Lost Arthur Conan Doyle Novel To Be Published
The Narrative of John Smith, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first novel, was lost in the mail when he sent it to a publisher. He later re-wrote it from memory. The author of the Sherlock Holmes novels never tried to publish it again.
Apparently, he would not be pleased with its publication today. According to the BBC story at the link above, he was quoted as saying, ”My shock at its disappearance would be as nothing to my horror if it were suddenly to appear again – in print.”
Other books by famous authors have been lost, or nearly lost.
C.S. Lewis’s translation of Homer’s the Aeneid was believed to have been burned in a bonfire a year after his death, however it was rescued at the time by his secretary and rediscovered fifty years later. Also, several books from President Thomas Jefferson’s personal library including his handwritten notes were believed lost in a fire at the Library of Congress, then later found at Washington University in St. Louis. And countless books from the ancient world were lost when the Library of Alexandria was burned by Julius Caesar, or by Christians, or by Muslims, depending upon which version of history one trusts most. Unlike the writings of Doyle, Lewis and Jefferson, the books lost in that fire were never rediscovered.
Perhaps no other book has survived as many deliberate attempts at its destruction as the Bible. Some of those attempts are even recorded in its own pages:
The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him. It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. (Jeremiah 36:21-23 NIV)