A young woman is being pursued in The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist

A young woman fears for her safety…

Miss Violet Smith approaches Holmes for help after she finds herself trapped within a most mysterious set of circumstances. Following the death of her father, she is now employed as a music teacher at £100 a year but returns home at the weekends. It is on these journeys home in which she cycles to the train station that she is followed home by a bearded man also on a bicycle. When she stops, he stops, and he remains always at the same distance from her before disappearing each time. To begin with a busy Sherlock Holmes sends Watson to watch this bizarre series of events before this turns towards a dramatic and almost lethal conclusion.

Again we return to the issue of marriage and the woman’s monetary assets being transferred to the control of the man. Except here we have a most forceful of marriages taking place which was a most unpleasant read as a modern reader. It is interesting to see Conan Doyle explore these issues within his fiction and I would be intrigued to see how his audiences at the time reacted to these areas being explored. Another point I found of interest was Holmes chastising Watson for his failure to deduce the identity of the lone cyclist. Was he really too busy to get involved or was he testing Watson to see what he had learnt?

Tomorrow Sherlock must solve a missing persons case in The Adventure of the Priory School

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