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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Roylotts of Stoke Moran

The Roylotts of Stoke Moran

(p.20) Chapter 2 The Roylotts of Stoke Moran
The Case of Sherlock Holmes

Andrew Glazzard

Edinburgh University Press

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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