If you're a Sherlock Holmes devotee, you will be delighted to learn that there is a new two-volume annotated collection of the Victorian detective stories. For the price of three commonplace hardbacks, you can own a mammoth state-of-the-art edition of some of the most entertaining stories ever written.
Don't confuse this new set with the justly famous Annotated Sherlock Holmes by William S. Baring-Gould, published in 1967. Klinger's work really is a whole new edition, occasionally referring to the Baring-Gould but never dependent upon it. These first two volumes contain all 56 stories about the great detective and his devoted Boswell, arranged in the order of the original collections. The four novels will follow next year in a third volume.
If you already have the Baring-Gould edition, you face an obvious question: why would anyone need two annotated sets of Sherlock Holmes? First because, despite the distractions of a scary world, nerdy scholars never cease burrowing after more details, thus further enlightening us about an ever more distant Victorian England; and second, because there were many lonely illustrations yearning for the society of their fellows. This book is stuffed with glorious artwork, from the original magazines, from various book editions, from catalogs and albums. Fans simply cannot afford to miss these excellent books. Copyright 2004 BookPage Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews 2004 July #1
From Holmes expert Leslie S. Klinger: biographies, historical context, 800 illustrations, and more. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Reviews 2004 November #2
This well-produced, clothbound set brings together and celebrates the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of one of the most popular detectives in literature, Sherlock Holmes. Klinger is an authority on Holmes, having written numerous well-received works on the topic. John Le Carre's wholehearted introduction to the compendium suggests that the newcomer to Holmes bypass the literary and historic notes and dive straight into the stories themselves. The layout of the book allows the reader to do so, with detailed and broad notes laid clearly to one side of the original text. Doyle's tales, as entertaining as ever, are made even more appealing by reproductions of over 700 original illustrations from the Strand Magazine, Harper's Weekly, and Collier Magazine, in which many of the tales first appeared. Clear chronological tables and a generous list of sources will be most useful for Sherlockian scholars. A handsome addition to general public or academic library collections. [Norton will complete the collection by publishing a third volume in November 2005, which will contain four novels of Sherlock Holmes and 300 more illustrations.-Ed.]-Rebecca Bollen, Sydney, Australia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2004 September #1
Sherlockians and more casual Holmes fans alike will delight in this comprehensive edition of the 56 original short adventures featuring the world's first private consulting detective. Modeling his efforts on William S. Baring-Gould's 1968 Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Klinger (The Sherlock Holmes Reference Library) packs as many extras into these two volumes as a special director's cut DVD: detailed essays on subjects as diverse as the Boer War and the history of rugby, illuminating citations to early drafts of Doyle's original manuscripts,and full discussions of the numerous theories developed over more than a century concerning ambiguities, contradictions and unresolved issues in the stories. Those new to such scholarship will be fascinated by the sophisticated multidisciplined approach, much of it based on close readings and historical research similar to Bible study. The synthesis of the commentaries will engage veteran Sherlockians, who will be able to compare hypotheses concerning, for example, the true identity of the king of Bohemia or Holmes's actual whereabouts during the Great Hiatus. First-time readers might want to skip Klinger's brief intros to each tale, as they presume familiarity with the plot and often hint strongly at the solutions. Many will prefer this to the Oxford University Press uniform edition of a decade ago. Agent, Donald Maass. (Nov. 30)FYI: The four novels will be treated in a third volume, due in 2005. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.