Item #14396 MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. A. Conan Doyle.


Illustrated. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894. 6 pp undated ads. Original light blue mottled cloth decorated in black.

First American Edition -- which includes one case excluded from the U.K. edition. In 1892, the first twelve Sherlock Holmes cases to have appeared in The Strand Magazine were published, by Newnes in the U.K. and by Harper in the U.S., as ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Two years later there were another twelve cases, so here are the MEMOIRS. Included are such renowned cases as "Silver Blaze," "The Yellow Face," "The Musgrave Ritual," "The Crooked Man" and "The Final Problem" -- this last one being the tale in which Doyle apparently killed off Holmes at Reichenbach Falls, at the hands of Professor Moriarty. (Doyle wanted to rid himself of Holmes so that he could revert to more serious subject matter -- but ultimately the public would not allow Holmes to remain dead.) The volume includes 27 illustrations -- 22 by W.H. Hyde and the other five (one of which is not listed) by Sidney Paget who had done the original Strand ones.

Most important, however, is the presence of "The Cardboard Box" in this first American edition, for it had NOT appeared in the London edition seven weeks earlier, nor would it (and its three illustrations) appear in Harper's "New and Revised Edition" seven months later. "The Cardboard Box" was removed either because of its illicit love affair, because of its double murder, or because of the gruesomeness of a severed ear being mailed in a cardboard box. (Doyle so liked his beginning to "The Cardboard Box," in which Holmes breaks into Watson's thoughts, that he transferred that beginning to "The Resident Patient" for the London edition and the later American edition.) In any event the American edition of MEMOIRS is very highly sought-after, since it includes "The Cardboard Box," its three illustrations, and also Doyle's original beginning for "The Resident Patient."

This copy is a bright, just-about-fine copy: there are a few minor wrinkles in the spine cloth and there is just a hint of a crack in the front endpaper gutter, but the cloth is clean, the gilt is bright, and the spine does not have any of the usual browning. These Harper volumes are tough to find in any better condition, due to the pale blue mottled cloth used. Green & Gibson A14b. Item #14396

Price: $1,350.00

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