The Hound of the Baskervilles

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Selden is Mrs. Barrymore’s brother and Mr. Barrymore’s brother-in-law. According to Mrs. Barrymore, Selden was overindulged as a child, and this led directly to his criminal life. Shortly before the opening events of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Selden escapes from prison and eludes recapture by hiding out on the moors. His sister provides him with food and drink, and later with clothes provided unwittingly by Sir Henry Baskerville. Selden is known as the “Notting Hill murderer,” and is remembered by Dr. Watson as being a particularly brutal killer who only avoided the death penalty because the court thought he might be insane. He is later referred to as “one of the most notorious criminals in the country.” As a wanton fugitive already known to be capable of brutal murder, Selden serves as a red herring until he is killed while fleeing Jack Stapleton’s hound.

Selden Quotes in The Hound of the Baskervilles

The The Hound of the Baskervilles quotes below are all either spoken by Selden or refer to Selden. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Borzoi edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles published in 2014.
Chapter 6 Quotes

I remembered the case well, for it was one in which Holmes had taken an interest on account of the peculiar ferocity of the crime and the wanton brutality which had marked all the actions of the assassin.

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Sherlock Holmes, Selden
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8  Quotes

Some deep sorrow gnaws ever at her heart. Sometimes I wonder if she has a guilty memory which haunts her, and sometimes I suspect Barrymore of being a domestic tyrant. I have always felt there was something singular and questionable in this man's character […].

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, Selden
Page Number: 323
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9  Quotes

Oh, John, John, have I brought you to this? It is my doing, Sir Henry—all mine. He has done nothing except for my sake, and because I asked him.

Related Characters: Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore (speaker), Sir Henry Baskerville, Selden
Page Number: 334
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

The gleam of the match which he struck shone upon his clotted fingers and upon the ghastly pool which widened slowly from the crushed skull of the victim. And it shone upon something else which turned our hearts sick and faint within us—the body of Sir Henry Baskerville!

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Sherlock Holmes, Sir Henry Baskerville, Selden
Page Number: 369
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13  Quotes

That’s lucky for him—in fact, it’s lucky for all of you, since you are all on the wrong side of the law in this matter. I am not sure that as a conscientious detective my first duty is not to arrest the whole household.

Related Characters: Sherlock Holmes (speaker), Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, Selden
Page Number: 377
Explanation and Analysis:
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Selden Character Timeline in The Hound of the Baskervilles

The timeline below shows where the character Selden appears in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...group encounters a series of heavily armed guards. They learn that a notorious murderer named Selden has escaped from a nearby prison and is believed to be hiding out in the... (full context)
Chapter 9 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...Henry threatens Mr. Barrymore’s job that Mrs. Barrymore intervenes, revealing that Barrymore is signaling to Selden to let him know that food is available for him. Selden, she confesses, is her... (full context)
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
Despite the ominous sound, the two press on. Selden, however, sees them coming and manages to escape. Watson is surprised by how quickly and... (full context)
Chapter 10
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
...to employ him, he’s also upset that Sir Henry and Watson went after his brother-in-law. Selden, Mr. Barrymore says, has it quite hard enough out on the moors without additional hardships. (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
...of England. When Sir Henry asks Watson what he thinks about this, Watson replies that Selden leaving the country would relieve the taxpayers of the burden of paying for his incarceration.... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...of the mystery man that he and Sir Henry saw on the moor while chasing Selden. Watson is certain this is the same man who followed Sir Henry in London. If... (full context)
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...seen a boy delivering food into the moors. Frankland believes that this boy is aiding Selden; however, Watson knows this isn’t the case. With Frankland’s help, Watson is able to trace... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...realize that it is not the body of Sir Henry they’re looking at, but rather Selden’s. Watson realizes that Mr. Barrymore must have given Selden the wardrobe that Sir Henry donated... (full context)
Chapter 13 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
After breaking the news of Selden’s death to the Barrymores, Holmes turns to the family portraits lining Baskerville Hall. Watson remarks... (full context)