"the result was complete" [DEVI]
While Sherlock Holmes made his debut in A Study in Scarlet in Beeton's Christmas Annual and followed up with The Sign of Four in Lippincott's, the success of the short story format is due to the then-new Strand Magazine in 1891.
We recently had a conversation with Andrew Gulli, the current managing editor of the Strand Magazine on Episode 139 of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, in which he discussed the multifaceted approach to assembling every issue. And just as it was over 100 years ago, the variety of content continues to attract many readers. (But we know they really come for Sherlock Holmes.)
We unearthed a related sale by Heritage Auctions in April 2016: a complete run of all of the Sherlock Holmes stories that appeared in The Strand Magazine (1891-1927). The 56 short stories and two serialized novels total 79 issues in which Holmes appeared.
Conan Doyle himself understood the opportunity that such a publication afforded him, as he wrote in Memories and Adventures in 1924:
"A number of monthly magazines were coming out at that time, notable among which was 'The Strand', then as now under the editorship of Greenhough Smith. Considering these various journals with their disconnected stories it had struck me that a single character running through a series, if it only engaged the attention of the reader, would bind that reader to that particular magazine... Looking round for my central character I felt that Sherlock Holmes, whom I had already handled in two little books, would easily lend himself to a succession of short stories."The link to the auction above has a complete tally of which issues are included, and the varying condition of each.
Oh, and you're probably wondering what the final sale price was for such a remarkable collection.
All images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.