Talk:The Hound of the Baskervilles

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Possible Copyright Violation[edit]

Portions of this article appear to have been copied verbatim from here:

[1] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


The page on "The Hound of the Baskervilles", as I currently read it, contains some background information about the story but nothing about the story itself. I do not suggest a complete plot summary (we wouldn't want to ruin the story, which is, after all, a mystery) but wouldn't the Wiki page better begin with a summary of the main story line and theme? And some discussion of the atmosphere, which is perhaps the most striking thing about the book to the modern reader?

Why would an encyclopedia not want to be complete in its plot summaries? 07:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


I haven't made these additions because I'm not familiar enough with Wikipedia to know how novels are normally handled here.

In the Main Characters Section,Mr.Frankland of Lafter Hall is not mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:05, 27 February 2014 (UTC)


Hound presents a continuity problem. It takes place in 1892. However, as Holmes was presumed dead at the time (following the Switzerland incident) and did not reunite with Watson till 1894 pace "Empty House", the story could not have taken place in that year.

Not so. The date on Mortimer's stick is 1884, and Holmes says this was "five years ago". Even if that's not exact, this definitely places the story before Holmes's disappearance in 1891. (Wistaria Lodge, however, is dated to 1892 by Watson, so the problem you mention does arise there......) 12:16, 12 November 2005 (UTC)
"Watson" in an introduction to Hound specifically says it's an earlier case, before the events in "The Final Problem". CFLeon 02:24, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Regardless, how is this novel a continuity problem - for Wikipedia, that is? 07:59, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Doyle's practice[edit]

Doyle was never "a general practitioner in Plymouth."

I slapped a [citation needed] label onto that claim. 08:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Reference: Hound of the Whiskervilles[edit]

I'm actually very sure that the hound of the Whiskervilles form one of Keno Don Rosa's comics about The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck also is a reference to this book. Can anyone check this? (I won't be home for the next four months, so I won't be able to check it myself, that's why.) This hound is in part one, when young Scrooge is secretly visiting the old family castle in Scotland.

Umberto Eco[edit]

I edited out "most probably" since Eco is pretty explicit in his borrowings from Conan Doyle. Adso remarks upon William's drug habit much as Watson does with Holmes. And in 'The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana" Eco divulges more of his Holmes fandom. Artsfiend 08:04, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, if you don't have a source, please refrain from stating facts. In fact, without a source, the entire claim should probably be removed. 08:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Page fix[edit]

The page looks kind of messy right around the "other novels" box, can anyone fix the arrangement?--The Editor1111 17:29, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Additional discussion[edit]

I feel the following subjects needs to be discussed in order to improve the quality of this page:

- are there any inconsistencies or errors in the story? (other wiki entries on Holmes stories have this)

- what was the impact of this story on the popularity of Doyle/Holmes? How successful was the novel format compared to the short story compilation format?

- did Doyle have to be persuaded to write this story (which presumably was written after he had "killed off" Holmes) and what kind of public pressure did he face? Or was this story planned?

- is there any thought behind the decision to have Holmes stay out of most of the story (meaning that Doyle could equally well have decided to write a story where Holmes did not have a natural reason for staying away)? 08:07, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

As I understand it, Hound was originally devised without Holmes. Doyle had learned of various legends and came up with the idea for a mystery/horror story set on Dartmoor, then realised he needed a strong character to hold the story together and that Holmes fitted the bill; plus of course there was the financial benefit. Holmes is absent for much of the story, perhaps because he's basically deduced both the murderer and the weapon by the end of chapter four (maybe a hangover from before he entered the plot), perhaps because of Doyle's antipathy to his creation.
There are some plot holes - see below. Timrollpickering (talk) 00:58, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Film adaptations[edit]

I have seen several of the film and TV versions, and one thing always stands out: all of them (at least, the ones I have seen) make the same mistake in the passage where Holmes deduces that the newspaper clipping must have come from The Times. The quote, in full, reads: "There is as much difference to my eyes between the leaded bourgeois type of a Times article and the slovenly print of an evening halfpenny paper as there could be between your negro and your Esquimaux."

