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The Baker Street Irregulars is an organization of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley.[1] The nonprofit organization currently numbers some 300 individuals worldwide.[2] The group has published The Baker Street Journal — an "irregular quarterly of Sherlockiana" — since 1946.[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Baker Street Irregulars Fletcher Pratt, Christopher Morley and Rex Stout (1944)

The BSI was an outgrowth of Christopher Morley's informal group, "the Three Hours for Lunch Club," which discussed art and literature.[3] The first inaugural meeting of the BSI was held in 1934 at Christ Cella's restaurant in New York City.[4] Initial attendees included William Gillette, Vincent Starrett, Alexander Woollcott, and Gene Tunney.[3] Morley kept meetings quite irregular but after ceding leadership to Edgar W. Smith, meetings became more regular.[3][5]

In February 1934, Elmer Davis, a friend of Morley, authored a constitution for the group explaining their purpose and explaining that anyone who passed a certain test was eligible to join.[6] The May 1934 issue of Saturday Review of Literature featured the aforementioned "test" which was a crossword puzzle authored by Christopher Morley's younger brother, Frank.[6]

The organization long resisted admitting women, a policy which spawned a female-centered organization, the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes.[5] In 1991,[3] the first female invested in the BSI was Dame Jean Conan Doyle.[7] This was followed by Katherine McMahon, the first woman to solve the crossword puzzle.[7] McMahon was followed by Edith Meiser,[7] author of numerous Holmesian radio scripts for The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Members of the society participate in "the game"[8] which postulates that Holmes and Doctor Watson were real and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was merely Watson's "literary agent".[9]

MembershipEdit

The Baker Street JournalEdit

The original iteration of the BSJ was started in 1946 as an academic journal but it ceased in 1949.[3] In 1951, Edgar Smith began publishing it again as a quarterly; it has continued publication since that time.[3]

Scion societiesEdit

The BSI has spawned numerous "scion societies",[4] many of which are officially recognized by the BSI. The first was The Five Orange Pips of Westchester County, New York in 1935.[3] Independent Sherlockian groups include the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, the U.K.’s Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and Canada's The Bootmakers of Toronto.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Baker Street Irregulars 1923-2007: Guide". Houghton Library, Harvard Library. Harvard University. Retrieved 2015-03-25.
  2. ^ "The Baker Street Irregulars Trust". ZoomInfo. March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur; Klinger, Leslie S. (2005). The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. lxiii–lxvi. ISBN 0-7394-5304-1.
  4. ^ a b Bunson, Matthew (1997). Encyclopedia Sherlockiana: an A-to-Z guide to the world of the great detective. Macmillan. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-02-861679-0.
  5. ^ a b c Faye, Lyndsay (March 22, 2012). "Inside the Baker Street Irregulars". Tor.com. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. pp. 206–207. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  7. ^ a b c Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. pp. 428–429. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  8. ^ a b Dirda, Michael (February 2, 2012). "Sherlock Lives!". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Grann, David (December 13, 2004). "Mysterious Circumstances". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e Kaska, Kathleen (March 29, 2014). "A Society like None Other: The Baker Street Irregulars Celebrates 80 Years". Kings River Life. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  11. ^ "THE INVESTITURED (OR INVESTED) IRREGULARS" (PDF). Sherlocktron. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "List of Invested BSI, Two-Shilling Award Recipients, and The Woman" (PDF). BSI History Resources. The Baker Street Irregulars Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  13. ^ http://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2017/07/episode-125-revenge-of-sherlockian-nerd.html
  14. ^ Blumenberg, Taylor (January 10, 2016). "Episode 71: Bert Coules". Baker Street Babes. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  15. ^ a b Zeffren, Tamar (September 26, 2015). "The 1971 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Claire, Nancy (September 15, 2013). "Sherlockian Girl Goes Wilde: An Interview with Lyndsay Faye". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (October 31, 2016). "The 2005 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (March 12, 2016). "The 1985 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. p. 429. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  20. ^ "In Memoriam: Dr. David Musto". Yale Daily News. October 13, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Monty, Scott (January 8, 2017). "The 2017 BSI Weekend Ended in Friendship".
  22. ^ a b Mehegan, David (November 28, 2005). "Guilt by association: For 65 years, a Boston club has made Sherlock Holmes mysteries a scholarly pastime". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  23. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (March 12, 2016). "The 1986 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  24. ^ Shashower, Daniel (July 10, 2015). "Why Sherlock Holmes Endures". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  25. ^ "Frederic D. Steele, An Illustrator, 70". The New York Times. July 7, 1944. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  26. ^ Zeffren, Tamar (May 19, 2016). "The 1993 BSI Dinner". The BSI Trust. Retrieved January 3, 2018.

External linksEdit