The Science of Sherlock Holmes : From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases
The Science of Sherlock Holmes is a wild ride in a hansom cab along the road paved by Sherlock Holmes--a ride that leads us through medicine, law, pathology, toxicology, anatomy, blood chemistry, and the emergence of real-life forensic science during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the "well-marked print of a thumb" on a whitewashed wall in "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" to the trajectory and impact of a bullet in "The Reigate Squires," author E. J. Wagner uses the Great Detective's remarkable adventures as springboards into the real-life forensics behind them. You'll meet scientists, investigators, and medical experts, such as the larger-than-life Eugene Vidocq of the Paris Surete, the determined detective Henry Goddard of London's Bow Street Runners, the fingerprint expert Sir Francis Galton, and the brilliant but arrogant pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury. You'll explore the ancient myths and bizarre folklore that were challenged by the evolving field of forensics--including the belief that hair and nails grow after death, and the idea that the skull's size and shape determine personality--and examine the role that brain fever, Black Dogs, and vampires played in criminal history.
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April 01, 2007
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