A single handwritten page of the original manuscript of Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles has been auctioned for $423,000. Heritage Auctions sold the 8 inches by 13 inches page from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Hound of the Baskervilles' The page titled "Chapter XIII, Fixing the Nets" is reported to be in good condition.
The page of Sherlock Holmes novel is one of 185 pages from The Hound of the Baskervilles' original manuscript, reported The Daily Mail. It showcases Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson discussing a murder on the moor, and whether to arrest a suspect. On the page, a line has been crossed out where Doyle edited the manuscript, as per the Daily Mail report. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had recreated the character of Sherlock Holmes in the 1902 novel after the fictional detective was killed eight years earlier in 1894, according to Heritage Auctions.
#HeritageLive: A mystery no more! Rare handwritten page from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved #SherlockHolmes book The Hound of the Baskervilles sells for $423,000 in our Historical #Manuscripts auction.https://t.co/4zWQmwMuGN pic.twitter.com/KjLXiCBHhd— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) November 6, 2021
On the page, the conversation includes dialogues that read, "My dear Watson, you were born to be a man of action. Your instinct is always to do something energetic. But supposing for argument's sake that we had him arrested tonight, what on earth the better off should we be for that? We could prove nothing against him." Doyle brought him back eight years later in 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' (1902), a book that proved to be one of the most popular ones of the series. The original manuscript was written on highly acidic paper, and the individual pages were mounted with equally acidic backing material.
According to the Heritage auctions, most of the pages used in the promotion have not survived, however, a very small percentage exists today and few of them are in good condition as the page that has been sold for $423,000. In order to promote the book and the return of Holmes, the American publisher, McClure, Phillips & Company (New York), had asked Doyle for the original manuscript, according to the Heritage Auctions. They started a publicity campaign for the book by breaking up the pages and selling them one by one to buyers who purchased copies.