DOYLE, Sir Arthur Conan. The Return of Sherlock Holmes. London, George Newnes, 1905.
8vo. Finely bound in full maroon crushed morocco, by Zaehnsdorf, ruled and decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, edges gilt; pp. viii, 440, [4, ads]; a handsome copy with some characteristic foxing to preliminaries and fore edge, but nonetheless in very good condition.
First edition. The Return of Sherlock Holmes was published in 1905 after the author was persuaded by a generous financial incentive to raise the eponymous detective from the grave (if you recall, Holmes met his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls whilst locked in combat with his nemesis Moriarty, which is I think how we would all like to go if we had the choice). The stories were first published in the Strand Magazine before being compiled into book form of which this is the first English edition - it is worth noting that several thousand unbound sheets were kept back from this edition to eventually be issued in 1907, making it scarcer than one might think. Despite the rather dubious financially motivated circumstances of Holmes' resurrection Return contains some of Doyle's most original mysteries including The Adventure of the Twelve Dancing Men which Doyle ranked highly amongst his favourite Holmes stories.