As a longtime fan of Sherlock Holmes, I was intrigued by the image of the man himself. Sherlock has seen countless representations over the years. The original stories were published in the Strand magazine, and illustrated by Sidney Paget. I had read the original stories, but longed to see the illustrations that accompanied them.
Little did I know that an edition exists which contains all the original Strand stories, with the illustrations by Sidney Paget. It’s called The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes. It is a beautiful edition (buy it in print, the kindle formatting is not good). It’s hardcover – rather large, but easy enough to read and durable. The formatting is magazine size, and the illustrations are interspersed with the text. The typesetting is beautiful, and this book is a pleasure to read. Mr. Paget’s illustrations really add to the stories. The best part is that this book costs less than $10 on amazon. Every Sherlock Holmes fan should have this.
I’ve accompanied this book with an excellent guide to Holmes’ London: Sherlock Holmes in London, by Charles Viney. Mr. Viney painstakingly perused photographs of Victorian London to find the locales mentioned in each story, around the date of the story. They offer wonderful examples of architecture as Mr. Conan Doyle would have seen it while writing his stories.
This book is out of print, and unfortunately may be a bit hard to find. If you can’t get a hold of the original, you may be able to find the reprint: The Authentic World of Sherlock Holmes.