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How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? Sherlock Holmes' second published case is one of great complexity, taking in subcontinental prisons, savage islanders, disappearing boats, murders in historic houses and a spectacularly mistaken dog. The tale of Miss Mary Morstan, a lady in the supremely uneviable position of having exceedingly valuable pearls sent to her once a year, and the disappearance of her father, The Sign of the Four is just as much about the ideals of justice and empire as it is about the thrilling mystery that it pleases to call its plot. Though the culprit behind the whole affair may be known from early on, knowing the man is one thing, distinctive limbs (or lack thereof) and all; finding him is quite another matter. Following The Sign of the Four's inclusion upon the new specification for GCSE English Literature (first examinations 2017), CBy Publishing hereby publishes the full, unabridged 1890 text, complete with F.H. Townsend's illustrations to the 1903 edition, large, annotation friendly margins and a plethora of background material to aid student analysis. What has this student edition got over other editions? Wide margins that you can annotate in Illustrated Original text, word for word. Background information Designed for the new English GCSE Approved and tested on students! Once you buy a CBy Student Edition book, you'll never buy anything else again! Visit to view our full range of products.
The Sign of the Four (1890), also called The Sign of Four, is the second novel featuring Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle wrote four novels and 56 stories starring the fictional detective. The story is set in 1888. The Sign of the Four has a complex plot involving service in East India Company, India, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts ("the Four" of the title) and two corrupt prison guards. It presents the detective's drug habit and humanizes him in a way that had not been done in the preceding novel, A Study in Scarlet (1887). It also introduces Doctor Watson's future wife, Mary Morstan. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described how he was commissioned to write the story over a dinner with Joseph M. Stoddart, managing editor of an American publication Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, at the Langham Hotel in London on 30 August 1889. Stoddart wanted to produce an English version of Lippincott’s with a British editor and British contributors. The dinner was also attended by Oscar Wilde, who eventually contributed The Picture of Dorian Gray to the July 1890 issue. Doyle discussed what he called this "golden evening" in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures. The novel first appeared in the February 1890 edition of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine as The Sign of the Four; or The Problem of the Sholtos (five-word title), appearing in both London and Philadelphia. The British edition of the magazine originally sold for a shilling, and the American for 25 cents. Surviving copies are now worth several thousand dollars. Over the following few months in the same year, the novel was then republished in several regional British journals. These re-serialisations gave the title as The Sign of Four. The novel was published in book form in October 1890 by Spencer Blackett, again using the title The Sign of Four. This edition was illustrated by Charles H. M. Kerr. The title of both the British and American editions of this first book edition omitted the second "the" of the original title. Different editions over the years have varied between the two forms of the title, with most editions favouring the four-word form. The actual text in the novel nearly always uses "the Sign of the Four" (the five-word form) to describe the symbol in the story, although the four-word form is used twice by Jonathan Small in his narrative at the end of the story. As with the first story, A Study in Scarlet, produced two years previously, The Sign of the Four was not particularly successful to start with. It was the short stories, published from 1891 onwards in Strand Magazine, that made household names of Sherlock Holmes and his creator. reference : Wikipedia, The Sign of the Four
This study focuses on the publishing history of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, tracing the story of the first two Holmes novels, which were widely pirated in the U.S. from 1890-1930. The book details the background that enabled piracy to occur and provides extensive descriptive lists of the various issues of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four. The American issues are described in detail, with defects and inconsistencies clearly documented. Also included is a genealogical tree that traces the editions of these novels and thorough examples of their textual variations.
All legends begin somewhere, and the two novels here are where one of the world's best-loved legends began. In A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson first meet and investigate a seemingly impossible mystery that begins with a corpse in a deserted house. In The Sign of the Four the detective faces an even greater challenge: solving both the disappearance of Captain Arthur Morstan and the theft of the Agra treasure in India. In this Macmillan Collector's Library edition, Sherlock scholar David Stuart Davies provides an illuminating afterword. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel is both a detective story and an imperial romance. Ostensibly the story of Mary Morstan, a beautiful young woman enlisting the help of Holmes to find her vanished father and solve the mystery of her receipt of a perfect pearl on the same date each year, it gradually uncovers a tale of treachery and human greed. The action audaciously ranges from penal settlements on the Andaman Islands to the suburban comfort of South London, and from the opium-fuelled violence of Agra Fort during the Indian ‘Mutiny’ to the cocaine-induced contemplation of Holmes’ own Baker Street. This Broadview Edition places Doyle’s tale in the cultural, political, and social contexts of late nineteenth-century colonialism and imperialism. The appendices provide a wealth of relevant extracts from hard-to-find sources, including official reports, memoirs, newspaper editorials, and anthropological studies.
By exploring cannibalism in the work of Herman Melville, Sanborn argues that Melville produced a postcolonial perspective even as nations were building colonial empires.

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