If ever you get the chance to add this little publication to your library, you simply must do so . . .
For you see, Beeton’s Christmas-Annual of 1887 first introduced us to Sherlock Holmes.
Arthur Conan Doyle was twenty-seven when he wrote the tale (perhaps you recall this video). It would receive little more than rejection at first. Even after publication, it wasn’t the most popular. Perhaps readers of the day felt it untoward to read of murder and mayhem around the holidays; perhaps that’s why only a handful of complete copies of the Christmas Annual exist today.
Nonetheless, A Study in Scarlet went on to be published as a book in July of 1888 (Doyle’s father illustrated that version); a second edition made an appearance the following year, and an American version a year after that (1890). Of course, that’s but a start of a myriad of editions, translations, and adaptations–not to mention the countless other stories featuring Holmes and Watson.
If you’d care to read the story that started it all, you’ll find A Study in Scarlet on Project Gutenberg.
“There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.”
— A Study in Scarlet