SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE PLACED ‘DANCING MEN’ AMONG HIS FAVORITE TALES
Of his 56 short stories about Sherlock Holmes, British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said The Adventures of the Dancing Men was among his favorites.
“What makes this story unique is that this is the only one of Doyle’s stories that uses cypher. He creates a code out of these little dancing figures and they are a main part of the mystery,” says Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage Auctions.
Doyle’s drawings of the dancing men appear throughout the 53-page, handwritten manuscript for the story, written and released in 1903. The literary artifact is expected to sell for at least $500,000 when it goes to auction in April.
“This is the first time this particular manuscript has appeared on the market in more than 50 years,” Palomino say. “It is one of the most highly regarded in Doyle’s canon of work.”
The Adventures of the Dancing Men is one of 13 stories collected in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, originally published in 1903-1904. The story was first published in Collier’s magazine in the United States and in Strand Magazine in Great Britain.
“The Adventures of the Dancing Men manuscript is exceptionally clean, showing Doyle’s storytelling artistry,” Palomino says. The manuscript is a rare instance of Doyle’s original artwork. “This is a true treasure for fans of the world’s most famous detective.”
Doyle’s manuscripts for classic stories such as The Retired Colourman, The Illustrious Client, and The Creeping Man are held in British museums and institutions. The manuscript for The Adventures of the Dancing Men previously was held in the collection of a Texas book dealer.