Book Collecting

Arthur Conan Doyle – First Edition Books: Identification Guide

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are milestones in the field of crime fiction.

Conan Doyle was a prolific writer; other than Holmes stories, his works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, and historical novels. One of Doyle’s early short stories, “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement” (1884), helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste.

Conan Doyle struggled to find a publisher. His first work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, A Study in Scarlet, was written in three weeks when he was 27 and was accepted for publication by Ward Lock & Co on 20 November 1886, which gave Doyle £25 (equivalent to £2,900 in 2019) in exchange for all rights to the story. The piece appeared a year later in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual and received good reviews in The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald.

A sequel to A Study in Scarlet was commissioned, and The Sign of the Four appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine in February 1890, under agreement with the Ward Lock company. Doyle felt grievously exploited by Ward Lock as an author new to the publishing world, and so, after this, he left them. Short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were published in the Strand Magazine.

Conan Doyle’s attitude towards his most famous creation was ambivalent. In November 1891, he wrote to his mother: “I think of slaying Holmes, and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things.” His mother responded, “You won’t! You can’t! You mustn’t!” In an attempt to deflect publishers’ demands for more Holmes stories, he raised his price to a level intended to discourage them, but found they were willing to pay even the large sums he asked. As a result, he became one of the best-paid authors of his time.

His creation, Sherlock Holmes has become the most famous detective of all time, inspired and influenced countless authors including Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen, Robert Goren, Philip Marlowe, Gil Grisom, Sam Spade, Patrick Jane, Perry Mason, Jonathan Creek, Shawn Spencer, Columbo, Dick Tracy, Adrian Monk, August Derleth, Gregory House, Dr Edward Fitzgerald, the children’s book series Encyclopedia Brown, and even the comic book hero Batman.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – First Editions Identification Guide

Here is a selected list of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works and first edition identification points, by order of publication, including his most famous books. It’s however incomplete, please refer to the reference section if you want to learn more about his lesser known works.

How to Identify First Edition books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/Printing Identification Points
1888A Study in ScarletWard, Lock & Co., London, 1888Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) White wrapper. Fist English edition in book form of the first Sherlock Holmes story (preceded only by the story's appearance in Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887). Publishers; preface, paragraph 2, line 3 "younger".
  • (B) Second impression. Bottom cover has a line with "Patent Kalido Mosaic Type" and publishers' preface, paragraph 2, line 3 "youuger".
ALSO: J. P. Lippincott Co., 1890. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Beige wrappers. First American edition, issued in March 1890. Price of 50c.
  • (B) Same as above. Issued in various shade of blue cloth. The cloth issue has an additional leaf at the beginning and end (75c).
ALSO: Second English edition. Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co, 1891. First illustrated edition, illustrated by Geo. Hutchinson. Beige cloth, with red cloth spine. Note: The second English edition was issued in New York in February 1892 ($1.50). The copies were bound in New York and have white endpapers. The covers are similar though not identical.
ALSO: Third English edition. Ward, Lock, Bowden & Co, 1895. White wrapper.
1889Micah ClarkeLondon: Longmans, Green & Co., 1889Dark blue cloth over heavy bevelled boards, ochre-on-white swan-and-ship endpapers. First English edition.
ALSO: First English edition, American issue. Same as above, but the imprint at the foot of the spine as "LONGMANS" instead of "LONGMANS & Co" and white endpapers. No publisher's catalogue ($1.50).
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1889. Light blue wrappers (45c) . First American edition.
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894. Yellow cloth. Second authorized American edition.
1889The Mystery of CloomberWard and Downey, London,.1889Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Light green wrappers. White endpapers printed with advertisements. Upper endpaper: [I] Rowland's Kalydor, Aspinall's Enamel; [II] Ward and Downey's Cheap Novels, etc.; [III] Ward and Downey's Two-Shilling Novels. There is a later variant state with with advertisements on the upper endpaper for: [I] Rowland's Kalydor, Ward and Downey's New Books (five works including The Mystery of Cloomber) [II] Ward and Downey's Cheap Novels; [III] Beetham's products.
  • (B) As above. Bound in light blue cloth. White endpapers.
1889Mysteries and AdventuresLondon: Walter Scott, [1889]Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dark green cloth over heavy bevelled boards. Publisher's advertisements inside upper and lower covers.
  • (B) Light red cloth over heavy bevelled boards. Bound with Oak Bough and Wattle-Blossom. There are no advertisements. Issued in 1891.
