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Being a reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., Late of the Army Medical Department

This is the byline from A Study In Scarlet, the first of 56 Sherlock Holmes stories narrated by his friend and colleague, John H Watson MD.

According to the Doctor, his Reminiscences comprise three volumes. Volume 1 chronicles his early life leading up to his return to England after being invalided out of the British Army after being wounded at the Battle of Maiwand in 1880.

Volume 2 comprises the adventures with Sherlock Holmes from their meeting at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London in 1881 up to their final case together, His Last Bow, in 1914.

Volume 3 covers the Doctor’s move away from Baker Street after Holmes’ retirement up until the Doctor’s passing in 1948, aged 94.

Apart from the published Sherlock Holmes stories, none of the volumes of the Reminiscences exist apart from the few privately published copies none of which seem to have survived. All that remain are the publisher’s returned proofs, the Doctor’s original manuscripts, plus the large collection of the Doctor’s notebooks (mainly of Sherlock Holmes’ cases). All this is purported to be in the travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with his name, “John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army”, painted upon the lid and which, as the Doctor describes in the introduction to The Problem of Thor Bridge, was left in the vaults of Cox & Co, Charing Cross, London. The problem of locating this treasure trove will be dealt with at a later date.

In the meantime, as Dr Watson’s Literary Agent, I have both the honour and responsibility to publish his notes, alongside observations of my own on the affairs of the world’s greatest consulting detective.

Published inThe Canon

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