One of Doyle's best ghost stories: the autograph manuscript

Doyle, Arthur Conan, British writer and physician (1859-1930). "The Bully of Brocas Court". Autograph manuscript signed twice ("A. Conan Doyle").

Windlesham, Crowborough, ca. 1920/1921.

4to (161 x 202 mm). 27 pp. Ink on lined paper, numbered in pencil in another hand. Fastened with brass tack at upper left corner. Stored in a quarter morocco clamshell case. (With:) The Strand Magazine. London, George Newnes, November 1921 issue (No. 371, Vol. 62), story published on pp. 380-388.


The complete autograph manuscript of a work widely considered one of Doyle's best ghost stories. The macabre tale unites two of the author's great passions, boxing and Spiritualism, to create the tale of a sinister prize fighter whose physical brutality does not die. The present manuscript contains mostly minor edits, though a handful of pages include more substantial excisions and additions: on page nine, for example, "the man who accosted them" has been replaced with simply "him", and the description of "a surly red face" has been expanded to include "with an ill-fitting lower lip". On page 13, nearly twenty words have been crossed out. Includes a fine, bright copy of the "Strand Magazine" issue in which the story was first published.

Some spotting and soiling, most visible on first and final pages. Centre crease throughout. Ink a little faded in some places; final page with a little creasing and a couple short closed tears. Provenance: Sotheby’s New York, 10 Dec. 1993, lot 320. Latterly in the collection of the U.S. lawyer Edward R. Leahy (b. 1947).