Works

Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE

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“…BUT YOU MUST MAKE IT INTERESTING. THAT IS ESSENTIAL—ALL THE REST IS DETAIL”: HANDSOMELY BOUND “AUTHOR’S EDITION” OF CONAN DOYLE’S WORKS, SIGNED BY HIM

CONAN DOYLE, Sir Arthur. Works. London: Smith, Elder, 1903. Twelve volumes. Octavo, early three-quarter red morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt.

“Author’s Edition”—first American edition, first English issue—of Conan Doyle’s tales and novels, including four of his famous Sherlock Holmes books, number 118 of 1000 sets signed by the author, handsomely bound by Bayntun.

Arthur Conan Doyle's literary career took him far beyond the confines of Sherlock Holmes' sitting room at 221-B Baker Street. In all his varied fiction, he strove (as he states in his preface) to "interest his readers" and thus fulfill "the chief end of man in leaving others a little happier than he found them." Conan Doyle took great pride in his works of historical fiction, including The White Company (1891), a romance of the Hundred Years' War, and The Refugees (1893), a transatlantic tale of Huguenot persecution. Round the Red Lamp (1894) presents his often shocking stories of medical science; The Stark Munro Letters (1895) is a semi-autobiographical epistolary novel; and A Duet (1899), his only "novel of manners," offers a tender depiction of courtship and marriage—its author reserved for it "a special and particular sort of affection he had for no other book" (Dickson Carr). Yet none of his creations could ultimately compete with literature's most famous consulting detective for the reading public's affection, and this set includes four of the famous Holmes books: A Study in Scarlet (1887), The Sign of Four (1890) and the Adventures (1892) and the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894). "The author considered this edition of his works to be of great importance: he revised parts and added notes and a number of special introductions… Because of the author's friendship with Reginald Smith, he agreed to sign the thousand copies of the English issue. He was not, however, prepared to do the same for the American publisher… The English issue also has the further attraction of having two illustrations in each volume rather than one" (Green & Gibson, A60). Illustrated with 25 engraved plates.

Very shallow chipping to one spine head. A beautiful set.

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