DescriptionArthur Conan Doyle. The Great Shadow. Bristol: J. W. Arrowsmith and London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co., 1892. First English edition, second issue. Vincent Starrett's copy with his signature. Publisher's dark brown cloth, somewhat worn. Very good.
Vincent Starrett's ownership signature on the preliminary page with the publisher's device. Twelvemo. 184 pages plus twenty-eight pages of ads. Publisher's dark brown diagonally-ribbed cloth with black and gilt titles. Front cover ruled in black; rear cover in blind. Housed in a custom quarter leather slipcase and chemise. Somewhat worn along the edges and spine folds. Corners bumped. Slightly cocked. Hinges starting. Internal contents clean. Very good condition.
Pencil notation on rear pastedown reads: "First edn very rare indeed" maybe in Starrett's hand.
"The Great Shadow was written between April and June 1892. It was the first of the author's novels to deal with the Napoleonic period, and contains a memorable description of the Battle of Waterloo, so convincing that guides of the battlefield were known to quote it" (Green and Gibson, A Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle, A11a.ii).
Vincent Starrett (1886-1974) was an author, book collector, bibliographer, and journalist based in Chicago. In addition to writing a regular column on the book world called "Books Alive" for The Chicago Tribune, he also wrote pulp fiction, mystery stories, and pastiches of and essays on Arthur Conan Doyle's famous super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. In fact, Starrett was a founding member of the Baker Street Irregulars and co-founder of the group's Chicago chapter, and he continues to be acknowledged as a preeminent Sherlock Holmes scholar. His works of Sherlockiana include 221B: Studies in Sherlock Holmes and, most notably, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, first published in 1933 and still an absolutely essential work for any serious student of the Sherlock Holmes canon.
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