“It has always been my ambition – the dearer because it appeared to be unattainable – to have a collected edition of my own works... In the case of each book I have added in this edition some small explanation as to the scope and object of the work. A preface had always seemed to me an unnecessary impertinence, until I found by experience how easily one may be misunderstood. I have altered some of the stories, shortened others, corrected all, and added some notes which may be of interest to the reader in the case of the historical romances...
“The life of the writer of fiction has its own troubles, the weary waiting for ideas, the blank reaction when they have been used, worst of all the despair when the thought which had seemed so bright and new goes dull and dark in the telling. But surely he has in return some claim to hope that if he can but interest his readers he fulfills the chief end of man in leaving others a little happier than he found them.” –Arthur Conan Doyle, Preface to the Author’s Edition
SIGNED BY ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: THE BEAUTIFUL TWELVE-VOLUME “AUTHOR’S EDITION”, ONE OF 1000 COPIES SIGNED BY DOYLE; IN EXQUISITE BAYNTUN BINDINGS.
“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. He remarks in the preface that it had for some time been his ambition to have such a collection” and he notes that “I have expended all pains in putting these books into their final form...” (Green & Gibson, A Bibliography of Arthur Conan Doyle, A60).
This English issue of the Author’s Edition was limited to 1000 sets – 510 sets were bound by Smith. Elder and Company. “The remaining 490 sets of sheets were passed to John Murray when the company was sold; they were reissued with new title-pages dated 1903 in and after 1917.” This set is one of the John Murray reissues. There was an American issue of the Author’s Edition as well, but Doyle refused to sign any of those sets. Although Doyle mentions in his preface that he intended to add new works to the set over the years, this was never done and consequently The Hound of the Baskervilles was not included in this edition. (Green & Gibson).
Beautifully illustrated with twenty-four photogravure plates. Note: The signed limitation page precedes the title page in The White Company.
London: John Murray, 1903 [but really 1917]. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter crushed red morocco by Bayntun (with binder’s stamp on front free endpapers), raised bands, gilt-decorated spines, top edges gilt. Twelve volumes. A few trivial spots of wear to cloth on boards; mild uniform fading to spines. Overall in outstanding condition in bindings of the highest quality.
Price: $8,500 .