Australia and Sherlock Holmes is the third title in The Baker Street Irregulars' International Series, which brings the best non-fiction Holmesian writing from around the world to a larger audience. The history of Australian Sherlockians can be traced back over 100 years to a photograph of a group of miners printed in The Strand Magazine in 1904.
Australia and Sherlock Holmes captures the distinctive Sherlockian voice from Down Under. Editors Bill Barnes and Doug Elliott provide context for, and an introduction to, Sherlock Holmes in Australia. They gathered materials written between 1959 and 2007, mostly from News from the Diggings and The Passengers' Log. These incisively written scholarly essays includes two pieces about the larger-than-life Richard Hughes, an Australian journalist who made one of the scoops of the (last) century by obtaining the first interview with the Cambridge spies Burgess and Maclean. (Hughes was a real-life inspiration for novelists John le Carré and Ian Fleming.) Popular culture is well represented by a piece covering Sherlock Holmes films conceived but never filmed, and accompanied by delightful, apocryphal movie posters. Well-reasoned papers link both Watson's childhood and the speckled band snake to Australia; a fine, perhaps definitive essay addresses "The Gloria Scott."
There is much more in this volume attesting to the continuing remarkable popularity of the great detective around the globe, and particularly in Australia, and the creative whimsy with which Holmesian scholars play "The Game."
PART 1: INTRODUCTION Sherlock Holmes in Australia by Bill Barnes and Doug Elliott
PART 2: CONAN DOYLE IN AUSTRALIA Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Australia by Alec H. Chisholm
Segregation of the Queen by Arthur Williams
PART 3: SHERLOCK HOLMES IN AUSTRALIA Dr Watson and Mr Hughes by Arthur Williams
Down with Confucius, Lin Piao - and Sherlock Holmes by Richard Hughes
My Father Knew Sherlock Holmes by Dick Hughes
A Pearl of a Passenger by Arthur Williams
PART 4: THE AUSTRALIAN CONNECTION A Fresh Bite at the Speckled Band by Philip Cornell
New Light on Watson's Childhood by Dr Michael Duke
Bluey's Carbuncle annotated by Neil P. Hillcrop
A GLORious Mystery by Rosane McNamara
Dr Watson, Dracula and the Royal Australian Navy by Arthur Williams
PART 5: DOWNUNDER PONDERINGS The Rah- Rah Boys by Bill Barnes
Black Jack Press by Bill Barnes
Just a Thought: The Reichenbach Note by Mark Doyle
Professor Coram's Research by Dr Michael Duke
Thomas Arnold, Tom Brown and Sherlock Holmes by James Eedle
James or John, the Watson Enigma by Kerry Murphy
The Solitary Cyclist Rings a Little Bell by Alan Olding
A Penny for Your Thoughts by Alan Olding
A Study in Portraits by Robert Veld
The Curious Case of the Phantom Films by Philip Cornell
APPENDIX: AUSTRALIAN SOCIETIES
About the Series The Baker Street Irregulars, the literary society focused on Sherlock Holmes, publishes The International Series to bring more exposure to the best Sherlockian scholarship from around the world.