“IT IS MY BUSINESS TO KNOW WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DON’T KNOW”: HANDSOMELY BOUND FIRST EDITIONS OF THE ADVENTURES AND MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
CONAN DOYLE, Sir Arthur. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. WITH: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. London: George Newnes, 1892, 1894. Two volumes. Octavo, modern full crushed blue morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; original cloth covers and spine of each volume bound in. Housed in a custom slipcase.
First editions in book form of these classic stories starring literature’s most famous detective, illustrated by Sidney Paget, handsomely bound in full morocco-gilt by Bayntun-Rivière.
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the novel A Study in Scarlet (1887), but his adventures in the Strand Magazine would bring both him and his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, lasting fame. "The initial 12 tales were collected between covers as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, published in England and America in 1892; and 11 of the second 12… as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1894. If any reader be prepared to name two other books that have given more innocent but solid pleasure, let him speak now— or hold his peace!" (Haycraft, 50). These volumes contain such famous and memorable tales as "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." Of special note is the last case in the Memoirs, "The Final Problem," in which Holmes apparently meets his death in a struggle with "the Napoleon of crime," Professor Moriarty. "At one point, tiring of the detective, Doyle attempted to exterminate him… but the clamor of his admirers forced him to resurrect Holmes for several further volumes, and his popularity has waned little since" (Benet, 273). With Sidney Paget's original, iconic illustrations: "Paget's spirited illustrations… greatly assisted to popularize those stories" (DNB). Original cloth covers and spine bound in at rear of each volume, including first-state cover of Adventures, with blank street sign on front cover illustration. Green & Gibson A10a, A14a. DeWaal 520, 596. Bookplate.
Fine condition, a very handsome set.