The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes


Arthur Conan Doyle began writing while studying medicine at university in the late 1870s, and had his first short story, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", published in September 1879. Eight years later, A Study in Scarlet, Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story, was published by Ward Lock & Co. The novel was well received, but Doyle was paid little for it, and despite a sequel novel, The Sign of the Four, also being published by Ward Lock, he shifted his focus to short stories.[1] In early 1891, the first editor of The Strand Magazine, Herbert Greenhough Smith, received two submissions from Doyle for the newly established magazine. He later described his reaction; "I at once realised that here was the greatest short story writer since Edgar Allan Poe."[2] The first of these, "A Scandal in Bohemia" was published near the back of The Strand Magazine in July 1891. The stories proved popular, helping to boost the circulation of the magazine,[1] and Doyle received 30 guineas for each short story in the initial run of twelve.[2] These first twelve stories were published monthly from July 1891 until June 1892,[3] and then were collected together and published as a book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on 14 October 1892 by George Newnes, the publisher of The Strand Magazine.[4] The initial print run of the book was for 10,000 copies in the United Kingdom, and a further 4,500 copies in the United States, which were published by Harper Brothers the following day.[5]

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