Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Annotated Sherlock Holmes
A couple of years ago, a wonderful 3-volume The Annotated Sherlock Holmes was published. This included all the original Holmes stuff, with detailed and entertaining annotations, plus a number of cool essays. Many illustrations, including those by Sidney Paget (who pretty much defined our visual image of Holmes), are also included.
Unfortunately, the set was simply too expensive for me--until I noticed them on sale via Amazon for less than 8 dollars each!!!! I could not pass that up and now I'm the proud owner of all three volumes.-
This was a few months ago. One of the features of the set is a chronology that sets out the stories in the order they most likely occur, so I have been gradually re-reading the entire Canon in this order. Last night, I read "The Cardboard Box." According to the chronology, that takes me up though 1892. I've still got quite a few years to go before the Master finally retires for good.
I haven't re-visited some of these stories in years, so reading them again is great fun. Holmes is perhaps the most perfectly realized fictional character ever created--Orson Welles once described him as "a man who never lived and who will never die." The original stories never get old. And the annotations and essays in this particular set only add to the enjoyment of reading them once more.