The mistake concerns the word "bourgeois", which is consistently mispronounced, due to the actor and/or director misunderstanding its meaning. The word, as used in this context, does not refer to "middle class", but to a size of type (roughly 9-point). Unfortunately, both words are spelled the same. However, the word that applies to the type size is pronounced quite differently. I am not sufficiently expert in the use of pronunciation guides, but the word is pronounced in two distinct syllables. The first sounds like "burr", and the second sounds like the female name "Joyce", and it is the second syllable that's accented: burr-JOYCE. Prior to the widesprread adoption of numerical "point-sizes" for type, printers used a restricted range of predetermined sizes, each of which was named. These included ruby, agate, pica ... and bourgeois, hence Holmes's reference: he was able to deduce its origin not only because of the way it was leaded ("ledded", or spaced), but because of its size, which was larger than that used in the evening halfpennies. I've always felt that a large part of the attraction of these movies is their accurate depiction of historical detail, so this strikes me as a curious and regrettable error. AlistairLW (talk) 22:00, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

How right you are! Well, ya learn something new everyday: Softlavender (talk) 02:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


I have cleaned up this talk page, adding headers to make the contents automatic box appear in its proper place (first). Also, to separate various unrelated discussions. Feel fre to have a look at my revisions if you feel I have misrepresented those earlier comments. 08:11, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


Can someone reference this sentence: "According to IMDB, the picture has apparently been lost, but the film's soundtrack still exists on disc." This appears in the chart. I haven't looked, but this needs a reference. SpencerT♦C 02:46, 16 January 2008 (UTC)'''Bold text'Italic text


Just to let the people who have never read this book before, Watson is a bit like Sherlock's sidekick. Although Watson is a bit stupid and Holmes always saves the day. Even if Watson has a doctorate degree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NanoSpart (talkcontribs) 08:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Does Watson actually have a doctorate degree ? He is a medical doctor, and in those days ( and indeed in these days in Britain ), a medical doctor does not have a doctorate degree. Probably a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.Eregli bob (talk) 15:41, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

With all due respect, the Watson of the books and stories is not stupid. The image of a bumbling "Colonel Blimp"-like Watson comes from the movies, particularly actor Nigel Bruce's memorable portrayals (alongside the equally memorable Basil Rathbone — who together with fellow-actor William Gillette and illustrator Sidney Paget is primarily responsible for the mental image of Sherlock Holmes shared by most fans). Poor Watson! Over the canon as a whole, it is only in scattered unguarded moments that Holmes allows a momentary glimpse of his true respect for Watson; most of the time, Watson tolerates the regular put-downs from the egotistical and insecure Holmes with an equanimity approaching saintliness. Watson's good tact and judgment were especially valuable to Holmes in this very adventure, in return for which Holmes gives him a rare atta-boy: "I must compliment you exceedingly upon the zeal and the intelligence which you have shown over an extraordinarily difficult case." EEng (talk) 00:40, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


Hello —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Possible Plot Holes?[edit]

  • If Stapleton/Baskerville was arrested-just how can Holmes prove murder attempt on Henry Baskerville besides the following?
    • That Stapleton is a BAskerville.
    • That Stapleton tricked CHarles Baskerville to stay near the garden gate on the night he died
    • That Stapleton owns a large savage dog and is cruel to his wife. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:41, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
  • The 1988 Granada TV version followed the orginal story-although it had a unneccessary sub-plot of two warders falling victium to the Grimpen Mire while chasing the escaped convict Sheldon; it also shows Stapleton/Roger BAskerville trapped in the mire as well-although the orginal story only implies his doom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:01, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

If one could prove that Stapleton had tricked Charles into staying near the gate on the fatal night, then released the spectral dog knowing that Charles had a bad heart, that alone would constitute murder (or at least, perhaps, manslaugher). Additional points:

