Solving the central mystery of Sherlock Holmes...his instant and enduring success as the greatest fictional character of all time! Imagination can summon up only one Sherlock Holmes, and he is ageless and undying. The outcry over his presumed death at the Reichenbach Falls cannot be explained by any conventional standard. In an astonishingly brief time, the Holmes stories had been woven by their readers into the very fabric of life. This was possible because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's climate of ideas so perfectly touched and reflected the minds of his public. A century later, that public is us. If the stature of Holmes's genius is unique, what are we latter-day mortals to do? Can there be a Holmes per generation? Must not he become immortal?
For more than a hundred years, critics, scholars and the whole spectrum of readers have been pleasantly mystified by the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes. Why is an eccentric, pipe-smoking Victorian detective the greatest fictional character of all time?
Myth and Modern Man in Sherlock Holmes answers this question at long last with a thoughtful assessment of Conan Doyle's place in history. As social and technological developments propelled his generation into the modern world, human experience became characterized by unceasing change, amoral and directionless. Many thinkers recognized the modernist phenomenon, but it was Conan Doyle who created a character who spoke directly to the fears and needs of his day.
Historian David S. Payne discusses the ways in which crime, class, race, religion gender roles, scientific progress and the crisis of rationalism all converged in Sherlock and the loyal Doctor Watson to produce a popular mythology that will never cease to be relevant.
An associate professor of history at Northern Kentucky University since 1973, David S. Payne is also a poet, fiction writer, and filmmaker. He lives in Southgate, Kentucky.
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Book Description Gaslight Pubns, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11093446829X