1890The Captain of the Polestar and Other TalesLondon: Longmans, Green & Co., 1890Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dark green cloth over heavy bevelled boards titled gilt. 750 copies (6/-).
  • (B) Same as above, but later catalogue, dated at foot of p. 16: 30,000/3/90; and on p. 12: By A.C. DOYLE. | Micah Clarke (3s. 6d.) | The Captain of the Polestar, &co.
ALSO: First English edition, American issue. Same as above, but with the imprint with the imprint of the publisher at foot of spine: LONGMANS. White endpapers ($1.50.)
1890The Sign of the FourLondon: Spencer Blackett, 1890Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dark red fine-ribbed cloth blocked in black and titled gilt. The imprint at the foot of spine reads " SPENCER BLACKETT'S". Black endpapers (3/6).
  • Note: There are two variant states, priority unknown. Some copies have the publisher's 32 pp. catalogue for October 1890 inserted at the end, and the majority of copies have the numeral '138' on the contents page incomplete, so that it reads '13', the copy deposited in the British Museum and stamped on 18 October 1890 has the numerals incomplete. There is a misprint on p. 56 where 'wished' appears as 'w shed'.
  • (B) As above. The imprint at the foot of the spine reads: "GRIFFITH FARRAN & Co." Note: There are 8 pp. of publisher's advertisements in some copies, though not all. The numeral on the contents page is incomplete.
  • (C) London: George Newnes, 1892. The covers are those of Griffith Farran and Company. Black endpapers. Note: This issue uses the remaining sheets from Spencer Blackett's edition purchased from Griffith Farran and Company in September 1892. The numeral '138' is complete on the content page.
ALSO: New York: P. F. Collier, Publisher, 1891. First American edition. White wrappers (25c).
1890The Firm of GirdlestoneLondon: Chatto & Windus, 1890Maroon cloth blocked in black and titled black and gilt. 6/-.
Note: There is a slight variation in copies bound later. The ampersand inthe publisher's imprint on the spine, and its alignment, are different.
ALSO: Lovell's International Series No. 65. Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) by F. F. Lovell: the Publishers' Weekly. The imprint on the title-page reads: NEW YORK: | FRANK F. LOVELL & COMPANY | 142 AND 144 WORTH STREET.
  • (B) was probably by John W. Lovell. The imprint reads: Either: NEW YORK | JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY | 150 WORTH STREET.; or: NEW YORK | JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY | 150 WORTH STREET., COR. MISSION PLACE.
  • (C) The imprint would read: UNITED STATES BOOK COMPANY | SUCCESSORS TO JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY | 150 WORTH ST. COR. MISSION PLACE.
1891The White CompanyLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1891Red-brown cloth blocked in black and titled black and gilt. Three volumes, 31/6. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Regular paper, with grey floral endpapers.
  • (B) Superior text paper, with bright yellow endpapers.
ALSO: First American edition, [1891]. Two issues. priority as listed:
  • (A) Stiff tan wrappers. Title page has the imprint "NEW YORK | JOHN W. LOVELL COMPANY", (50c.)
  • (B) Two bindings, no priority:
    • (1) Thick white wrappers. Title page has the imprint "NEW YORK | LOVELL, CORYELL & COMPANY", (50c).
    • (2) Plum cloth and titled gilt ($1.00).
ALSO: London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1892. Second English edition. Single volume edition. Red diagonal fine-grain cloth and titled black and gilt, (6/-).
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1895. Second American edition. Green cloth blocked in red, silver, and gilt, titled gilt, ($1.75).
1892The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesLondon: George Newnes, Limited, 1892Light blue cloth over heavy bevelled boards, and titled in black and gilt. Blue dust-jacket and titled black as on covers, with publisher's advertisements on lower cover.
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1892. First American edition. Light blue cloth blocked in dark blue and titled gilt. Brown dustjacket titled black on spine.
ALSO: Longmans, Green & Co, 1894. Second English edition, colonial issue. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Wrappers (1/6).
  • (B) Grey cloth ruled and titled dark brown on upper cover (2/-).
1892The Doings of Raffles HawCassell & Co, London, 1892Dark blue cloth titled gilt. First English edition.
ALSO: New York: John W. Lovell Company, [1892]. First American edition, copyright issue. Wrappers. Note: © page dated 1891, but 1892.
ALSO: New York: Lovell, Coryell & Company, [1892. First American edition. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Tan wrappers (50c).
  • (B) Light blue textured cloth and titled dark green ($1.00).
