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The Case of Sherlock HolmesSecrets and Lies in Conan Doyle's Detective Fiction$
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Andrew Glazzard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431293

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431293.001.0001

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The Roylotts of Stoke Moran

The Roylotts of Stoke Moran

Chapter:
(p.20) Chapter 2 The Roylotts of Stoke Moran
Source:
The Case of Sherlock Holmes
Author(s):

Andrew Glazzard

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431293.003.0003

Dr Grimesby Roylott, the wicked stepfather in ‘The Speckled Band’, is one of Conan Doyle’s most grotesque, gothic villains. Like several other evildoers in the Holmes stories – Jonathan Small in The Sign of Four, Colonel Barclay in ‘The Adventure of the Crooked Man’ (1893), Colonel Sebastian Moran in ‘The Empty House’ – Roylott has gone bad in the East. Having established a medical practice in Calcutta, he narrowly avoided execution after beating his servant to death in a fit of rage: his stepdaughter Helen Stoner tells Holmes that ‘[v]iolence of temper approaching to mania has been hereditary in the men of the family, and in my stepfather’s case it had, I believe, been intensifi ed by his long residence in the tropics’ (175). After serving a prison sentence in India, he returned to England ‘a morose and disappointed man’ (175), and attempted to put his medical knowledge to good use by establishing a new medical practice in London.

Keywords:   Roylott, Gothic, Inheritance, Stepdaughter, Adder

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