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Where is the "New Woman"? A study of women characters in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle


  • Hanna Nilsson

Summary, in English

Detective stories are a common part of our society today through literature and television, and the most famous detective of all is undoubtedly Sherlock Holmes. The Sherlock Holmes stories narrate several mysteries set in the late 19th to mid 20th century, and through the mysteries a large number of men and women are presented. During the late 19th century, the women’s movement for more equal rights was in full swing which resulted in several economic and social changes for women. This essay will study how women are depicted in the Sherlock Holmes stories and discuss the social and economic situation of women during the Victorian era which have influenced the stories. I will argue that the social and economic changes can be seen through the female characters in the Sherlock Holmes stories, but that there are still indications of men’s ideals of women present. This reasoning will be shown through a background chapter on women’s situation during the 19th century as well as a discussion that connects the progress of women’s role in society with the women in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Women
  • Feminism


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)