The Complete Brigadier Gerard (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

( 7 )


The Emperor Napoleon fondly said of Etienne Gerard "that if he has the thickest head he has also the stoutest heart in my army." This description accurately captures the self-described hero of eighteen gem-like short stories produced by Arthur Conan Doyle. Brigadier Gerard, a bombastic, heroic gascon hussar, doer of many improbable deeds, was an unimaginative man of small intellect, but brave and resourceful in a crisis. The shadow of Sherlock Holmes has for too long deprived the Gerard tales of their rightful ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $35.90   
  • Used (9) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
The Complete Brigadier Gerard (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$3.49 price
(Save 12%)$3.99 List Price


The Emperor Napoleon fondly said of Etienne Gerard "that if he has the thickest head he has also the stoutest heart in my army." This description accurately captures the self-described hero of eighteen gem-like short stories produced by Arthur Conan Doyle. Brigadier Gerard, a bombastic, heroic gascon hussar, doer of many improbable deeds, was an unimaginative man of small intellect, but brave and resourceful in a crisis. The shadow of Sherlock Holmes has for too long deprived the Gerard tales of their rightful place among the finest short historical fiction of their time.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was both a doctor and a believer in spirits, which may partly explain why his Sherlock Holmes is one of literature's most beloved detectives: Holmes always approaches his cases with the gentility and logic of a scientist, but the stories are suffused with an aura of the supernatural. Narrated by devoted assistant Dr. John H. Watson, Holmes's adventures were so addictive that fans protested the master deducer's "death" in 1893 and Doyle had to resurrect him.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for £25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed.

Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur -- he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War -- became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 22, 1859
    2. Place of Birth:
      Edinburgh, Scotland
    1. Date of Death:
      July 7, 1930
    2. Place of Death:
      Crowborough, Sussex, England


The Emperor Napoleon fondly said of Etienne Gerard "that if he has the thickest head he has also the stoutest heart in my army." This description accurately captures the self-described hero of eighteen gem-like short stories produced by Arthur Conan Doyle for the delight of readers of The Strand Magazine. Brigadier Gerard, a bombastic, heroic gascon hussar, doer of many improbable deeds, was an unimaginative man of small intellect, but brave and resourceful in a crisis. Among all of Conan Doyle's creations, he is a character second only to Sherlock Holmes. As Napoleon was the "great shadow" looming over England in the first decades of the eighteenth century, so the shadow of Sherlock Holmes has for too long deprived the Gerard tales of their rightful place among the finest short historical fiction of their time.

Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh, into a family of well-known Anglo-Irish artists. At the peak of his career, between 1891 and 1905, he had established himself as Britain's most popular and best?paid writer, perhaps the best-known Britishman of his day.

He was educated in Jesuit schools and at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, taught by Joseph Bell, whose amazing deductions about patients were the model for Sherlock Holmes. One summer vacation was spent as the medical officer of a Greenland whaler, another on a freighter to the west coast of Africa.

He renounced his Catholic faith in his youth, cutting himself off from his aunts and uncles, who would have assisted him in the establishment of his career. He simply could not pretend to be something he was not. After a spectacular false start in practice with a classmate in Bristol, which formed the basis for his semi-autobiographical novel, The Stark-Munro Letters, he settled in Southsea in 1882, where he ultimately developed a successful practice and became a pillar in the town's literary and sporting life.

He had already begun to establish himself as a writer when the first Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in 1888. The second Holmes story, written on commission following a dinner at which the other main guest was Oscar Wilde, was The Sign of the Four (1890). It isn't difficult to find Conan Doyle's impressions of Wilde in the settings and characters of The Sign of Four.

In 1891, he spent several months in Vienna studying eye surgery. But, after he recovered from a life?threatening bout with influenza, he realized that he could make a better living from his writing and gave up medical practice. During the Boer War in 1900, he went to South Africa as a doctor with a mobile field hospital. On his return he wrote a pamphlet defending British military actions, for which he was knighted in 1902.