1892The Great ShadowJ. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol, 1892White wrappers. and titled in red and black on upper cover, spine titled black (1/-). Arrowsmith's Christmas Annual.
ALSO: First English edition, second impression. As above. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Dark brown fine-ribbed cloth ruled and titled black on upper cover, spine titled gilt. Dark brown endpapers (1/6).
  • (B) Orange wrappers. and titled in dark blue and red (1/-).
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893. First American edition. Grey cloth and titled in bright red. "Copyright, 1892, by A. CONAN DOYLE." stated on © page. Two states, priority as listed:
  • (A) The advertisements at the end for the novels of William Dean Howells listing fourteen works beginning with "The Quality of Mercy".
  • (B) The advertisements at the end for the novels of William Dean Howells lists sixteen works beginning with "The World of Chance.".
Note: The book was reprinted with the date removed from the title-page. The advertisement for the novels of William Dean Howells lists sixteen works beginning with "The Coast of Bohemia."
1893The RefugeesLondon: Longmans, Green & Co., 1893Three volumes. Light green cloth, ruled borders in blind on upper and lower covers. Ochre on white swan-and-ship endpapers. ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1893. "Copyright, 1893, by HARPER & BROTHERS." stated on © page. Light blue fine-grain cloth blocked in gilt and titled red, white endpapers ( $1.75).
ALSO: Second English edition, in one volume. Dark green cloth over heavy bevelled boards, titled gilt. "NEW EDITION" stated on title page.
Note: The one-volume edition was prepared shortly after the first edition. Publication was deferred to allow the three-volume edition to be fully distributed by the circulating libraries.
ALSO: Second English edition, colonial issue. As above. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Wrappers (1/6).
  • (B) Buff cloth ruled and titled dark brown on upper cover (2/-).
1893The Great Shadow and Beyond the CityJ. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol, [1893]Orange cloth and titled black, light blue, and gilt, white endpapers. First illustrated edition, illustrated by James Greig and Paul Hardy (3/6).
Note: There were eight further impressions between August 1893 and January 1914.
1893The Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesLondon: George Newnes, Limited, 1894Dark blue cloth over heavy bevelled boards, and titled in black and gilt. Blue dust-jacket and titled black as on covers, with publisher's advertisements on lower cover. Published December 1893 (6/-).
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894. First American edition. Light blue cloth blocked in dark blue and titled gilt. "Copyright, 1894, by HARPER & BROTHERS." stated on © page. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) "CONTENTS: XIII-XXIV"
  • (B) "CONTENTS: XIII-XXIII" ('The Adventure of the Cardboard Box' is omitted and the remaining stories are renumbered); at foot.
1894An Actor's Duel and the Winning ShotLondon, John Dicks, [1894]White pictorial wrappers (6d). Publisher's advertisement on lower cover for John Dicks' Books; publisher's advertisements inside upper and lower covers;
1894Round the Red LampMuethen &Co., London, 1894Red ribbed cloth ruled and titled gilt, white endpapers.
ALSO: First English edition (second impression), colonial issue. Two issues, no priority: As above. Title page with "SECOND EDITION" and at foot "Colonial Library".
  • (A) Wrappers.
  • (B) Black cloth and titled red. ALSO: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1894. First American edition. "COPYRIGHT, 1894, | BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY" stated on © page. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, light brown endpapers. Off white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers ($1.50).
1894The ParasiteWestminster: Constable & Co., 1894Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Dark blue ribbed cloth and titled gilt, white endpapers.
  • (B) Light green ribbed wrappers, white endpapers.
ALSO: Westminster: Archibald Constable., 1897. First English edition, reissue. Smooth canary-yellow cloth and titled black, whiter endpapers. (1/-)
ALSO: New York: Harper & Brothers, 1895. First American edition. Dark grey cloth and titled gilt, white endpapers. "Copyright, 1894, by HARPER & BROTHERS." stated on © page. ($1.00).
1895The Stark Munro LettersLondon: Longmans, Green & Co., 1895Dark green cloth over heavy bevelled boards titled in decorated gilt letters, white endpapers. (6/-).
ALSO: First English edition, colonial issue. As above, on cheaper text paper. With at head of title-page: "Longmans' Colonial Library". In the uniform cloth and paper binding of the publisher's Colonial Library. (2/-, 1/6).
ALSO: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1895. First American edition. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, light brown endpapers. Off white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers. "COPYRIGHT, 1894, 1895, | BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY" stated on © page.
