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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 Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock of Gibraltar

(p.83) Chapter 8 The Rock of Gibraltar
The Case of Sherlock Holmes

Andrew Glazzard

Edinburgh University Press

Marital unhappiness is a persistent theme of the Holmes stories, from the first (A Study in Scarlet) to several of the last (‘The Adventure of the Retired Colourman’ and ‘The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger’, both published in 1927). A Study in Scarlet begins as a detective story but its backstory is, as we have seen, a melodrama of forced marriage and domestic tyranny. ‘A Case of Identity’ concerns a courtship that is an elaborate deception, and the story opens with a digression on the ‘Dundas separation case’. This is reported in a newspaper as a ‘husband’s cruelty to his wife’, prompting Watson to claim that he knows the details without even reading the article: ‘There is, of course, the other woman, the drink, the push, the blow, the bruise, the sympathetic sister or landlady. The crudest of writers could invent nothing more crude.’ However, Holmes has investigated the case and reveals that it is actually more unusual: ‘The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife’ (Adventures, 31).

Keywords:   Holmes, Marital, Burglary, Lady Brackenstall, Sailor, Croker

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