The Sign of The Four - Publishing History

Publishing History

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described how he was commissioned to write the story over a dinner with Joseph M. Stoddart, managing editor of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, at the Langham Hotel in London on 30 August 1889. Stoddart wanted to produce an English version of Lippincott’s with a British editor and British contributors. The dinner was also attended by Oscar Wilde, who eventually contributed The Picture of Dorian Gray to the July 1890 issue. Doyle discussed what he called this "golden evening" in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures.

The novel first appeared in the February 1890 edition of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine as The Sign of the Four (five-word title), appearing in both London and Philadelphia. The British edition of the magazine originally sold for a shilling, and the American for 25 cents. Surviving copies are now worth several thousand dollars.

Over the following few months in the same year, the novel was then re-published in several regional British journals. These re-serialisations gave the title as The Sign of Four. The novel was published in book form in October 1890 by Spencer Blackett, again using the title The Sign of Four. The title of both the British and American editions of this first book edition omitted the second "the" of the original title.

Different editions over the years have varied between the two forms of the title, with most editions favouring the four-word form. The actual text in the novel nearly always uses "the Sign of the Four" (the five-word form) to describe the symbol in the story, although the four-word form is used twice by Jonathan Small in his narrative at the end of the story.

As with the first story, A Study in Scarlet, produced two years previously, The Sign of the Four was not particularly successful to start with. It was the short stories, published from 1891 onwards in Strand Magazine, that made household names of Sherlock Holmes and his creator.

Read more about this topic:  The Sign Of The Four

Other articles related to "publishing history":

Shlomo Sand - The Invention of The Jewish People - Publishing History
... The Invention of the Jewish People was published in English by Verso in October 2009, in Russian in March 2010 (Eksmo), in German in April 2010 (Propyläen Verlag) ... A Hungarian translation was also published in 2010 by Kairosz Kiadó, and in 2011 a Spanish edition was published by Editorial Akal ...
Leges Henrici Primi - Publishing History
... What is considered the first scholarly discussion of the Leges appeared in 1827 by George Philips, who did not reproduce the entire text in his Englische Reichsund Rechtsgeschichte, but did provide a couple of extracts along with a discussion of the sources of the work and a description of the work ... In 1840, the Record Commission published an edition of the text that had been edited by Richard Price and Benjamin Thorpe ...
Charles Gidley Wheeler - Works - Novels
... The River Running By (First published 1981) Publishing history UK Deutsch/Fontana US St ... under title El Rio que Pasa) The Raging of the Sea (First published 1984) Publishing history UK Deutsch/Fontana US Viking Press The Believer (First published 1985 ...

Famous quotes containing the words history and/or publishing:

    We are told that men protect us; that they are generous, even chivalric in their protection. Gentlemen, if your protectors were women, and they took all your property and your children, and paid you half as much for your work, though as well or better done than your own, would you think much of the chivalry which permitted you to sit in street-cars and picked up your pocket- handkerchief?
    Mary B. Clay, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 3, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)

    While you continue to grow fatter and richer publishing your nauseating confectionery, I shall become a mole, digging here, rooting there, stirring up the whole rotten mess where life is hard, raw and ugly.
    Norman Reilly Raine (1895–1971)