THE GREAT BOER WAR [inscribed by Doyle, plus letter]. A. Conan Doyle.
THE GREAT BOER WAR [inscribed by Doyle, plus letter].
THE GREAT BOER WAR [inscribed by Doyle, plus letter].

THE GREAT BOER WAR [inscribed by Doyle, plus letter].

[inscribed plus autograph letter] Revised and Enlarged Edition. New York: McClure, Phillips & Company, 1902. Original dark blue cloth lettered in gilt.

"Revised and Enlarged Edition," which consisted of only 1,005 copies. This was Doyle's first volume of non-fiction: the outbreak of war occupied Doyle's mind so utterly that he could write nothing literary, so he went to South Africa as a physician and wrote of the war instead. (The term "Great, incidentally, is used only to distinguish it from the smaller 1881 Boer War.) McClure Phillips published the first American edition in 1900, the same year as the UK edition; there followed four subsequent US impressions between 1900 and 1902 (listed on the title verso). Then this enlarged edition came out -- for which Doyle wrote a "Preface to the Final Edition" dated September 1902; this is a taller volume than the earlier impressions, and was priced at $2.50 compared to $1.50.

This copy includes, in the pocket at the rear, a total of five maps printed on two folded sheets of paper (the first US edition had five maps, though its title page said "six"). The book's condition is near-fine, with the gilt unusually bright; the endpapers of this hefty volume are cracked. Green & Gibson B1c.i. Housed in a felt-lined morocco-backed clamshell case.

This copy is inscribed and initialed by the author at the top of the title page, "With all remembrance ACD". Also, tipped in is a one-page undated letter on Doyle's "Undershaw" stationery, which undoubtedly accompanied this gift of a book:

My dear Russell

It is not fair to judge my book by the first out of twenty drafts. I send you the last. I don't know that Stormburg [sic] is much changed.

Yours ACD

The front paste-down also bears the armorial bookplate of "Major General John Cecil Russell | Colonel 12th Royal Lancers." Major-General John Cecil Russell [1839-1909], a keen supporter of the use of mounted cavalry, was a veteran of many late nineteenth century African wars, having served during the Third Ashanti War (1873), the Ninth Cape Frontiers War (1878-1879), and the Zulu War (1879). By the time of this presentation, 63-year-old Russell was semi-retired as an equerry to King Edward VII. "Stormburg" refers to the Battle of Stormberg of 10 December 1899 ("one of the more embarrassing British defeats of the Boer War in which a British army got lost and marched into an unintentional ambush" [Rickard]). The letter is in fine condition; Doyle's inscription on the title page has "bled" somewhat into the paper. Item #14016

Price: $2,250.00

See all items by