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 June 1888. 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 June 1888, which is the earliest for this title -- but the book was not actually published until February 1889, and the "standard" ad catalogue is dated January 1889. This is quite simply a fine, bright copy -- essentially no soil or wear, original patterned endpapers clean and intact; beginning on page 97, the leaves remain unopened. Although surprisingly not a scarce title, this is by far the best copy we have seen in our 40+ years in business. Green & Gibson A3a. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed clamshell case. Item #15342