Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Sherlock Holmes book cover designs

All book covers from this post on Caustic Cover Critic. For more examples of Sherlock Holmes covers go to the post. Found via Mattias Boström's twitter.

"Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who first appeared in publication in 1887. He is the creation of British author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A brilliant London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess and is renowned for his skillful use of astute observation, deductive reasoning and inference to solve difficult cases."

"Conan Doyle wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that feature Holmes. The first two stories (short novels) appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887 and Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890, respectively.

The character grew tremendously in popularity with the beginning of the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine in 1891; further series of short stories and two serialised novels appeared until 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1875 up to 1907, with a final case in 1914.

All but four stories are narrated by Holmes's friend and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson, two are narrated by Holmes himself and two others are written in the third person.

In two stories ("The Musgrave Ritual" and "The Adventure of the Gloria Scott"), Holmes tells Watson the main story from his memories, whereas Watson becomes the narrator of the frame story."

"Conan Doyle said that the character of Holmes was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle had worked as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing large conclusions from the smallest observations. Michael Harrison argued in a 1971 article in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine that the character was inspired by Wendell Scherer, a "consulting detective" in a murder case that allegedly received a great deal of newspaper attention in England in 1882."
-- ref and further reading here.

I always find a selection of book covers for the same title or series in different time periods and seen through different eyes extremely interesting and inspiring.


josephine said...

it will be interesting to see guy ritchie's take on holmes in his upcoming movie. i saw the trailer, but i'm not sure how i feel about it.

Rare Autumn said...

it's a little bit of a mixed box isn't it... i'm not to sure about guy ritche at all and really wonder if he has the ability to make this film. i love robert downey jr, but not so much jude law. rumours of brad pitt as prof moriarty makes it even weirder though - don't you think...?

Siddartha of Suburbia said...

I haven't seen the new film, but it being out has caused an increase or renewal in peoples attention to Holmes. As such I was lucky enough to go to a really good literary presentation on Holmes. Which then inspired me to go out and buy the books and get involved agian! Then I saw the new series of covers you presented here and I fell in love with them. Rather than one big complete works I decided I must have all those covers. They are lovely!

Rare Autumn said...

I'm very glad to hear you got inspiration from the post! the covers are absolutely wonderful and I can see how nothing else would do ;)