Blackwood was reflecting another turn-of-the-century  obsession here. Supernaturalism was a topic of constant  discussion and debate in Victorian England. (One of its  most credulous advocates was Doyle himself; but he kept  his wilder beliefs out of his Holmes stories.) Controversy  raged over the reality of clairvoyance, communication with  the dead, séances, hypnotism and other related phenomena.  When Blackwood published his first John Silence stories, he  drew on these elements, mixing them in with the formulas  of the Holmes-oriented detective story, and created a new  hybrid genre, comprised in almost equal doses of horror,  sci-fi and mystery.

 

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John Silence Algernon Blackwood

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