London: George Newnes, 1905. Item #04984
“‘Holmes!’ I cried. ‘Is it really you? Can it indeed be that you are alive?
Is it possible that you succeeded in climbing out of that awful abyss?’”
the Third Collection of Sherlock Holmes Stories
DOYLE, A[rthur] Conan. The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Illustrated by Sidney Paget. London: George Newnes, Ltd., 1905.
First English edition of the third collection of Sherlock Holmes stories (preceded by the first American edition by about one month).
Small octavo (7 3/8 x 4 13/16 inches; 187 x 122 mm.). , 403, [1, printer’s imprint], [4, publisher’s advertisements] pp. Sixteen plates (including frontispiece). Some occasional light, mainly marginal foxing, otherwise near fine.
Publisher's dark blue cloth lettered in gilt on front cover and spine. Early ink signature "Mary V.B.M." and bookplate of Barry Cross of Bishop's Waltham (UK) on front free endpaper. An excellent copy, with the gilt much brighter than is usually seen.
“The author was persuaded to revive Sherlock Holmes by the generous offers made by the proprietors of the American magazine…Having decided to write a new series, the author took care to preserve the integrity of his fictional character. ‘I would not write a Holmes story without a worthy plot, without a problem which interested my own mind, for that is a requisite before you can interest any one else.’ The main problem was the plot…The plots did come and thirteen stories were written, among them some of the most interesting in the whole series” (Green and Gibson, pp. 140-141).
The thirteen stories are: “The Adventure of the Empty House,” “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder,” “The Adventure of the Dancing Men,” “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist,” “The Adventure of the Priory School,” “The Adventure of Black Peter,” “The Adventure of Charles August Milverton,” “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” “The Adventure of the Three Students,” “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez,” “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter,” “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” and “The Adventure of the Second Stain.”
Green and Gibson A29a.