Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holme’s Handwritten Drafts

adventure of greek interpreter
Bonhams Fine Literature sale in New York on 11 April features a number of handwritten drafts and pages by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle including a full draft of the 1893 Sherlock Holmes mystery, The Case of Greek Interpreter, with an estimate of $380,000-420,000. The Case of the Greek Interpreter is best known for the first appearance of Holmes’s older brother Mycroft and is among a treasure-trove of Sherlock Holmes’ material included in the sale which also features:

hound of the baskervillesThe sale also includes a handwritten manuscript of The Problem of Thor Bridge, written in 1922 and one of the last Sherlock Homes mysteries, with an estimate $250,000-350,000. The story is notable for its reference to Dr Watson’s tin box, kept safe on a bank vault and crammed with notes on Holmes’s cases.

A highlight will be a handwritten page from the most famous Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, which marked the return of the detective in 1901/2 after his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls. As a publicity stunt, individual pages from the original manuscript were distributed to book shops in the United States. Inevitably, many were lost or stolen and the surviving pages are scarce and much prized. This page – from Chapter XIII – is especially valuable because it is one of the few of the remaining sheets that feature Holmes and Watson discussing the case. It is estimated at $100,000-150,000.

The sale is particularly rich in late 19th and early 20th century literature and also offers:

Chapters 12 – 25 of When the Sleeper Awakes by H G Wells written between 1898 and 1903. It tells the story of a man who falls asleep in 1897 and wakes in 2010 to find himself the richest man in the world and was loosely adapted by Woody Allen for his 1973 comedy Sleeper. It is estimated at $120,000-180,000

Draft and fair copies of Wilkie Collins play The New Magdalen from 1871/2 which was written simultaneously with the novel of the same name. The Magdalen of the title refers to a reformed prostitute and the play was a huge hit, was translated into several languages and ran for 19 consecutive months at the Olympic Theater off Drury Lane where Collins staged equally successful dramatizations of his novels The Moonstone and The Woman in White. The lot carries an estimate of $60,000-80,000.

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