Holmes and Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles
Welcome to The Hound of the Baskervilles podcast episode focused on the Holmes and Watson and their awesome deductive skills!
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a turn-of-the-century, Gothic-inspired spine-tingler that includes a spectral hound and a hands-off Sherlock Holmes. This 1902 classic may be Arthur Conan Doyle’s best — and one of the most gripping and suspenseful murder mysteries ever written. Get reading and then listen in!
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The "Holmes and Watson" Podcast Transcript
Sarah Harrison 0:24
Welcome to Tea, Tonic, and Toxin, a book club and podcast for anyone who wants to explore the best mysteries and thrillers ever written. I’m your host, Sarah Harrison,
Carolyn Daughters 0:36
and I’m your host Carolyn Daughters. Pour yourself a tea, or a gin and tonic,
Sarah Harrison 0:42
but not a toxin
Carolyn Daughters 0:44
and join us on the journey through 19th and 20th century mysteries and thrillers, every one of them a game changer.
Sarah Harrison 0:57
Carolyn, I’m really liking our book this month. So good.
Carolyn Daughters 1:00
It is the Hound of the Baskervilles. An amazing tale starring Holmes and Watson. I love it.
Sarah Harrison 1:02
I think it’s my favorite one so far, actually. Really? Yeah. Yeah, so our second Sherlock Holmes book …
Carolyn Daughters 1:12
… second book, second episode on The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Sarah Harrison 1:16
Oh, yeah. So if you haven’t listened to the first one. I mean, you don’t have to go in order. It’s chronological. No, they’re topical, topical. But in this one, we’ll talk about Holmes and Watson and a hound.
Carolyn Daughters 1:28
We’re gonna actually talk about the hound. Oh, yeah.
Sarah Harrison 1:32
So the first the first Sherlock Holmes read was A Study in Scarlet, which I believe was the first Sherlock Holmes. Is that correct? Yes, yeah. And then this Gothic inspired spine tingler. The Hound of the Baskervilles includes a spectral hound, and a hands off Sherlock Holmes, published in 1902. It’s generally considered Arthur Conan Doyle’s best book, best book period, or just best Sherlock Holmes.
Carolyn Daughters 2:03
This book period.
Sarah Harrison 2:06
It takes about four hours to read a book. So if you go get it, it’s well worth the time.
Carolyn Daughters 2:12
Yeah, short read. Yeah, I can’t remember I told you this. Sir. When I was about halfway through the story, I’d read it years and years and years ago. Because I am secretly 102. And like, halfway through the book, I started to feel the sadness that the book was going to end. Oh, really? Do you ever feel that way with a book?
Sarah Harrison 2:34
Oh, yeah. Especially after books if I’m reading a really long book, and they sort of become like your friend and companion. Yeah. And then the book ends. Lots of times I just can’t read another book for a while. Like I have to go through a period of mourning and distance.
Carolyn Daughters 2:53
Yeah, I was I was feeling sad. And so I think that’s a testament to the book. I felt that way. Thought halfway through the first part of The Moonstone there’s two parts and The Moonstone halfway through the they’re very different parts. It’s we also have podcast episodes on the moonstone. So please, listen up and read, read The Moonstone Wilkie Collins. But I felt the same way that oh, this is a really fun, interesting mystery. And I in advance was sort of sad it was going to end. I was already missing Holmes and Watson.
Well, Sarah, before we get too deep into the book, I think we have a sponsor.
Sarah Harrison 3:35
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Carolyn Daughters 4:12
Yeah, and they have a bunch of products that would be kind of nice for gifts for the holidays.
Sarah Harrison 4:18
They kind of started this nice little gift line and it’s very cute.
Carolyn Daughters 4:22
Nice boxes, healthy extracts in beautiful, colorful boxes. All eco friendly.
Sarah Harrison 4:29
Yeah, I think they probably fit in stockings and stuff.
Carolyn Daughters 4:32
You know, I think they could.
Sarah Harrison 4:34
Let’s find out.
Carolyn Daughters 4:37
We also have a listener award for this episode. And that’s gonna go to Chris Zell. Thanks, Chris. Thank you Chris. Thanks for being a fan of Tea Tonic and Toxin, our book club and podcast. We appreciate you and to show our appreciation. We’re going to be sending you a very awesome Tea Tonic and Toxin sticker. We’re gonna do it. Beautiful there. are like this dark purple with white and red we’ve got the tea cup we have the gin and tonic we have the toxin which you should not be drinking. Visit our website, www.teatonicandtoxin.com. And on Facebook and Instagram you can find us at @teatonicandtoxin. All you have to do to get one of these amazing stickers. Tell us sir What do they have to do?
Sarah Harrison 5:27
Let us know you’re out there. No. So you can even like disagree with stuff. That’s fine. What? Yeah, it’d be like, your list is bogus.
Carolyn Daughters 5:36
You can even say “you guys don’t know anything about Sherlock Holmes and Watson — you got it all wrong.”
Sarah Harrison 5:41
It’s a super sweet sticker. Stick it anywhere you like to stick your stickers. I like mine on coolers. Yeah, and water water bottles to and journals. I like to stick them on books and then find the book years later. My sticker.
