Cover of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
|Author||Arthur Conan Doyle|
|Genre||Detective fiction short stories|
|1893 (dated 1894) |
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
|Preceded by||The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes|
|Followed by||The Hound of the Baskervilles|
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, first published late in 1893 with 1894 date. It was the second collection featuring the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, following The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Like the first it was illustrated by Sidney Paget.
The twelve stories were originally published in The Strand Magazine from December 1892 to December 1893 as The Adventures number 13 to 24. For instance, "The Final Problem" was published under the subheading "XXIV.--The Adventure of the Final Problem."
Doyle determined that these would be the last Holmes stories, and intended to kill off the character in "The Final Problem". Reader demand stimulated him to write another Holmes novel in 1901-1902, The Hound of the Baskervilles, set before "The Final Problem". Next year a new series, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, begins with the aftermath of "The Final Problem", in which it is revealed that Holmes actually survived.
The sequence of stories matches that of the magazine series, December 1892 to December 1893, when "The Adventure of the Naval Treaty" was published in two parts, October and November.
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The first London edition of the Memoirs in 1894 did not include "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", although all twelve stories had appeared in the Strand Magazine. The first U.S. edition included the story, but it was very quickly replaced with a revised edition that omitted it.
The reasoning behind the suppression is unclear. In Britain the story was apparently removed at Doyle's request as it included adultery and so was unsuitable for younger readers. This may have also been the cause for the rapid removal of the story from the U.S. edition, and some sources[specify] state that the publishers believed the story was too scandalous for the American public.
As a result, this story was not republished in the U.S. 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.
Additionally, when the story was removed from the Memoirs, its opening pages, where Holmes emulates Dupin, were transferred to the beginning of "The Adventure of the Resident Patient". In some later U.S. editions of the Memoirs, which still omit "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box", this transfer still appears.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (apart from "The Cardboard Box") were adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 1991-1992 as part of Bert Coules' complete radio adaptation of the canon, starring Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson. Notable guest stars included Peter Davison as Inspector Forrester in "The Reigate Squires", and Brian Blessed as Henry Wood in "The Crooked Man". Episodes were written by Bert Coules, Gerry Jones, Denys Hawthorne, Vincent McInerney, Peter Mackie, Robert Forrest, Peter Ling, and David Ashton, and directed by Enyd Williams and Patrick Rayner. Six of the stories were adapted into The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (including "The Cardboard Box") for BBC television in 1994, starring Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Edward Hardwicke as Watson.