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DOYLE Arthur Conan - Autograph Letter Signed 1902 regarding his work on South Africa

  • £1,500.00

Arthur Conan DOYLE (1859-1930)

Autograph Letter Signed (“A Conan Doyle”) regarding a translation of his work, The War in South Africa.

1½ pages 8vo, Undershaw, Haslemere, n.d. [1902].                                                       

You shall have the proofs very soon. I will send the whole set in the hope that you may find other suitable extracts. “The Concentration Camps” for example. I hope my slow translator is at last nearing the end.

The preface is excellent. But surely it should be ‘Deutscher’ where I have marked it. I want Austrians to get the whole book for themselves, and should be glad to tell them that it is published by Bloch, Potsdammer Strasse, Berlin.

We separated too soon the other night. I went round to the National Sporting Club, and as the boxing was very good I regretted that you were not with me. But perhaps that is a side of life which does not interest you.

I see that the Boer paper ‘Petit Bleu’ describes my book as ‘ce mechant livre’ which is a good sign.”

Dr. Ernest was the London representative of the Viennese newspaper Neues Tagblatt. Conan Doyle wrote The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct to justify Britain’s actions in South Africa, including the concentration camps where many Boers, including women and children, perished. The book was translated in 1902 for distribution in France, Belgium and Switzerland, but Germany and Austria refused to accept it. The work was eventually published in German for German and Austrian readers.

The Petit Bleu was a Brussels-based paper which fiercely condemned British conduct in South Africa. When Conan Doyle received his knighthood in 1902, it was not for the very popular Sherlock Holmes stories, but prompted rather by recognition for his War in South Africa, which defended Britain’s rather dubious actions during the Boer War.

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