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Last updated 15/07/2004
15 July 2004: THE CAPTAIN OF THE 'POLE-STAR': Weird and Imaginative Fiction by Arthur Conan Doyle; edited, with an introduction, by Christopher Roden and Barbara Roden; and with a Preface by Michael Dirda, is the most comprehensive collection of Conan Doyle's macabre fiction ever assembled in one volume. Please visit the web-site of Ash-Tree Press for full details.
20 June 2004: A MAJOR NEW
OUT OF THE SHADOWS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE'S FIRST FAMILY by Georgina Doyle was officially launched at 'A River Runs By It' the Minneapolis conference co-hosted by The Sherlock Holmes Collections, The Norwegian Explorers, and The Arthur Conan Doyle Society last weekend. Copies of the book are now available. Please visit the Calabash Press website for full details.
22 May 2004: Happy Birthday, ACD!
All of the buzz around the Conan Doyle world in recent weeks has concerned the auction of a major portion of the Conan Doyle biographical archive. The auction took place on 19 May at Christie's in London, and if you were unable to attend, and have not yet salivated over the auction catalogue, you should try to obtain a copy while stocks remain. Visit Christie's web site and order the catalogue for sale #6972.
Numerous newspaper reports have appeared in recent weeks, following the death of leading Doylean scholar, Richard Lancelyn Green. Richard had expressed concern both to Christie's and the British Library that, in his view, a number of the items included in the auction were materials bequeathed to the BL by the late Dame Jean Conan Doyle. As a result of action taken in Britain following Richard's death, a number of MPs became involved, and lobbied the Arts Minister to pressure the BL to save the archive for the nation.
Of the auction itself, some 25% of available lots remained unsold. The total realised (including buyers' premiums) was £948,545.
In a Press interview in the Independent on 19 May 2004, Charles Foley, an executor of Dame Jean Conan Doyle's estate, and one of the beneficiaries of Anna Conan Doyle's Estate, explained how various papers have come to be included in the auction. There is a further, detailed explanation in a British Library Press Release dated 17 May 2004.
A further British Library Press Release dated 21 May 2004 gives details of the purchases made by the BL at the Christie's auction. It is encouraging that these efforts are now being made—somewhat late in the day—to ensure that as much as possible of this valuable and important literary archive remains in the hands of a major institution. The BL reports that it is attempting to purchase further unsold lots, and that it is also keen to explore with other public collections the possibility of raising funds to establish a digital archive to reunite, 'virtually', as much of the original Conan Doyle archive as possible.
A MAJOR NEW BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF CONAN DOYLE
OUT OF THE SHADOWS: The Untold
Story of Arthur Conan Doyle's First Family
by Georgina Doyle
Although new biographical studies of ACD appear regularly, one neglected aspect of Conan Doyle's life has been the period of his first marriage: his relationship with his wife Louise, and his children Mary and Kingsley; and how the relationship with those children changed following the death of their mother in 1906. This was a particularly fruitful period of Conan Doyle's life—the time when he was establishing himself as a major literary figure, and when he produced much of his finest work.
Happily, Georgina Doyle is now able to enhance our understanding of the background and early family life of the creator of such memorable characters as Brigadier Gerard and Sherlock Holmes. Drawing on a storehouse of letters and diaries left by her husband John Doyle, the son of ACD's brother Innes, she provides a detailed and thought-provoking account, illustrating it with more than seventy photographs from her own collection. This study does, indeed, bring Louise Conan Doyle and her children out of the shadows which have hidden them for far too long.
OUT OF THE SHADOWS will be available from The ACD Society, from Calabash Press, and from the Friends of The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library in early June. Price (Casebound): Cdn$55.00/US$42.50/£25.00; (Softbound):Cdn$35.00/US$25.00/£15.00. E-mail email@example.com to reserve your copy. Visa and Mastercard accepted.