Carolyn Daughters 5:54
It’s a memory.
Sarah Harrison 5:56
A filing cabinet covered in stickers that Nate hates. Why does he hate it says it’s ugly. I could have a sticker problem. But I don’t.
Carolyn Daughters 6:09
No, I would say definitely not a sticker problem. So anyhow, before we get into Holmes and Watson, let’s make sure everybody knows what we’re about to be talking about. Some of you read the book and that is awesome. And if you haven’t, you should, but that shouldn’t stop you from listening to the podcast.
Sarah Harrison 6:31
No, you here’s a summary written by brilliant Carolyn Daughters.
Carolyn Daughters 6:37
There’s apparently like 15 spoilers in here. **Spoiler alert** The Hound of the Baskervilles was serialized in the Strand magazine and published in book form in 1902. It’s set prior to Sherlock Holmes’ shocking death in the 1893 story, The Final Problem so this is written nine years later. Conan Doyle sets the story before the death. Holmes and Watson hear the story of Hugo Baskerville, who imprisoned a young woman at his Dartmoor estate in Devonshire, England in the 18th century. Now, she gets away, and Hugo ultimately fell victim to a supernatural hound as he’s pursuing her across the moors one night.
Shift to the present day, which is going to be late 19th century. The recent death of Sir Charles Baskerville on the moors has rekindled local suspicions and fears. Holmes is called upon to protect Charles’s heir. Sir Henry Baskerville, who has received an anonymous warning and is being trailed by a bearded man in London. Home says he’s too busy with work and he sent Dr. Watson to accompany Sir Henry to start more to be his eyes and ears. Once in Dartmoor, Watson meet siblings Jack and Beryl Stapleton mistakes Watson for Sir Henry and warns him to leave. A bunch of unsettling events occur, Watson learns an escaped convict is on the loose. He hears a hound a hound howling and sees a mysterious figure wandering the moors at night. Watson soon discovers Barrymore, the manservant, is aiding the escaped convict who turns out to be his brother in law. Watson also discovers that the mysterious figure is none other than Sherlock Holmes, who has been conducting his own secret investigation on the moors.
Holmes has learned that Stapleton is next in line to inherit the Baskerville fortune. Stapleton is plotted to kill his relatives using a vicious hound that he has painted with phosphorus to appear sinister. That was spoiler number 15 Holmes uses Henry Baskerville as bait to catch Stapleton as Henry crosses the Moors on a foggy night the hound comes for him. Holmes and Watson kill the beast just in the nick of time. Stapleton flees the scene and is swallowed up by the Grimpen Mire, the boggy moors.
Sarah Harrison 9:29
We assume. It’s implied that they’ll never find the body.
That reminded me I wanted to ask you, Sherlock expert. Does Sherlock Holmes have a nemesis named Moriarty, and he hasn’t come up in either of our books, so maybe I should just read more books. Is that real? So he’s in a lot of other books just not the two we chose.
Carolyn Daughters 9:47
Oh, my goodness. He must be in something.
I don’t know. I was gonna say that I’m the proclaimed Sherlock Holmes expert. I am actually not a Sherlock Holmes expert. Or a Holmes and Watson expert. But yes, I’m going to say other stories.
Sarah Harrison 10:08
I was just wondering you know if that’s like the rise of the super villain or the nemesis. Like a Marvel supervillain?
Carolyn Daughters 10:24
The supervillain. So Holmes and Watson are in a series of books — not a series that has to be read in order, but a series meaning that the same core characters are in the stories.
Sarah Harrison 10:50
So that’s interesting, because they don’t all these detectives, and they’re always complaining. But like the villains aren’t villainy enough.
Carolyn Daughters 10:57
Yeah. There’s no good crime to solve.
Sarah Harrison 11:00
There’s all this too easy crime and stupid crime. We want a good villain. And then like what? Moriarty? Isn’t he something?
Carolyn Daughters 11:09
He must be something. Listeners, please help us out here because you can see we have no idea what we’re talking about.
Sarah Harrison 11:23
Do you know who this person is? Have you read more Sherlock Holmes? It’s kind of cool to me, from my perspective of always coming into this like a total blank. You know, my background? Well, I’m a super fan of literature and reading. My actual professional background is more science. So yeah, always kind of reading these books as a blank. What’s gonna happen? I don’t know. That’s fun.
Carolyn Daughters 11:50
It is fun. I think that that’s part of the enjoyment here. Like when we read A Study in Scarlet and the story shifted to Mormon country. In the United States. It’s a little shocking, right? It’s unexpected.
Sarah Harrison 12:11
Like I see pulled in the United States in here to this for Sir Henry was living over in America, but Canada was a Canada. Okay. Yeah, he was called back to inherit the state.
Carolyn Daughters 12:24
It’s sort of a spooky book in many ways. There’s this spectral hound, this supernatural hound, and it’s on the dark moors. It’s often foggy, and there’s this boggy mire that people can get lost in. It’s essentially very dangerous ground and everyone’s spying on everyone else.
Sarah Harrison 12:53
Yeah, you made a comment here. All the spies. Tell me what you’re thinking there.
