The Maniac Collector's Inbox (10)
Back to SherlockPeoria front page August 4, 2002 Back to The Maniac Collector's Archives
During the first part of the last century, there were many pulp magazines in circulation. Especially in Europe where the copyright laws were hardly enforced, a lot of Sherlockian related pulps were being published. It is fun and challenging to try and collect a complete set of any particular publication. Just trying to identify them can be a monumental task in itself. Reference material on these pulps is sketchy at best.
One of the most published series was titled "The Adventures of the King of the Detectives". Of course one would be hard pressed to locate this exact title. It is my rough translation of the series. In Spain it was first published as Memorias intimas de Sherlock Holmes and later Memorias intimas de Rey de las Detectives. In Germany it was titled Aus den Geheimakten des Welt-Detekivs and the French translation is Les Dossiers Secrets de Sherlock Holmes which was followed by Les Dossiers Secrets du Roi des Détectives.
These were large, magazine-sized publications that featured wonderful color cover illustrations. They were serialized and came out weekly. The publications sprang up in Europe and spread into eastern Asia. I have seen Turkish editions on e-Bay that was in the old Ottoman-Turk script. There were Polish translations - Szerlok Holmes: Stynny ajent _ledczy and Portuguese editions, Aventuras Extraordinarias de Sherlock Holmes and even Yiddish editions. Many of these series are listed in De Waal's but the are sometimes differences as what is listed on the actual pulp and what De Waal has entered.
This may be due to different editions or different publishers.
There is at least one reference book. This is titled Les Maitres du Mystère (de Nick Carter à Sherlock Holmes 1907-1914). The only problem is it is published in French.
It would be nearly impossible to complete runs of each series, in each language. In my collection I have bits and pieces of several series. It does help that on the back cover of many of these pulps there are listings of other titles that were published. The series, The Adventures of the King of the Detectives" has more than 80 titles. I have found more recent reissues the series in a smaller format. They were published in Mexico in the 50's and again in the mid 70's.
I once found a paperback in Mexico that was by "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle." The cover was missing but for 25 pesos I bought it. When I got it home, the title translated to "The Lighthouse Mystery." After a little more research, I discovered I had the original pulp of "The Lighthouse Mystery." I made a reduced size copy of the cover on thicker stock and placed on the paperback edition. The original pulp never mentioned Doyle.
Another series is Aventuras Extrodinarias Detective Lord Jackson: Rival de Sherlock Holmes. This was a weekly series that ran for 1 year. The first issue came out on August 17, 1908 and ran for 52 issues. I am lucky to have a friend in Spain who sent me the entire run. One of the more interesting issues was number 21, January 2, 1909. The was titled Jackson Contra Sherlock Holmes. The cover show Jackson and Holmes with Dark Lanterns and pistols pointing at each other. I am currently working to have it translated into English.
Many of the original pulps used the name Sherlock Holmes in their titles but soon were replaced with a more generic detective. This was probably due to some copyright law enforcement. I am sure that Sir Arthur was not amused with "the most sincere form of flattery," especially when he was not receiving a single pence for these pulps. Just because he was tired of his creation, he wasn't stupid.