We are going to start out with some short stories. One of the most famous of the stories we will be reading is “The Muskgrave Ritual” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom you should recognize as the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Readers have been obsessed with Holmes from his first appearance in “A Study in Scarlet” in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 up to the 2015 film Mr. Holmes.
Other popular incarnations of the famous detective have included the classic television version starring Jeremy Brett and a newer BBC series, Sherlock, set in modern times starring Benedict Cumberbatch and beginning with the story “A Study in Pink.”
So, as we look into how narratives are put together, there is no better place to start than with the master of the mystery, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Of course, the Holmes story isn’t the only one we’re reading, but it is certainly the most recognizable.
What will we be looking at in our stories unit? We will look at the different elements that combine to create the world of a story: setting, characterization, dialog, plot, and point of view. We all wish school could be just for fun, but of course, there is a test, and you can review for the Short Stories Key Terms Test here. (You need to create an account to take quizzes, but it’s free and it’s a fun way to study.)
Do you have a favorite short story? Share it in the comments section below.