UNIQUE PRE-PUBLICATION PUBLISHER'S FILE COPY OF CONAN DOYLE'S STORY COLLECTION, DANGER!, IN PLAIN GRAY WRAPPERS, DATED ONE MONTH BEFORE THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION DATE
CONAN DOYLE, Sir Arthur. Danger! And Other Stories. London: John Murray, 1918. Octavo, original gray paper wrappers. $2200.
A unique pre-publication publisher's file copy of the Conan Doyle story collection Danger!, with "Danger! / and other Stories / Reader's File," hand-written in a neat cursive on the plain gray front wrapper above the ink-stamped date, "5 NOV 1918,"—one month before the official publication date.
This "Reader's File" copy of this collection predates by one month the official publication date of December 4, 1918. The title story first appeared, with the full title: "Danger! A Story of England's Peril," in Strand Magazine in July of 1914, just one month before Britain officially declared war on Germany. It "was written to show the potential weakness of Great Britain in the event of a submarine blockade. The author later stated in his autobiography (p. 318): 'It was singularly prophetic, for not only did it outline the actual situation as it finally developed, but it contained many details… exactly as they occurred'" (Gibson A41a Notes). Reprinting the story less than one month after the end of the war, with a new subtitle, "Being the Log of Captain John Sirius," Conan Doyle writes of a more general danger in his Preface to this collection; "In some unfortunate way subjects of national welfare are in this country continually subordinated to party politics… It is against this tendency that we have to guard in the future." The collection includes the first printing of the short story "A Point of View." The other nine stories in the collection had been published previously in Strand Magazine or other British periodicals. See Gibson A41a.
Some wear as expected to fragile paper wrappers, some foxing to final text page, corners of a few pages at front and rear creased. A unique copy in very good condition.