First Edition of a Sherlock Holmes ClassicArthur Conan Doyle. The Hound of the Baskervilles. London: George Newnes, 1902.
First edition. Small octavo. 369 pages. Sixteen tipped-in plates (including illustrated frontispiece) by Sidney Paget.
Publisher's scarlet cloth with gilt lettering and gilt and black decorations. Front and rear boards are bright; spine is slightly faded, with mildly dulled gilt. One plate is partially detached. Light foxing to endpapers. Front free endpaper has both an armorial bookplate as well as an embossed seal of a London bookseller. A very attractive copy in near fine condition.
The Hound of the Baskervilles "was based on an idea given to [Doyle] by Bertram Fletcher Robinson, who was a nephew of Sir John Robinson and a correspondent for the Daily Express during the Boer War. The two men struck up a friendship when travelling back on the same ship from Cape Town. They spent four days together on a golfing holiday at Cromer in March 1901, and it was then that Robinson mentioned the legend (possibly of the Black Hound of Hergest associated with the Vaughan family of Hergest Court in Herefordshire). Doyle told his mother: 'Fletcher Robinson came here with me and we are going to do a small book together The Hound of the Baskervilles - a real creeper.' [...] The serial publication was an unprecedented success. It was the only occasion in the magazine's history that a seventh printing was needed to meet the demand, and the queues at the publisher's offices and throughout the country were extraordinary" (Green and Gibson, A Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle, A26a).
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