Conan Doyle was an active sportsman, playing rugby and cricket at the highest level. He tried many other sports, including fox hunting, billiards, golf and motor racing, and helped to introduce cross?country skiing to Switzerland. Twice he stood unsuccessfully for Parliament in hostile Scottish ridings. He wrote hundreds of letters to the press, on almost every conceivable topic, including divorce reform, safety measures for the military, free trade, and spiritualist topics. When his highly developed sense of justice was aroused, he was quick to take up causes.

His nonfiction included The Great Boer War (1900), The Story of Mr. George Edalji (1907), The Crime of the Congo (1909), The Case of Oscar Slater (1912), and literally dozens of works on spiritualistic topics. He wrote a six-volume military history of the Great War. In 1917 he decided to devote the rest of his life to the cause of Spiritualism, in which he had been interested for decades.

Although he is mainly known today for his Sherlock Holmes tales, his favorite writings were his historical fiction, including The White Company (1891) and Sir Nigel (1906); novels about the Middle Ages and the romance of knighthood, like Micah Clark (1889) and The Refugees (1893); novels about the English Revolution and the persecution of the Huguenots; and short stories about Roman centurions and the Spanish Main.

Conan Doyle was fascinated by the Napoleonic Wars, particularly the Battle of Waterloo, in which several of his ancestors fought. While the Sherlock Holmes stories were written with little preparation, he took great pains with his Napoleonic works, striving for atmosphere and accuracy. He read more than twenty books of English and French military memoirs and histories and filled several notebooks with facts and quotes that he intended to use later. He was also familiar with the literary genre, which included such well-known characters as William Thackeray's Colonel Gahagan and Alexandre Dumas père's heroes in Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo.

His interest in Napoleon Bonaparte was almost an obsession. He chose to portray him as an irascible, socially inept, but benevolent paterfamilias. He expressed a more negative view of him in his nonfiction writing, suggesting that he was evil, but concluding doubtfully: "[A]fter studying all the evidence which was available I was still unable to determine whether I was dealing with a great hero or with a great scoundrel. Of the adjective only could I be sure." This fascination was reflected in the Brigadier Gerard tales, as well as the novels The Great Shadow (1892), Rodney Stone (1896), and Uncle Bernac (1897), the short story "A Straggler of '15" (1891), converted into the play Waterloo (1894), and the short story "A Foreign Office Romance" (1894). The play Adventures of Gerard was produced in the United States, London, and Australia between 1903 and 1906. Three films, two of them silent, and one television production have been made from the Gerard stories.

The first group of Brigadier Gerard stories was published in The Strand between December 1894 and December 1895, with illustrations by W. B. Wollen. They then appeared in book form as Exploits of Gerard in 1896. The Brigadier made a "guest appearance" in the serialized novel Uncle Bernac in 1896. "The Crime of the Brigadier" appeared in January 1900 (the only one of the Gerard stories to be illustrated by Sidney Paget, the pre-eminent illustrator of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories). The second group of stories, Adventures of Gerard, was published in The Strand between August 1902 and May 1903. This group of stories, including "The Crime of the Brigadier," was published in book form in 1903. "The Marriage of the Brigadier," illustrated by Gilbert Holiday, appeared in The Strand in September 1910. All of the Brigadier Gerard stories were also published in the American edition of The Strand, which appeared one month after the British edition ("The Crime of the Brigadier," published in Cosmopolitan in December 1899, was the sole exception).

The Gerard stories were immediately popular with the British public and well received by critics when they first appeared. They have always been considered among Conan Doyle's best work. Many of his contemporaries, as well as writers from Winston Churchill to Graham Greene and George Macdonald Fraser, are on record as preferring Gerard to Holmes. Unfortunately, although the stories have been reprinted on many occasions, they have always been overshadowed by the Holmes tales.

