"I never can resist a touch of the dramatic."
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is now best remembered for its concluding story in which the great detective appears to plunge to his death into the waters at the bottom of the Reichenbach Falls, locked in a struggle with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. However, the collection also brings the reader back to the beginnings of Holmes' career, involving a mutiny at sea and a treasure hunt in a Sussex country house, and a first encounter with Holmes' older brother Mycroft, of whom Holmes says, "If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from any armchair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived". This collection includes some of the detective's greatest cases, such as 'Silver Blaze' and 'The Naval Treaty', and even one case which Holmes fails to solve.
Edited with an introduction by Jarlath Killeen, this volume examines Holmes as a safeguard against social breakdown and chaos, as well as an agent of justice and goodness against the forces of evil. It also situates the collection in the growth of life writing in the period, and explores the ways in which Holmes became increasingly 'real' to readers as more details about his personality and biography are revealed in the stories.
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