London, Paris & Melbourne: Cassell & Company, 1892. 8 pp undated ads. Original dark blue cloth.
First Edition of this early Doyle venture into the field of science fiction, largely concerned with alchemy. Raffles Haw, a mysterious millionaire who secretly has learned the process for turning lead into gold, builds a mansion in a small town in Staffordshire, and sets about using his wealth to improve the lives of just about everyone in town -- but becomes disillusioned when instead they become parasites dependent upon him... with a predictably tragic ending.
Doyle wrote this mainly to finance a trip to Vienna where he planned to establish himself as an eye doctor (the book is dedicated to the Harley Street dermatologist who encouraged him to go there). He stayed in Vienna only two months, returning with the conviction that his future lay in literature rather than in medicine. RAFFLES HAW was published in March 1892 (only 2001 copies). This was partway through the Strand Magazine appearances of his first twelve "cases" of Sherlock Holmes, which in October 1892 would constitute his next book, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES -- and suddenly Doyle would be famous.
This is a fine, bright copy (a hint of cracking of the front endpaper). Green & Gibson A9a. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise. Item #15343