Gerard was a hussar--an officer of the elite light cavalry. The rank of brigadier was an error by Conan Doyle. In the French army, this would have been equivalent to a corporal, but Conan Doyle intended him to be a colonel. The primary source for Gerard was Baron Jean-Baptiste Antoine Marcelin de Marbot (1782-1854), a Lieutenant-General in the French hussars. The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot (Paris, 1844) was published in English translation in 1892. The work was instantly popular in Great Britain, helping to revive interest in the Napoleonic era. Conan Doyle already had a considerable interest in the Napoleonic era before he came across Marbot. The short story "A Straggler of '15" and the novel The Great Shadow were both written before he had read Marbot. He borrowed aspects of Marbot's character and some of Marbot's adventures for his Gerard plots. Some of the plots and Gerard's simplicity also clearly came from the Notebooks of Captain Coignet (Jean Roch Coignet, 1776-1865). The tone of Coignet's memoirs is much closer to Gerard than Marbot's memoirs.

The coming of the railroads and a significant increase in literacy in the late nineteenth century created a demand for magazines that could be read in the course of a journey. The Strand was one of the most successful of these magazines, because it had the Sherlock Holmes stories. Novelists such as Charles Dickens had been serialized with great success--readers eagerly anticipating each new instalment. But with Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle invented an even better marketing attraction--a series of short stories, each one complete in itself, but with recognizable characters who would continue from month to month.

By 1893, Conan Doyle was finding Holmes a burden--he regarded the stories as trivial, dashed off to earn money, but distracting him from his more important historical fiction. So when he made Sherlock Holmes disappear in a confrontation with the arch-criminal Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls in the December issue of The Strand, Conan Doyle needed a replacement, and Brigadier Gerard was an excellent solution. With the exception of the "Hound of the Baskervilles" (1901), set prior to the Reichenbach incident, no further Holmes story was to appear until "The Adventure of the Empty House" in October 1903. The stories of the Exploits and Adventures of Gerard all appeared during this eleven-year hiatus.

Even so, by 1903 Conan Doyle was as anxious to "kill off" Gerard as he had been to get rid of Holmes a decade earlier, as he made clear in a letter to his editor. To all intents and purposes, he did dispose of the Brigadier with "How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to His Master," in which Gerard undertakes a clandestine mission to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena, only to find him on his deathbed. Gerard was brought back for one more round in 1910, but that story is anomalous--it marries off the lifelong bachelor--and has only recently been collected with the other Gerard stories.

Conan Doyle was not a great novelist, and even some of his best long works can be a bit clumsy in construction. But he was a master storyteller, especially in his short stories. The Gerard plots are generally straightforward, and the stories are told in a simple narrative fashion from beginning to end, with an average length of 9,300 words for Exploits and 7,400 words for Adventures. Except in "The Crime of the Brigadier," he never tells us anything about the plot that is not available to Gerard. This simplicity, characteristic of all his short stories, is part of what makes the Gerard stories so readable and entertaining. Most of the plots have him being sent on a dangerous mission for Napoleon or one of his generals. Although there are numerous references to the battles and generals of the era, most of the stories take place away from the battlefield, where it is not necessary for Conan Doyle to awkwardly fit Gerard into well-documented events.

As in his Holmes stories, Conan Doyle sometimes recycled plots -- for example, having Gerard stuck behind enemy lines and avoiding capture by hiding in a loft, where he can overhear the enemy officers discussing important military matters ("The Crime of the Brigadier" and "The Story of the Nine Prussian Horsemen"). The murderous guerrilla leaders who capture Gerard, in "How the Brigadier Saved an Army" and "How the Brigadier Held the King," are interchangeable. Both appear rather mild-mannered and civilized, but end by demonstrating their bloodthirsty character. In these tales, as in several others, Gerard is rescued from a hopeless situation by the fortunate intervention of an outside force--we come to expect the unexpected to rescue Gerard, just when everything seems darkest.

