The History of the Mystery: Sherlock Holmes, Lupin, and Co. with William Bernhardt

The History of the Mystery: Sherlock Holmes, Lupin, and Co. with William Bernhardt


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This seminar will trace the evolution of the mystery, both before and after Sherlock Holmes, through the twentieth century to the present, emphasizing notable works, authors, and the elements that have made this an enduring literary form.

When Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle picked up his pen and wrote A Study in Scarlet, he had no idea that he was instigating a literary phenomenon. Sherlock Holmes is arguably the most popular fictional character ever created. But was Doyle inventing the mystery story—or simply taking it to unprecedented levels?

In this seminar, a scholar and mystery writer will trace the evolution of the mystery, both before and after Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had many imitators, including Raffles and Arsene Lupin, now popular once more due to the Netflix series Lupin. In the twentieth century, the idea of the ""fair play"" mystery evolved, as well as the country manor house mystery, the hardboiled mystery, the cozy mystery, the forensic mystery, the serial killer mystery, and many others. In the twenty-first century, the genre splintered into a wide variety of categories—thrillers, suspense novels, psychological studies, domestic terror stories, and many others.

Led by published mystery writer, William Bernhardt, this seminar will take a historical look at the evolution of the form, but will also highlight noteworthy works of the modern era and make predictions about the future. What are the essential elements that distinguish mysteries from other forms of literature? What is the basis for the puzzle-solving appeal? Designed to appeal to voracious mystery fans and those interested in popular culture and contemporary literature, this presentation will root out the red herrings and uncover all the mysterious secrets.

William Bernhardt is a scholar, teacher, author of more than fifty published works, including several New York Times-bestselling novels. In addition to his many crime and mystery novels, Bernhardt has written plays, a musical (book and music), nonfiction, children's books, poetry, and created jig-saw puzzles. He was also a Champion on Season 30 of the game show Jeopardy! He is the founder and President of the Red Sneaker Writing Center which provides resources to support upcoming writers. The Center hosts the annual WriterCon in Oklahoma City and small-group seminars across the US, as well as a free monthly e-newsletter and a biweekly podcast — reaching more than 20,000 subscribers. Bernhardt has received many accolades for his writing, including an induction into the Oklahoma Writers’ Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and currently lives in Oklahoma with his wife and their children.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
67%
(8)
17%
(2)
17%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L. (Nokesville, US)
Great Conversation! I hope there’s a course…

I learned so much during this conversation - more than I learned in a week long course with another travel organization. The presentation was well organized and W Bernhardt was interesting and engaging. If this becomes a full course I’d definitely sign up.

C
C.C. (San Francisco, US)
Lots of facts and lots of fun!

He is a very entertaining, knowledgeable and engaging speaker. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather spend a Saturday morning with, talking all things mystery.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Sherlock Holmes

I found this leatherbound copy of the complete Arthur Conan Doyle in my library signed lovingly to my mother from my French Father - before their marriage dated July 30, 1928!! When I saw the History of the Mystery of sherlock Holmes would be done by Dr. Bernhardt I knew that I would find out what the love of mystery was all about - and I did! his talk was MORE than I expected. I learned so much history and he is and exceedingly entertaining lecturer!!

L
Lisa A Dimberg (Evanston, US)
Lisa Dimberg History of the Mystery Review

This was a very enjoyable and informative overview of the origins and evolution of mystery fiction.

A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
67%
(8)
17%
(2)
17%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L. (Nokesville, US)
Great Conversation! I hope there’s a course…

I learned so much during this conversation - more than I learned in a week long course with another travel organization. The presentation was well organized and W Bernhardt was interesting and engaging. If this becomes a full course I’d definitely sign up.

C
C.C. (San Francisco, US)
Lots of facts and lots of fun!

He is a very entertaining, knowledgeable and engaging speaker. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather spend a Saturday morning with, talking all things mystery.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Sherlock Holmes

I found this leatherbound copy of the complete Arthur Conan Doyle in my library signed lovingly to my mother from my French Father - before their marriage dated July 30, 1928!! When I saw the History of the Mystery of sherlock Holmes would be done by Dr. Bernhardt I knew that I would find out what the love of mystery was all about - and I did! his talk was MORE than I expected. I learned so much history and he is and exceedingly entertaining lecturer!!

L
Lisa A Dimberg (Evanston, US)
Lisa Dimberg History of the Mystery Review

This was a very enjoyable and informative overview of the origins and evolution of mystery fiction.

A
Anonymous (Orinda, US)

Guest did not leave comment