The Game Is Afoot: The Enduring World of Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight to investigate Victorian England, a world where crimes large and small abound and where dark corners and well-lit drawing rooms alike hide villainy. Through the enduring eye of Sherlock Holmes, noted historian Jeremy Black traces how Holmes and his milieu evolved in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books and how Holmes continues to resonate today. Black explores the context of Doyle's ideas and stories and why they struck such a chord with readers in London, and ultimately the world. He portrays a complex man with eclectic interests, from soccer to spiritualism, from cricket to divorce law reform. Standing twice for Parliament, Doyle was a committed meritocrat whose political experiences and values were expressed through his writings. Reading the Holmes stories through the lens of Doyle's multifaceted career, Black throws fresh light on the values expressed in them and how Holmes would have been perceived at the time. He traces the imperial strand in the Holmes stories and Doyle's treatment of America and Europe. Drawing on a masterful knowledge both of Doyle's era and his writings, this entertaining and wide-ranging book uses the Holmes stories to bring Victorian England to vibrant life, a world where crimes large and small abound and where dark corners and well-lit drawing rooms alike hide villainy. Holmes was a hero and an inspiration for many a character who redefined the idea of detection and the detective, a private man of great public importance. Here is his story.
Jeremy Black is professor emeritus of history at the University of Exeter. His books include The Importance of Being Poirot; The World of James Bond; and A History of the Second World War in 100 Maps. He lives in Exeter, United Kingdom.