With the exception of the very first story, all of the Gerard stories are told in flashback by an old soldier to his cronies in a Parisian café. The stories are written as if meant to be read aloud, in a French stage accent. This verbal quality gives them a great deal of their flair and charm. Conan Doyle uses these introductions to give us some of the flavor of the elderly Gerard's life. In "How the Brigadier Came to the Castle of Gloom," Gerard tells us that he had been dozing that day in his armchair and had awakened with a shout, which had given his landlady a good laugh. In "How the Brigadier Was Tempted by the Devil," we learn that Gerard is now a half-pay officer, earning one hundred francs per month. In other tales, he tells us that he has had to turn to planting cabbages to supplement his pay. In the last of the tales, "The Marriage of the Brigadier," he invites his friends to accompany him back to his little white-washed cottage beside the Garonne, so he can show them the medal he received from the Emperor.

In contrast to the Holmes tales, most of the introductions are short; a paragraph or two and we are right into the adventure. One exception is "How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk," which has a fairly lengthy description of a parade of soldiers about to go off to the Crimean War. Conan Doyle contrasts the pomp and spectacle of a parade through peaceful Paris with a description of the horrors of a retreat by the beaten and ragged French army, slogging half-starved and beaten through the snows of a Russian winter. In the two-part Waterloo story, "How the Brigadier Bore Himself at Waterloo," at the start of the second story Gerard briefly recaps the events of the first story. However, even in this case, each story stands on its own.

Having Gerard tell his own stories is a major reason for their success. His absolute lack of self-awareness gives the tales their tone and charm. Unlike the Holmes tales, where the use of Dr. Watson as narrator is essential--because it allows us to see a genius through the eyes of an ordinary person--the exact opposite thing would happen here. This is graphically demonstrated in Uncle Bernac, where Gerard is seen through another's eyes and the result is totally unmemorable.

The only exception is "The Crime of the Brigadier," which is introduced by a third-person narrator after Gerard's death. We learn that Gerard went to his grave never realizing how much the British hated him for his unsportsmanlike conduct in severing the fox's head with his sword. The story itself is then told in the traditional manner by Gerard, in "that humble café where, between his dinner and his dominoes, he would tell, amid tears and laughter, of that inconceivable Napoleonic past when France, like an angel of wrath, rose up, splendid and terrible, before a cowering continent." It is a bit jarring to find this introductory device used, when Conan Doyle could easily have worked Gerard's ignorance of the rules of the foxhunt into the fabric of the story. However, in "How the Brigadier Saved an Army" and "How the Brigadier Triumphed in England," Gerard boasts of his fame among the English for his success with the fox. Since Gerard must never realize the faux pas he has committed, the third-person narrator is a necessity.

Gerard often succeeds on a mission in spite of his lack of understanding of the situation. His superb riding skills, pluck, and swordsmanship pull him through where a lesser man would surely fail. Few of the other characters in the stories have any depth to them--Gerard sees only their surface, and that's how he describes them. A few of the lesser characters are at least a bit memorable. In his preface to Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw admits that he has borrowed the character of El Cuchillo, in "How the Brigadier Held the King," for his character, Mendoza: "The theft of the brigand-poetaster from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is deliberate." Shaw has created a kinder, gentler Mendoza in his play; Conan Doyle's El Cuchillo is a Jekyll and Hyde character, quoting poetry and torturing prisoners to death.

Although the first impression many people have of the Gerard stories is of the arrogance and buffoonery of their principal character, the moods and emotions evoked by the stories vary widely. In "How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk," the mood is somber from beginning to end, with very little humor. The story conveys a strong image of the retreat from Moscow. Conan Doyle briefly breaks the mood, sending Gerard on a mission to take corn from Minsk back to the starving army. He intercepts a Russian aide-de-camp bearing a message in Russian. Gerard relies on a beautiful Russian woman to translate it for him. As is usually the case when Gerard relies on a beautiful woman, she cleverly tricks him. Gerard rides into a trap and loses half his men.

