Sunday, September 25, 2016
Colonial Edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Twelve months ago I picked up a Ward, Lock colonial edition of A Study In Scarlet at the Lifeline bookfair for $20. This time around I picked up a quite battered Longmans colonial edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes for the same price. It has the standard Longmans colonial library boards of that time - quite bland compared to the slightly later pictorial cover Longmans used for its colonial library.
The title page is dated 1894 and the excellent Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia tells me it was published on 30 December 1894. It's in octavo format, unlike the quarto of the 1893 Newnes first edition.
It has all the classic Sydney Paget illustrations, including this famous one of "The Death of Sherlock Holmes." Copies of this edition seem to be quite scarce and when they do turn up are rebound or taped up like this one - the backstrip seems to be particularly fragile.
Someone must have donated their Sherlock Holmes collection to Lifeline as there were a number of scarce Sherlock Holmes items on offer - I picked up a couple of Ferret Fantasy pastiches, including An Evening With Sherlock Holmes and At the Mountains of Murkiness, a mint first edition of Michael Dibdin's The Last Sherlock Holmes Story, the Gollancz edition of Ellery Queen's Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper, and about half a dozen books in the Gaslight Sherlock Holmes monograph series on all sorts of arcane Sherlockian subjects.