The mention of installing lamps, no matter how brief, presents a reference of setting and time for the novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles. This novel is the third of the crime novels written by Arthur Conan Doyle, Originally serialized in a magazine from August to April This puts the novel firmly post development of the lightbulb, arguably one of the most influential technological breakthroughs of its time. Despite this, the lightbulb, or in-house electricity was not cheap enough to be widely available across the classes until the s — after the novel takes place.
This means that Sir Henry had considerable privilege. Those who have money are more fulfilled than those who do not. Sir Henry seems to be a man firmly planted in his time period, who evaluates wealth and technology as necessary stones to lead a life worth living. I fancy the yew alley, though not marked under that name, must stretch along this line, with the moor, as you perceive, upon the right of it. This small clump of buildings here is the hamlet of Grimpen, where our friend Dr Mortimer has his headquarters. Within a radius of five miles there are, as you see, only a very few scattered dwellings.
Here is Lafter Hall, which was mentioned in the narrative.
There is a house indicated here which may be the residence of the naturalist — Stapleton, if I remember right, was his name. Here are two moorland farmhouses, High Tor and Foulmire. Then fourteen miles away the great convict prison of Princetown. Between and around these scattered points extends the desolate, lifeless moor. This, then, is the stage upon which tragedy has been played, and upon which we may help to play it again. For example, one of the farmhouses is called Foulmire , and we later hear a great deal about the mire from Stapleton himself in a later chapter.
In addition to that, the name Foulmire is very Gothic and in keeping with the tone of the story.
Foul means offensive to the senses, and it may also be a Macbeth reference, for Conan Doyle, a well-educated, literary individual, would surely have read Macbeth —and The Hound of the Baskervilles itself has a very similar setting to the Scottish play. Also consider the name of the hamlet— Grimpen — grim meaning, well, grim—dark, foreboding, unwelcoming—and pen meaning a pen, a fenced-in area.
A finite space. Pen in this sense is usually used to mean an enclosure for animals—like, say, a certain hound. A pen is also a prison, and there is an actual prison fourteen miles from where the story takes place—Princetown. Also, a ghostly monstrous dog in English folklore is called a grim.
For the Good of the State
So Grimpen is literally a pen for a grim. First off, yew trees, especially in British literature, are strongly associated with death, often being found in graveyards—not to mention that every part of them is poisonous—so the yew alley could be easily interpreted as an alley of death. The last name I want to touch on is Mortimer— mort meaning death and mer meaning sea.
This sinister-sounding name implies that the seemingly helpful Dr. Mortimer may not be as much of an ally as he seems. The obvious similarity of the two novels is the investigation of a death, but a subtle similarity that struck me was the description of the female characters. Doyle 70 The description of the women focused more on their physical attributes, and this type of narration of the women continue throughout the books.
It should also be noted that these physically detailed descriptions both come from men, one being Sir Michael Audley and the other being Dr. The depiction of the women in both books put primary focus on their physical appearance while the ones of men do not.
I think that the image of women in the stories shows how the females characters were meant to serve as something for the male characters to consume rather than be rounded characters. Specifically, Miss Stapleton struck me as very similar to Lady Audley, both in how she is described and through her actions thus far. She tells him she cannot explain why he must leave, and when her brother comes near, she tells Watson to not speak of this to him.
Already we can see there is some secret that Miss Stapleton is hiding, and she does not want Watson, or even her own brother, to know what it is just like Lady Audley wanted to keep her secret from both Sir Audley as well as Robert. Miss Stapleton also shows she is quite capable of lying, when she gives her brother a fake explanation of what she and Watson were talking about.
Clearly, Miss Stapleton is actively interested in keeping her secret, as we see when she runs to apologize to Watson about the mixup. This exchange reminds me of when Lady Audley pays a visit to Robert at the inn. Like Lady Audley with Robert, Miss Stapleton wants to make sure Watson does not know too much, but he is very intent on finding out what she is hiding. This idea of a character keeping secrets hidden behind a veneer of beauty reminds me exactly of Lady Audley.
When reading The Hound of the Baskervilles through a gothic literature lens, it becomes very clear that this book shares elements with gothic literature.
Based on the video we saw in class, gothic literature contains a variety of different tropes. A couple of these tropes include the uncanny and the supernatural, both of which I found within this novel. The tone and content of this quote resonate with me like that of a campfire scary story or a Scooby Doo episode. Most campfire scary stories and Scooby Doo episodes revolve around an uncanny element or mystery, exactly like many gothic novels.
ABOUT THE SERIES
In this case that uncanny element is the gigantic hound. This quote brings to attention the concept of supernatural vs. When reading this novel without looking at it through any particular lens, it is obvious that it is a detective novel. The first mention of Sherlock Holmes essentially places this novel immediately within the detective novel genre. They use their resources such as letters and people of interest to ask questions. The interesting difference is that Sherlock Holmes is a well-known detective who knows none of the people is his case personally.
Here Be Monsters (Dr David Audley, book 15) by Anthony Price
While Robert Audley is not an actual detective, and his case involved people with whom he was emotionally attached to. This quote made me wonder, are things obvious to Sherlock Holmes because he has no emotional tie to the case, or because he is a professional, and experienced detective? I write to Alicia…. I think it takes Robert a long time to realize the culprit in his case because he was emotionally attached to Mr.
Talboys, Alicia, Lucy, and Sir Michael. With the arrival of Dr. He is new to me — or at least, he was. Three books in I guess he's not quite so new, but the novelty's in no danger of wearing off. Terrific stuff. Had forgotten all about Price having read a lot of him in the 90s. A timely find, because it's a very young David Audley and Clinton. Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practise to deceive.
Good stuff, going to have to collect and re-read 'em all now. Well I hope my various posts on Price prove helpful as you make your way through his backlist again, Picacho! I've adored the nineteen David Audley stories for many years now.
As I work offshore a lot, I'm currently re-reading the whole lot of 'em, in 'Audley time' order rather than publication order. They really are a great collection, and I agree that they seem to have dipped under the radar of the online spy novel fraternity, which is a great shame. I'm therefore delighted to see this corner of cyberspace paying tribute, and I just wanted to add my thanks to AP here.
All the best from the Timor Sea!
Here Be Monsters
Jim Wickham jim. Thanks, Jim!
- Welding Metallurgy, Second Edition!
- Here be Monsters?
- Psychiatry The State of the Art: Volume 8 History of Psychiatry, National Schools, Education, and Transcultural Psychiatry.
- Adam Raccoon in Lost Woods.
- Gunner Kelly.
- O My Thoughts, Surcease.
- Analysis of Dirac Systems and Computational Algebra (Progress in Mathematical Physics).
I'll be returning to Anthony Price on Existential Ennui at some point this year, and I'll be writing to him as well, so I'll be sure to pass on your thanks when I do.