“In January 1891 The Strand Magazine began to appear in parlors throughout the Empire and quickly established itself as the Life of its era, offering copious illustrations, sketches, and fiction of interest to late Victorians. [Doyle’s] 'A Scandal in Bohemia'... found its way into its pages in June, and a literary marriage was consummated that would last well into the new century. Today it is impossible to think of The Strand without thinking of Sherlock Holmes, and difficult to think of Sherlock Holmes without thinking of The Strand.” –Loren D. Estleman
EXTREMELY RARE FIRST APPEARANCES IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY ISSUES IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of the first twenty-four Sherlock Holmes stories to appear in The Strand Magazine; includes all of the stories that would later be collected in book form in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. With the original Sidney Paget illustrations.
The Strand was essential to the creation of the format of the classic Holmes story; indeed without The Strand, it is questionable whether the Holmes adventure story (excluding the longer novels) would ever have existed. As Doyle explained, “Considering these various journals with their disconnected stories, it had struck me that a single character running through a series, if it only engaged the attention of the reader, would bind that reader to that particular magazine. On the other hand, it had long seemed to me that the ordinary serial might be an impediment rather than a help to a magazine, since, sooner or later, one missed one number and afterwards it had lost all interest. Clearly the ideal compromise was a character which carried through, and yet installments which were each complete in themselves, so that the purchaser was always sure that he could relish the whole contents of the magazine. I believe that I was the first to realize this and The Strand Magazine the first to put it into practice” (Pearson, Conan Doyle).
Complete in 25 issues (“The Adventure of the Naval Treaty” was published across two issues, October and November, 1893). Interestingly, the issues contain one story that was not included in the later first book printing of the Memoirs: “The Cardboard Box” (January 1893) was considered too scandalous (because it addressed adultery and therefore deemed unsuitable for younger readers) to be reprinted at the time.
Copies of the issues in original wrappers in good condition are notoriously rare. The first issue, in particular, containing “A Scandal in Bohemia” is exceptionally scarce. There have been very few collectors who have been successful in building sets like this, with all the issues in complete original wrappers and in excellent condition.
London: George Newnes, July 1891 - December 1893. Quarto, 25 issues in original wrappers. In handsome custom boxes by noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. December 1891 issue with front wrapper neatly detached (now held securely by mylar) and missing about two inches of spine wrapper from each end. The other issues in remarkably good condition with some spine chipping (as usual) and occasional minor repairs. The first issue with "A Scandal in Bohemia" (the scarcest) in particularly good condition. Overall, an outstanding set of a cornerstone of English literature.
Price: $35,000 .