19 May 2004
ROUND THE RED LAMP
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Autograph letter signed ('A. Conan Doyle'), to 'Dear Sir' [Methuen & Co.], 12 Tennison Road, 4 June 1894, providing a resumé of the book for a note to be issued by his publishers ('Round the Red Lamp of the general practitioner cluster many dramas, some sordid, some terrible'), with a drawing by Conan Doyle showing his idea for a jacket, in pen and ink, 3 pages, 8vo.
Round the Red Lamp was published on 23 October 1894. The series of medical stories was suggested to Conan Doyle two years earlier by Jerome K. Jerome who was editor of The Idler and wanted to emulate the success of the Sherlock Holmes stories in The Strand Magazine. The American edition (published by D. Appleton and Co in the same year) made clear in a postscript to the preface 'You ask about the Red Lamp. It is the usual sign of the general practitioner in England'.
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