‘The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot,’ the third story in the Sherlock Holmes collection His Last Bow, was first published by The Strand Magazine in 1910. A tale of death and diablerie in Cornwall, it harks back to some of Conan Doyle’s earlier works.
You can read the short story here: https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=The_Adventure_of_the_Devil%27s_Foot
The episode can be heard here: http://doingsofdoyle.podbean.com/.
Writing and publication history
- Written in April/May 1910, shortly after Conan Doyle had returned from holiday in Cornwall.
- First published in the UK in The Strand Magazine (Dec 1910) and in the US in The Strand Magazine, New York (Jan-Feb 1911).
- 'The Captain of the Pole-Star' (1883), see episode 3, https://doingsofdoyle.podbean.com/e/the-captain-of-the-pole-star/
- Owen Dudley Edwards (ed.), His Last Bow (Oxford Sherlock Holmes, 1993)
- Poldhu, Cornwall - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poldhu
- Through the Magic Door (1907), https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=Through_the_Magic_Door
- For more on Henry Irving, see Episode 10, https://doingsofdoyle.podbean.com/e/a-straggler-of-15-and-waterloo/
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-2), https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=The_Hound_of_the_Baskervilles
- Song: Go and Catch a Falling Star, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/48772/48772-h/48772-h.htm
- Mark Jones, ‘Invoking the Devil: John Donne, radix pedis diaboli and truth of the Cornish Horror,’ The Passengers’ Log (Sydney Passengers), Forthcoming 2021.
The Devil’s Foot root, radix pedis diaboli
- Sir Robert Christison, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Christison
- Conan Doyle’s article, ‘Gelseminum as a Poison’ (British Medical Journal, 20 September 1879), https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=Gelseminum_as_a_Poison
- Mandrake Root, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandrake
Edgar Allen Poe
- E. A. Poe, ‘The Imp of the Perverse,’ (1845), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imp_of_the_Perverse_(short_story)
Dr Leon Sterndale
- Robert Lander (1804-1834), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lander
- President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt
- E. D. Morel (1873-1923), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._D._Morel
- Roger Casement (1864-1916), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Casement
- The Divorce Law Reform Union (President from 1906).
- Mary Seaton-Tiedeman (1862-1948), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Seaton-Tiedeman
Next time on the Doings of Doyle…
A trip to the court of Louis XIV then over the Atlantic to North America in Conan Doyle’s 1893 novel, The Refugees. Read it here: https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/index.php?title=The_Refugees
Image credits: Thanks to Alexis Barquin at The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopaedia for permission to reproduce these images. Please support the encyclopaedia at www.arthur-conan-doyle.com.
Music credit: Sneaky Snitch Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/