Conan Doyle Research Paper

is a story of the revenge exacted for a crime committed in the mountains of Utah twenty years earlier.

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is distinguished by its scrupulous re-creation of the entire spectrum of life in fourteenth century England.

Once again, Doyle’s preoccupation with noble causes is reflected in the interests of his characters, members of a small but dedicated mercenary company who set off for the Continent to fight for England during the Hundred Years War.

The hero of after whom Doyle later named his eldest son, is Alleyne Edricson, a landless young squire who leaves the monastery where he has been reared with his two companions, the lapsed monk Hortle John and the former serf Samkin Aylward, to join the White Company under the command of Sir Nigel Loring.

Alleyne, his friends, his leader, and later his prince represent a microcosm of English society in the Middle Ages, depicting an idealized vision of the English character and contrasting with that of the country’s main enemies: the French, the Spanish, and the Germans.

Watson’s old war wound was in his shoulder or his knee, whether the good doctor’s Christian name was John or James, whether there were one or two Mrs.

Watsons, but his period novels show none of this casualness.A closer look, however, shows that whatever the surface differences, the author’s underlying concerns and prejudices are the same.Indeed, Sherlock Holmes can be seen as a knight-errant who ventures forth from Baker Street on a series of quests.At the end of the novel, Alleyne wins his knighthood, his inheritance, and his lady fair in the person of Sir Nigel’s daughter Maude.The virtues Sir Nigel embodies and Alleyne learns are those that Doyle taught his own sons: sympathetic treatment of social inferiors, courtesy and respect for women, and honesty in financial dealings.The novel is particularly interesting for its two main themes: the rise of the English middle class and of English patriotism.depicts a world where individuals are judged not by their birth but by their accomplishments, in much the same manner as Doyle rose from poverty to affluence through his own efforts.In the earlier novels and stories, he battles dragons of crime on behalf of individuals.Mary Morstan in is the epitome of a damsel in distress.In Holmes’s later adventures, both the suppliants and the dragons are different. The detective and his intellect operate according to the rules of detection which Holmes has himself established at the beginning of rules analogous to the chivalric code, and squire Watson accompanies Holmes as much to learn how to conduct himself according to these rules as to assist in the solution of the crime.There is an increasing tendency for those seeking Holmes’s assistance to be representatives of the government itself or, as in “The Illustrious Client,” a person no less exalted than King Edward VII himself, and for the villains to be international criminals or even foreign governments. Dull, plodding, faithful Watson may never win his spurs, but at least he wins the hand of Mary Morstan.


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