"How the Brigadier Came to the Castle of Gloom" is a combination of a gothic horror novel and fast-paced adventure story. The horror story comes first, when Gerard and his companion, Duroc, arrive at the door of the evil castle inhabited by a monster, Baron Straubenthal. A sinister-looking servant warns them to beware of the Baron. The atmosphere is further heightened by the silent appearance of the beautiful stepdaughter from behind the curtains of the Baron's study, to tell them how happy she is that they will try to kill her wicked stepfather. However, the horror story turns into a fast-paced adventure when Gerard and Duroc are locked in the storeroom and the stepdaughter smuggles in the key to the powder magazine. The fight to the death with the villain, followed by the narrow escape from the castle, just in time to avoid being blown to bits, is pure Ian Fleming. The only difference is that here Gerard does not get the girl--he seldom does!

The stories evoke other emotions as well, including revulsion when Gerard comes across a dying Frenchman who has been tortured by the enemy ("How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans," "How the Brigadier Saved an Army").

As the series continued, Gerard became a far more complex character than his original stereotype. At times he is thick-headed and unsophisticated, usually when it comes to dealing with beautiful women. At other times, especially when he is placed in a crisis situation, he becomes quick-witted, decisive, and masterful. His sensitivity to the mood of the retreat in "How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk" does not seem uncharacteristic, yet is totally unlike the Gascon braggart of "The Medal of Brigadier Gerard." The Gerard who nearly persuades a vacillating prince to support Napoleon in the face of overwhelming opposition from his wife and members of the court and then reports on the power of poetry to evoke irrepressible nationalist emotions ("How the Brigadier Played for a Kingdom") is not the philistine dim-wit who fails to understand the civic outrage of the Venetians at the removal of four ugly (to Gerard) bronze horses from St. Mark's Square ("How the Brigadier Lost His Ear").

It almost appears that Conan Doyle had an internal conflict over what to do with Gerard. The character grows in humanity as he is given flesh and blood, but then swings back to buffoonery when Doyle feels him growing too sophisticated. Gerard's character reaches its ultimate sophistication in "How the Brigadier Was Tempted by the Devil," where Doyle gives a fairly realistic portrait of Napoleon and Gerard only has one or two lapses into swagger. Gerard reaches his nadir in "How the Brigadier Lost an Ear," the first instalment of Adventures. Seven years had passed since publication of Exploits and Doyle must have felt the need to re-establish him. Here Gerard is almost a comic-book French chevalier--ignorant of art, a womanizer, sentimental, super-patriotic, and egoistic.

Gerard refers to his poor widowed mother in almost every story, echoing, perhaps consciously, Conan Doyle's deep affection and attachment for his own mother. The real soldier, Marbot, also refers many times to his widowed mother, sometimes in terms that are clearly echoed by Gerard. In his moment of truth, whenever triumph or death appear imminent, Gerard inevitably thinks of his mother and the Emperor (always the "Emperor," never "Napoleon," as if the institution were more important than the man), and then of the many women who will weep over his loss. And always his mother comes before the Emperor--her pride in his achievements, her small income, and his joy at being able to visit her (echoing Marbot's repeated joy when he was able to return to Paris after a long campaign).

Gerard also tells us that he is a great lover. Obviously, Gerard has fooled himself into believing that a beautiful woman had reciprocated his feelings. It is clear that the woman is hardly aware of him, or is simply using him. Gerard, of course, is convinced she loves him deeply, but is holding in her feelings out of a sense of propriety. The woman, of course, has pretended to be helpless so she can delay Gerard in carrying out his mission or steal the important papers he is carrying.

