Topic Modeling Analysis

From these topic modeling graphs, trends in the Sherlock Holmes stories as well as the real world can be seen.  It is safe to say that this was the popular culture back in the late 1800s/early 1900s just from seeing the themes within the story.  I thought it was interesting to find the relationships with real world events.

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The first chart shows “crime”, “crime scene”, “murder”, “family and relationships” and “investigation”.  There are a couple of large spikes for family and relationships, especially in the 1920s, although a quick google search leaves me empty handed.  Crime also shows a spike in the early 1920s as well, and this could be because of The Red Scare, which was not exclusive to the United States.  During this several high profile cases in the United States such as, Sacco and Vanzetti as well as the Scopes Monkey Trial have occurred. By this time, news sources in Great Britain would have got word of these cases. The other three topics are very related to crime in itself.

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With the next chart, which shows “finance” and “foreign affairs”, there is one large spike for foreign affairs on September 1st, 1917.  The Great War was still going on, and this was the year the United States entered the war.  Also, Germany has declared unrestrictive submarine warfare several months earlier.  Russia’s position in the war was being questioned as Bolsheviks started to gain more control in Russia, starting with the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II in March of 1917 as well as continuing riots in the country.  Finance unfortunately does not receive the same attention that foreign affairs has been receiving.

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With the last chart, dealing with “smoking”, “residential streets” and “transportation”.  A large spike in residential streets is seen on January 1st, 1904.  In this year, road infrastructure is still in its infancy, roads were still poorly made, cars were not as widespread and modern traffic laws have not been drafted yet.  What is quite strange is that transportation does not see as large of a spike even in 1908 when the Ford Motor Company introduced the Model T, which has quickly become the most popular car around the world, beating British brands such as Austin, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

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