Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

You Can't Tell a T-Shirt by its Cover

Your host with the book and T-shirt in question
If you like Sherlock Holmes, you tend to acquire a lot of T-shirts featuring deerstalker hats. In my case, I have seven.

One of the most interesting is the cover of a book, The Great Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. As it happens, I also own a copy of the book - and it's also interesting.

The Great Adventures is Washing Square Press paperback, published in 1972. I have no idea how I got it or how long I've had it, but it's in excellent shape.

The title and the credit "edited by Harry Shefter" would lead one to believe that this is a collection of stories from throughout the Canon. There are many such, of course, with similar names. I have two copies of Great Stories of Sherlock Holmes, for instance.

However, this isn't that kind of book. It's just The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with an adjective (albeit a very appropriate one) added to the title. All 12 stories of The Adventures are there, and no others have been added.

The editing - the value added - appears to come in the excellent Readers' Supplement, a 48-page section in the middle of the book. It's a wonderful introduction to those coming cold to the Canon in 1972. Contents include a biographical background of Arthur Conan Doyle, a historical background, a pictorial background (photographs both old and then-new), and literary allusions and notes.

The Supplement concludes with a thought-provoking section called "Do You Agree with the Critics?" It includes 26 mostly favorable - and sometimes memorable - quotes about Sherlock Holmes and his world. The reader is invited to agree or disagree with their assessments.

This isn't a well known book, but I'm glad I have it. And apparently I bought the T-shirt - or someone did for me! 

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