The Quotation Mark Puzzle: An Imperfection of “The Field Bazaar”


The rare, and until now rarely seen, first printing of “The Field Bazaar”—that odd little 1896 Sherlock Holmes and John Watson vignette—has an intriguing defect of punctuation. Or is it a feature? The original story, which ends with Holmes speaking about violins, lacks a closing quotation mark. It is a small defect, but one with contradictory yet possibly significant implications for the proper reading of the story.