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The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle

The Mystery of Cloomber

 

The Mystery of Cloomber: Conan Doyle’s Forgotten Masterpiece

The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle

Introduction

When you think of Conan Doyle, you probably think of Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective who solved crimes with his brilliant mind and his loyal friend Dr. Watson. But did you know that Conan Doyle wrote many other stories and novels that were not related to Sherlock Holmes? And did you know that one of them was a novel that mixed mystery, horror, and adventure in a thrilling and original way?

The novel is called The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle, and it was first published in 1888 in the Pall Mall Gazette. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, a Scottish man who moves with his family from Edinburgh to Wigtownshire to care for the estate of his father’s half brother, William Farintosh. Near the estate is The Cloomber Hall, for years uninhabited, but now the residence of John Berthier Heatherstone, a general of the Indian Army. General Heatherstone is an anxious man, apprehensive about someone he offended in India. The Mystery of Cloomber unfolds, revealing Heathstone’s war crime against a Buddhist priest.

In this article, we will explore the plot and the characters of The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle, and how they create a captivating and suspenseful story. We will also look at some of the themes and messages of this novel, and how they reflect Conan Doyle’s views and interests. We will also look at some of the reasons why this novel is not as well-known as Conan Doyle’s other works, and why it deserves more attention and appreciation.

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Conan Doyle

Summary of The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle

The story begins with John Fothergill West introducing himself and his family. He tells how they moved from Edinburgh to Wigtownshire after his father inherited the estate of his half brother. He also tells how they became curious about The Cloomber Hall, which was near their estate and had been empty for years. One day, they saw a light in the hall and decided to investigate. They found two people inside: General Heatherstone and his daughter Gabriel.

West was immediately attracted to Gabriel, who was beautiful and kind. He also felt sorry for her father, who seemed nervous and paranoid. He learned that General Heatherstone had moved to The Cloomber Hall with his wife and son Mordaunt after retiring from the Indian Army. He also learned that he had a dark secret that haunted him: he had killed a Buddhist priest in India who had cursed him and his family.

West became friends with Mordaunt Heatherstone, who was also interested in his sister Esther. Mordaunt told him more about his father’s secret: he had killed the priest because he had refused to reveal the location of a treasure that he had hidden in a temple. The priest had cursed him before dying, saying that he would die on the fifth of October, the anniversary of his crime.

West also met Corporal Rufus Smith, an old soldier who had served under General Heatherstone in India. Smith had followed him to Scotland and asked him for a job as his gardener. Smith seemed to know something about the general’s secret, but he refused to tell West anything.

As October approached, West noticed that General Heatherstone became more agitated and fearful. He also noticed that three strange men appeared in the area: they were Buddhist monks who had come from India to seek revenge for their murdered brother. They used their supernatural powers to torment General Heatherstone and his family.

On the night of October fourth, West received a letter from Mordaunt Heatherstone asking him for help. He rushed to The Cloomber Hall with his father and Smith. They found the hall surrounded by a storm and guarded by the monks. They managed to enter the hall and found General Heatherstone dead in his room.

They also found a diary that explained everything: General Heatherstone had killed the priest because he had discovered that he was hiding a treasure that belonged to the British government. The priest had cursed him with his dying breath, saying that he would die on October fifth by the hand of one of his brothers. The brothers were the three monks who had followed him to Scotland.

The diary also revealed that General Heatherstone had tried to escape his fate by changing his name, moving to different places, and hiding in The Cloomber Hall. He had also tried to protect his family by forbidding them to leave the hall or to marry anyone. He had hoped that the curse would not affect them, but he was wrong.

The diary ended with a final entry, written on October fourth. General Heatherstone wrote that he had heard a knock on his door and that he knew it was one of the monks. He wrote that he was ready to face his doom and that he hoped that his family would be spared.

West and his companions left The Cloomber Hall with the bodies of General Heatherstone and his wife, who had died of a heart attack. They also took Gabriel and Mordaunt with them, who were still alive but in a state of shock. They never saw the monks again.

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Analysis of The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle

The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle is a novel that combines mystery, horror, and adventure in a thrilling and original way. It has elements of Gothic fiction, such as a haunted mansion, a dark secret, and a supernatural curse. It also has elements of Orientalism, such as exotic locations, mysterious religions, and magical powers.

The novel is also a reflection of Conan Doyle’s views and interests. Conan Doyle was fascinated by spiritualism and the paranormal, and he explored these topics in many of his stories. He was also interested in Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, and he studied them in depth. He was also critical of British imperialism and colonialism, and he exposed some of the atrocities and injustices committed by the British in India.

The novel also has some flaws and weaknesses. Some of the characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional, such as the villainous General Heatherstone, the virtuous Gabriel, and the loyal Smith. Some of the plot points are implausible and coincidental, such as the arrival of the monks at the same time as West’s family, or the exact date of General Heatherstone’s death. Some of the descriptions are verbose and tedious, such as the long passages about Buddhism or India.

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How to Appreciate The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle: Tips and Tricks

If you want to appreciate The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle more, here are some tips and tricks that might help you:

  • Read some of Conan Doyle’s other works that are not related to Sherlock Holmes, such as The Lost World, The White Company, or The Parasite. You will see how versatile and imaginative he was as a writer.
  • Read some of the works that influenced or inspired Conan Doyle, such as Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, Wilkie Collins’s novels, or Rudyard Kipling’s tales. You will see how Conan Doyle adapted and improved some of their ideas and techniques.
  • Read some of the works that were influenced or inspired by Conan Doyle, such as H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, Agatha Christie’s novels, or Neil Gaiman’s comics. You will see how Conan Doyle’s legacy lives on in different genres and media.
  • Watch some of the adaptations or interpretations of The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle, such as the 1927 silent film The Return of Sherlock Holmes, or the 2010 BBC radio drama The Curse of Cloomber. You will see how different artists have interpreted and updated this novel for different audiences and times.

FAQs

Q: What is The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle about?

A: The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle is a novel about a Scottish family who gets involved in the secrets and dangers of a mysterious mansion and its mysterious owner.

Q: When was The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle published?

A: The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle was first published in 1888 in the Pall Mall Gazette.

Q: Who is Conan Doyle?

A: Conan Doyle was a British author who wrote novels, short stories, essays, and poems. He was born in 1859 and died in 1930. He is best known for creating Sherlock Holmes, but he also wrote many other works that were not related to Sherlock Holmes.

Q: What are some other works by Conan Doyle?

A: Some other works by Conan Doyle are:

  • The Lost World (1912), a novel about an expedition to a plateau in South America where dinosaurs still exist.
  • The White Company (1891), a historical novel about a group of English archers who fight in the Hundred Years’ War.
  • The Parasite (1894), a short story about a man who becomes obsessed with a woman who has psychic powers.

Conclusion

The Mystery of Cloomber by Conan Doyle is a novel that combines mystery, horror, and adventure in a thrilling and original way. It tells the story of a Scottish family who gets involved in the secrets and dangers of a mysterious mansion and its mysterious owner. It also reflects Conan Doyle’s views and interests on spiritualism, Buddhism, India, and imperialism.

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