Who was Selden in The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

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As well as being Mrs. Barrymore's brother, Selden is a convicted murderer, an escaped convict from the notorious Princetown prison in Dartmoor. Spared the death penalty on account of his insanity, this is clearly not someone who should be roaming freely round the country. There's something animal-like about this vicious criminal, as Watson discovers when he catches a brief, but horrifying glimpse of Selden on the moors, his hideous face contorted with "animal passions."

Unsurprisingly, just about everyone suspects Selden of being responsible for the series of grisly murders that have rocked the Baskerville household. After all, this is just the kind of morally squalid behavior we'd expect from someone like him. Yet the general consensus is wrong, as Selden, wearing Sir Henry Baskerville's old clothes, falls to his death on the moors with the ravenous, slavering Hound of the Baskervilles hot on his trail.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a Sherlock Holmes mystery set primarily in the moors of Devonshire. John and Eliza Barrymore are longtime servants in Sir Charles Baskerville's home, and they now serve the Baskerville heir, Sir Henry. Watson soon realizes there is something odd going on connected to the couple.

What he eventually discovers is that Eliza's brother is a convict, a murderer known as the Notting Hill murderer, who has escaped from Princeton prison. He is now living on the moors, and his older sister (Eliza) feels responsible and wants to help him escape the country where he will apparently do no more harm. She and her husband signal him by displaying a light in the window, and they give him food and whatever provisions they can spare. This dangerous criminal, escaped convict, and brother to Eliza Barrymore is Selden.

Selden is inadvertently killed while in hiding because he had the misfortune to be wearing one of Sir Henry's discarded outfits; the man who wants Sir Henry dead kills (or has his dog kill) the wrong man. When he hears about Selden's death, Sherlock Holmes says,

“Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.” 

Selden does have one woman who mourns for him, his sister Eliza. 

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