Carolyn Daughters 12:58
I just I think it’s interesting. So, Sir Henry’s in London with Holmes and Watson and some guy with a beard. Maybe a fake beard we don’t know is spying on him. And the man servant Barrymores watching out the window spying on someone. We don’t know who it is at first, but we learn it’s that criminal. Holmes is spying on Stapleton because Holmes is living out on the moors while …
Sarah Harrison 13:24
… while pretending to be in London. He’s sneaky. He has been living on the moors and has his mail forwarded to a primitive hut.
Carolyn Daughters 13:34
There are characters from what I can tell eight or so people who live out in this area total, and their houses are spaced out. Franklin has his telescope, and he’s always peering out and he’s the one who sees Sherlock Holmes though he doesn’t know what Sherlock Holmes and Watson and Sir Henry spy on the man servant as the man servant is spying on the criminal out on the moors. Everybody’s got their eye on somebody else in this story. I think it’s interesting.
Sarah Harrison 14:08
It is interesting. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. Like, I hadn’t thought actually until this. These are all people with intense hobbies too. Yes, you got Franklin in his telescope when he’s not using it for the sky so much. It’s just like buying out on what’s going on in the more
Carolyn Daughters 14:30
He’s the nuisance lawsuit guy. He’s got lawsuits against everybody. Just for the fun and the vitriol of it. We all know a guy like this, right? Who’s just angry and a little cantankerous. And he gets pleasure from poking people with a stick. I’m gonna start a lawsuit against you just for the heck of it.
Sarah Harrison 15:00
He would get like right of ways close down and then open up other right away so pretty Yeah, he was a character and then you got the Dr. Mortimer was something about studying skulls. I don’t know if it was phonology or something else and also insects. I think that was Selden. Selden was the insect guard. No, not Selden. Stapleton. Stapleton was going around with this butterfly, so it was different.
Carolyn Daughters 15:39
I remember when I was reading, I tried to look up all the words that I don’t know. So basically, that’s all I do.
Sarah Harrison 15:48
I circled quite a few, but I didn’t get to look them all up.
Carolyn Daughters 15:52
Like an hour later I’m still on the same page. Essentially, in case you’re wondering how reading goes in my house. And I’m learning about all these different butterflies and moths.
Sarah Harrison 16:02
Yeah. And that was kind of his backstory and how he got caught. Yeah, is Stapleton used to run a school. And he was kind of an expert in butterflies and moths, and yeah. So all these people are just out on the more. You got Mortimer digging up, skulls, and then Franklin’s gonna bring a lawsuit against him for like opening graves without permission. You know, Stapleton gets out there running around catching bugs. And he’s got all these rare ones because we’re such a weird place.
Carolyn Daughters 16:36
When Holmes and Watson are gone, what is Henry Baskerville gonna do in Baskerville Hall with all these weird neighbors who don’t even live that near to him. It’s miles to walk from one property to the next.
Sarah Harrison 16:50
It seemed like it was not that far. I don’t know. It didn’t seem like miles.
Sarah Harrison 16:57
Yeah, apparently, he’s supposed to be the philanthropist. Everyone is just like, aren’t you gonna come continue Sir Charles’s work?
Carolyn Daughters 17:03
Right, because Sir Charles, who died on the moors, was a philanthropist.
Sarah Harrison 17:09
And Sir Henry was left a lot of money. And they were saying, well, they want someone in the Baskerville Hall because it would be good for the countryside. And I’m assuming that’s your philanthropy side.
Carolyn Daughters 17:19
But you get the sense that Watson’s pretty bored. And what’s Sir Henry going to be doing out here? Well, I’m going to put up lights on the path and I’m going to invite some people over …
Sarah Harrison 17:33
Or, like, I think you have to develop a pretty intense hobby while living in the country.
Carolyn Daughters 17:38
And really, I think, be comfortable just sort of being out there on your own. Isolated in this sort of wild space. I don’t think you could not just drop Watson off there for a year and just say, Hey, hang out here.
Sarah Harrison 17:57
He does not enjoy it. He’s there with a purpose and he’s writing his report. That’s not where he wants to live his life.
Carolyn Daughters 18:05
We find out Sherlock Holmes is on the moors. We don’t know it’s him at first, but we know that there’s a criminal out there and then we know there’s some other guy. And when Watson finds out it’s Sherlock Holmes, Watson realizes he’s not in on the secret. It’s like Holmes and Watson aren’t playing on the same team. There’s lots going on that Watson doesn’t know about. How did you feel about Sherlock Holmes’ secret agenda?
Sarah Harrison 18:40
Well, I mean, I wasn’t as hurt by it. But Watson was really pretty hurt.
Well, that makes sense. But Watson was like, you don’t trust me? I’ve been wasting my time you. And I think it goes back to the relationship like Watson loves being helpful. Yeah. He loves being the helper and he thought he was being the helper and then he felt like oh, I was just being a dupe and a decoy. Yes. Which Holmes goes to a little bit of trouble to reassure him on that which I thought was kind of sweet.
Carolyn Daughters 19:20
That was the friendship element that I thought is really interesting about this book. Holmes and Watson are quite the pair. Sherlock Holmes is actively not only considering Watson a friend but really looking out for him and concerned about his well being.
