Sherlock Book Reviews - A Study In Illustrations Volume 3

Posted by Steve Emecz on

Sherlock Holmes Society of London

There are fewer pages here than in Volume 1 or Volume 2, so why is this one more expensive? The answer is full-colour printing, essential to appreciating many of the pictures here. This volume introduces the work of Frederic Dorr Steele, many of whose outstanding illustrations are intended to appear in colour — and Mr Foy takes the opportunity to include photographs, paintings and drawings of Steele’s inspiration, William Gillette (he should, I think, have named the artist of the famous Vanity Fair caricature: Leslie Ward, alias ‘Spy’). Steele’s work for Collier’s, Liberty and other publications takes up the greater part, but here also are the well-known Turf cigarette cards, featuring twenty-five of Conan Doyle’s characters, all but six from the Holmes stories, and there’s an interesting Spanish set of cards, the work of Joaquin Coll Salieti, included in boxes of chocolate, and variously illustrating “The Musgrave Ritual”, “The Speckled Band”, and The Sign of Four. Other items include W.T. Benda’s nice illustrations for “The Sussex Vampire” in Hearst’s International — though the artist’s name is mis-spelt as ‘Brenda’ and the publisher’s as ‘Heart’.

Mike Foy and MX’s momentous project couldn’t have been achieved without assistance from Alexis Barquin and his amazingly comprehensive Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia, which you’ll find online at There are more volumes to come. Bring ’em on!


(3 for 2 on Study in Illustrations with the promo code 'illustrate')

Also available from:

Amazon USA

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