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Anna
Golden Paget 8
Vital statistics
Sex Female
Born Russia
Died November 1894
Kent, England
Nationality Russian
Family Sergius (husband)
Occupation Revolutionary
Behind the scenes
Appearances "The Golden Pince-Nez"

Anna was a former Russian revolutionary and the wife of Sergius. Sherlock Holmes discovers she is guilty of killing Willoughby Smith in "The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez", albeit accidentally, but she commits suicide to avoid returning to prison.

Biography

Anna met her future husband, Sergius, while she was a student at a university in an unnamed Russian city. At the time of their marriage, Anna was merely twenty and Sergius was fifty. The two were members of a Nihilist revolutionary cell known as the Brotherhood which opposed the Tsarist regime. At some point, Anna developed a close relationship with another revolutionary named Alexis. Anna described him as "noble, unselfish, {and} loving - everything my husband was not", and claimed he hated violence. Alexis wrote constantly to Anna, urging her and the group not to pursue their goals by violence.

Against Alexis' warnings, the Brotherhood was soon involved in a incident that led to the killing of a policeman and initiated a crackdown on the group. To save his own life, Sergius betrayed his wife and comrades to the authorities, for which he received a significant amount of money. The members of the Brotherhood were arrested on his evidence, and many were sentenced to death by hanging, and others to exile in Siberia. Anna was sentenced to several years in Siberia. To her great distress, Alexis was also arrested although he hadn't been involved with the plot. Anna knew that there were documents that would prove Alexis' innocence - his letters, and her diary, where she had recorded the opinions of each group member on the plot. However, Sergius, jealous of Anna's relationship with Alexis, stole them to ensure he would be convicted and hopefully sentenced to death. Alexis was instead condemned to labor in a Siberian salt mine.

After her release from prison, Anna resolved to travel to England to retrieve the documents from Sergius. She knew he had them thanks to a bitter letter she had received from her husband in prison, in which he quoted from her diary. However, she knew her husband would never give them to her freely. First, she tracked her husband down, discovering that he now living at Yoxley Old Place in Kent under the name "Professor Coram". Next, she hired a private detective who posed as a secretary for Sergius. The detective located the documents in his study and made an impression of the key to the drawer in which they were locked, but refused to steal them for her. Anna therefore had to enter the house herself. She successfully retrieved the, but was confronted by Willoughby Smith, the professor's secretary. In the ensuing struggle, she accidentally stabbed the young man in the neck, unfortunately fatally. In a panic to escape, she unknowingly entered her husband's room. When he threatened to turn her in, she countered by threatening to reveal his whereabouts to the Brotherhood, who would be eager to extract vengeance for his betrayal. He therefore grudgingly agreed to hide her in a secret compartment in his room until the police had left.

When Sherlock Holmes finally solved the case and discovered Anna's hiding place in the Professor's room, she tells him her story and confesses to the killing. She also gives him the packet she had stolen, and implores him to deliver it to the Russian embassy to secure Alexis' freedom. She then reveals that she took poison shortly before revealing herself, and collapses. Holmes honors her final wish, and he and Watson take the documents to the embassy together.

Description

Watson describes Anna as a woman who "could never have been handsome". She had a thick nose with close-set eyes, and a long, prominent chin. She had exceptionally poor vision and wore strong glasses, which gave her a peering expression, puckered forehead, and rounded shoulders. However, Watson says that there was nonetheless "a certain nobility in the woman’s bearing", and that she "compelled something of respect and admiration". She spoke with a strong Russian accent.

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