The life of Arthur Conan Doyle illustrates the excitement and diversity of the Victorian age unlike that of any other figure of the period. In his autobiography, he wrote: 'I have had a life which, for variety and romance, could, I think, hardly be exceeded.' He was not wrong. But Conan Doyle was also a Victorian with a twist, a man of tensions and contradictions. He was fascinated by travel, exploration, invention, and indeed all things modern and technological; yet at the same time very traditional, voicing support for values such as chivalry, duty, constancy, and honour. By the time of his death he was a celebrity, achieving worldwide fame for his creation of the rationalist, scientific super-detective Sherlock Holmes; but his later decades were taken up with advocacy of the new religion of Spiritualism, in which he became a devoted believer. The new Complete Works of Conan Doyle embodies all of the excitement and vitality of this extraordinary man's life, ranging from the Sherlock Holmes stories to philosophical and spiritual works, taking in science fictions and historical comedies, grand histories and criminological investigations. The contents of the volumes are as follows: Volume 1 (204 pp.): Introduction to the works by Dr. Neil McCaw; A Study in Scarlet; The Sign of Four Volume 2 (150 pp.): The Hound of the Baskervilles Volume 3 (148 pp.): The Valley of Fear Volume 4 (378 pp.): Micah Clarke Volume 5 (283 pp.): Sir Nigel Volume 6 (336 pp.): The White Company Volume 7 (304 pp.): The Refugees Volume 8 (209 pp.): Rodney Stone Volume 9 (140 pp.): Uncle Bernac Volume 10 (169 pp.): The Lost World Volume 11 (265 pp.): The Poison Belt; The Land of Mist Volume 12 (121 pp.): The Mystery of Cloomber Volume 13 (332 pp.): The Firm of Girdlestone Volume 14 (163 pp.): The Stark Munro Letters Volume 15 (110 pp.): A Desert Drama Volume 16 (188 pp.): A Duet, with an Occasional Chorus Volume 17 (244 pp.): The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume 18 (206 pp.): The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Volume 19 (262 pp.): The Return of Sherlock Holmes Volume 20 (198 pp.): The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes Volume 21 (179 pp.): The Captain of the Polestar Volume 22 (309 pp.): The Great Shadow and other stories Volume 23 (167 pp.): Round the Red Lamp Volume 24 (176 pp.): The Green Flag Volume 25 (161 pp.): The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard Volume 26 (221 pp.): Round the Fire Stories Volume 27 (171 pp.): The Last Galley Volume 28 (139 pp.): Danger and other stories Volume 29 (284 pp.): Detective and Mystery Stories Volume 30 (137 pp.): The Maracot Deep and other stories Volume 31 (101 pp.): The Parasite and Other Stories Volume 32 (441 pp.): Uncollected Short Stories Volume 33 (268 pp.): complete poetry; The Journey (play) Volume 34 (98 pp.): Waterloo; The Speckled Band (plays) Volume 35 (79 pp.): Jane Annie (an opera, libretto by Conan Doyle in collaboration) Volume 36 (185 pp.): Through the Magic Door; A Glimpse of the British Army; A Glimpse of the Italian Army; A Glimpse of the French Line; The Vital Message Volume 37 (98 pp.): The Story of Mr. George Edalji; The Case of Oscar Slater Volume 38 (132 pp.): The War in South Africa Volume 39 (448 pp.): The Great Boer War Volume 40 (114 pp.): The Crime of the Congo Volume 41 (81 pp.): The German War; To Arms Volume 42 (199 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. I (1914) Volume 43 (142 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. II (1915) Volume 44 (193 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. III (1916) Volume 45 (178 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. IV (1917) Volume 46 (195 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. V (January-June 1918) Volume 47 (181 pp.): The British Campaign in France and Flanders, vol. VI (July-November 1918) Volume 48 (85 pp.): The Coming of the Fairies Volume 49 (210 pp.): The Edge of the Unknown; The New Revelation Volume 50 (160 pp.): Pheneas Speaks; Psychic Experiences; Spiritualism and Rationalism Volume 51 (194 pp.): The History of Spiritualism Volume 52 (127 pp.): Our African Winter Volume 53 (159 pp.): The Wanderings of a Spiritualist Volume 54 (108 pp.): Our American Adventure Volume 55 (129 pp.): Our Second American Adventure Volume 56 (329 pp.): Memories and Adventures; Western Wanderings The Works have all been newly typeset for this edition. In the absence of an even nearly complete edition of Conan Doyle's works which is in the public domain, the texts for this edition have had to be sourced piecemeal from available public-domain versions. The majority of these have been relatively early editions; a few have been modern reprints of the original texts unedited; a number have been etexts reproducing in their turn editions now in the public domain. Due to their number and variety, it is impossible to list them all here. Neil McCaw, Reader in English Literature at the University of Winchester and Academic Director of The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Lancelyn Green Bequest, has written a new introduction to the Works, in volume 1, which covers biographical background, critical reception, influence, and a brief bibliography.
Neil McCaw is Reader in English Literature at the University of Winchester. His publications include George Eliot and Victorian Historiography (2000), Writing Irishness in Nineteenth-Century British Culture (2004), A Study in Sherlock (2007), How to Read Texts (2008) and a range of chapters and articles on aspects of Victorian literature and culture. He is Academic Director of The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Lancelyn Green Bequest, and is currently working on a monograph on later twentieth century TV detective fictions.