The Red-Headed League Historical Context

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The detective stories Doyle published in the Strand magazine during the 1890s, including "The Red-Headed League," are credited with doubling subscribers to the magazine. During the Victorian Age, which stretched from the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign in 1837 to her death in 1901, major writers such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy often published novels serially, in weekly or monthly parts. Doyle, however, was the first to write short stories using a similar method, relying upon interest in a central character rather than an ongoing plot to keep readers coming back for more. The factors that led to this amazing popularity reveal the interests and make-up of the reading public in Doyle's day.

England increasingly became a nation of readers in the decades before Sherlock Holmes first appeared, since the Education Act of 1870 and legislation to limit child labor made it possible for a wider...

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This section contains 265 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Red-Headed League Study Guide
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The Red-Headed League from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.