All The Adventure of the Three Students

The Adventure of the Three Students

The story is set in 1895 and was published in the Strand Magazine in 1904. It forms one of the 13 stories in the compilation ‘The Return’. It has mainly drawn interest as providing information for the never-ending debate of whether Holmes studied at Cambridge or Oxford. In ‘The Missing Three Quarter’ Holmes speaks disparagingly of the university town in which the events are set and does not know it well and the story has been attributed to Cambridge. In ‘The Three Students’ Holmes is much more positive about the town and is better acquainted with it, thus allowing experts to locate the story, and with it Homes alma mater, to Oxford. While taking a break from London to pursue manuscript research Holmes is visited by Hilton Soames, a tutor at St Luke’s College, who has been reviewing part of the next day’s examination paper. While he was away from his room someone gained admittance and copied the exam paper. Only one of three students can be responsible. Neither Cambridge nor Oxford has a St Luke’s College. Nicholas Utechin placed the story as occurring in St John’s College Oxford.