In The Hound of the Baskervilles, how does the public react to Sir Charles Baskerville's death? 

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is shock and sadness among the public over Sir Charles Baskerville's death, as he was a philanthropist who put most of his wealth into good causes rather than spending it on himself. The official account of his death remarks on this.

Though Sir Charles had resided at Baskerville Hall for a comparatively short period his amiability of character and extreme generosity had won the affection and respect of all who had been brought into contact with him. (chapter 2)

Sir Charles, then, had earned the respect and gratitude of the locals and therefore they mourn his death. In light of his 'amiability of character' it is all the more shocking when Holmes discovers that he was driven to his death by the villain of the story, Stapleton.

It transpires that Stapleton is an actual distant relative of Sir Charles, who wants to get his hands on the Baskerville estate. Sir Charles, in his concern to benefit others, is the very opposite of the cold-hearted, greedy, scheming Stapleton who wants all Sir Charles's wealth for himself.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

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