Sarah Harrison 19:35
Yeah, he was like, oh, no, no, what’s the new reports are actually really good. They were really helpful. Reports are very nice. I had them forwarded to me — Cartwright brought them. Don’t feel bad!
Carolyn Daughters 19:47
I was affected by the communication style here, keeping everything close to the vest and you only share things if it’s absolutely essential that the person know it. And so, like Watson, at one point says this great task is in front of us. Holmes and Watson are in it together, and yet Holmes had said nothing. Watson says, “I can only surmise what his course of action would be.” That is a pet peeve of mine.
Sarah Harrison 20:14
Oh, really? Yeah. Tell me about that.
Carolyn Daughters 20:18
I am. If something has to do with me, I don’t like when I’m treated like a child that where I don’t know what the key information is. That communication style doesn’t work for me.
I wouldn’t say it happens frequently, per se, but I do know it hits a nerve with me. I have a tendency to do the opposite and over communicate. And over communication is not necessarily the best thing either.
I can be sort of repetitive and in my over communicating, like, Hey, did you hear what I just said? Let me tell you again, I’m going to tell you that thing again. And by the way on in parting, here’s this thing again.
Sarah Harrison 21:21
It’s certainly not the norm in all of my projects. You know, I always kind of preface with my clients and I’m just like, hey, communications, the hardest thing you’re not gonna get a lot of complaints that you’re communicating too much. Just the opposite, right. So do your best to get someone to complain to communicate. Well, we’ll consider it a victory. Yes. Gonna be a win.
Carolyn Daughters 21:48
In A Study in Scarlet, Holmes and Watson mention the concept of a brain attic. Holmes says that in the brain attic, there’s only so much room.
Sarah Harrison 22:02
His use of his brain attic is a pet peeve of mine. I just, I’m not by I mean, I get the brain at it concept. But just how dismissive he was of the solar system. And then he’s like, always going to the opera and always going to the theater. And I’m like, what, isn’t that getting in your brain attics? Or isn’t that taking up some space solar system is too much, you’re going to try and forget it. But you’re going to like go to all these theaters and galleries so
Carolyn Daughters 22:31
Can you clarify what this brain attic is, for for the three or four people of our many listeners who have not yet read or heard of it.
Sarah Harrison 22:46
Well, it seems to just be the limited capacity, how Sherlock Holmes is thinking of his brain. You can only hold so much. And you want to stick stuff up there. If you want to add something, you have to take something out.
Carolyn Daughters 22:58
Otherwise, you end up sticking something into inconsequential up there. And it ends up bumping out something more consequential. Yes, because of the limited space in your brain. Holmes and Watson call it a brain attic.
Sarah Harrison 23:11
I like that. I like I like the idea of it.
Carolyn Daughters 23:16
I’m in marketing and writing. I once wrote an article about creative co-ops. It was before the time when everybody had shared workspaces and all of that. And then maybe a year later, a friend of mine asked me to write something for her about a creative co-op. And so I wrote it for her. And she did some research after I sent her the draft. And she said, you wrote about this topic a year ago! Why didn’t you mention it? I honestly had no memory of writing it. I believe it’s because I have a brain attic. I am learning and writing about so many different things. I often forget what I’m writing about after I’ve finished writing it.
Sarah Harrison 24:45
It’s totally true. And in fact, I remember distinctly when I was an undergrad studying quantum mechanics. I was writing these ridiculous math problems that would just take pages. And as I was writing them i would just have this thought, like, gonna look back on this one day and have no idea what I was doing. So I kept that binder and I’m gonna find it and pretty soon just so I can look back at it and be like, What on earth is this? You know, but at one point you knew it. I kind of knew what I was doing.
Carolyn Daughters 25:19
Once I’m done with the project, that information is gone. It’s not a badge of honor. I’m certainly not bragging about this. I wish I retained information better than I do.
Sarah Harrison 25:34
Yeah, you know, that’s what you’re using. The brain attic concept is somewhat real.
Carolyn Daughters 25:44
But it’s sort of salvational in a way. I mean, even Sherlock Holmes had a brain attic.
Sarah Harrison 25:54
Yeah, he was super intentional about it is like, Oh, this box goes here. Not one that’s out. Yeah, like purge that.
Carolyn Daughters 26:03
Something that really bothered me in the story is this idea that there’s this violent murderer on the moors, right? His name is Selden, and Selden’s sister, Mrs. Barrymore, and her husband, Mr. Barrymore, are protecting him. They’re looking out for him and making sure he’s okay. And then, Watson decides he’s gonna go after the guy. And the Barrymores are upset with him. I was sort of shocked. They say, well, we told you about Selden in private. It was a secret. I don’t get this code of honor.
Sarah Harrison 27:15
I don’t think this is a current code of honor. But that’s interesting. Because they were like, I told you of my own free will. And they’re like, therefore you have to keep my secret. Like, no, we forced it out of you.
Carolyn Daughters 27:28
But hey, you told me in secret that he’s out there. So hush hush! That was crazy.
