Well, it was no 1887, but 1888 was also an important Christmas for Sherlockians, for that was the first Christmas when someone could wake up, check under their tree, or in their stocking, and find….
In an effort to help his father, a talented artist who struggled with alcoholism and mental illness, Conan Doyle was able to get Charles Altamont Doyle the job of providing the illustrations. They are not, perhaps, the most beloved renderings of The Great Detective and his Boswell, but knowing who the artist is and why lends a sweet sentimentality to them all the same.
The book itself was released in July of 1888 to less fanfare than it deserved. The columnist for “The Study Table,” in The Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, naturally paid attention to something from a Portsmouth author:
Dr. Conan Doyle’s clever and popular story, A Study in Scarlet, which all readers of Warne’s [sic] Christmas number will remember, has now made its appearance in separate form. The exciting adventures of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his associates in fiction are now illustrated by the author’s father, Mr. Charles Doyle, a younger brother of the late Richard Doyle, the eminent colleague of John Leech in the pages of Punch, and son of the famous caricaturist “H.B.” The book is published by Messrs. Ward, Lock, and Co.–14 July, 1888
Unfortunately, I cannot offer a 1st edition UK 1888 STUD. I checked, just to be sure:
So, as about….49th best, I present these–which may well have been Christmas gifts several decades ago:
Conan Doyle’s Stories for Boys was published in New York by Cupples and Leon, in 1938, and contains one black and white frontispiece illustration. If it ever had a jacket, it’s long gone. The stories included are: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, A Case of Identity, The Red-Headed League, A Scandal in Bohemia, and The Boscombe Valley Mystery. Aside from REDH, SCAN and the novels, I have no idea why those stories were included–and no clue what makes any of them specially interesting or appropriate for boys. The Hound of the Baskervilles was published in 1968 by the Western Publishing Company (U.S.) and contains several black and white illustrations. There was no jacket. It’s obviously intended as a juvenile classic. Conan Doyle Stories, which still has the jacket (with tears and fading on the spine). It was published in New York by Platt and Munk as part of their “Great Writers Collection.” This edition is dated 1960, and there are no illustrations.
If you love collecting editions of the Canon and want to have these for your shelf, you can enter the drawing by answering this question:
Every time I read a story in the Canon, I notice something new. Where (which story, and the location) can you find a suit of Japanese armor? To narrow it down, it’s in an adventure which, according to Baring-Gould, happened in 1888.
As always, send you answers for the drawing in via blog comment or FB message! And please accept our family’s wishes for a wonderful new year in 2019!
Well, we have our first two-time winner! Resa Haile joined, well, everyone, in writing that the “Flower of Utah,” Lucy Ferrier, was saved by silver prospector/ranchman/scout/trapper/pioneer Jefferson Hope by helping her lead her terrified, rearing horse out of a drove of longhorn cattle. In the universe of “How I Met Your Mother” stories, it would have a true star–but, unfortunately for everyone but Holmes, Watson–and us–it was not to be.