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Ghost, Vampire, And Scientific Naturalism: Observation And Evidence In The Supernatural Fiction Of Grant Allen, Bram Stoker And Arthur Conan Doyle

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the relationship between literary imagination and scientific investigations of the supernatural in the context of the rise of scientific naturalism and popular religious revival in Victorian Britain. It analyses supernatural stories by Bram Stoker (1847-1912), Grant Allen (1848-1899) and Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) and explains that they can be read as an expression and discussion of the epis-temological difficulties encountered in scientific research on spiritual phenomena. Their attitudes towards scientific naturalism and Spiritualism differed from each other, but Allen, Doyle, and Stoker were all interested in the occult. More importantly, the supernatural stories of Allen, Doyle, and Stoker were considerably informed by contemporary debate on psychical research and Spiritualism. The chapter focuses on how Victorian scientists' fascination with spiritual phenomena and ambivalent attitudes thereof are vividly captured in the supernatural fiction of Allen, Doyle, and Stoker.

Keywords: Arthur Conan Doyle; Bram Stoker; ghost; Grant Allen; spiritualism; supernatural fiction; vampire



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