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Sherlock Holmes: Ten Literary Studies Hardcover – Sep 1969

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
an odd history 25 Aug. 2014
By Aaron Joy - Published on
Format: Paperback
A strange quasi history book, better at the time it was written than down the road (aka now.) But, Sherlock Holmes fans and lovers of history will find it interesting.

It's easy to forget that at one time people thought Holmes was real, and I don't mean based on a person Doyle knew but actually a real person and there was a real Dr. Watson writing about him. This book tries to put all the stories together and sleuth out the biography of Holmes ... as if he was real. Hall examines Holmes not from the view that Holmes is anything but a real person. It's an amazing history on that level, creating fact out of fiction. Any hints that Holmes might not be real Hall treats as red herrings and not valid. He goes into Holmes childhood and school life and weeds out why one story will say one thing and another something else (if only Doyle had this book to check his fiction/facts). Today we know that there was no Holmes, no Watson, no Moriarty. There might be people in Doyle's life he used for inspiration but in this book Hall treats Doyle as simply someone who held Watson's documents and worked as his editor.

Is Hall thus a joke? No, he's a real historian trying to do real work. Just he didn't really have all the facts - like the fact it REALLY is all fiction. Thus, I give this 4 stars not 5 because in 2014 to read it makes it sad to see someone dedicate their life to researching nothing. It's thus, in hindsight, not always the most interesting read because you know it's all fiction. But, Hall does need to be credited for doing his research.

This is for hardcore Holmes and detective story fans and those who love the writing of history more than the history itself. Or, maybe those who love Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter where the fiction is more interesting than fact.
This book is a must for any lover of the Holmes stories, especially for anyone who plays the Game 9 Jan. 2014
By Gene Rhea Tucker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is, hands down, the best book I have read attempting to pin down the "historical" Sherlock Holmes based upon history and a strict, meaningful exegesis of the Canon. Hall pins down, convincingly, I think, the heritage, birthplace, and education of Sherlock Holmes. He discusses his family, his early career, and he expertly explains why Watson repeats himself in two stories. Hall's scholarship is expert, he writes as if he was a Victorian/Edwardian historian of old (perfect for a Holmes scholar), citing his evidence in convenient footnotes and sticking to the Canon as if it truly was Scripture. This book is a must for any lover of the Holmes stories, especially for anyone who plays the Game.
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