“Then why write of it, you may ask? If a subject is painful why treat it at all? I answer that it is the province of fiction to treat painful things as well as cheerful ones.”Round the Red Lamp (1894)
Roger Luckhurst teaches at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has edited the Oxford World’s Classics for Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Stoker’s Dracula and Wells’s Time Machine, amongst others. He is the author of two histories of science fiction and studies of J. G. Ballard, telepathy, psychical trauma, zombies and corridors.
For the EUP Conan Doyle edition, Roger Luckhurst is editing the collection of medical fiction, Round the Red Lamp, published in October 1894. It is a collection that proved controversial on publication, being called ‘repulsive’, ’sickening and disgusting, and ‘cruel and demoralising’ by reviewers, in part because of its bold treatment of hereditary syphilis, the dangers of childbirth, and punitive surgery on sexually over-active women. Really oddly, it also contained sentimental and comic tales too, a hodgepodge of stories reflecting its rather ad hoc origins. The edition will collect together Conan Doyle’s writings as a young doctor, seeking to make an impression in the medical press.