excellent telescope through which he observes the moor. He has not much contact with his neighbours.
One day a man, named Dr. Mortimer visits Sherlock Holmes. He is a friend and the doctor of Sir Charles Baskerville who found a sudden and tragic death three months ago. Dr. Mortimer informs Holmes about a dreadful legend that overhangs the Baskerville family. He tells the story of an incredible big and dangerous hound that had followed the family for a long time. This daemon is supernatural. Sometimes the poor peasants can hear the hauling of a hound in the dark of the night. Nobody has the courage to go through the moor in the night.
Sir Charles Baskerville was an old man who lived at Baskerville Hall after he had returned from a long stay in South Africa. He was known and remembered because of his extreme generosity. He was very rich. Every night, before going to bed, he used to walk down the famous Yew Ally of Baskerville Hall. His doctor, Dr. Mortimer, recommended him travelling to London to relax. He suffered because of the families terrible legend. His heart and his nerves were very weak. The night before his journey he did not return from his night walk. His servant Barrymore found the body at the end of the ally. Dr. Mortimer discovered footprints near the body. These footprints were from a gigantic hound. It was obvious that Sir Charles died of shock at the sight of the wild creature. To gain clarity in this mysterious case Dr. Mortimer wanted the help of Holmes. He wanted of this frightening legend to end.
The heir of the one million pound estate is the son of Charles Baskerville’s youngest brother, Sir Henry Baskerville. Dr. Mortimer tells him about his uncle’s tragic fate. Even though everybody warns Sir Henry not to go back to the Baskerville estate, he cannot be persuaded to stay in London. So Holmes sends Dr. Watson with him. He is told to watch him carefully. Before they start their journey some mysterious things happen in London: First a strange bearded man follows Baskerville and Mortimer to the Northumberland Hotel after they had visited Holmes in his office the first time. Second, Baskerville receives a strange letter in the hotel. The letter was not written by hand but put together from pieces of newspaper print. Then one shoe of the new pair he just had bought disappeared mysteriously. Shortly after it got discovered again one of his old pair was nowhere to be found.
Finally they arrive in Devonshire by train. Baskerville Hall is situated somewhere in the middle of the moor. In the big area of the wide moor there are only some inhabitants. The houses next to Baskerville Hall are about 4 miles away. The neighbours are Mr. Frankland of Lafter Hall and Mr. Stapleton and his sister of Merriphit House. Dr. Watson meets the Stapletons the first time during a walk in the moor. Stapleton shows him round the area and tells him a lot about its insects, butterflies and dangers. He is a naturalist and knows the frightening moor better than anybody else. Suddenly he runs after an insect that is seldom to be found there. In the meantime Miss. Stapleton turns to him. In the believe that he is Henry Baskerville and warns him of the moor. She advises him to return to London immediately. His stay can mean his death. Dr. Watson is very confused about what she is speaking but she doesn’t say more. Her brother is really angry as he sees her with Dr. Watson.
Dr. Watson finds out that there is a convict outside the moor, who fled from prison. He is a very dangerous criminal. Because of that a lot of people are scared to death and so there are even some soldiers in the area. One night Dr. Watson and Baskerville hear the sound of a crying in the house. The next day they see Mrs. Barrymore’s red face and her swollen eyes. Another night Dr. Watson, who suffers a very slight sleep since his stay at Baskerville Hall, hears steps. He looks out his chamber and sees Barrymore with a candle in one hand. Barrymore sneaks into a room and presses the light against the window. Dr. Watson informs Sir Henry about this observation. They decide to follow Barrymore the next night. This special night they surprise him while he is holding a candle to the window. Dr. Watson takes the candle, holds it to the window and stares out in the darkness. Suddenly a light comes back out of dark. Out in the moor somebody obviously gives signs. Mrs. Barrymore, paler and more horror-struck than her husband stands at the door. She begins to explain these nightly walks to the window. Her brother, the convict, is starving in the moor. The light is a signal to him, that food is ready for him. Although her brother is a criminal she loves him very much. Henry Bakerville and Dr. Watson want to catch this villain, because he is a danger for the community. They get their revolvers to find the fellow. Out of the vast gloom of the moor they hear a strange cry. It’s the cry of the hound of Baskerville. They loose the convict in the moor. On their way back home Dr. Watson sees a figure of a man upon the moor. The figure seems like a tall thin man who stand with his arms fold and his head bowed. It is not the convict, neither a man from this place.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of Baskerville
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