The Centre for Victorian Studies

Annual lecture archive

Arthur Conan Doyle and the Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer

  • 16 November 2022, 5.15pm-6.15pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Attenborough Seminar Block, University of Leicester
  • Speaker: Shrabani Basu
  • Book your free place.

When George Edalji, a young Parsee lawyer, is convicted of mutilating horses in a Staffordshire mining village in 1903, he appeals to Arthur Conan Doyle to clear his name. The creator of Sherlock Holmes accepts the request and proceeds to investigate the case. Based on letters, police records and home office files, Shrabani Basu goes on the trail of Arthur Conan Doyle as he wears the hat of Sherlock Holmes and uncovers the dark secrets lying in the English countryside. It is the only case that Conan Doyle investigated personally.

Speaker biography

Shrabani Basu is a journalist and Sunday Times best-selling author. Her books include the critically acclaimed The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer (2021), For King and Another Country (2015), Victoria & Abdul (2010, now a major Oscar-nominated motion picture) and Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan (2006). Shrabani is a frequent commentator on Indian history and Empire.

About the event

This Annual Public Lecture is hosted by the Centre for Victorian Studies - the oldest specialist centre for the study of Victorian literature and culture in the UK. This year's event is run in collaboration with the Centre for New Writing and Literary Leicester.

The talk will be followed by a reception and book signing. 

Browse some of our past annual lectures in the Victorian Studies Centre below.

Dickens, 'Madness', and Marriage

  • 20 November 2019
  • Speaker: Professor John Bowen, University of York

Detecting Victorian Crime

  • 6 December 2017
  • Speaker: Kate Summerscale

How George Eliot Came to Write Fiction

  • 30 November 2016
  • Speaker: Professor Rosemary Ashton OBE, Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature, University College London

The Victorian World: Prison to Playground

  • 19 November 2014
  • Speaker: Dr Matthew Sweet

The Mysterious Case of George Eliot's Right Hand

  • 20 November 2013
  • Speaker: Professor Kathryn Hughes, University of East Anglia

Faust Comes to Town: 'Creative Destruction' in the Victorian City

  • 21 November 2012
  • Speaker: Peter Mandler, Professor of Modern Cultural History, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge

Models of Authorship: George Eliot and Margaret Oliphant

  • 26 November 2011
  • Speaker: Joanne Shattock, Emeritus Professor, Victorian Studies Centre, University of Leicester

'One Human Heart': Elizabeth Gaskell's Wordsworthian Vein

  • 17 November 2010
  • Speaker: Jenny Uglow

Charles Dickens: A Life Defined by Writing

  • 25 November 2009
  • Speaker: Michael Slater, Emeritus Professor of Victorian Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London

The Haunted Gallery: Enchanted Pictures and Statues in Visual Media c.1900

  • 21 November 2007
  • Speaker: Lynda Nead, Pevsner Professor of History of Art, Birkbeck College, University of London

Darwin Loves You

  • 21 November 2006
  • Speaker: George Levine, Rutgers University, New Jersey

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