Sarah Harrison 27:39
Yeah, that was very interesting. Well, they didn’t, you know, initially, they went after him. They’re like, we’re gonna bring this guy down. But then, you know, Barrymore kind of made the point that you bring this guy down, you’re bringing me and my wife down. Right? So they kind of they agreed to keep their secret. And, and this was interesting to me. I wouldn’t say bother Nemo is interesting. Like, look, he’s not going to kill anybody. He’s trying to flee the country. Yeah, he’s going to America.
Carolyn Daughters 28:07
We’re moving the problem from the English moors to South America.
Sarah Harrison 28:13
We don’t care if he kills people over there. Right.
Carolyn Daughters 28:16
I mean, let him kill away South America …
Sarah Harrison 28:19
I mean, I guess England has a history of shipping the criminal stuff. Maybe that did feel like a suitable alternative.
Carolyn Daughters 28:28
Watson says he remembered Seldon’s case well, on account of the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the wanton brutality. But then he says, well, it will relieve the taxpayer of a burden. So was it about taxpayers the whole time?
Sarah Harrison 28:47
No, they just seem to get on board with that solution of getting him out of the country getting him to another country so he’s not England problem.
Carolyn Daughters 28:56
And then like on one really rainy night Watson says whatever his crimes, he has suffered something to atone for them. And I thought Watson is losing it out there on the more I don’t I really started like, not identifying with Watson through through all of this where he started losing me and I thought, I’m not liking this Watson. I’m wondering what Holmes and Watson would have said or done if they had been working together.
Sarah Harrison 29:27
I guess that’s interesting. I didn’t have a feeling about that. I think he was trying to kind of make a point. It’s like the terrifying ness of the mores and yeah, like the mores are a punitive place to have to live and it’s almost like he was in prison. Like, a scary place.
Carolyn Daughters 29:49
But what if he had decided one day, “wow, it is really rainy and cold. Maybe I will break into Franklin or Mortimers home and hide out”?
Sarah Harrison 30:01
I don’t know. Yeah, he’s really taking the Barrymores at face value and saying like, no, he definitely won’t.
Carolyn Daughters 30:07
Right? We can we can vouch for this wanton murder. He’s going to stay on the moors until he boards the ship to South America.
Sarah Harrison 30:18
Oh, it is interesting too. I was kind of thinking about a similar topic recently. And this, this won’t be very spoilery but there’s this Amazon series that I watched the first episode of Just The first episode. What is I think the expanse Oh, it’s like a Montana ranch sci fi show. But anyway, I thought it would be like up my alley, but I’m not sure that it is. But anyway, the first episode this guy that owns the ranch, his his son accidentally kills another guy. There just happens to be a giant void into nothingness on the ranch. So they throw the body in there so that his like, son doesn’t go to jail because his wife already disappeared and like it’s like semi kind of suicidal and I was just I was just thinking about it like oh, what if that was my kid? That was my kid that got into this terrible trouble and their sad life and I have so much empathy and understanding for them and it was kind of a dick that he killed anyway and yeah and and and rationalization. Would I hide that because I turned my kid in, you know, like, Yeah, this is Barry more. Could I turn my little baby brother N? Yeah. I hope I never have to find out.
Carolyn Daughters 31:42
Hopefully we none of us ever do. I mean, it’s, it’s an incredible decision to have to make. It’s one thing for Mrs. Barrymore to make this decision about her brother, then by extension, one, a decision her husband makes to support her. And that was interesting to me that he was so on board with. And then he is confronted by Watson and Sir Henry admits the truth. And then by extension, it’s like the circle widens, and we’re all supposed to be protecting, but the levels of interest in protecting this guy are very different for Mrs. Barrymore versus Sir Henry and Watson … until the taxpayers are brought into the equation.
Sarah Harrison 32:35
Right. Once it seems more motivated by this code of honor aspect, or this like acceptable outcome is like punishment. What’s an acceptable punishment for this person? Yes, yeah. Of more living and his own personal code.
Carolyn Daughters 32:51
It has less to do with “why was this guy convicted?” Should he be in prison? It was more “am I responding to this crime and this criminal in a way that that meets my own code?” And everybody in this story has their own code. The two women in this story are each in their way super problematic characters for me. Beryl and Laura Lyons. Laura Lyons sounds like a Vegas stripper.
Sarah Harrison 33:32
She’s just a typist folks.
Carolyn Daughters 33:34
She’s just a typist. barrels. Married Stapleton, but she’s pretending to be a sister.
Sarah Harrison 33:43
Yeah, you know, I was okay with barrel until the very end. After she’s like, all tied up, I think I underlined it. And she’s like, tied up and beat up. Yeah. And this whole time they’ve been like Watson was like, clearly barrel really like Sir Henry to Yeah. Did she? I can’t tell.
Carolyn Daughters 34:06
Did she though? I don’t know. He’d seem to think so. But I never got any sign other than his saying so.
Sarah Harrison 34:15
Where is that?
Carolyn Daughters 34:18
It’s these two women are basically in their own ways protecting this guy Stapleton until the moment that they find out that he has either betrayed them or doesn’t really love them or he’s using them. And then it’s like the dam bursts and both women are ready to throw him to the hound.