Gerard, of peasant stock, is less sophisticated in court manners than Marbot, whose own father was a general. However, in "How the Brigadier Played for a Kingdom," Gerard manages to put up quite a sophisticated front while, at the same time, allowing himself to be hoodwinked yet again by a beautiful woman. Gerard must complete the mission of a dying French diplomat to the mythical German principality of Saxe-Felstein. He is to deliver a letter from Napoleon to convince the Prince to throw his support behind the French, rather than the British and Austrians. On the way, Gerard meets a beautiful woman in distress and, of course, she manages to purloin the letter. He presses on and makes his way into the presence of the Prince and a very hostile court, where he discovers that the Princess, who leads the opposition to Napoleon, is his beautiful trickster. Nevertheless, Gerard delivers Napoleon's message verbally, and almost succeeds in swaying the Prince until a young soldier-poet, Körner, makes a stirring speech and carries the day. Gerard acquits himself with great delicacy and almost succeeds in an impossible mission. The facts of this story are quite similar to and were likely inspired by Marbot's 1806 mission to the King of Prussia, with the addition of Gerard's romantic interlude with the Princess and the Körner element. The portrait of the German romantic nationalistic poet, Karl Theodor Körner, is quite accurate, but Conan Doyle clearly invented Körner's mesmerizing song, for it contains non-Germanic elements and does not match any of Körner's published poetry.

Unlike the Holmes stories, in which any humor is incidental, there is deliberate humor in almost every Gerard story. Usually, but not always, the humor is in the introduction. Humor is rare in the denouement, one exception being the Brigadier's marriage in "The Marriage of the Brigadier." The humor is always based on Gerard's popinjay, vainglorious swagger, abysmal cultural ignorance, and incredible bravado. The most humorous of the Gerard stories are those that poke fun at the British, and especially their love of sports. In "How the Brigadier Triumphed in England," Doyle uses Gerard's ignorance of the British to make fun of their love of cricket, boxing, pheasant shooting, and even their attitude to the law. It seems strange to hear Doyle making fun of sports he loved passionately--cricket and boxing. In "How the Brigadier Held the King," he devoted several paragraphs to the British moneyed class' great love of gambling on just about anything--something that Gerard was willing to get caught up in himself. Perhaps one of the funniest scenes in all of the Gerard stories is the foxhunt in "The Crime of the Brigadier."

These stories are about more than humor, however. In "How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk," set amid the snow and despair of the retreat from Moscow, there is precious little humor and instead there is sardonicism and bitterness. In addition, in many of the stories-"How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans," "How the Brigadier Held the King," and "How the Brigadier Saved an Army," for instance--the humor is mixed with realistic scenes of pain and horror.

Conan Doyle's best short stories, well crafted and superbly written, the Brigadier Gerard tales, are almost wholly unknown to the public. They have been obscured by another shadow -- the shadow of Sherlock Holmes--for too long.

A Note on the Text
Each story in The Complete Brigadier Gerard was first published in the monthly Strand Magazine in London by George Newnes, Ltd. The U.S. edition of The Strand was published one month later than the British edition. All of the stories appeared in the British edition. With the exception of "The Crime of the Brigadier," they also appeared in the U.S. Strand.

  • Notes:
  • numbering system is that used by The Strand
  • all illustrations are by W. B. Wollen, R.I., unless otherwise noted
  • the second title is that used in subsequent book publications
  • the first dates given are for publication in the British edition of The Strand
  • the date and journal of U.S. first non-Strand serial publication is given if available

Exploits of Gerard

"The Medal of Brigadier Gerard." Strand Magazine v. VIII, No. 48, Dec. 1894, p. 563; ["How the Brigadier Won His Medal"]; American copyright 1894, Bacheller, Johnson & Bacheller: Leslie's Weekly, Feb. 6, 13, 1896, pp. 89, 105 [illus. Clinedinst].

I - "How the Brigadier Held the King." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 52, Apr. 1895, p. 363; American copyright 1895, Bacheller, Johnson & Bacheller.

II - "How the King Held the Brigadier." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 53, May 1895, p. 501; American copyright 1895, Bacheller, Johnson & Bacheller.

III - "How the Brigadier Slew the Brothers of Ajaccio." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 54, June 1895, p. 631; American copyright 1895, Irving Bacheller.

