Modern Library Classics

A STUDY IN SCARLET

Publisher: Modern Library
Introduction by Anne Perry
Includes newly commissioned endnotes
 
In 1887, a young Arthur Conan Doyle published A Study in Scarlet, creating an international icon in the quick-witted sleuth Sherlock Holmes. In this very first Holmes mystery, the detective introduces himself to Dr. John H. Watson with the puzzling line “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive,” and so begins Watson’s, and the world’s, fascination with this enigmatic character. In A Study in Scarlet, Doyle presents two equally perplexing mysteries for Holmes to solve: one a murder that takes place in the shadowy outskirts of London, in a locked room where the haunting word Rache is written upon the wall, the other a kidnapping set in the American West. Picking up the “scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life,” Holmes demonstrates his uncanny knack for finding the truth, tapping into powers of deduction that still captivate readers today.

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CHAPTER I

Mr. Sherlock Holmes


In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army. Having completed my studies there, I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as...
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READING GUIDE

1. Before Arthur Conan Doyle created Holmes, there were few detective stories for Conan Doyle to use as a sort of template. Do you believe Conan Doyle was basing Holmes on a doctor or medical student instead? Why does Conan Doyle intentionally mention Poe and Gaboriau’s detectives? Is he poking fun at himself...

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PRAISE FOR

“[Holmes] is probably the only literary creation since the creations of Dickens which has really passed into the life and language of the people.”—G. K. Chesterton