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The Red-Headed League

Arthur Conan Doyle

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Sherlock Holmes -  A private detective and the story’s protagonist. Sherlock Holmes’s keen observations and ability to reason allow him to solve puzzles that stymie everyone else. Sometimes quiet and contemplative, other times bursting with energy, Holmes uses methodology that can confuse and frustrate others. He is somewhat of a mystery, rarely divulging his thoughts until he’s already solved the crime.

Read an in-depth analysis of Sherlock Holmes.

Dr. John Watson -  Sherlock Holmes’s partner and the story’s narrator. Good-natured, brave, and down-to-earth, Watson is Sherlock Holmes’s sidekick, even though he rarely helps Holmes actually solve any mysteries. His confusion with the mysteries and Holmes often mirrors readers’ own confusion.

Read an in-depth analysis of Dr. John Watson.

Jabez Wilson -  A London pawnbroker. Jabez Wilson is an average man whose only remarkable feature is his shock of fiery red hair. His slow and trusting nature prevents him from seeing anything suspicious about either Vincent Spaulding or the preposterous Red-Headed League.
John Clay/Vincent Spaulding -  A notorious criminal working at Jabez Wilson’s pawnshop under the pseudonym Vincent Spaulding. Sinister and haughty, John Clay wins the respect of Sherlock Holmes because of his ingenious plot to rob the City and Suburban Bank.
Peter Jones -  A Scotland Yard detective. Peter Jones is a tough police officer who both respects and distrusts Sherlock Holmes.
Mr. Merryweather -  The manager of the City and Suburban Bank.
Archie/Duncan Ross/William Morris -  John Clay’s partner in crime. Archie’s red hair prompts John Clay to devise the Red-Headed League to lure Wilson out of his pawnshop for four hours every day.

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