November 2003: On 19 November 2003, Christie's in London will auction six lots of important Arthur Conan Doyle manuscripts, offered for sale on the instructions of the Executors of the Estate of the late Dame Jean Conan Doyle, to benefit six charities:
Lot 49: Autograph manuscript signed (on title, 'A Conan Doyle') of his novel A Duet with an Occasional Chorus. Apparently a clean copy, with occasional emendations and approximately 220 pages, folio (337 x 197mm), cloth-covered boards, lettered on spine 'A Duet/Manuscript'. Estimate £30–40,000
Lot 50: Autograph manuscript signed ('A. Conan Doyle') and dated on last leaf, of an article, 'A Glimpse of the Army', 12 May 1900, some printer's markings in blue pencil, 13 pages, folio (325 x 205mm), gathered by a staple at upper left corner (some soiling and fingermarks, apparently in printer's ink; occasional light wear to margins; signature and date on last leaf torn out and skillfully re-attached. Estimate £3–5,000.
Lot 51: Autograph manuscript signed ('Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw, Hindhead') of the paired short stories making up 'Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo', comprising 'I: The Adventure of the Forest Inn' and 'II: The Adventure of the Nine Prussian Horsemen'. Clean copies with a number of autograph emendations, together 79 pages, 4to in two gatherings, attached by staples at upper left corners (some light wear to margins, first leaf of Pt. I slightly discoloured). Estimate £30–50,000.
Lot 52: Autograph manuscript signed ('Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw, Hindhead') of the Brigadier Gerard story 'How the Brigadier lost his ear', marked up apparently for the press, 42 pages, 145 x 205 – 195 x 205 (original autograph numbering 1 – 21 on alternate pages, subsequently numbering 2 – 43 in pencil across text) (evidently originally composed on foolscap pages, afterwards cut into irregular halves), gathered by a staple at upper left corner (some slight speckling and occasional light wear to margins). Estimate £15–20,000.
Lot 53: Autograph manuscript signed ('Arthur Conan Doyle') and dated ('Oct 10) of a poem, 'Ypres September 1915', a clean copy with approximately 25 autograph emendations, in 17 5-line stanzas on 3½ pages, 4to (f.2 a half-page; paperclip stain to lower right of f.1), gathered by a pin at upper left margin. Estimate £2–3,000.
Lot 54: Autograph working manuscript signed of his novel The Maracot Deep, 1927—14 May 1928 (dated on first and last leaves), the manuscript signed six times ('A. Conan Doyle' on f.1, 'Conan Doyle/Hindhead/Hants' on ff.35 & 53, 'A. Conan Doyle/Crowborough' on ff.92, 143, and 143v), numerous emendations, cancellations and insertions throughout, the original title 'The Fabricius Deep' emended to 'Maricot(?)' on f.1, also titled on f.35 'The Fabricius Deep'. f.93 'Last Phase of "The Maracot Deep"', f.100 'Maricot Deep', altogether 141 leaves, 4to, in autograph (rectos only, f.26 on verso only), and 2 leaves, 4to, typescript (first section numbered 1–51, thereafter occasional briefer numbering systems, the last section entitled 'II/The Crisis' numbered 1–, on a variety of paper stocks, ff.1–3 on versos of writing paper with printed heading of 'Windlesham/Crowborough/Hants', 250 x 190mm, ff.4–12 on wove paper, 222 x 165mm, ff.13–53 on lined paper, 225–170mm, ff.14 & 50 inserted typescript leaves, 255 x 200mm, ff54–59 on paper 255 x 195mm, the remaining leaves approximately 225 x 170mm, in groups ff.60–65, ff.66–75, ff76–92, ff.93–99, ff100–112, ff.113–117 and ff.118–143 (ff.12, 34 and 85 on half-sheets, an insertion to f. 88 on a separate slip; some spotting to outer margins); vellum boards, gilt, title in gilt on spine and upper cover 'The Maricot Deep/ (Original M.S.S.)/ Arthur Conan Doyle'. Estimate £30–50,000.
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