19 May 2004
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Autograph preliminary notes for Micah Clarke, including notes headed 'Things to be worked into Micah Clarke', and 'Quotations for Micah Clarke'; sketches of the characters of John Derrick, Sophanisba Skewett, Captain Hector Marot, Sir Giles Jerome, Sergeant Gredder of Cutt's Foot, Captain Malcolm Coles, Solomon Sprent and Mr Meredith the poet; topographical notes (West Country); notes from Peveril of the Peak; notes on Puritanism and other subjects, original stapling, some pages browned and a little soiled, 18 pages folio and 24 pages, 4to and 8vo.
Micah Clarke is set against the background of Monmouth's Rebellion - the invasion of England by Charles II's eldest illegitimate son, James, Duke of Monmouth, in alliance with the Whigs. His army was routed after the battle of Sedgemoor (1685), and he himself was captured and executed.
The notes provide a remarkable picture of the method used by Conan Doyle to construct his story and create his characters.
Published on 25 February 1889, Micah Clarke was the 'first solid corner-stone for some sort of literary reputation'. It was conceived in 1885 but Conan Doyle spent a considerable time studying the historic background before writing the book in 1887. (3)
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