Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Autograph Manuscript Leaf from ...
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DescriptionSir Arthur Conan Doyle Autograph Manuscript Leaf from The Hound of the Baskervilles. One page, 8" x 13", no place; no date. Entirely written in Doyle's hand, this is one page of the original manuscript for Doyle's fifth "Sherlock Holmes" novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, published in 1902. Entitled "Chapter XIII, Fixing the Nets". Unsigned. Housed in a custom chemise with blue-gray boards and a quarter morocco clamshell case, measuring 9.25" x 14" overall.
Doyle writes in full:
"We're at close grips at last," said Holmes, as we walked together across the moor. "What a nerve the fellow has! How he pulled himself together in the face of what must have been a paralysing shock when he found that the wrong man had fallen a victim to his plot. I told you in London, Watson, and I tell you now again, that we have never had a foeman more worthy of our steel."
"I am sorry that he has seen you."
"And so was I at first. But there was no getting out of it."
"What effect do you think it will have upon his plans, now that he knows you are here?"
"It may cause him to be more cautious or it may drive him to desperate measures at once. Like most clever criminals, he may be too confident in his own cleverness and imagine that he has completely deceived us."
"Why should we not arrest him at once?"
"My dear Watson, you were born to be a man of action. Your instinct is always to do something energetic. But supposing for argument's sake that we had him arrested tonight, what on earth the better off should we be for that? We could prove nothing against him. I know where he keeps his hound, but what of it? [Previous sentence is crossed out.] There's the devilish cunning of it! If he were acting through a human agent we could get some evidence, but if we were to drag this great dog to the light of day it would not help us in putting a rope round the neck of its master."
"Surely we have a case."
"Not a shadow of one - only surmise and conjecture. We should be laughed out of court if we came with such a story and such evidence."
"There is Sir Charles's death."
"Found dead without a mark upon him. You...
After killing off his popular character Sherlock Holmes in 1894, Doyle brought him back eight years later in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), a book that has proved to be one of the more popular of the series. To promote the book and the return of Holmes, the American publisher, McClure, Phillips & Company (New York), asked Doyle for the original manuscript, and mounted an elaborate publicity campaign for the book by breaking up the pages and offering them one by one to dealers who purchased copies. [Note: The other Doyle "Sherlock Holmes" manuscripts are complete, not having been subjected to such treatment.]
Unfortunately, due to the fact that this particular manuscript was written on highly acidic paper, and the individual pages were mounted with equally acidic backing material, most of the pages used in the promotion have not survived either their framing or their display conditions. Only a very small percentage exists today - and few are in as good condition as this particular leaf. This particular page is a highly desirable one - it contains actual mention of Sherlock Holmes - referred to as "Holmes". Only a handful of pages that exist ever say Holmes' name as this page does. Equally important is the fact that this page contains a whole scene in which Holmes converses with Dr. Watson about the mysterious murder on the moor. [Note: Holmes only appears in about one-third of The Hound of the Baskervilles; most of the action centers on his companion, Dr. Watson.]
A highly important Doyle manuscript and an extremely rare "Sherlock Holmes"-related document.
Condition: Separation at folds previously repaired with tape which has since been removed and expertly restored with Japanese tissue. Toning from tape residue visible on recto. Gently rubbed and soiled. Pencil notations on verso.
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