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The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sherlock Holmes Day

May 22

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

~ The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle, 1902

One of the most recognized of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes serialized mysteries, The Hound of the Baskervilles is set in the moorlands of Devonshire and revolves around the legend of a supernatural beast that haunts the Baskerville family! This namesake 32 bar reel premiered at a staged demonstration and for theatrical purposes has a choreographed moment in which a spare man can appear, representing the fearsome hound, running around the Dartmoor moors for 8 frightening bars! In the plot of story, Dr. James Mortimer asks Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson to investigate the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, who is believed to have been killed by the ghostly beast. Holmes sends Watson to accompany the new heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, to Baskerville Hall. Through a series of investigations, it is revealed that the culprit is Jack Stapleton, a relative of the Baskervilles, who used a trained hound to scare Sir Charles to death and intended to do the same to Sir Henry to claim the Baskerville fortune. Holmes and Watson ultimately uncover the plot, save Sir Henry, and reveal the truth behind the legend of the hound. So whether you are dancing as first couple (Mr. Holmes), second couple (Doctor Watson), or a third couple (a Baskerville), beware the spare man hound! It's elementary, my dear dancers! 🐾 📚🔎

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle, the celebrated author behind the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes, had deep Scottish connections that significantly shaped his life and literary works. Born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Doyle's Scottish heritage and upbringing profoundly influenced his worldview and storytelling. He attended the University of Edinburgh Medical School, where he studied under Dr. Joseph Bell, a professor renowned for his astute observational skills and methodical approach to diagnosis. Dr. Bell's techniques and demeanor provided the direct inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, whose character embodies sharp deductive reasoning and forensic acumen. The atmospheric and historic city of Edinburgh, with its dark alleys, looming castles, and storied past, served as a rich source of inspiration for the settings and moods of Doyle's stories. Additionally, Doyle's interest in the supernatural, which is evident in some of his lesser-known works, can be traced back to the Scottish folklore and spiritualism he encountered during his youth. His Scottish upbringing also instilled in him a sense of justice and moral integrity, themes that are pervasive throughout his detective stories. These Scottish influences, encompassing education, culture, and environment, played a pivotal role in shaping Doyle's narrative style and the enduring legacy of Sherlock Holmes.

To watch a fabulous production of this story, click the illustration below.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Hound of the Baskervilles

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