The British Library Publishes Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost First Novel

According to the New York Times, Arthur Conan Doyle’s pre-Sherlock Holmes first novel was published Monday in England by The British Library. The Narrative of John Smith is “told from the perspective of a 50-year-old man who is confined to his room when he suffers an attack of gout.” Of all things, the original manuscript was lost in the mail while being sent to the author’s publisher. That sounds like a case for Sherlock Holmes! (Sorry.)

Conan Doyle eventually re-wrote the book from memory, but it was never published.

The British Library says the novel was written between 1883 and 1884. The Times says Conan Doyle once had this to say about the novel: “My shock at its disappearance would be as nothing to my horror if it were suddenly to appear again – in print.”

According to the book’s Amazon page, The Narrative of John Smith will appear in the States in October.

The British Library Publishes Arthur Conan Doyle's Lost First Novel