Thursday, October 23, 2008

His Last Bow

Arthur Conan Doyle


Just finished re-listening to the excellent audio found here: I always keep a Holmes book on my iPod, slowly working my way through the canon - great stories, and really, really an excellent reading. I wish I knew more about the history of these version.

But here's something about the book:

His Last Bow is a collection of seven Sherlock Holmes stories (eight in American editions) by Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as the title of one of the stories in that collection. Originally published in 1917, it contains the various Holmes stories published between 1908 and 1913, as well as the one-off title story from 1917.

The collection was originally called Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes and did not contain the actual story His Last Bow, which appeared later, after the full-length The Valley of Fear was published. However later editions added it and changed the title. Some recent complete editions have restored the earlier title.

When the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes were published in the USA for the first time, the publishers believed "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" was too scandalous for the American public, since it dealt with the theme of adultery. As a result, this story was not published in the USA until many years later, when it was added to His Last Bow. Even today, most American editions of the canon include it with His Last Bow, while most British editions keep the story in its original place in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge was not originally published under that name; it is a lengthy two-part story, consisting of The Singular Experience of Mr John Scott Eccles and The Tiger of San Pedro, and on original publication it bore no collective title other than "A Reminiscence of Mr Sherlock Holmes".