Thursday, 22 November 2012

Rare Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes book on display

Rare Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes book on display

In May of 2010 I did a post about the sale of an ultra-rare copy of the first edition of A Study In Scarlet, one of only two copies known to exist that are signed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Thanks to a comment from Randall Stock, who maintains The Best of Sherlock Holmes & Conan Doyle website, we also learned that 30 other [unsigned] copies of the 1887 Beeton's Christmas Annual - in which the story first appeared - have also survived to this day.

It is one of these other thirty, until recently in the hands of a now-deceased private collector, that will go on display at the Portsmouth City Museum in Hampshire on the 24th November - just in time for the 125th anniversary of The Great Detective's first appearance.  Sadly this particular example is not in the best of conditions and so will only be on view for a couple of months.

Still it is the least that should be done to help celebrate such a milestone, although I am sure we shall be commemorating many more Sherlockian anniversaries in the future - hopefully with one or more of these same first editions - as the appeal of the character and stories shows no signs of waning.  Indeed one could argue that never have the adventures of Mr Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson been more popular than at the present moment, with two hugely successful feature films (and a third rumoured to be on the way!), two series (and, again, a third next year) of the acclaimed modern B.B.C. interpretation Sherlock and most recently the positively-received American CBS version Elementary starring Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu proving the point.  That's before one even factors in the continuing availability of the books too, of which A Study In Scarlet is one of many still read by millions.  The game is definitely still afoot!

5 comments:

  1. I am an avid Sherlock Holmes fan. Indeed, anything to do with Victorian times and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is enough to send my pulse racing. The stories are splendid, so ingenious in plot and detail. The modern adaptation Sherlock sticks to the same principles, if only Martin Freeman could hurry up The Hobbit films! I long for a full series.

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  2. I am an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, indeed anything to do with the Victorian era and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The stories are splendid with ingenious plots and detail. Indeed, the modern adaptation Sherlock is a particular favourite, following the same principles laid out by Sir Arthur. If only all the writers and cast could find the time to film a full series. I live in expectant hope.

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  3. I'm torn between Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone on this one, not keen on the new ones though. X

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  4. I'm era specific on these, I can't abide the modern ones!

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  5. I can appreciate that the newer Holmes (Holmeses?) aren't to everyone's taste but at least it shows the character's enduring popularity is in no danger of waning. (He is, after all, the most portrayed fictional character on film/TV).

    For the record, I'm a Brett and Rathbone fan too (I always say that Brett is my favourite TV Holmes and Rathbone the best film one) although I don't mind RDJ's version nor Cumberbatch's modern interpretation. Haven't seen JLM's portrayal yet, so can't comment.

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