Sarah Harrison 34:50
Yeah, she was just like, I could have stood the isolations in the beatings and this if only he still loved me and I
Carolyn Daughters 34:59
could have been the latest later forever if only Yeah.
Sarah Harrison 35:03
If only does Does he love you? Right? Would he have loved you at all?
Carolyn Daughters 35:09
But but then by extension does, let’s say he did love one or both of these women. Does that justify the role each of these two women play and the crimes he’s committing? No, of
Sarah Harrison 35:25
Carolyn Daughters 35:26
I don’t know. I think according to the moral code of this book, neither woman is going to be held accountable in any way for the crime.
Sarah Harrison 35:34
No, in fact, they kind of like, I don’t know, I’d say lotting barrel a little bit for refusing to like downright aid, Stapleton and murdering Sir Charles. Like, I guess Stapleton was trying to get her to form some kind of sentimental attachment and load him out on the more learner Sir Henry. Oh, yeah, no, not Certainly, sir. Charles free got kill. Yes. And she wouldn’t, which is why he had to go the Laura Lyons route, but then …
Carolyn Daughters 36:06
… Laura Lyons ended up doing that dirty work, even though she doesn’t really know what happened. She admits that she suspected something was going on. She wrote him this letter saying meet me at your gate. And he goes to the gate. And of course, the Hound is really a stone to the moors, and Sir Charles runs to escape the dog and he had heart trouble and ends up dying. Laura Lyons knows something happened. And she knows that her letter contributed to that thing. And she seems okay with it until Holmes and Watson visit her and tell her he’s already married. Beryl is playing his sister. And then suddenly, Laura Lyons is all, “what do you need to know from me? I’ll tell you anything.” She’s changes her mind. I found these two women infuriating.
Sarah Harrison 37:05
Yeah. They both were kind of positioned as victims. You know, and Laura Lyons.
I didn’t feel bad for her. Her father was like this horrible crank. So she made a bad marriage. Okay, she got married without permission. Oh, dear.
And now her father’s like, basically disowned her. No way to support herself. Yeah, apparently she can’t get a divorce without a bunch of money. And yeah, it’s just at the mercy of our heads, which just that in itself is an interesting aspect where it’s like, everybody realizes this is a bad situation. Yeah. We’ll just leave the laws like that though. Yeah, that’s, that’s okay. Well, too bad for her. Yeah, you know, so she’s in this position from she made a bad decision. And she gets this own. And so she’s just trying to like, scrape by and live her life. And then then you kind of lose that victim feeling when she throws her lot in with Stapleton and she’s like, well, if you didn’t married me, though, …
Carolyn Daughters 38:14
Right, she knows he’s shady. And as long as he loves her, she’s on board.
Sarah Harrison 38:20
Yeah, that’s what I found the passage here that just just like what was what I even wrote what I couldn’t do it all l usage, solitude of life of deception, everything, as long as I could still cling to the hope that I had his love.
Now I know that in this also, I’ve been his dupe and his tool.
Carolyn Daughters 38:54
As long as I’m not as stupid, his tool, I’ll put up with whatever, it’s all good. Is that forgivable?
Sarah Harrison 38:58
I just feel like it’s not like both of these women are just kind of crappy characters that are just like, well, as long as you love me. Yeah, that’s all I really need from you. Characters not an issue. Right? Right. It’s not who I love and why I love them. It’s that you love me.
Carolyn Daughters 39:22
I’ll go one step further and say the women characters are not fully developed. But they’re both troubling in their own way. I don’t know what to do with them. Sarah, you had also asked the question, “is this is this just the female character in a Victorian novel?”
Sarah Harrison 39:51
Is this just even be a Victorian novel if we didn’t hate on women a little bit.
Carolyn Daughters 39:55
It feels like every single author finds a way to disparage women. They find a way to throw something in.
Sarah Harrison 40:08
It’s kind of like, even if they’re complimenting the women, it’s a backhanded insult.
Carolyn Daughters 40:12
Yes. Even though she’s the one who can solve crimes and figure things out, like in the woman in white, for example,
Sarah Harrison 40:21
or the one in Australia,
Carolyn Daughters 40:23
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab in Melbourne. The female characters are actually the ones doing a lot of the deductive work. And yet, you almost see you can almost feel like the character male characters are patting them on the head for it like, oh, very, very nice, intuitive job.
Sarah Harrison 40:43
You really wait and use a woman’s intuition and be completely illogical.
Carolyn Daughters 40:48
And meanwhile, in both instances, in The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, and then the woman and white, the female characters are actually using logic. They’re using their brains, and in many cases, being very courageous in their actions to figure out the truth.
Sarah Harrison 41:08
Yeah. Well, an even barrel here at the very beginning, she tries to warn Sir Henry and goes to all this trouble to send him the disguised warning. Yeah. But then she’s like at the end. I was hoping for this end, I guess where she was free of her imprisonment. And she did love Sir Henry and could finally get a chance to be with him. But then when she said that, I was like, wow, that’s stupid.
Carolyn Daughters 41:34
I was at end of that whole fairy tale ending for her because I felt like she aided and abetted.
