work of scholarship. The “definitive”rnversions of the tales—meaning Doyle’srnhandwritten manuscripts before copyrneditors blue-penciled them, as Americanrneditors were fond of doing because ofrnDoyle’s “blasphemous” use of suchrnwords as “Hell” and “Devil”—have beenrnfaithfully reproduced whenever possiblernand are accompanied by exhaustive, butrnnever exhausting, annotations, hi addition,rnDoyle and his team have collectedrnan array of rare documents, letters, andrnarticles not easily accessible to the generalrnreader and seldom compiled in a singlernsource: such as letters from editors concerningrnDoyle’s manuscripts; Victorianerarnnews clippings of bizarre crimes andrnscandals that perhaps served as sourcesrnof Doyle’s clever plots; the more obscurernHolmes tales that were privately commissionedrnand hence rarely reproduced,rnsuch as “How Watson Learned thernTrick,” which was requested for thernQueen’s Doll House and bound inrnminiature in 1922; as well as historicrnparodies of the Holmes stories by thernmore famous of Doyle’s fans, suchrnas those by P.G. Wodchouse and byrnDoyle’s good friend Sir James Barrie.rnHandsomely bound with crimson-coloredrnjackets, this collection deservedlyrnranks alongside the classic studies ofrnthe Holmes Canon by Edgar Smith andrnWilliam S. Baring-Gould.rnMost impressive are the 1,000 or sornpages of ancillary material. It isrndifficult to convey the breadth of learningrnevident in the introductions and annotations,rnbut whenever a reader is reluctantrnto leave the endnotes for the textrn(and they are placed at the end of eachrnvolume, leaving the stories uncluttered),rneither the reader is a bore or exceptionalrnscholarship is at hand, and in my case Irnwould like to think the latter is true. Nornallusion or quotation or street sign orrnhistorical figure in the entire HolmesrnCanon has gone unnoticed, unanalyzed,rnand unexplained, and if few readers willrnbe interested in the history of the AlfredrnDunhill Pipe or of gray Harris tweedrntrousers, who can resist a discussion ofrnVictorian opium dens; of Doyle’s dinnerrnwith a magazine editor and a buddingrnyoung writer, the result of which wererncommissions for The Sign of the Four andrnThe Picture of Dorian Gray; of T.S.rnEliot’s cribbing from the Holmes storiesrnfor a scene in Murder in the Cathedralrnand for names in Old Possum’s Book ofrnPractical Cats; or of Edinburgh’s medicalrntradition of auto-experimentation, andrnparticularly of the case of Sir RobertrnChristison, the foremost toxicologist ofrnthe 19th century who almost died fromrnsampling a Calabar bean and who savedrnhimself by drinking his morning’s shaving-rnwater? As Owen Dudley Edwardsrnexplains, “The two most famous literaryrnuses of auto-experiment by Edinburghrnauthors are Robert Louis Stevenson, ThernStrange Case of Dr ]ekyll and Mr Hydern(1886) and [Doyle’s] The Devil’s Loot’rn. . . . [Doyle] himself used auto-experimentrnwith nitrite of amyl for his doctoralrnresearch and in other medical investigations.”rnWe learn about the major sources ofrninspiration for the methods of SherlockrnHolmes, from Voltaire, Edgar Allan Poe,rnEmile Gaboriau, and Wilkie Collinsrnto, most importantly, Doyle’s medicalrnschool mentor Dr. Joseph Bell, whomrnDoyle gladly acknowledged as his principalrnmodel for Jlolmes. Bell was a skilledrnsurgeon and noted lecturer at the EdinburghrnInfirmary, but he was best rememberedrnfor entertaining his students withrndeductions and declarations about thernhistories and occupations of the patientsrnwhom he had never before met. Doylernfondly recalled one scene in particular,rnwhen Bell interrogated a new patient inrnfront of the class:rn”Well, my man, you’ve served inrnthe Army?”rn”Aye, sir.”rn”Not long discharged?”rn”No, sir.”rn”A Highland regiment?”rn”Aye, sir.”rn”A non-eommissioned officer?”rn”Aye, sir.”rn”Stationed at Barbados?”rn”Aye, sir.”rn”You see,” Bell turned and announced tornhis students, this “man was a respectfulrnman, but he did not remove his hat.rnThey do not in the army, but he wouldrnhave learned civilian ways had he beenrnlong discharged. He has an air of authorityrnand he is obviously Scottish. As tornBarbados, his complaint is elephantiasis,rnwhich is West Indian not British, and thernScottish regiments are at present in thatrnparticular island.”rnWe learn as well about the Voronoffrnmonkey-gland experiments of the earlyrn1920’s, which gave Doyle the idea forrn”The Creeping Man” and that story’srncentral theme, that “When one tries tornrise above Nature one is liable to fall belowrnit.” We learn that Holmes’s famousrnfirst words to Watson, “You have been inrnAfghanistan, I perceive,” parallels Johnson’srnpronouncement that Boswell camernfrom Scotland; that the source for thernmost famous of Doyle’s many epigrams,rnabout the dogs that “barked” in thernnight, might have been book XVI ofrnHomer’s Odyssey, in which the dogsrnrefuse to bark at Tclemaehus; that Watson’srndescription of Holmes as “the bestrnand the wisest man whom I have everrnknown” echoes the final sentence ofrnPlato’s Phaedo describing the death ofrnSocrates; and that the mefhod of solvingrnthe mystery in “The Golden Pince-rnNez” derives from the Book of Daniel,rnwhere ashes are strewn in the Temple tornprove that priests and their families hadrnbeen eating the food placed before thernidols.rnThe editors also painstakingly reportrnon the number of drawings that accompaniedrnevery Holmes story in both itsrnAmerican and British versions, and theyrnretell several times in various volumesrnthe famous story of how the Strand hadrnintended the illustrator for the firstrnHolmes short stories to be Walter Pagetrnbut mistakenly sent the commission tornSidney, Walter’s brother. They explainrnthat Sidney, who ultimately producedrnover 350 Holmes drawings, was reallyrnmore responsible than Doyle himself forrnestablishing “the popular conception ofrnSherlock Holmes,” for it was he whorn”gave [Holmes] the deerstalker andrntravelling cape which are now indeliblyrnassociated with him”; who was “as closelyrnassociated with the text as Thiz’ tornDickens or Sir John Tenniel to LewisrnCarroll”; and whom even Doyle acknowledgedrnwas the person responsiblernfor delineating the man “which thernwhole English-reading race came to recognize.”rnUnfortunately, after learning all this,rnthe reader discovers that the illustrationsrnin this collection are distinguished onlyrnby their absence: amid the 1,000 or sornpages of ancillary material, not a singlernoriginal drawing has been reproduced.rnYet, no number of illustrations willrnbring Holmes to life. Endnotes and essaysrnwill not make us see the yellow fog,rnsmell the shag tobacco, or hear the hansomsrnclattering on the brick-laid streets.rnFor as Owen Dudley Edwards correctlyrnconcludes, “Dr. Watson will performrnthat duty, and no one could do it better.”rn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn