‘Open the Window, Then!’: Filmic Interpretation of Gothic Conventions in Brian Mills’s The Hound of the Baskervilles1



When Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock Holmes in 1887, he began one of the most diverse, resilient and adaptable narrative traditions in modern literature. From Sidney Paget’s alteration of Holmes’s physical appearance in The Strand to Jeremy Brett’s dramatic emphasis on his aesthetic sensibilities, Holmes has undergone constant adaptation in multiple contexts, mediums and genres. As Doyle and his contemporaries appropriated elements of the Gothic tale and other popular genres to suit a late-Victorian readership, Sherlock Holmes emerges today as a champion of popular narrative whose diversity is often based in Gothic conventions and tropes. One of the most popular of Doyle’s works and by far his best-known novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901–2), openly employs such traditional Gothic tropes as the locked-room situation, the ancestral portrait and the found manuscript, but although recent criticism has focused on Doyle’s application of such elements in The Hound, little has been said of their appropriation in Brian Mills’s 1988 Granada adaptation and their effect upon contemporary reception of this constantly evolving narrative.


Urban Space Street Level Burial Ground Filmic Adaptation Urban Village 
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© Terry Scarborough 2013

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