1896The Exploits of Brigadier GerardLondon: Georges Newnes, Ltd, 1896Scarlet ribbed cloth blocked in black and titled gilt, white endpapers. 8 pp. publisher's catalogue for 30.11.95, or 10.2.96 at the end. Copies bound later either have an undated catalogue (1897), or a catalogue dated 4/98.
ALSO: First English edition, colonial issue. As above. New title page with "Longmans' Colonial Library." Two issues, no priority: uniform cloth and paper covers (2/-, 1/6).
ALSO: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1896. First American edition. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, light brown endpapers. Off white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers. Title page printed in black, greed, red. "COPYRIGHT, 1896, | BY A. CONAN DOYLE." stated on © page. ($1.50) ALSO: First American edition, (second printing). As above. The title page is printed in black only.
1896Rodney StoneLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1896Black textured cloth and titled gilt, black endpapers. "A. CONAN DOYLE. September 1, 1896." stated on preface page.
ALSO: London: George Bell & Sons and Bombay, 1896. First English edition, colonial issue.Uniform light pink cloth ruled and titled brown on upper cover;spine blocked in gilt and titled brown; white endpapers. Also pink paper covers.
Note: The colonial issue was issued before the book was published so as to be on sale in the Colonies at approximately the same time.
ALSO: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1896. First American edition. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, light brown endpapers. Off-white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers. "COPYRIGHT, 1896, | BY A. CONAN DOYLE." stated on © page.
1897Uncle BernacLondon: Horace Cox, 1896.[1897] London: Horace Cox, 1896. [1897]. English copyright edition. In two parts, printed in December 1896, January 1897. Light blue-grey wrappers. "COPYRIGHT, 1896, BY A. CONAN DOYLE, IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." stated on © page.(1/- each).
ALSO: London: Smith Elder, & Co., 1897. First English Edition. Red cloth and titled gilt, black endpapers. "A. CONAN DOYLE. April 23, 1897" stated on © page. Also: Second impression, October 1897.
ALSO: London: George Bell & Sons and Bombay, 1897. First English edition, colonial issue. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Light pink cloth and titled dark brown and gilt, white endpapers.
  • (B) Pink wrappers.
ALSO: D. Appleton and Company, M D© page XCVII. First American edition. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, light pinkish-brown endpapers. Off-white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers. COPYRIGHT, 1896, 1897, | BY A. CONAN DOYLE. " stated on © page.
1898The Tragedy of the Korosko / A Desert DramaLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1898Dark red cloth and titled gilt, black endpapers. "A. CONAN DOYLE October 27, 1897" stated on © page.
ALSO: J. P. Lippincott Company, 1898. First American edition. Light blue pictorial cloth, white endpapers.
1898Songs of ActionLondon: Smith, Elder, 1898Blue buckram over heavy boards and titled gilt, white endpapers.
ALSO: New York: Doubleday & McClure, 1898. First American edition. Red silk-basket cloth ruled and titled gilt, white endpapers. "Copyright, 1898, by | DOUBLEDAY & McCLURE CO." stated on © page.
1899A Duet, with an O© pageasional ChorusLondon: Grant Richards, 1899Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Dark green cloth over heavy boards with square spine, titled gilt, white endpapers (6/-).
  • (B) Smooth red wrappers (1/-). Note: The publisher was left with a considerable balance of sheets. These were reissued in 1901-02 wrappers folded round an additional leaf pasted to the first and final leaves. No publisher's catalogue.
ALSO: New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1899. First American edition. Heavy maroon buckram and titled in silver and gilt, brown endpapers. Off-white dust-jacket and titled in red and green as on covers. ($1.50)
1900The Green Flag and Other Stories of War and SportLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1900Bright red cloth blocked in black and titled gilt, black endpapers (6/-). "A. CONAN DOYLE. February 18th, 1900." stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: McClure, Phillips & Co, 1900. First American edition. Light green cloth pictorial cover. "COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY | A. CONAN DOYLE" stated on © page. ($1.50).
1902The Hound of the BaskervillesLondon: George Newnes, 1902Scarlet cloth and titled in black and gilt, white endpapers. Grey dust-jacket and titled scarlet as on covers, with "6/=" in place of the question mark and circle on spine.
Note: There are two errors which were never corrected: p. 13, line 3, has 'you' for 'your', and the illustration facing p. 76, which had been reversed in the Strand Magazine, is again reversed. Reissued in 1908 by Smith, Elder and Company with new preliminary pages as part of the uniform edition.
ALSO: Longmans, Green and Co., 1902. First English edition, colonial issue. Light blue wrappers, titled in dark blue with Colonial Library design. Publisher's advertisements inside covers.
