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Historic Autograph Letters, Manuscripts & Documents

Important Signed & Inscribed Books and Photographs


DOYLE, SIR ARTHUR CONAN. (1859-1930). British physician, novelist and detective-story writer.  A total of Four [4] letters with a group of: Three Autograph Letters Signed, “D”, on his imprinted Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex stationery. Three total pages, octavo. Sussex, 1926-27. Accompanied by an Autograph Letter Signed, “D”, on his imprinted From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle octavo note card. “15, Buckingham Palace Mansions, S.W.1.”, no date. Very fine condition. Accompanied by three original postage-imprinted envelopes addressed to Doyle’s son: “D. Conan Doyle, Borrow, Earlbourne, Sussex”, in Doyle’s hand. Doyle writes: 

“Dear old chap, Mr. Wheeler will help you to complete these papers. Then please send them in. You’ll all be back next weekend as May 22 is my birthday—rising 100! Your D”.

“Dear old chap, I see that Earl’s dinner is on the Tuesday. I don’t think it would hurt Malcolm to come. My suggestion now is that you both come up to London on Tuesday morning, have that evening out, and M. brings his books up. So on Wednesday he could go to Cambridge all ready for Thursday’s exam. That seems to me to seal this case exactly. Phone to confirm this. All well. … went in today. Yours D. June 14. On this plan you come on the understanding that you fix no arrangements at all, lead the house life and go to bed early for one has to train for an exam. Now that must be a prime condition.”

[“Monday”] “My dear boys, Thank you for your kind notes of sympathy. Cyril also appreciated your letters greatly. I held one of her hands and he the other as she passed over. It is indeed a solemn thing however assured one may be of the future. The slow catching breath, getting ever slower and suddenly going on again when one thinks it has stopped for ever, the glazing upturned eye, the mask-like waxen face—it is strange and rather terrible. I was glad to be there as I think I helped Cyril who is here now and getting along very well. Goodbye, my dear boys. D”.

[“Saturday moto you both. I suppose you are both special constables by now. Even if you are not needed locally it is well to be enrolled as you might be drafted to some danger spot. I think things may be much worse before they are better for men will get desperate when they see they are beaten. Next week will be the crisis for their money will run low before the end of it. We noticed one of the huts in the camp on fire tonight. It looked like sabotage. I send that bill that you may see how you stand. I am content to pay it. Very dull here—our holiday seems to have gone West. With all love, D”.

Arthur Conan Doyle was one of Britain’s wealthiest and most famous writers when he married his second wife, Jean Leckie in 1907. Soon after their marriage, Doyle purchased a house he referred to as “Little Windlesham” in Sussex. Two years later, Jean gave birth to their first child, Denis Percy Stewart Conan. The following year, another boy, Adrian Malcolm Conan, was born. This series of three loving letters, written from 1926-27, shows how active Doyle was in the lives of his boys. The second of these letters, moreover, provides a short account of a death in a style well suited to Doyle’s popular fiction. In the final letter, Doyle exudes relief that the boys are enrolled as constables, a position that he hopes will keep them from danger, a hope that recalls the crushing loss of Kingsley, Doyle’s son from his first marriage, during World War One.   Intimate family letters from Doyle’s pen rarely appear for sale.   A fine series of letters written late in Arthur Conan Doyle’s life as he worked to compile the final collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.



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