Back to List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Mormons

A Study in Scarlet

Arthur Conan Doyle

1887

Link

2018-07-07

"'He was passing through the door, when he turned, with flushed face and flashing eyes. 'It were better for you, John Ferrier,' he thundered, 'that you and she were now lying blanched skeletons upon the Sierra Blanco, than that you should put your weak wills against the orders of the Holy Four!'" - A. Conan Doyle

Mormon leader Brigham Young threatens our poor American hero in A Study in Scarlet. His (fictional) secret society has no trouble disappearing dissenters or just thinning the herd of men to better tune the sex ratio for polygamy.

I don't think Arthur Doyle had been to this area of the US or met Mormons before writing. He probably had accounts of the Mormon War of 1838 where the US government had exterminated or banished Mormons in Missouri. Obviously mainstream accounts would be anti-Mormon.