Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of the Four. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Sign of Four: Introduction
The Sign of Four: Plot Summary
The Sign of Four: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Sign of Four: Themes
The Sign of Four: Quotes
The Sign of Four: Characters
The Sign of Four: Symbols
The Sign of Four: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Arthur Conan Doyle
Historical Context of The Sign of the Four
Other Books Related to The Sign of the Four
- Full Title: The Sign of the Four (also known as The Sign of Four)
- When Written: 1889-1890
- Where Written: London, United Kingdom
- When Published: 1890
- Literary Period: Victorian
- Genre: Detective Fiction
- Setting: London
- Climax: Holmes and his crew take part in a boat chase to catch the criminals and secure the treasure.
- Antagonist: Jonathan Small
- Point of View: First person
Extra Credit for The Sign of the Four
Big Mistake. Arthur Conan Doyle mistakenly gave Jonathan Small’s three Sikh accomplices Muslim names: Mahomet Singh, Abdullah Khan and Dost Akbar.
Dangerous Drugs. Though Sherlock Holmes’ use of cocaine in The Sign of the Four is shocking to modern readers, it should be remembered that at the time of the story’s setting the drug was widely and legally obtainable.