ALSO: New York, McClure, Phillips & Co, 1902. First American edition. Four states, priority as listed:
  • (1) Salmon-pink cloth and titled white, white endpapers. Grey dust-jacket and titled red as covers, with publisher's advertisement on lower cover for The House With The Green Shutters. "Copyright, 1901, 1901 by A. CONAN DOYLE" stated on © page.
  • (2) As above with "Published March, 1902, R" stated on © page.
  • (3) As above. The title-page is an inserted leaf pasted to the stub of the original title. It has 'ILLUSTRATED' between the ornament and the publisher's imprint.
  • (4) As 3rd state. The title-page is integral. Note: The four states were all prepared before publication. Those with the cancelled title-pages were printed for the Canadian issue but retained by the publisher because of the large demand. 50,000 copies were sold by 26 April 1902, a further 10,000 by the end of June, and just over 15,000 during the second half of the year. There was a second and a third impression.
  •  The first printing of the second impression has the same imposition as the first, but subsequently used a cheaper format. The first printing of the second impression is as 3rd state, with 'Second Impression' below the credits and publication date on the verso of the title-page. The cheaper format has the following pagination: [i-x] , 1 — [262]. The first blank leaf is omitted. The title is bound in on a separate strip, and has 'Second Impression' on its verso. The advertisements on pp. [251-8] are changed. The final leaf is pasted to the cover as endpaper, and the penultimate leaf is used as the rear free endpaper.
  • The third impression has 'Third Impression' below the credits and publication date.
  • The fourth impression has 'Fonrth Impression' (sic) on the verso of the title page. The fourth impression was bound in bright red cloth using the original blocks, and in dark blue cloth as a part of the publisher's special edition. Published by Grosset & Dunlap.
ALSO: Toronto, George N. Morang & Co., Ltd., 1902. First American edition, Canadian issue. Dark blue (or red) cloth and titled white as first American edition, ($1.25). There was a second Canadian issue in 1903 bound in red wrappers, titles in black. With upper cover: "CANADIAN COPYRIGHT EDITION", (50c).
1903Adventures of GerardLondon: George Newnes, [1903]Dark blue cloth and titled gilt, white endpapers. Grey dust-jacket titled blue (6/-). "ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE. March, 1903." stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., MCMIII. First American edition. Dark green decorated cloth. "Published, September, 1903" stated on © page.
1905The Return of Sherlock HolmesLondon: George Newnes, MCMVDark blue cloth titled gilt, white endpapers. Dark blue cloth titled gilt (A few copies were bound In light blue cloth).
ALSO: First English edition, Colonial issue. As above. Issued in the uniform cloth and paper bindings of Longmans' Colonial Library.
ALSO: New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., MCMV. First American edition. Two bindings, no priority: Black ribbed cloth and titled in yellow and rust-red, and dark blue ribbed cloth, spine and titled gilt, white endpapers.
Pale blue dust-jacket titled dark blue; upper cover has publisher's name and device in frame, band of six drawings to illustrate the cases, blurb, and author's name. "Published February, 1905" stated on © page ($1.50).
Note: In 1906 the publisher was in financial difficulty, sold the edition rights to Doubleday in 1909. Doubleday, Page and Company reprinted the book at their Garden City press, the imprint at the foot of the title-page being: DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY | MCMVI [MCMVII, MCMX] ; the imprint at foot of p. 381 was removed; with p. [383] [publisher's device] | THE COUNTRY LIFE PRESS | GARDEN CITY, N.Y. The covers as before with the imprint at foot of spine changed to: DOUBLEDAY | PAGE & CO. The later issues have no illustrations, and the verso of the title-page is reset: COPYRIGHT, 1905, BY | DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY | etc.
1906Sir NigelLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1906Bright red cloth and titled gilt, white endpapers. "October, 1906 " stated on the © page.
ALSO: New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., MCMVI. First American edition. Light blue-green ribbed cloth blocked in dark green and titled black, white endpapers. "Copyright, 1906, by | McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO" stated on © page.
1912The Lost WorldHodder & Stoughton, London [1912]Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Limited large paper edition of 1000 copies. Two issues, priority as listed:
    • (1) Light blue cloth over heavy bevelled boards, titled gilt, pictorial endpapers. 13 tipped-in plates mounted on light brown paper. Although 1,000 copies were prepared, only 190 were bound. The remainder were transferred to the second issue.
