26 Sep 2011

Early novel by Conan Doyle

4:34 pm on 26 September 2011

A long lost novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle goes on sale in Britain on Monday.

The Narrative of John Smith was written between 1883 and 1884.

Conan Doyle sent it to a publisher but it was lost in the post. The book was then reconstructed from memory. It comprises the reflections of a man confined to his room by gout.

The book was never finished. The first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, was printed three years later.

The British Library is now releasing the novel and an audiobook read by actor Robert Lindsay.

Four notebooks that comprise the manuscript form part of an exhibition at the Library.

The BBC reports the novel has been part of the Library's collection since 2007 and is being published with the consent of the Conan Doyle literary estate.