Sarah Harrison 41:43
She was like, it’s not clear that she loved him. Yeah, but she required that he loves her. Yeah, she’d do anything so and then it felt that she was probably being quite false was certainly
Carolyn Daughters 41:57
For example, she knows — this is the biggest spoiler of all — there is an actual hound.
Sarah Harrison 42:03
She knows about the hound?
Carolyn Daughters 42:05
She knows where the hound lives. She knows she knows all of it. She doesn’t tell anybody about it. Nope. I found this super shady.
Sarah Harrison 42:18
Yeah, she warns them not to come but once you’re here, I guess I’ll play along. Yeah, it’s kind of disheartening to have some of these crappy women characters, I’ve got to say.
Carolyn Daughters 42:31
We’re gonna get into this in our next podcast. Our next episode, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard where we’re going to see an actual female detective. That’s cool. But I mean, up til now. I would say the what for me, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins was the really startling book for me. I just loved it. And I really felt it was sort of redeeming with regard to female characters. Whereas in most of the books we’ve read, they’re just written two dimensionally. They like to shop and they don’t know very much or understand very much. Or if they do, a male character who is important in the book basically pats them on the head. But … let’s also talk about this supernatural hound.
Sarah Harrison 43:35
So I’ve never met a dog that just wanted to rip your throat out like that.
Carolyn Daughters 43:41
You hear stories or read stories every once in a while. Like, oh, the dog has never so much as growled and then it went crazy one day. But this is a dog that seems born and bred to be pretty vicious.
Sarah Harrison 44:09
And then gave him a glowing eyes and glowing mouth. Off at the end, Holmes and Watson come out of a fog and they’re like, whoa. Like they almost let me get killed.
Carolyn Daughters 44:21
So they they say, home says, Sir Henry, you go to this dinner party by yourself. And after the dinner party, you walk home across the moor by yourself. That was pretty bold.
Sarah Harrison 44:37
Especially after he already thought he killed Sir Henry five minutes ago. You know, and so we haven’t really talked about this but they kind of sick the Hound and yeah, Selden is wearing sir Henry’s old clothes which chases Selden who terrified falls off a cliff and dies.
Carolyn Daughters 44:58
And so that resolves the whole criminal on the loose problem.
Sarah Harrison 45:02
Right? All of our moral qualms are moot.
Carolyn Daughters 45:05
The moors took care of it. What Watson and everybody else could not do. The moors took care of.
Sarah Harrison 45:12
Holmes was like, oh, no, I’ve killed my client. I should not have held everything so close. And then he’s like, Oh, he’s alive — back to my plan.
Carolyn Daughters 45:22
So what you’re going to do is walk home by yourself …
Sarah Harrison 45:27
Okay, weird. Yeah.
Carolyn Daughters 45:31
So I’m just going to put you at risk one more time. And he seems to home seems really confident. Oh, it’s gonna work out fine. Because what’s going to happen is we will be three steps behind him and we have an inspector with us. Who plays almost no role. I mean, does he have any dialogue?
Sarah Harrison 45:53
So his character has also changed from being competitive to adoring?
Carolyn Daughters 45:57
He’s like all about adulation “oh, Sherlock Holmes!” And so he’s just there to put the handcuffs on essentially, I guess. But Holmes and Watson are thinking we’re gonna be three steps behind Stapleton, and we’re going to make sure that Sir Henry doesn’t get attacked by the hound and then Sir Henry gets attacked by them.
Sarah Harrison 46:21
This fog rolls in there watching the photos. That was really interesting. Like the movement of the fog. You know, we’re in Colorado. There’s really not a lot of fog here. No, it’s not enough moisture. Every time in a good foggy area. I’m like, Alright, the fog is fun moves in. And home just like this is the only thing that can ruin my plan. And it blocks blocks the hound from sight until he bursts out with his fiery mouth and eyes and freaks everyone out.
Carolyn Daughters 46:56
Holmes is like, “hey, this is foolproof!” And then, “Oh, shoot, it’s foggy!” Sir Henry is counting on Holmes and Watson is just along for the ride.
Sarah Harrison 47:01
Yeah, I mean the hound knocked Sir Henry down and he was about to like bite his throat.
Carolyn Daughters 47:07
I really think Sherlock Holmes put his client in danger a couple too many times in this story.
Sarah Harrison 47:15
On purpose. After the Selden death, I was like, what are you doing? And it was, I mean, his argument made sense. It was, well, I don’t have a case. I couldn’t arrest him. On this case. I’m like, Okay, well, I’m thinking reasonably here, but Stapleton died in the swamp anyway.
Carolyn Daughters 47:36
Did you think that Holmes and Watson would find a supernatural hound? Did you think at any time that there was actually a supernatural hound in the book?
Sarah Harrison 47:44
I didn’t know I have to say at the beginning, like they’re kind of disparaging the thought and I thought they probably won’t be but maybe they will be. I don’t know what happens. I mean, I read it, I couldn’t remember.
Carolyn Daughters 47:56
It would be a really very different book. Yes. So from modern horror standards, this book is quite tame. But I would think at the time somebody reading this book might think, Oh, my goodness, this is horrifying the story in it, and it might be exciting from that horror perspective. And I felt that to some degree, but we’re used to the Halloween movies and all that we’re used to like serious horror and film and in literature but I would think it would it would terrify some some readers who keep turning the page to figure out what’s going on with this hound.
