Sherlock Holmes Among the Pirates: Copyright and Conan Doyle in America 1890-1930

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This volume presents a new aspect in the study of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: a case study of the publishing history of his works. Since Doyle's works before 1890 could not be copyrighted in the United States, various unauthorized versions of Holmes stories appeared in print in America from 1890 through 1930. Picking up where other bibliographers left off, Redmond traces the origins and subsequent printings and reprintings of these pirated manuscripts, relating the American editions to their sources and to each other. The American issues are described in detail, with defects and inconsistencies clearly documented.

More than just a list of editions, this book is a detective story in the history of Sherlock Holmes. The author provides extensive descriptive lists of the American editions of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four , raising such questions as who pirated from whom and why textual mistakes have lasted for ninety years. The study looks at the copyright background that enabled piracy to occur, the printing processes that corrupted the text, some of the firms involved in this piracy, and the various issues of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four and the relationships among them. Also included is a genealogical tree that traces the editions of these novels and detailed examples of their textual variations. The work provides a further inquiry into the history of Sherlock Holmes, as well as serving as a fascinating study of American publishing at the turn of the century. It will be an invaluable publication for collectors of Holmes material and students of publishing history, and an important addition to academic and public libraries.

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