IV - "How the Brigadier Came to the Castle of Gloom." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 55, July 1895, p. 3; American copyright 1895, Irving Bacheller: The Pocket Magazine, Nov. 1895, p. 1, Vol. 1, no. 1.

V - "How the Brigadier Took the Field Against the Marshal Millefleurs." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 56, Aug. 1895, p. 201; American copyright 1895, The Standard Press Company in The Standard.

VI - "How the Brigadier Was Tempted by the Devil." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 57, Sept. 1895, p. 335; American copyright Sept. 1895, John Brisben Walker in The Cosmopolitan Magazine [illus. T. de Thulstrup].

VII - "How the Brigadier Played for a Kingdom." Strand Magazine v. IX, No. 60, Dec. 1895, p. 603; American copyright 1895, Bacheller, Johnson & Bacheller: The Chicago Tribune, Dec. 29, 1895; The Pocket Magazine, Feb. 1896, p. 1.

Adventures of Gerard "The Crime of the Brigadier." Strand Magazine v. XIX, No. 109, Jan. 1900, p. 41 [illus. Sidney Paget]; ["How the Brigadier slew the Fox"]; The Cosmopolitan Magazine, Dec. 1899, p. 171 [illus. F. Klepper][included as part of Adventures despite publishing date].

I - "How Brigadier Gerard Lost His Ear." Strand Magazine v. XXIV, No. 140, Aug. 1902, p. 123; ["How the Brigadier Lost His Ear"]; American Strand, Oct. 1902, p. 123. II - "How the Brigadier Saved the Army." Strand Magazine v. XXIV, No. 143, Nov.1902, p. 483; ["How the Brigadier Saved an Army"]; American Strand, Dec. 1902, p. 483.

III - "How the Brigadier Rode to Minsk." Strand Magazine v. XXIV, No. 144, Dec. 1902, p. 604; American Strand, Jan. 1903, p. 603.

IV - "Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo: [I] The Adventure of the Forest Inn." Strand Magazine v. XXV, No. 145, Jan. 1903, p. 1; ["How the Brigadier Bore Himself at Waterloo - I - The Story of the Forest Inn"]; American Strand, Feb. 1903, p. 3.

V - "Brigadier Gerard at Waterloo: [II] The Adventure of the Nine Prussian Horsemen." Strand Magazine v. XXV, No. 146, Feb. 1903, p. 123; ["How the Brigadier Bore Himself at Waterloo - II - The Story of the Nine Prussian Horsemen"]; American Strand, Mar. 1903, p. 123.

VI - "The Brigadier in England." Strand Magazine v. XXV, No. 147, Mar. 1903, p. 244; ["How the Brigadier Triumphed in England"]; American Strand, Apr. 1903, p. 243.

VII - "How the Brigadier Joined the Hussars of Conflans." Strand Magazine v. XXV, No. 148, Apr. 1903, p. 363; ["How the Brigadier Captured Saragossa"]; American Strand, May 1903, p. 363.

VIII - "How Etienne Gerard Said Good-Bye to His Master." Strand Magazine v. XXV, No. 149, May 1903, p. 483; ["The Last Adventure of the Brigadier"]; American Strand, June 1903, p. 483.

"The Marriage of the Brigadier." Strand Magazine v. XI, No. 237, Sept. 1910, p. 259 [illus. Gilbert Holiday].

Clifford Goldfarb is a Toronto lawyer who specializes in charities and business law. He regularly writes and lectures on Arthur Conan Doyle and has written The Great Shadow (1997), a study of Conan Doyle's Napoleonic war stories.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2009

    Brigadier Gerard

    For Sherlock Holmes fans, this is something completely different. The hero is somewhat clownish, but usually lands on his feet. The stories are light, humorous action stories rather than mysteries. Not up to Conan Doyle's best Sherlock Homes stories, but entertaining.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2005

    A witty, amusing read!

    Here is a book portraying military prowess and expertise at its highest--and most incredulous. I actually laughed out loud through several of Gerard's exploits. Who would have guessed that the author of Holmes was also an expert at wit?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)