The Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Arthur Conan Doyle (ACD) will produce a scholarly edition in twenty-two volumes of the work of one of the best-known and important of British writers. ACD was a popular writer, most famous for Sherlock Holmes, but he was a prolific author in many genres, including ghost stories, historical novels, crime fiction, drama, medical and sporting fiction, war reporting, science fiction, autobiography, and polemic. This Edinburgh University Press edition will gather his work in its variety and establish ACD’s place in the literary culture of his era.
This edition answers a need created by the transformation of ACD studies. Twenty years ago, as a popular or genre author, he was rarely found on university, college or school syllabi. Now he is often studied in courses on the novel, late-Victorian writing, science fiction, imperial fiction, medical humanities or Scottish studies. This new attention to his work has given rise to, a proliferation of new scholarship (some of it by editors of our Edition). What is now required is an up-to-date, historicized, and authoritative edition of ACD’s writing.
The aim is to establish an authoritative text, collating variants including manuscripts where available, and serial versions, and providing a critical apparatus; to provide a history of the text, of its literary and cultural context, and critical reception; a set of explanatory notes elucidating contemporary references; and in many cases appendices of related material. The objective is to produce a 22-volume edition that will stand as the seminal text and source of reference material for this author.
Our public engagement programme will provide a link between our endeavours and a wider audience interested in ACD’s work. The adaptations and revisions of his stories, in many media, attest to his remarkable and enduring presence. Through public engagement events and the project website, we will engage with the wider community of ACD enthusiasts, including the Sherlock Holmes Society London, the Baker Street Irregulars in New York, the Bootmakers of Toronto, and the podcast The Doings of Doyle. We also plan to develop a range of Outreach Resources about Conan Doyle and his work, for schools, book groups and communities.
“He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.”The Final Problem (1893)
Image credits: Mrs A. Conan Doyle, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-B2-3223-5]; Portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, head and shoulders. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0; Sir A. Conan Doyle, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-B2- 5692-14]; Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir, portrait photograph, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-G432- 0701-A]; Conan Doyle, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-B2- 5766-12]; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-G41- 0091]; Sir A. Conan Doyle, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [reproduction number, LC-B2- 5692-13].
About the Edinburgh Conan Doyle Research Network
The research network out of which these Edinburgh Editions of the Works of Arthur Conan Doyle came is formed of scholars and academics from around the world with specialisms in Conan Doyle or related fields.
(Image: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and family looking over wall and pointing, New York City, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division [LC-USZ62-98125])