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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle–Happy Birthday

Written by Chris Routledge, 22nd May 2008

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22nd, 1859 and it's been a big week for him. A copy of A Study in Scarlet, in a first printing of Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887 was donated to an Oxfam charity shop in Harrogate and sold at auction for £15,500 (net) on Tuesday. Here's the catalogue entry from Bonham's:

Lot No: 67


A Study in Scarlet... Containing also Two Original Plays for Home Performance [in Beeton's Christmas Annual. Twenty-Eighth Season], FIRST PRINTING OF THE FIRST SHERLOCK HOLMES STORY, wood-engraved frontispiece and illustrations by D.H. Friston and W.M.R. Quick, title and contents leaf with advertisements on verso, some staining to pages 1 and 16/17, bookplate of George Arthur Hodgson, bound with 4 other Christmas special issues in contemporary half morocco, spine gilt (lettered "Christmas Annuals"), without original wrappers and advertisements, front hinge split, contents working loose [De Waal 416; Lilly, Detective Fiction 16], 8vo (207 x 130mm.), Ward, Lock & Co., [1887]

Doyle sold the rights to this story for £25. The current issue of The Reader magazine features an article of mine about A Study in Scarlet which you can read here. Full details of issue 29 of the magazine are available here.

[edit] A tipsy wink to The Bunburyist, for spotting this one.

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