"Professor Challenger" is, of course, a much less well-known literary creation of Doyle's than Sherlock Holmes, but is still a worthy figure whose books deserve to be read. Challenger is the original bad-tempered professor, brilliant but completely lacking in "social skills". This ebook contains all the novels and short stories Doyle wrote which feature Professor Challenger, as follows:
The Lost World
This is the one that everyone's heard of through its innumerable movie adaptations, but probably relatively few have read the book. The architypal story of heroic explorers discovering a lost land where dinosaurs still exist, etc etc. Much cliched, but this is the "original".
The Poison Belt
A novella featuring the same characters who appear in "The Lost World". Astronomers discover that the Earth is about to pass through a region of poisonous gas in space. Is this the end of the world? Professor Challenger to the rescue...
The Land of Mist
"Spiritualism" was hugely popular in Victorian times, and Doyle was very much influenced by it in many of his later works. This novel, again featuring Professor Challenger, has spiritualism as its basis. Lots of spooky goings on.
The Disintegration Machine
"The Disintegration Machine" is a short story written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was first published in The Strand Magazine in January 1929. The story centers on the discovery of a machine capable of disintegrating objects and reforming them as they were. This short story is a part of the "Challenger series", a collection of stories about the wealthy eccentric adventurer Professor Challenger.
When the World Screamed
Professor Challenger, with the help of Mr Edward Malone and Mr Peerless Jones, drills into the earth until he reaches the mantle, convinced that it is a sentient being, akin to an echinus, and that by doing so he will be the first person to alert it to mankind's presence. He awakens the giant creature, which then proceeds to destroy his excavation, covering the spectators with a noxious liquid in the process.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859 and died in 1930. Within those years was crowded a variety of activity and creative work that made him an international figure and inspired the French to give him the epithet 'the good giant'. He was the nephew of 'Dickie Doyle' the artist, and was educated at Stonyhurst, and later studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where the methods of diagnosis of one of the professors provided the idea for the methods of deduction used by Sherlock Holmes.
He set up as a doctor at Southsea and it was while waiting for patients that he began to write. His growing success as an author enabled him to give up his practice and turn his attention to other subjects. He was a passionate advocate of many causes, ranging from divorce law reform and the Channel Tunnel to the issuing of inflatable life-jackets to sailors. He also campaigned to prove the innocence of individuals, and his work on the Edjalji case was instrumental in the introduction of the Court of Criminal Appeal. He was a volunteer physician in the Boer War and later in life became a convert to spiritualism.
His greatest achievement was, of course, his creation of Sherlock Holmes, who soon attained international status and constantly distracted him from his other work; at one time Conan Doyle killed him but was obliged by public protest to restore him to life. And in his creation of Dr Watson, Holmes's companion in adventure and chronicler, Conan Doyle produced not only a perfect foil for Holmes but also one of the most famous narrators in fiction. Penguin publish all the books about the great detective, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, His Last Bow, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, The Uncollected Sherlock Holmes and The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes.