Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of Baskerville


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer, who created the character Sherlock Holmes. He was originally a physician, but published his first book, A Study in Scarlet, in 1887. The Sherlock Holmes stories are considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. The Hound of Baskervilles is the 3rd and most known roman with the detective Sherlock Holmes.

Publisher: Bantam Classic

Year published; 2003

The Hound of the Baskervilles original release: 1902

Pages; 737

Build and structure

It’s a detective story, Sherlock Holmes is the best-known fictional detective in the world. The story is told in the perspective of Dr. Watson, Sherlock’s friend. A lot of the Sherlock Holmes stories are told this way. The title of the story, the Hound of Baskerville, tells us the most important aspects of the story. Holmes has to protect someone of the Baskerville family, while there is a tread of a hound in a way that science can’t explain.

Time and place

The story is set in the early 20th century, in industrial London. It’s in the Edwardian era, a period when Kind Edward VII (1901-1910) ruled the United Kingdom.


The rich landlord Sir Charles Baskerville was found dead in the park of his own castle in Dartmoor. The cause of his death seemed to be a heart attack, but his best friend, Dr. Mortimer, thought something else must have happened, something extraordinary. According to him, Charles had become a victim of a supernatural being, that would take the form of a hellhound that roamed the place. The giant dog tracks backed his suspicion. Mortimer is scared that the heir of Charles, his nephew Henry, is in great danger. That’s why he asked for the help of Sherlock Holmes.

Dr. Mortimer tells Sherlock and Dr. Watson of the Baskerville curse, that according to him has roamed the Baskerville family for centuries. The curse has supposedly started due to the wrongdoings of Sir Hugo Baskerville. The story goes that he was in love with the daughter of a farmer. He kidnaped her and trapped her in her bedroom, but she escaped. When Hugo found out that she had left, he shouted that he would give his body and soul to evil as long as he could get her. He let the hunting dogs lose on her. A few hours later, friends of Hugo’s found his body and the body of the woman. A large Hellhound stood next to the body of Hugo, bit his throat off, and escaped into the night.

What follows is a deep investigation of Sherlock Holmes accompanied by his friend Dr. Watson as they try to unravel the secret of the hound of the Baskervilles.

Main characters

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A brilliant detective, famous for his knowledge and the precision to solve the case. He solves cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard. Most of Sherlock’s stories are narrated by the character Dr. Watson, Holmes’s friend and biographer. Watson usually accompanies Holmes during his investigations and often shares quarters with him at 221B Baker Street, London, where many stories begin. Even though he’s not the first fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes is the best-known one, with Guinness World Records listing him as the most portrayed movie character in history.

Sherlock says that he first developed his methods of deduction in a case with fellow university students. A meeting with a classmate’s father led him to adopt detection as a profession and he spent several years after university as a consultant before financial difficulties led him to accept John H. Watson as a fellow lodger.

He occasionally uses addictive drugs, especially in the absence of stimulating cases. He uses cocaine, which he injects in a seven-percent solution with a syringe kept in a Morocco leather case. Although he also uses morphine, he expresses strong disapproval when he visits an opium den; both drugs were legal in 19th-century England. Watson, as a physician, strongly disapproves of his friend’s cocaine habit and is concerned about its effect on Holmes’s mental health and intellect. Both Watson and Holmes use tobacco, smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Holmes is often portrayed playing the violin. It helps him train his right side of the brain, as his left is mostly used in crime scene investigations. Its other function is to help him relax after a long day of work.

Dr. Watson (John H. Watson)

John H. Watson, known as Dr. Watson, is a fictional character in the Sherlock Holmes stories. He’s Sherlock Holmes's friend, assistant, and sometimes flatmate and the first-person narrator of all but four of the stories. He’s described as the typical Victorian-era gentlemen. He is astute, although he can never match his friend’s deductive skills.

He has studied at the St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, received his medical degree from the University of London in 1878, and has been trained as an assistant surgeon in the British Army. He joined British forces in India with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers before being attached to the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot, saw service in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, was wounded at the Battle of Maiwand by a jezail bullet, suffered enteric fever and was sent back to England for his recovery.

In 1881, Watson is introduced by his friend Stamford to Sherlock Holmes, who is looking for someone to share rent at a flat in 221B Baker Street. When Watson had moved in, he notices multiple eccentric guests frequently coming over, Holmes then reveals that he is a ‘consulting detective’ and that the guests are his clients.

Watson witnesses Holmes’s skills of deduction on their first case together, concerning a series of murders. When the case is solved, Watson is angered that Holmes is not given any credit for it by the press. When Holmes refuses to record and publish his account of the adventure, Watson endeavors to do so himself. In the end, the two become close friends.

