“It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these the last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished...”
FIRST EDITION, A SUPERLATIVE COPY, WITH PRESENTATION CARD FROM DOYLE'S ATHENAEUM CLUB, WITH NOTE IN HIS HAND.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is Doyle’s second, and arguably greatest, collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, with 90 illustrations by Sidney Paget.
Beginning with “The Adventure of Silver Blaze”, the eleven-story collection includes such classics as "The Gloria Scott" (Holmes's first case), "The Musgrave Ritual", and "The Greek Interpreter" (with the first appearance of Mycroft Holmes) before concluding with Watson’s account of the apparent death of Holmes at Reichenbach Falls in “The Adventure of the Final Problem”. The stories were originally printed in issues of the Strand Magazine from 1892-1893 before being collected in book form.
Affixed to the gutter of the front free endpaper of this copy is Doyle's personal card from the Athenaeum Club. Around his printed name ("Sir Arthur Conan Doyle") Doyle has added "With" "'s" "compliments" so the card now reads: "With Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's compliments".
Founded in 1824, the Athenaeum Club is one of London's most prestigious private clubs. Doyle was a member and based his fictitious Diogenes Club (featuring in several Holmes stories) on the Athenaeum.
The condition of this copy: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a heavy book for its size, which puts stress on the binding, and was very popular in its day. Therefore, although not particularly rare, it is usually found in somewhat poor condition. This copy is in exceptionally good condition - the finest we've handled - with the cloth and gilt remarkably bright and fresh.
London: George Newnes, 1894 . Quarto, original cloth gilt, as issued, with Strand Library illustration on front board, all edges gilt; early custom box. Jouints perhaps a touch tender (as usual), but only the most trivial wear.
A magnificent copy, with lovely presentation card by Doyle.
Price: $9,500 .