1905. [the true first] Illustrated by Charles Raymond Macauley. New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1905. Original black cloth pictorially decorated in yellow and rust red. First Edition (published the month before the English) of these thirteen further adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle had killed off Holmes at Reichenbach Falls in 1893, and for a decade resisted everyone's pleas to bring him back (THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, published in 1902, was written as a "posthumous memoir," and thus avoided Holmes's resurrection). However, in 1903 Doyle could not resist Collier's Magazine's offer of $45,000 for thirteen tales, replying on a postcard simply "Very well. A.C.D.".~Thus the first of these tales, "The Adventure of the Empty House," published in Colliers in September 1903 (and in the Strand a month later), officially brought Holmes back from the supposed dead. Also included in this collection are some of the best-loved Holmes adventures, such as those of "The Dancing Men," "The Solitary Cyclist," "The Six Napoleons," "The Abbey Grange" and "The Second Stain." These Macauley illustrations are unique to this McClure Phillips edition: Frederic Dorr Steele did the illustrations for the Collier's appearances, and Sidney Paget did them for the Strand appearances (which were then used for the Newnes UK edition).~The binding of the American RETURN, though one of Doyle's most striking, unfortunately used yellow pigment that readily flaked off. On this copy, very little of the yellow has flaked away -- just a few traces in the front cover window, and small parts of a few letters at the very top and bottom of the spine. (On many copies the spine lettering is virtually gone.) Otherwise this is a just-about-fine copy (front endpaper slightly cracked, small blind-stamp in the two blank leaves at the rear); there is a penciled April 1905 inscription on the front endpaper. In our experience, this (and its English counterpart) constitute the most difficult Sherlock title to find in collectible condition. Green & Gibson A29c. (Inventory #: 13401)
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