A Study in Scarlet is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, introducing his new characters, "consulting detective" Sherlock Holmes and his friend and chronicler, Dr. John Watson, who later became two of the most famous characters in literature. Conan Doyle wrote the story in 1886, and it was published the following year. The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes to Doctor Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigation as his "study in scarlet": "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it The story, and its main characters, attracted little public interest when it first appeared. Only 11 complete copies of the magazine in which the story first appeared, Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887, are known to exist now and they have considerable value. Although Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories featuring private investigator Holmes, A Study in Scarlet is one of only four full-length novels in the original canon. The novel was followed by The Sign of the Four, published in 1890. A Study in Scarlet was the first work of detective fiction to incorporate the magnifying glass as a private investigator tool. As the first Sherlock Holmes story published, A Study in Scarlet was among the first to be adapted to the screen. In 1914, Conan Doyle authorised a silent film be produced by G. B. Samuelson. private investigator Holmes was played by James Bragington, an accountant who worked as an actor for the only time of his life. He was hired for his resemblance to Holmes, as presented in the sketches originally published with the story. As early silent films were made with film that itself was made with poor materials, and film archiving was then rare, it is now a lost film. The success of the film allowed for a second version to be produced that same year by Francis Ford, which has also been lost. The 1933 film entitled A Study in Scarlet, starring Reginald Owen as Sherlock Holmes and Anna May Wong as Mrs Pyke, bears no plot relation to the novel, as the producers had purchased rights to only the title, not the story. (So limited were the purchased rights that the famous Baker Street address is "221A" in the film rather than the renowned "221B.") Aside from Holmes, Watson, Mrs. Hudson, and Inspector Lestrade, the only connections to the Holmes canon are a few lifts of character names (Jabez Wilson, etc.). The plot contains an element of striking resemblance to one used several years later in Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None: that of murder victims being counted off by lines from the same nursery rhyme, but the Holmes film takes the precaution of using the phrase "ten little black boys". The book has rarely been adapted in full, but notable instances were an episode broadcast on 23 September 1968 in the second season of the BBC television series Sherlock Holmes, with Peter Cushing as private investigator Holmes and Nigel Stock as Dr. Watson, which put more detail into the story, including the actor who claims the ring; the second episode of the 1979 Soviet TV adaptation, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (the first episode combines the story of their meeting with "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"; the second episode adapts the actual Jefferson Hope case.); a 1983 animated version produced by Burbank Films Australia, with Peter O'Toole voicing Holmes; A Study in Scarlet was the first episode of the BBC's complete Sherlock Holmes on Radio 4 in 1989, dramatised by Bert Coules and starring Clive Merrison as Holmes, Michael Williams as Watson, Donald Gee as Inspector Lestrade, and John Moffatt as Inspector Gregson; and a 2007 episode of the American radio series The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer and physician. He is the creator of the Sherlock Holmes character, writing his debut appearance in A Study in Scarlet. Doyle wrote notable books in the fantasy and science fiction genres, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels.