This two-volume, quarto set was originally published in 1967 by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. and contains four novels and fifty-six short stories by Conan Doyle. It is illustrated with "Maps, Diagrams, Coats-of-Arms, Photographs, and Drawings", according to the title page. The hundreds of annotations discuss the history of places, people and clues in the Sherlock Holmes canon.
There are also a dozen beautiful essays about Conan Doyle and his famous detective up to page 103 of Volume I. The essays are followed by "The Early Holmes: July and September, 1874, and Thursday, October 2, 1879".
Please be aware, though, that the set is not without its faults. As the sixteenth printing of the second edition from 1976, it's had roughly thirty-five years of wear and tear. There is moderately heavy foxing to the fore edges of both volumes, as well as a few minor nicks and smudges from handling over the years. The dust jackets are a bit rubbed, and there's a 1"-long closed tear to the rear "cover" of Volume I, but for a couple extra dollars we can wrap them in transparent Brodart jackets, which will keep them from suffering further damage. The pages are in sound condition.
So is there someone on your list who adores Guy Ritchie's recent film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes? Or a Sherlock Holmes fan who hasn't read it all or doesn't own it all? At only $15, this set is a great buy. (Not to mention that the green-and-red dust jackets go well with any Christmas decor.)
If you're not sure that your potential Holmes fan is ready for the entire canon yet, we also have a nice set Conan Doyle's works by Book-of-the-Month Club. Each book is priced individually at $4, so you can mix and match to your heart's content. The books and their dust jackets are in very good condition, and look like they came off of the press just yesterday.
Whatever set strikes your fancy more is, shall we say, elementary to us. We just want to see you walk out with a good gift at a bargain price.
This set has since found a home, but we have another one (sans dust jackets) for around the same price.
Title: assorted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titles
Publisher: Book-of-The-Month-Club, Inc.
Features: Hardcover with Dust Jackets
Condition: Very Good
Price: $4 apiece