“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes": First Edition, First Issue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles with an autograph note signed by the author laid in
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes.
Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur.$5,000.00
Item Number: 103654
London: George Newnes, 1902.
First edition, first issue of the third Sherlock Holmes novel, widely considered the best of the series. Octavo, original black and gilt stamped pictorial red cloth. Illustrated by Sidney Paget. In excellent condition with some rubbing and wear. Accompanied by an original autograph letter signed on Arthur Conan Doyle’s letterhead which reads, “Dear Madame, if you booked in about ten time on Monday next (say 4 o’clock) I would do. Yours trly Arthur Doyle.” The note is in fine condition. A highly desirable paring.
Although Conan Doyle killed off his most famous character by sending Holmes over the Reichenbach Falls in a struggle with Professor Moriarty in “The Final Problem” (December 1893), readers demanded the sleuth’s return. The author obliged with this, the third— and still considered by many the best— Sherlock Holmes novel, carefully positioned on the title page as “another adventure” of Holmes. “But,” as Howard Haycraft notes, “the seed of doubt was planted”; while the novel proved an immediate success, readers pressed for more. Conan Doyle finally relented and engineered Holmes’ “resurrection” in 1903. The Hound of the Baskervilles remains “one of the most gripping books in the language” (Crime & Mystery 100 Best). “The supernatural is handled with great effect and no letdown. The plot and subplots are thoroughly integrated and the false clues put in and removed with a master hand. The criminal is superb… and the secondary figures each contribute to the total effect of brilliancy and grandeur combined. One wishes one could be reading it for the first time” (Barzun & Taylor 1142).