Who was Charles Baskerville's next of kin in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles?

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In Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, the late Sir Charles Baskerville's next of kin is presented as his nephew Henry. In Chapter Two of Conan Doyle's story, titled "The Curse of the Baskervilles," the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a protracted discussion with Dr. James Mortimer, Sir Charles' medical attendant and confidant. It is Dr. Mortimer who engages Holmes and the latter's friend Dr. John Watson in his effort at getting to the bottom of Sir Charles' death. The Baskerville family, it is explained, has lived under a curse involving a large and particularly ferocious hound, the titular "Hound of the Baskervilles." During the course of their discussion, Dr. Mortimer references Henry Baskerville as follows:

"It is understood that the next of kin is Mr. Henry Baskerville, if he be still alive, the son of Sir Charles Baskerville’s younger brother. The young man when last heard of was in America, and inquiries are being instituted with a view to informing him of his good fortune.’"

Sir Henry has, indeed, inherited his late uncle's estate and presumably the curse that comes with it. As Holmes and Watson, the latter often working with Sir Henry, dig deeper into the case, it is ultimately revealed that the murderer of Sir Charles is not the enormous black hound, but the character of Stapleton, a naturalist and supposed friend of both Baskerville and Mortimer.

 

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In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson have been asked by Dr. Mortimer to look into the death of a good friend. Sir Charles Baskerville recently died under somewhat mysterious circumstances. Sir Charles was in generally good health and took a walk every evening, but one night he didn't come back. His body was found at the end of the lane, surrounding by giant dog prints—it appeared he had simply died of fright. For many years, a curse has surrounded the Baskerville family and it seems that the spectral hound which killed Hugo Baskerville more than a century prior is back at it again.

In the event of Sir Charles' death, his estate falls into the hands of his next of kin—his nephew Sir Henry Baskerville. After Sir Henry, the next in line would be his estranged cousin who goes by the name of Stapleton.

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