|Image courtesy of travelbetweenthepages.com|
I had never read any of the Sherlock Holmes stories before, and my first foray into his world was through The Sign of Four.
The story is set around the backdrop of the Indian Mutiny of 1857, with the theft of priceless treasure the main driver behind the plot. Between murder and theft, the treasure changes hands many times before ending up at the bottom of the Thames river. Those involved include British colonists and the native Indians, all claiming to have some stake or other in the loot.
The theme of The Sign of Four, in terms of my OU study, is home and abroad in the Victorian age. How the British colonists are represented in India, and how the foreign land is described back home have been central in the reading of the text.
The Sign of Four was first published in February 1890 in a Philadelphia literary journal, Lippincott's Monthly Magazine.
It appeared alongside another well known author, one Oscar Wilde, whose novel The Picture of Dorian Gray appeared in the same edition. I wouldn't mind owning a copy of that!
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