    • (2) Light brown cloth over heavy bevelled boards, blocked in brown and titled gilt, pictorial endpapers. Title page has "NEW EDITION", reissued in 1914, 810 copies. Note: A number of copies were bound at a later date and have a different imprint on the spine: MILFORD. The covers are otherwise the same.
  • (B) Dark blue cloth and titled in white and gilt, white endpapers. Illustrated dust-jacket. There are eight illustrations from photographs and drawings tipped-in. The frontispiece and seven others facing pp. 50, 55 (54), 146,170, 176, 204, 276. (10.716 copies). Note: A further 3,000 copies were printed the same montly in a second impression, incorrectly designated 'second edition' by the publisher. The second impression may have been used only for the soft-cover Colonial issue.
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran Company, [1915]. First American edition. Ribbed fawn cloth ruled and titled gilt, white endpapers. Dust-jacket ruled and titled in brown ($1.25).
1912The Speckled BandLondon: Samuel French, Ltd, 1912Light green wrappers. "Copyright 1912 by Samuel French, Ltd." stated on © page.
Note: There was a second impression on thinner paper with dark green wrappers.
1913The Poison BeltHodder & Stoughton, London [1913]Light blue cloth blocked in black, titled black and gilt, white endpapers. Dust jacket. "Printed in 1913" stated on © page.
Second impression 30 August 1913: 2,000 copies.
Third impression 18 September 1913: 2,000 copies.
Fourth impression 2 December 1913: 1,000 copies.
The later impressions are designated as second, third, and fourth editions.
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran Company, [1913]. First American edition. Bright red textured cloth and titled gilt, white endpapers. "COPYRIGHT, 1913 | BY A. CONAN DOYLE". Illustrated, with 16 tipped-in plates by Harry Rountree.($1.20)
1915The Valley of FearLondon: Smith, Elder & Co., 1915Pink fine-diaper-grain cloth ruled in blind and titled gilt, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket and titled yellow, red, and black. Also second impression 1915.
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran. First American edition. Red cloth ruled and titled gilt, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket, designed by W. L. Jacobs, and titled red, black, and gilt. Illustrated with 7 tipped-in plates by Arthur I. Keller. "COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY | ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE" stated on © page. ($1.25)
1917His Last BowLondon: John Murray, 1917Pink fine-diaper grain cloth ruled in blind and titled gilt, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket and titled in red and black
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran, [1917]. First American edition. Light orange cloth ruled and titled black, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket ($1.35). "COPYRIGHT, 1917, | BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY" stated on © page.
Note: A few copies were later bound in dark red cloth titled black; with spine: HIS | LAST | BOW || DORAN, omitting "DOYLE".
1926The Land of MistLondon: Hutchinson & Co, [1926]Dark green textured cloth and titled in light green, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket (7/6). Also second impression 1926.
Note:The book was reissued in cheaper binding in 1927. Bright red textured cloth ruled and titled black. Dust-jacket as above, with two reviews on upper cover; spine titled blue and pink with heavy rules and spotted design, etc.; publisher's advertisements on lower cover, (3/6).
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran, [1926]. First American edition. Light green cloth titled black, white endpapers. Dust jacket ($2.00). "COPYRIGHT, 1926, | BY A. CONAN DOYLE" stated on © page.
1927The Case-Book of Sherlock HolmesLondon: John Murray, [1927]Pink fine-diaper grain cloth titled gilt, white endpapers. White dust-jacket titled in red and black. "First Published 1927" stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: George Doran Company, [1927]. First American edition. Textured tan cloth titled in dark red, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket, titled in dark blue and pink ($2.50). "COPYRIGHT, 1927, | BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY" stated on © page.
Note: There were at least two further impressions. The first in grey textured cloth titled in dark red; the second in smooth red cloth titled black. The text is identical, though the colophon is removed from the verso of the title-page. The dust-jacket for the grey cloth edition has four reviews on the lower cover in place of the publisher's blurb.
1929The Maracot DeepLondon: J. Murray & Sons, [1929]Pink fine-diaper-grain cloth titled gilt, white endpapers. White pictorial dust-jacket titled in red, blue and yellow. "First Edition .. . 1929 " stated on © page. (7/6).
ALSO: New York: George Doran Company, 1929. First American edition. Smooth black cloth and titled yellow, white endpapers ($2.00). White pictorial dust-jacket titled in red, black, blue and yellow. "FIRST EDITION" stated on © page.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of Conan Doyle’s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • A Bibliography of A. Conan Doyle by Richard Lancelyn Green and John Michael Gibson, 1983

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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