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Langdale Pike - Two characters blended together?

The Adventure of the Three-Gables seems to me to be an adventure that tends to come in for criticism. This either concerns the plot or the depiction of the boxer Steve Dixie. I won’t dwell on the latter as plenty of people have trampled that particular piece of ground and the poor opinion that some people have of the plot is, I think, unfair. 

I believe it was Dakin who went so far as to suggest that this was a false story clearly written by someone other than Watson and that it had no place in the Canon. If you want to "play the game" you can accept this viewpoint but, as a person who does not see the point in this approach when it comes to conducting meaningful analysis, I don’t choose to follow Dakin's hypothesis.
Holmes tackles the eavesdropping Susan

Personally, I think the story is well put together. Yes, we see a Holmes, a trifle out of character, who appears to have a low opinion of most of the characters he encounters from Steve Dixie to Susan to Isadora Klein and even a slightly sarcastic attitude to Watson.

Leaving all this aside, the most interesting character to me has to be Langdale Pike. Pike, who has apparently been brought to life most recently in Elementary, is a source of gossip and secrets and spends most of his time sitting in the window of his club from where he conducts his business.

In this, Pike seems very similar in lifestyle to Mycroft Holmes who, when he is not working for the government, seems to operate out of the Diogenes Club and clearly also likes observing life from his window (deduction scene from The Greek Interpreter anyone?).


In fact, looked at another way, Langdale Pike (presumably named after the Langdale Pikes – a series of peaks in the Lake District) is, in essence, a blend of Mycroft Holmes and Shinwell Johnson. The latter, it will be remembered from The Illustrious Client, was Holmes's source of information, people and gossip in the underworld. Langdale Pike was clearly an upper-class equivalent.

Langdale Pike as portrayed in the Granada series by Peter Wyngarde


Written by Alistair Duncan
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