First things first…before you ask…when we say “literary dogs” we’re referring to dogs that appear in literature, not dogs that love to read!
Well…perhaps one of these dogs will slightly contradict that statement but…never mind.
What’s important is that the relationship between humans and their best friends is well documented. Dogs have had such an impact on human society and culture that they’ve been able to cross over into various mediums, appearing as characters in films and songs, as well as books.
There have been a number of brilliant literary canines over the decades. Too many to mention, in fact. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pay tribute to just a few of our favourites. As such, this will be the first in a five-part series of exclusive Dog School Ltd. blogs.
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Ghostly dogs were always a hallmark of traditional folk tales. They were synonymous with howls in the night and other eerie sounds that signalled impending doom. Often black in colour, these beasts lived on into modern literature.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1902 book ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ was, indeed, inspired by an age old myth- that of Richard Cabell.
As the story goes, Cabbell was a Devonshire Lord, who had murdered his wife. His Lordship eventually met a grisly end, when a monstrous dog decided to act out divine revenge upon him. The antagonist of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, Hugo Baskerville was clearly modelled after Cabbell.
Originally, Conan Doyle’s book was serialised, like many of his works. The novel appeared, exclusively, in Strand Magazine throughout 1901 and 1902. It was the first new Sherlock Holmes story for eight years, and proved to be an overnight success.
Illustrated by Sidney Paget, the tale of the terrible hound became embedded in the British public consciousness. It succeeded in drawing on our eternal fears of darkness, loneliness and the wild; becoming, arguably, Conan Doyle’s most famous work.