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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Was Watching Baskerville Hall?

In its May 28, 1914 edition, The New York Times reported on the arrival of Sir Arthur Conan aboard the White Star Liner Olympic for his first visit to the United States in 20 years. Before dealing with more serious issues, the newspaper reported:

By a coincidence there was a passenger on the list named R.H. Baskerville. Sir Arthur, when his attention was called to the name, smiled and said that he did not believe the passenger was related to the owners of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

To see a photo of the real Henry Baskerville, check out page 185 of Bertram Fletcher Robinson: A Footnote to The Hound of the Baskervilles by Brian W. Pugh and Paul R. Spiring. Mr. Baskerville, who died on March 28, 1962 at the age of 91, was coachman to the Robinson family for 20 years.

Almost since its publication in 1902 there has been speculation as to how much of The Hound was the work of Conan Doyle and how much was contributed by Fletcher Robinson. The Pugh-Spiring book describes how Henry Baskerville changed his story over the years.

What’s your favorite movie version of The Hound of the Baskervilles?

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