“Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” is based on the novel ” The Hound of the Baskervilles”…..but did you know that in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, Sherlock Holmes is a zombie?
It’s true…..sort of.
Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle kills off his famous detective at the end of the short story “The Final Problem,” published in 1894. Conan Doyle resented the fact that demands for his Holmes stories were overwhelming all of his other, more serious, writing projects. So Conan Doyle killed off Holmes by throwing his character into a waterfall with his archenemy Doctor Moriarty. And then he got down to the business of writing novels hardly anyone reads today. While Conan Doyle may have regarded the Holmes stories as trashy fiction, he had to admit that they paid well. Everybody wanted to read about Sherlock Holmes. So in 1901, Conan Doyle brushed off his detective’s old pipe and magnifying glass and produced another Holmes story: the novel-length “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. He published it first in chapters for the Strand Magazine and then as a book in 1902.
The reason we say that Holmes is a zombie in this novel is not because he has an uncontrollable desire for brains. But “The Hound of the Baskervilles” came out seven years after Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, and four years before Conan Doyle officially brought Holmes back to life, in The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905). So, like any good zombie, the Holmes in “Baskervilles” is both alive and dead: alive because the novel is set before his official “death” in 1894, and dead because the book came out before Conan Doyle committed to bringing Holmes back permanently.
Remember to keep up with all the Longwood Theatre action and prepare for our production of “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” coming this Spring!