First Editions of the First Two Sherlock Holmes BooksArthur Conan Doyle. First Editions of the First Two Sherlock Holmes Books, including: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. London: George Newnes, 1892. First edition, first issue with misprint of "Violent Hunter" for "Violet Hunter" on page 317, line 23. Large octavo. 317 pages. Illustrated by Sidney Paget. First state binding with no name on the street sign in the front cover illustration. All edges gilt. Floral endpapers. [and:] The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. London: George Newnes, 1894. First edition. Large octavo. 279 pages. Illustrated by Sidney Paget. Dark blue illustrated cloth over beveled boards with titles and illustration in gilt and black. All edges gilt. Floral endpapers. Both books housed together in a timeworn custom blue cloth slipcase and chemise with gilt spine titles.
Both copies with moderate wear to the bindings. One fingernail abrasion to the front hinge of Adventures. Previous owner's bookplate in Adventures. Small but of crackling to front board of Memoirs, which also shows scattered minor foxing. Rear hinge of Memoirs starting. A very good set of books containing the stories that first made a legend out of an eccentric amateur detective and his loyal doctor-friend.
"The initial twelve tales were collected between covers as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, published in England and America in 1892; and eleven of the second twelve... as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, published in 1894. If any reader be prepared to name two other books that have given more innocent but solid pleasure, let him speak now - or hold his peace!" (Haycraft, 50).
Green and Gibson, A10a and A14a, DeWaal 520 & 596.
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