Social criticism in Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt: Cataclysm as Contemporary British Tableau

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    This article argues that Arthur Conan Doyle’s second Professor Challenger novel, The Poison Belt (1913) uses a disaster narrative structure as a means of offering a tableau of contemporary Britain for the purposes of socio-cultural assessment and burgeoning spiritualist exploration. A conservative text, The Poison Belt uses its science fictional premise to establish a ‘condition of England’ critique informed by Victorian anxieties of social degeneration before offering a wish fulfilment conclusion of cultural re-invigoration
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-145
    Number of pages17
    JournalScience Fiction Studies
    Issue number1
    Early online date31 Mar 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


    • Poisons
    • Ethers
    • Science fiction
    • Masculinity
    • Social criticism
    • Disasters
    • Humanity
    • Novella
    • Victorians
    • War

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