“Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he stayed up all night, was seated at the breakfast table...”
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE in original cloth of the most celebrated of all the Sherlock Holmes adventures.
"The immortal words 'Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!' conjure fear as few others in the twentieth-century canon. Based on local legends of black dogs and vengeful ghosts, and called the greatest mystery ever penned, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), a tale of Gothic horror set in the fantastic moors of England, enthralled readers of the Strand Magazine (in which it was serialized) with its strange warnings and clues and clever host of suspects. Watson shines here, both as the narrator and as the principal investigator until Holmes sweeps down on the scene to ratchet up the drama one more notch. Widely acknowledged to be one of the century's first bestsellers, the novel did little to quell the disappointment of readers who longed for a resolution of the question of whether Holmes- killed off in 1893's "The Final Problem"- had somehow cheated death at the hands of the villainous Professor Moriarity. The public had to wait until 1903, when "The Empty House" was published, for news that Holmes was firmly back in the land of the living" (Leslie S. Klinger, The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes).
The Hound of the Baskervilles first appeared in the Strand Magazine in monthly parts from August 1901 to April 1902, before appearing here in the first book edition. Complete with 16 full-page illustrations by Sidney Paget. First issue with the misprint "you" for "your" on page 13 line 3.
Provenance: With neat signature "R.G. Berry" on front free endpaper, likely the ownership signature of Doyle's contemporary Robert Griffith Berry (1869-1945), Welsh author of short stories and plays.
London: George Newnes, 1902. Octavo, original cloth gilt; custom box. Front board exceptionally fresh with gilt particularly bright and none of the cloth bubbling often found. Spine with mild fading and a touch of wear at the base. Text and plates fine. An exceptionally nice copy of one of the great classics of English literature.
Price: $4,800 .