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Twentieth-Century Victorian

Arthur Conan Doyle and the Strand Magazine, 1891-1930

Jonathan Cranfield

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A literary history of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work with the Strand Magazine in the twentieth century

You know Arthur Conan Doyle as the stereotypically ‘Victorian’ author of the Sherlock Holmes stories which, on the lavishly-illustrated pages of the Strand Magazine, captivated and defined the late nineteenth-century marketplace for popular fiction and magazine publishing. This book tells the story of that relationship and the aftermath its enormous success as author and publication sought to shepherd their determinedly Victorian audience through the problems and crises of the early twentieth century. Here you can discover the Conan Doyle who used his public platform to fight for divorce reform, for the rights of colonised peoples, for State welfare programmes, for the abolition of blood sports and who, even in his last years, foresaw the coming of the Second World War, the Cold War and the age of weapons of mass destruction. The twentieth-century Conan Doyle was not a man with his eyes fixed upon the past but determinedly responding to a changing world with as much vigour and commitment as any modernist writer.

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Introduction: Periodicals, Popular Writing and Modernism
1. The Strand at the Beginning, 1891-1899
2. Chivalric Machines, 1899-1903
3. The Two Conan Doyles, 1903-10
4. Lost Worlds and World Wars, 1910-1918
5. Flights From Reason, 1918-1925
Conclusion: Remnants, 1925-1930.

About the Author

Jonathan Cranfield is a Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. He has published articles in Textual Practice, English Literature in Transition and Victorian Literature and Culture.


The partnership between Arthur Conan Doyle and the Strand Magazine became one of the most successful collaborations in publishing history. In telling its story, Jonathan Cranfield’s fascinating book shows the vital part it played in the formation of a modern readership and culture.

-- Douglas Kerr, University of Hong Kong

- Douglas Kerr, University of Hong Kong

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