The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles book cover
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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. What is your initial reaction after reading the manuscript that explains the myth of the "Hound of the Baskervilles"?

2. Stapleton says, "This is the great Grimpen Mire . . . a false step yonder means death to man or beast." What is the significance of the moor? Is it an important element in the story?

3. Why does the novel include letters that Watson writes to Holmes?

4. Why does Watson go to Baskerville Hall without Sherlock Holmes?

5. In the opening chapter of the novel, how do Watson and Holmes characterize Dr. Mortimer from just his walking stick, before even setting eyes on him?

6. The narrative explains, "One of Sherlock Holmes's defects . . . was that he was exceedingly loth to communicate his full plans to any other person until the instant of their fulfillment." Why is this important? Discuss some examples of this in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

7. How does Holmes deduce where Sir Henry Baskerville's threatening letter came from? Does he make any similar deductions? If so, what are they?

8. What clues reveal Sir Charles Baskerville's actions the night that he is murdered?