Battle to save 'Hound of Baskervilles' house

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The leafy country mansion Undershaw, where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created his most famous work, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is at the centre of a literary controversy.

The home is revered by millions of Sherlock Holmes devotees around the world. Campaigners are furious that their efforts to upgrade the listed status of the 36-room property in Surrey, designed partly by Conan Doyle himself, to preserve it for future generations, have been blocked by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The writer was judged not significant enough to merit such a move.

Leading writers -- including Julian Barnes and Ian Rankin -- have condemned the Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, for failing to recognise the author's place in the nation's cultural canon.

Barnes, whose own Booker-shortlisted novel Arthur & George features the home extensively, has criticised Ms Jowell for the "regrettable" failing.

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