Also throughout many Sherlock Holmes books there are many Red Herrings that are gypsies. In the 'Silver Blaze' Colonel Ross believes them responsible for stealing Silver Blaze. Also in the 'Speckled Band' even Sherlock Holmes suspects them. This shows that there was much prejudice against gypsies at that time to enable so much unjustified suspicion in so many different stories. The last part of every one of the Sherlock Holmes books is the denouement. This is where everything is tied up and is made sense from; it is when the person who is responsible is named and Holmes unveils how he solved it.
Everything is explained and all the little clues that are put in fit together. In the denouement of the 'Speckled Band' we discover how the horse actually murdered John Straker. "The real murderer is right behind you! " "The horse! " We also learn why the horse did it. We discover that John Straker attempted to put him out of play by making a non-noticeable incision into the muscle making it unable for it to run. This explains why there was a surgical knife at the scene of the crime, and the candle, as he needed light to conduct the operation.
We learn this in the denouement. Also in the 'Red-Headed League', we learn at the end that the league was only there to get Jabez Wilson out of the pawnbrokers so John Clay could dig a tunnel to the bank to steal the French gold that was worth millions. We discovered that John Clay had everyday gone into the cellar and dug a tunnel under the pretence that he was developing photos. When we discover this we know that he had dirty knees that would have been a result of digging, also that the bank is opposite.
The denouement of a crime-fiction story is one of the most important as it rounds off the entire story. We get to see how Sherlock solved it, it lets the reader see how it's done. Also it gives a sense of satisfaction as the case is solved and over. If the entire of the plot weren't resolved then readers would become irritated and want to read how it ended. The Sherlock Holmes books were set in the Victorian period. The Victorian times were very strict. A time of law obeying and anything less was seen as immoral and disgraceful.
It was a time when nothing was allowed and 'stiff upper lip' was very much in play. Even though the current monarch was a women, there was still a great gender gap, women were seen as having lesser intelligence and vulnerable. This is seen in the Sherlock Holmes stories. For example in the 'Speckled Band' Helen is the victim in the story. She comes to Sherlock although does not seem to suspect her Stepfather at all even though there is lots of evidence pointing to him. She is very much seen as vulnerable as someone is going to try and kill her.
The clothes worn at the time were very different to what they are now. In the 'Red-Headed League' we are described what Jabez Wilson is wearing in depth. "He wore rather baggy grey shepherd's check trousers, a not over-clean black frock coat, unbuttoned at the top , and a drab waistcoat with a heavy brassy Albert chain, and a square pierced bit of metal dangling down as an ornament. A frayed top-hat, and a faded brown overcoat with a wrinkled velvet collar lay on the chair beside him. '
There are various items of clothes in this quote that show clothes of the age. For example, frock coat, this is a suit style coat with tails. These are not worn everyday now and are usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings. Also he wore an Albert chain, which would have been attached to a fob watch, which many people don't wear any more as there are wristwatches. He also has a top hat, which are rarely just worn out. And an overcoat is quite self-explanatory, it is a thicker coat to wear over your suit when you go outside.
Another character that shows the dress of the time is Helen Stoner. She wears all black, which was traditional at the time, except with a veil. At the time when a woman was in mourning she wore a veil, Helen was wearing one, as she was still mourning from her sister's death. The Victorians were in mourning for a long time, we know that Helen's sister died 2 years ago, although this isn't that long as the Queen Victoria was in mourning for 50 years! Another reference to the time is the type of transport that they take.
They didn't have cars back then so they travelled by either horse-drawn carriages, in the form of Hanson cabs and dogcarts, the other alternative was the train. We don't have the first two any more in wide circulation, a Hanson cab was more enclosed and a dogcart had no roof and was more open. There are many references to historical events throughout all of the books. When the stories were written and set, Britain was still in charge of a very vast commonwealth, the largest in the world. We owned Canada, Australia, India, Mongolia, Shanghai region of China, Hong Kong, also a vast majority of Africa, to name a few.
Britain owned the most land across the world at that time so on an Atlas the majority of it would have been coloured in red, Britain's representing colour. By being in control of so many places did, in accordance, take in a lot of the culture that land had to offer. If anyone wanted to take up a job in one of the countries in the commonwealth, no extra checks would have to be made as they were regarded as an extension of Britain. It was equivalent to someone who lived in Cardiff getting a job in Manchester.
We see this in the 'Speckled Band' as we know that Dr. Grimsby Roylott used to have a job in India. He used to be a doctor in India until he murdered his native servant and so had to return to escape punishment for it. We also learn that when he was over there he developed an obsession with Indian animals. We know that he has a cheetah and a baboon that he lets run around his large estate. The language used through the stories is very archaic. It is very of the period to speak formally to everyone, even your closest friends. They all spoke the Queen's English.
They also always addressed others as Sir and Madam at all occasions in respect of the other person. "I am all attention, madam" This shows the manners of the time and the constant showing of your credibility. The archaic language used is, in some cases not used anymore, and other used for different purposes. "Very sorry to knock you up, Watson" This is an example of words not used. This is almost a current version of colloquialism. He has said knock you up instead of wake. This could also be because he did physically knock the door. This expression is not used anymore and so it is archaic.
In conclusion I have explained what the key features that are in the early crime fiction genre. There is always an exposition, a development of plot, clues, red herrings, and a denouement. Also how Conan Doyle has all of these present in each of his Sherlock Holmes stories. We are always first presented with a case and also Holmes thinks it over. In each story he goes the scene and searches for proof and more clues. There are always clue and also red herrings. And each of the stories is rounded off in the denouement and offers closure to the books.