holmesOne of my prized possessions is my large, two volume, Annotated Sherlock Holmes, edited by William Baring-Gould. Although most of the time it serves as a nice heavy bookend, I love the extensive annotations and illustrations (more here) that accompany the complete collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. One of the most wonderful things about the annotations is that many of them are written with the conceit that Holmes was a real person. Even the stories themselves are arranged in the chronological order of Holmes fictional life, as opposed to the order that the stories were written. This is great fun since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a drug addict writing on deadline who couldn’t keep his facts straight. Having enjoyed this collection so much as a kid, I naturally thought that it would make a great gift for my 12 year old nephew, so I was greatly disappointed to learn that it had gone out of print. Fortunately, there is a new three volume annotated collection due from W. W. Norton, edited by Leslie S. Klinger. While there is no information on the official Norton page (they list the author of the book as a certain Charles Dickens), there is an official webpage for the book which should be updated before the first two volumes are released in November of this year. I’ll just have to make sure I visit my nephew so that I can thoroughly compare the new collection with the old one.