In the 1950s, Irregular James Montgomery ("The Red Circle") began to distribute a Christmas Annual. In 1956, Edgar Smith took the project under the wings of The Baker Street Journal and it continued until his death in 1960. In 1998, the Journal resumed this wonderful tradition and since then has published a Christmas Annual - an extra issue covering a single topic - thanks to the efforts of various Sherlockians. The Annual is always a fun and intense read, thoroughly researched and professionally written by various Sherlockian scholars.
The Christmas Annual is now included with all BSJ subscriptions. You can order a subscription now which will include the next Annual.
NOTE: The Christmas Annual arrives at the END of your subscription year regardless of when you order that subscription.
You can get all of the Christmas Annuals through 2011 as part of the eBSJ archive.
The 2009 Christmas Annual: "Did you notice nothing curious about that advertisement?" by Peggy Perdue
The 2009 Christmas Annual discusses the use and abuse of Sherlock Holmes in advertising over more than a century.
The 2007 Christmas Annual: Rathbone Returns! A Misadventure Called Sherlock Holmes by S.E. Dahlinger, BSI & Glen Miranker, BSI [Sorry, currently out of print.]
The year was 1946. After seven years, 14 movies, and 200 radio dramas as the Great Detective, Basil Rathbone was as eager to push Sherlock Holmes over the precipice at Reichenbach Falls as Arthur Conan Doyle had been. As he wrote in his autobiography, In and Out of Character:
I was . . . deeply concerned with the problem of being "typed," more completely "typed" than any other classic actor has ever been or ever will be again. . . . There was nothing I could do about it, except to stop playing Mr. Holmes. . . .
That June, Basil and his wife Ouida left Hollywood for the New York stage in search of better things. At least, that was the plan. They quickly found that Broadway wouldn't touch Basil as anything other than Holmes, either. Rathbone began casting about for the play in which to rekindle his rapidly fading star—and fell back on his wife to write it.
Thereby hangs our tale of Sherlock Holmes by Ouida Rathbone. It may have been a comedy, or it may have been a tragedy. It cost one man his dream of conquering Broadway in his most notable role. It cost another man his career as a Broadway producer. It gave yet a third man a heart attack at the dress rehearsal. It even caused the Conan Doyle Estate to forget that the script had ever been produced in the first place. Yet there was certainly an element of comedy. Well, you shall judge for yourselves.
The 2006 Christmas Annual: Quartering in the Fifties: The Sherlockian Correspondence of Colin Prestige by Nicholas Utechin, BSI
"It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a Minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes." ['The Noble Bachelor']
This year's BSJ Christmas Annual takes great pleasure in showing how that idea was put into action almost half a century ago. Nicholas Utechin ("The Ancient British Barrow"), editor of The Sherlock Holmes Journal, has had unique access to the correspondence of the late Colin Prestige—a founding member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London—with a distinguished quartet of American Holmesians: Nathan L. Bengis, Jay Finley Christ, James Montgomery, and Edgar W. Smith. Their letters show a sometimes bewildering enthusiasm for selling, collecting and, above all, sharing when a trans-Atlantic Sherlockian camaraderie was being formed in the mid-1950s. Prestige left his Sherlockian collection to his alma mater—Oriel College, Oxford—and it is with their permission that these letters have been made available for both this publication and eventual bedding-down in the BSI Archives at Harvard's Houghton Library.
Quartering in the Fifties provides a rare glimpse back to the years when, despite the fewer participants, the hobby of Sherlock Holmes was just as vibrant as it is today, with truly archival baggage attached.
U.S. Orders 2006 Christmas Annual $11.00 includes shipping in U.S.
International Orders 2006 Christmas Annual $12.00 includes shipping elsewhere
The 2005 Christmas Annual: Once a Week in Baker Street: The Boucher-Green Years by H. Paul Jeffers, BSI [Sorry, currently out of print.]
The 2005 Christmas Annual offers a look at The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the years 1945 to 1947 when it was written by the famous team of Anthony Boucher and Denis Green. Noted author and Irregular H. Paul Jeffers ("Wilson Hargreave") has used the correspondence between Boucher and Green to give us an insider's perspective on the business of putting Sherlock Holmes on the air. See their disputes with producers! Thrill to their contempt for Petri Wine! Marvel at their ability to fill thirty minutes of airtime each week!
The 2004 Christmas Annual: Dubious and Questionable Memories: A History of the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes by Susan Rice, ASH, BSI, 2s.
This series of Annuals has mostly, since its resurrection in 1998, dealt with specific issues in Sherlockian history. This installment continues to mine that vein. The estimable Susan Rice, ASH, BSI, 2s. ("Beeswing") gathered contributions from a number of Adventuresses. Photographs and other illustrations from this remarkable Sherlockian society dot the publication. This delightful work of Rice's should clear up old mysteries and, with luck, create a few new ones.
U.S. Orders 2004 Christmas Annual $11.00 includes shipping in U.S.
International Orders 2004 Christmas Annual $12.00 includes shipping elsewhere
The 2003 Christmas Annual: "The Strength and Activity of Youth": The Junior Sherlockian Movement by Stephen Clarkson, BSI
This annual is most interesting. It is to the activities of younger Sherlockians in the '60s and '70s. The late editor Stephen Clarkson ("Morse Hudson") gathered many first-hand accounts of Sherlockian activity from survivors of that distant era. Many respected Irregulars and other Sherlockians had their beginnings as fervid high school students.
U.S. Orders 2003 Christmas Annual $11.00 includes shipping in U.S.
International Orders 2003 Christmas Annual $12.00 includes shipping elsewhere
The 2002 Christmas Annual: Tilting at Windmills: Denis Conan Doyle and the Baker Street Irregulars by Richard Lancelyn Green, BSI [Sorry, currently out of print.]
The 2002 Annual covers such topics as The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Doyle brothers' battles with Ellery Queen and their publishers. It also deals with the sudden demise of The Baker Street Journal and the general unhappiness that Adrian and Denis both felt and caused in the United States. The correspondence, which is far too lengthy to appear in whole in this format, has been described and quoted by the late Doylean scholar and Irregular Richard Lancelyn Green ("The Three Gables").
The 2001 Christmas Annual: On the Shoulders of Giants: Jack Tracy and the Encyclopedia Sherlockiana by Christopher and Barbara Roden, BSIs [Sorry, currently out of print.]
The 2000 Christmas Annual: History of the Silver Blaze by Wayne B. Swift, BSI
The full 2000 Christmas Annual is also part of the eBSJ archive.
U.S. Orders 2000 Christmas Annual $11.00 includes shipping in U.S.
International Orders 2000 Christmas Annual $12.00 includes shipping elsewhere
The 1999 Christmas Annual: The Best of the Pips Volume II: More Papers on the Sundial by Albert M. Rosenblatt, BSI
The full 1999 Christmas Annual is also part of the eBSJ archive.
U.S. Orders 1999 Christmas Annual $11.00 includes shipping in U.S.
International Orders 1999 Christmas Annual $12.00 includes shipping elsewhere
The 1998 Christmas Annual: 'Fantasy and Entertainment'—The 1940 BSI Dinner by Jon Lellenberg, BSI [Sorry, currently out of print.]
Text available in the BSI book A Remarkable Mixture, a collection of the Morley-Montgomery award-winning articles.
The full 1998 Christmas Annual is also part of the eBSJ archive.