Sarah Harrison 48:38
Yeah, I mean, I don’t I probably don’t know enough about the literature of that time. The only thing that kind of popped in my mind was most probably because it’s getting close to Christmas was Dickens Christmas carol where you have the three ghosts a bit scary but I don’t know like what are there are a lot of ghost stories or supernatural stories
Carolyn Daughters 48:59
There are definitely ghost stories and even The Woman in White has a ghostly element to it. Henry James and others wrote ghost stories. But this devil hound seemed new territory. It might not be — I’m not an expert in this genre per se. This is where you, listener, have to help us understand but it felt new. It felt new to me and it felt interesting. And then of course, Arthur Conan Doyle takes it one step back and it’s phosphorus. So it’s a vicious dog, but it’s not a supernatural hound.
Sarah Harrison 49:43
Listeners, if you know of any supernatural Victorian stories, please post them on our social or website. Or if you want to share your thoughts about Holmes and Watson or The Hound of the Baskervilles, please post your thoughts.
Carolyn Daughters 49:53
How would they find that?
Sarah Harrison 49:54
What is it? teatonicandtoxin.com?
Carolyn Daughters 50:01
We’ve been recording a long time today, folks, we’ve really, we’ve been here a little a little while. I’m going to help you out Sarah because I know it’s very hard. It’s teatonicandtoxin.com.
Sarah Harrison 50:16
Thanks. I need a lot of help, especially with sign offs. Oh, well think of a good sign off, listeners.
Carolyn Daughters 50:26
We need a sign off. But let’s also just let everybody know quickly before we sign off because the sign off you listeners you’re going to want to really stick around is boy, I mean, we knock it out of the park with a sign off. We’re reading I think a pretty cool book.
Sarah Harrison 50:46
I’m excited. I’m excited to see how we feel about it really? Because it’s a lady detective
Carolyn Daughters 50:53
It’s Lady Molly of Scotland Yard.
Sarah Harrison 50:57
I would say don’t buy your book from Amazon unless you want to read upside down and backwards.
Carolyn Daughters 51:03
We have a lot to say about reading upside down and backward when it comes to Lady Molly of Scotland Yard, written by Baroness Orczy who wrote The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Sarah Harrison 51:12
Oh, yeah, I forgot you said that. Yeah, that’s cool. That’s movie. Yeah, I do enjoy. Yeah. So yes, I’m excited to see what’s in store.
Carolyn Daughters 51:21
Same author. It’s a series of short stories. So read all of them in the slim novel, it’s pretty quick read or read just a couple of them. And we will be doing our next podcast. It is our December pick. For 2022. I cannot believe we are getting close to the end of this year. Something else that we’ll be doing, I think is maybe an end of year wrap up.
Sarah Harrison 51:46
I think we should and we’ve had a lot of cool books. I gotta give kudos to Carolyn for crafting this awesome list of sort of the origins of the detective novel. So I hope you found it as interesting as I have.
Carolyn Daughters 52:04
And the cool thing is, if you haven’t read them yet, or listen to the podcast episodes yet, it’s up on our website, and you can just order the books and read them during your holiday break or starting in early 2023. And we’re going to have a whole bunch of new 2023 books, 12 of them that we’re going to share I think the next couple of weeks.
Sarah Harrison 52:27
Go ahead and just binge them all in order while you’re driving to see your family for the holidays.
Carolyn Daughters 52:32
On on audio. Do not be reading these books while you’re driving. Folks, we only have good advice here. The teatonicandtoxin podcast. So, before we get to that sign off, which we have promised, you can find out more about our podcasts AT teatonicandtoxin.com You can leave comments if you do there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna get an amazing sticker.
Sarah Harrison 53:00
Carolyn Daughters 53:01
It’s really pretty. And Facebook and Instagram @teatonicandtoxin. Sarah, close us out.
Sarah Harrison 53:11
All right, listeners. Continue toxin-ing.
Lord Peter Wimsey: Whose Body?
May 20, 2023
Introducing the irrepressible Lord Peter Wimsey, amateur detective extraordinaire. In this 1923 novel, Dorothy Sayers features a gentleman sleuth who will appear in many books to come. Sarah and Carolyn enjoyed this book immensely. (To be fair, Carolyn wasn't a fan, but Wimsey won her over by the end.) Tell us what YOU think!Listen →
The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Poirot and Hastings
April 13, 2023
Special guest Jill Carstens returns to continue discussing Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles, where we meet Hercule Poirot for the first time. He’s a methodical marvel who’s nonplussed by the affairs, awkward proposals, loveless marriages, and privileged egotism of the various suspects. Poirot is delightful, much like Sarah, Carolyn, and Jill.Listen →
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
April 9, 2023
Sarah, Carolyn, and special guest Jill Carstens would like to spend some time at Styles Court. Strolls around the grounds, hours spent reading each day, afternoon tea, evening libations … An outlier among a cast of selfish characters, Hercule Poirot is sympathetic, smart, and, of course, THE foremost master of detection.Listen →