Dr. Mortimer

Dr. James Mortimer was a British physician and client of Sherlock Holmes. After working for two years in a junior capacity at Charing Cross Hospital, he married and moved to Dartmoor to set up a country practice where he made the acquaintance of the Baskerville family of Baskerville Hall. After the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, Dr. Mortimer sought out Sherlock Holmes's help in protecting the only remaining heir, Henry Baskerville.

Charles Baskerville

Sir Charles Baskerville was a British gentleman and member of the Baskerville family. He lived at Baskerville Hall in the parish of Grimpen, Dartmoor, England. The sinister circumstances surrounding his death prompted his friend and physician, Dr. James Mortimer, to seek the help of Sherlock Holmes in protecting his only heir, Henry Baskerville.

Henry Baskerville

Sir Henry Baskerville ( a Baronet ) was the Canadian nephew of the late Sir Charles Baskerville and his heir, being the last known living member of the Baskerville family.

Hugo Baskerville I

Sir Hugo Baskerville was a member of the Baskerville family and owner of the Baskerville Hall during the English Civil War of the mid-17th century. His wicked and cruel ways made him infamous throughout the region. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death were the origin of the legend of the Baskerville Curse.

How is the book written?

It’s not the easiest story to read. It’s a story from the late 19th and early 20th century, so you can find a lot of difficult and especially old English words in it.

The story was..

- A good story

- Trilling

- Good to read if you have practiced your English

When I was visiting Prague with my mom and brother we went to almost every bookstore that we could find (my mom loves books even if she doesn’t understand the language it’s written). We all can’t speak Czech, it’s almost like scribbles to me, so I went to the English section of the store. I wanted a book with an exciting story, something with a crime. That’s when I found this book. It was the only book of Sherlock Holmes available and I knew that it would be a great souvenir of my visit of the Czech Republic. It was great to start reading it after the races (we were there for the World Championships foot biking) and it helped me relax after a long and exhausting day.

The reason that I choose this book for my book report, is because I’m watching a Japanese show that took a lot of inspiration of the original story of Sherlock Holmes. I had seen the 4 seasons of the British show Sherlock and I loved it. There were so many details cramped in that show that even after watching it for the 3rth time, you would still find some new things.

The Japanese animation show called Detective Conan is so popular in Japan, that they had more visitors to the new film of the show than people going to the Marvel Endgame movie (in every other country that movie was on the first place of most seen this year). It has over 950 episodes and over 1050 manga books. It’s insanely popular and still going strong to this day.

This show is about a 17-year-old boy with a high intellect and usually helps the police to solve a difficult case. He’s called the modern-day Sherlock Holmes (the writer of the story loved those detective stories, and got inspired to make his own). One day, while being on a date with his childhood friend he sees in the back of his eye a suspicious man. He follows him and finds out that he makes an illegal trade. What he didn’t see is that he was followed by the companion of the man, get’s hit on the back of his head with a bat, and got drugged with a weird pill that’s supposed to kill him and leave no trace behind. But it had a side effect on him. Instead of killing him, his body shrank to that of a 7-year-old. With his new identity, Conan Edogawa, he stays at a low-class detective to find leads to the organization that did this to him and tries to find the solution to get his body back to normal.

After watching a lot of episodes of detective Conan, I found out there was a crossover with a character called Lupin III. A master thief that gets what he wants and is a master of disguise. The character seemed out of place with the others so I searched on the internet and found out that the show Lupin the 3rd was made in the late 60ties, but the original story is from France, Arsene Lupin was made in 1909. It was the answer of the popular Sherlock Holmes stories at that time. The author, Maurice Leblanc, even wrote a story in which the police called the famous detective over to France to arrest Lupin, but due to author rights the name Sherlock Holmes was not allowed, so Leblanc placed the S before Holmes, creating Herlock Sholmes.

Recently I bought those books as well, Arsene Lupin and Arsene Lupin vs Herlock Sholmes. I think that my taste in books is the older stories, as I also bought some old children's books with old Dutch sentences.

I would recommend the story, the Hound of the Baskerville, to anyone who wants to challenge themselves in English reading. And if you like detective and crime stories, then this one is a must.


My opinion on this story is that it’s well written as it gives you more and more details on the case. It’s told in the perspective of Dr Watson and not Sherlock himself so you get in the same position as someone that doesn’t always know what Holmes thinks or what is going on. You get the experience to join a character in the same way and that makes it easier to get involved in the story.       

07 July 2022
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