As made to his Three Grandchildren Joseph, Gervas, & Reuben during the Hard Winter of 1734... London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889. 2 pp undated ads + 16 pp ads dated January 1889. Original very dark blue cloth, beveled edges.
First Edition, consisting of only 1000 copies. This historical novel was Doyle's third book -- his first hardcover one, preceded only by the two wrappered titles A STUDY IN SCARLET and THE MYSTERY OF CLOOMBER. MICAH CLARKE was quite successful, running through several quick printings, though Doyle had had to take it to numerous publishers before Andrew Lang at Longmans finally accepted it.~[Doyle] brought together his knowledge of the seventeenth century and supplemented it with months of research on detail. Then, at intervals of tramping medical rounds or studying optics at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital, he wrote the book in three months. Now the power of MICAH CLARKE, aside from its best action scenes -- the bloodhounds on Salisbury Plain, the brush with the King's Dragoons, the fight in Wells Cathedral, the blinding battle-piece at Sedgemoor -- still lies in its characterization: that other imagination, the use of homely detail, by which each character grows into life before ever a shot is fired in war. [Carr]~This copy has the ad catalogue dated January 1889, which is the "standard" for this title; there exist copies with ads dated as early as June 1888, but the book was not published until February 1889, so such early dates reflect only the binder using up old leftover catalogues. It is a very good-plus copy, with the cover gilt still quite bright; as usual the volume is a little askew, and there is a little foxing on some leaves, but there is only a little of the usual cracking of the delicate patterned endpapers in this hefty volume. (There is also minor damage to a corner margin of one leaf, due to improper opening.) Green & Gibson A3a. Item #13899