The second half of a forthcoming book, No Ghosts Need Apply: Gothic influences in criminal science, the detective and Doyle’s Holmesian Canon (October 2020), attempts to make the case that there are gothic traces in what are often assumed to be the ‘rationalist’ Sherlock Holmes stories. Sifting the extensive blurb for the book, one can eventually determine that the author suggests the following specific points…
* intrigue and secret societies;
* uncanny consequences of new technologies and scientific discoveries;
* instances of degeneration, regression and atavism;
* Sherlockian discussion of ‘criminal types’;
* the melancholy moods of the great detective.
One might also suggest…
* the isolated house and its ‘hidden’ structure, re: secret passages, mysteriously locked and shuttered rooms, and suchlike;
* disguises and assumed identity;
* Holmes alternates between mental states, from drugged or lethargic to hyper-perceptive of things others cannot see;
* sudden personality change;
* landscape expresses a mood – moonlit city streets and moorland fogs;
* fatal love, vengeance;
* strange methods of dispatch — poisons, maddening gases, deadly imported creatures and the like;
* stories within stories, some unreliable or apparently conflicting.
Curiously, thinking about Holmes makes me wonder about the broad similarities between the pairings of Sam/Frodo and Watson/Holmes.