  • Stapleton shadowed Henry Baskerville in London
  • He made a murderous attempt on young Baskerville's life
  • He had motive: inheritance of the Baskerville fortune
  • And he fled upon being discovered (flight being evidence of guilt, especially flight which exposes the fugitive to unusual perils — perils which in Stapleton's case, put him in his soggy grave). EEng (talk) 00:53, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
There are quite a few holes. Holmes's methods are often little more than Doyle saying his methods work rather than anything else and sometimes alternative possibilities are overlooked. A big hole is that Dr Mortimer is an expert on phrenology, heredity and reversion, yet hasn't spotted that Stapleton resembles the portrait of Hugo Baskerville (doubly surprising as Mortimer is aware that Stapleton's father was known to resemble him).
I guess what Holmes was aiming for was to get Lestrade to witness Stapleton releasing the hound, as that would be the crucial evidence that proved a) the dog existed; b) that it had been specifically set after Sir Henry; and c) that the dog was Stapleton's. Much of the rest of the evidence would have been circumstantial but there would be testimony both that Stapleton had arranged for Sir Charles to be waiting at the spot where he died and that footprints of an enormous hound * were found at the scene. Add in the motive, plus Stapleton's history of changing his name, and potentially testimony from his wife, and the piece come together.
(* Actually it's not possible to tell that a footprint was left by an enormous hound. Dramatic licence creates a good cliffhanger line that is almost always used in the screen versions, but in reality all that could be certain is that a dog was there - Mortimer's awareness of the legend has made him assume it was a giant hound.)
A major plot hole is that Stapleton's fate is ambiguous in the novel. All that is known for sure is he reached part way through the mire and threw the boot aside but there's nothing to say he didn't make it to the island despite the fog and then escaped the next morning before Holmes reached there. Almost all the adaptations I've seen go explicit on this - the 1983 cartoon has his drowning being heard, the 1988 Brett version shows the drowning even though no-one witnesses it; the 1972 & 2000 versions both have Holmes & Watson pursuing Stapleton when the dying hound returns & attacks its master with both sinking into the mire; the 1983 film has a showdown on the island with Stapleton drowning in front of Holmes; the 1959 film has Stapleton shot down at the site of the hound's attack (and his daughter flees but falls into the mire, witnessed by Holmes); and the 2002 version has Stapleton initially arrested but managing to escape with Holmes in pursuit, it's Holmes who falls into the mire while Stapleton threatens him before being shot dead by Watson. Only the 1939 film is ambiguous - Stapleton flees Baskerville Hall but Holmes announces there are police posted on all the roads and the only alternative route is through the mire...
There's the whole question of how Stapleton was going to claim the inheritance without suspicion, both because the heir had been living so close under an assumed name but also because the previous enquiries by Mortimer didn't uncover Rodger Baskerville's marriage. Most adaptations just assume Stapleton could do it, but in the 2002 version Holmes is stumped on this before deducing that Stapleton's motive isn't about money but revenge for the way the Baskervilles rejected his father. The 1959 version also makes revenge the primary motive, albeit with Stapleton being a more illegitimate descendent of Sir Hugo. Timrollpickering (talk) 01:24, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The Orginal story has Holmes musing three possible ways over how Baskerville/Stapleton can claim the Baskerville fortune:

  • Establish his identity before British Officals in South America
  • Adopt a disguise while meeting British officals in London
  • Put an accomplice as the heir and retaining a stake of the fortune
  1. 1 would be the surest way for Stapleton to claim the forture without exposure in England of his alias-althugh it would have to be somewhere not in Costa Rica-else he would be arrested for theft! # 2 the disguise would alert officals that something was not quite right with the claiment/heir while # 3 the risk of Stapleton being double crossed by his accomplice is quite great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Baskerville Hall[edit]

This is confusing: a Baskerville Hall exists, apparently Conan Doyle visited it multiple times? Why is this not mentioned in the article? [2]. --Gryffindor (talk) 23:57, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Rename? Film adaptations[edit]

May I suggest that the 'Film adaptations' section be renamed 'Film and TV adaptations' as some of the titles in the list are TV adaptations rather than Film adaptations, such as the 1988 ITV Granada adaptation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 1 December 2011 (UTC)


The artcile Kington says:

The Black Dog of Hergest is said to haunt the area around Hergest Ridge and his sighting reputedly presages death. It is also rumoured to have been the prototype for The Hound of the Baskervilles as Conan Doyle is known to have stayed at nearby Hergest Hall shortly before he wrote the novel.

Can anyone shed some light on that, and provide a citation, or refutation, please? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:49, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Legend of Black Dog of Hergest at — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Sidney Paget Illustrator Credit[edit]

I think the info box for the book is great, but a little incomplete: Sidney Paget deserves a mention as well. If the cover artist is listed for one illustration, then surely Paget's 60 merit a credit. If no one has any objections, I'd like to add his name right under the cover artist as 'Illustrator' in the same format as everything else. --MeDrewNotYou (talk) 06:33, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:The Hound of the Baskervilles/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Assessed to be a Start-class article and of high importance particularly within its genre. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page)/(Desk) 15:58, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 05:36, 27 July 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 08:12, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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I added some details to the plot summary. The previous edition was omitting on intention main plot elements to avoid "spoilers", and sounded more like an advertisement instead of an encyclopedia article. Spoilers are explicitly allowed on Wikipedia and there is no point to hide key story elements while describing book plot : Wikipedia:Spoiler (talk) 21:17, 3 September 2019 (UTC)