Teachers’ Guides

Teacher’s Guide for Selected Sherlock Holmes Stories

Teacher’s Guide for Secret Letters

The guide for Sherlock stories, above, is a great start: You will find the key elements to a detective story, a brief history of Sir Arthur’s life and how he came to write the stories and much more.

Discussion/Essay topics for Secret Letters:
1) What is Dora hoping for when she travels to London to meet Sherlock Holmes? How do her expectations change when she realizes that he is dead?
2) Dora sympathizes with Agatha when she finds out that the maid is expecting a child. In those day, what would have happened to an unmarried servant who was found to be pregnant?  In contrast, what would have happened to James, the father of the child?
3) Along the same lines, why is it so scandalous for Adelaide to have had a lover before she met her husband? What was expected of women in the Victorian age? Why does Lady Rose resent her role in society?
4) What does Peter think about Dora when he meets her? How does his opinion (and his feelings) change for her as he gets to know her?
5) How do Dora’s feelings toward Peter change? Why does she try so hard to ignore her attraction to him?
Creative writing challenge:
Write a meeting scene for Sherlock and Dora. How do you think that would have gone? (Teachers: you are welcome to send me your top pics. I would love to read these!)

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