The Mists Clear Away: Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger and The Land Of Mist (with Professor Christine Ferguson)

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Professor Christine Ferguson visits the cabin to discuss the later adventures of Professor Challenger! In 1925, Arthur Conan Doyle’s serialisation of ‘The Land Of Mist’ began in the Strand magazine. This novel was the author’s great attempt to make his decades-long interest in spiritualism palatable to the widest audience possible. Did he succeed? Did he portray the world of 1920s London accurately? And why did he choose Professor Challenger, the maverick of the scientific world, to play the stodgy establishment character? All this and more, in The Mists Clear Away!


-All about the Edinburgh Edition of The Land Of Mist

-Arthur Conan Doyle’s own spiritualism

-Why did ACD turn to Professor Challenger for his great spiritualist novel?

-Spiritualism as a specifically feminine or masculine movement?

-Challenger as the Establishment, rather than the Maverick

-ACD’s use of real-life Belfast researcher William Jackson Crawford

-ACD’s actual apocalyptic spiritualist messages

-Lord John Roxton goes ghost-hunting! What was ACD’s inspiration for this episode?


Beyond Belief: Literature, Esotericism Studies, and the Challenges of Biographical Reading in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Land of Mist. Professor Christine Ferguson, Brill, 2021.

Dinosaurs, Disintegration Machines and Talking to the Dead: The Wild World of Professor Challenger. Dr Stephen Carver, Wordsworth Editions.

The Lost Worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger Series, Conor Reid, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 2017.

Edinburgh University Press New Critical Editions