The resurrection of Sherlock Holmes: How Conan Doyle's detective fiction changed after his hero's rebirth
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Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of one of the most famous detectives in literature chose to kill his character and stop writing crime-stories after having published a little less than half of the total Sherlock Holmes stories. Conan Doyle is said to have grown tired of the character and wanted to write historical fiction instead. He was later persuaded to resurrect the famous detective and went on to write stories throughout the rest of his career. The pause between Sherlock Holmes’s death and resurrection is known as the great hiatus. I wanted to explore if and how there are any apparent changes occurring in the post-hiatus canon compared to what was written before the break. My research question was: How did the Sherlock Holmes canon change after the great hiatus? I found noticeable changes in the outcomes of the stories, where the number of cases ending in arrest increases and fewer end up with the villain escaping. The villains become more violent and the use of violence becomes more prevalent. There are also significant changes in the narrative in four stories in the post-hiatus part of the canon where Conan Doyle uses Holmes and a third person voice as narrator. My findings propose that the Sherlock Holmes stories change after the great hiatus. The results are not conclusive, but they suggest that Conan Doyle’s changed relationship and attitude towards Sherlock Holmes had an impact on the post-hiatus part of the canon.