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The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes and Other Eccentric Readings


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes is about reading, a process that we take for granted. But Sherlock Holmes, the cultural icon to whose exploits Michael Atkinson gives new readings, became famous by taking nothing for granted. Holmes's adventures can be read in new ways, including ways that he himself would have found startling, but which can give contemporary readers satisfaction. In clear, accessible prose that will engage specialists and lay readers alike, Atkinson engages in "a series of flirtations" with nine of Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite detective fictions, using the tools of modern literary theory, from depth psychology to deconstruction. Bluebeard, the kundalini serpent, and Conan Doyle's mother pop up alongside Jung, Nietzsche, and Derrida as guides to new understandings of these classic stories. Just as Holmes uses treatises on tobacco ash and tattoos to give fresh readings to puzzling facts, Atkinson employs widely different critical strategies to unravel the mysteries of reading itself.

"What a delightful book! This is surely the most interesting writing you will ever read about Sherlock Holmes, but it is much more. Michael Atkinson gives us literary criticism at its best: the sheer fun of watching a bold and imaginative reader breathe into well-loved, but well-worn, fictions new and enchanting life. Atkinson's mind races as nimbly as Holmes's own, and he makes the stories our hansom cab through human nature itself. A tour de force!"
---Norman N. Holland, author of Murder in a Dephi Seminar

"A book that speaks directly to readers. . . Atkinson sees far beneath the surface of the Sherlock stories to provide fascinating commentary."
---Cincinnati Post

"Atkinson demonstrates a love and knowledge of the Holmes stories. . . I would recommend The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes enthusiastically to any lover of the Canon who is prepared to have their perceptions widened."

---Mystery Writers of America

Michael Atkinson is Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati.



Applies a range of postmodern literary approaches to Conan Doyle's classic stories

Product Details

Atkinson, Michael
University of Michigan Press
Ann Arbor :
History & Criticism *
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Popular Culture
Detective and mystery stories
Detective and mystery stories, English
Holmes, Sherlock (Fictitious character)
Doyle, arthur conan, sir, 1859-1930
Popular Culture - General
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Paper Text
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
3 BandW photographs
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Doyle Pastiche
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Doyle Reference and Criticism
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Reference » General

The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes and Other Eccentric Readings New Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages University of Michigan Press - English 9780472085668 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Applies a range of postmodern literary approaches to Conan Doyle's classic stories
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