The Hound of the Baskervilles
Has a savage beast been unleashed from hell to torment the last of the Baskervilles, or is it, as Sherlock Holmes shrewdly suspects, the instrument of the foulest of foul play? Arthur Conan Doyle had despatched his famous detective over the Reichenbach Falls eight years prior to the appearance of this, the third and best-known Sherlock Holmes novel. While he called its writing the inevitable relapse after repentance, he was sufficiently unrepentant to call it a real creeper, and to be the first to admit that it featured Holmes at his very best. Not simply another of Conan Doyles classic tales, this book manages subtly to blend two recurring preoccupations of late Victorian fiction: the gothic and the triumph of Rationalism. The Hound of the Baskervilles succeeds as a chillingly evocative portrait of both the bleak Devonshire landscape and the evil latent in mankind.
To get a feeling for the setting of the work, Edward Bawden, at the age of 82, spent several days on Bodmin Moor making preliminary sketches. Presented alongside the stylish new Folio Collectables binding, Bawdens black-and-white linocuts summon an undeniable mood of drama and encroaching darkness.
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