Jeremy BlackAug 15, 2022
The Game Is Afoot
The Enduring World of Sherlock Holmes
Rowman & Littlefield 2022
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.
In The Game Is Afoot: The Enduring World of Sherlock Holmes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022), 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.
Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.