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    "There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."

    Arthur Conan Doyle. A Study in Scarlet. London: Ward, Lock & Co., 1888 [March 1889]. First edition in book form, second impression (with "youuger" in the "Publisher's Preface") of the first Sherlock Holmes story (preceded only by the story's appearance in Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887) and the author's first published work. Octavo. [6], 169, [1, blank], [10, advertisements] pages. Six full-page illustrations (on pages [32, 57, 64, 98, 124, 158) by the author's father, Charles Doyle (who was by then confined to an asylum on account of his epilepsy and alcoholism). Original white wrappers printed in red, with two lines "This design, with the exception of the lettering, is composed with the 'Patent Kalido Mosaic Type'" present on the front wrapper. Rebacked, with front and rear wrappers trimmed along inner margins and affixed to an advertisement leaf, securing the newer backing between them. Front wrapper with a three-inch horizontal tear and a four-inch curved tear through the title, both repaired. Wrappers dampstained, soiled, and creased, with edge wear and few small edge tears. Ink stains on front wrapper. Previous owner's pencil name and a small number "4" on rear wrapper. Front wrapper detaching, backstrip cracked and torn, with surface losses. Textblock dampstained throughout in lower inner corner into the text and lessening after page 100. Rectangular offset on title-page; partially erased writing and small hole in upper margin of page 1, affecting the "A" of running header on page 2. Over-opened between pages 58 and 59, as well as 70 and 71. Pages with foxing, smudging, staining, and occasional soiling. Edge wear with corner bends. A good copy, rarely seen in the original wrappers.

    More Information:

    Green and Gibson A1.a.i. The Universal Sherlock Holmes C1362 and C1363 (at


    The first impression of the first edition in book form appeared in July of 1888. The second impression was issued in March of 1889 at one shilling. Two of the signatures were reset after the first printing, resulting in a misprint ("younger" becoming "youuger") in paragraph 2, line 3 of the "Publisher's Preface." The two printings are often referred to by these two spellings.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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