In the latest issue of The Baker Street Journal (Winter 2015), Jenn Eaker writes about why she loves The Hound of the Baskervilles and has read it again and again:
One reason is the Gothic horror of the novel. It's a ghost story set in a place where mists hide deadly traps on the moor, with a spectral dog who terrorizes a family over generations, with an escaped convict no one knows where to find and with scary sounds that scream through the night. "Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" is unforgettable. Even Sir Henry points out, "I seem to have walked into the thick of a dime novel." And it makes sense that Arthur Conan Doyle would have written this particular story at this time. Victorians loved their penny dreadfuls and Gothic horror stories.The Gothic atmosphere and plotline of this beloved adventure on the moor are inescapable. But I'd never noticed, until my friend Amy Thomas of the Baker Street Babes called it to my attention, that "The Adventure of the Copper Beaches" is also Gothic - the woman in distress, the creepy house, the smiling villain, the deadly mastiff, the second woman in distress.
So then I looked closer and discovered that more than a dozen stories in the Canon have at least some Gothic elements. That will be the subject of my talk, "Gothic Holmes: Dark Shadows in the Canon" at Holmes, Doyle & Friends Three conference, April 15 and 16 in Dayton. Other speakers will include Davv Milner, Tracy Revels, Karen Murdoch, Vincent Wright, and Ann Siefker.
In this past this has been a great conference, so plan to be there. In fact, register now, either online or by mail.