Sax Rohmer

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (15 February 1883 - 1 June 1959), better known as Sax Rohmer, was a prolific English novelist. He is most remembered for his series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.

Life and work

Born in Birmingham, Rohmer had an entirely working class education and early career before beginning to write. His first published work was in 1903, the short story The Mysterious Mummy for Pearson's Weekly. He made his early living writing comedy sketches for music hall performers and short stories and serials for magazines. In 1909 he married Rose Knox. He published his first novel Pause! anonymously in 1910 and the first Fu Manchu story, The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu, was serialized over 1912-13. It was an immediate success with its fast paced story of Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie facing the worldwide conspiracy of the 'Yellow Peril'. The Fu Manchu stories, together with those featuring Gaston Max or Morris Klaw, made Rohmer one of the most successful and well-paid writers in of the 1920s and 1930s. But Rohmer was very poor at handling his wealth. After World War II the Rohmers moved to New York.

Rohmer died in 1959 due to an outbreak of avian influenza ("Asian Flu").

Dr. Fu Manchu

Ward was often attacked, even shortly after the Manchu stories were published, for creating a character that reflected "racist assumptions". He himself, "bemused" at the furor, occasionally defended his character by saying that the portrait was "fundamentally truthful" because "criminality was often rampant among the Chinese", especially in Limehouse.


A number of films were made featuring Dr. Fu Manchu. Warner Oland starred in three early talkies: 1929's The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu, 1930's The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu, and 1931's Daughter of the Dragon. Boris Karloff starred in 1932's The Mask of Fu Manchu. There was a Republic Pictures serial, Drums of Fu Manchu in 1940 and a short-lived TV series, The Adventures of Fu Manchu in 1956. The character was revived after his creator's death for a series of variable quality starring Christopher Lee: The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966), The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967), The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968), and The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969). Pulp film legend Harry Alan Towers produced two films based on the Sumuru character in the 1960s, and an updated space fantasy version in 2002. Legendary comic actor Peter Sellers starred in the 1980 spoof, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu. The Fu Manchu characters were featured in Marvel Comics' long-running series, Master of Kung-Fu and were revived for two novels by Rohmer's friend and biographer, Cay van Ash. A new authorized novel featuring the characters, The Terror of Fu Manchu by William Patrick Maynard was published in April 2009.

In popular culture

The opening track and first single from the Mountain Goats album Heretic Pride is entitled "Sax Rohmer #1". It includes a reference to "spies from imperial China".

Selected bibliography

Elaine H. Kim, Asian American Literature, an introduction to the writings and their social context, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982 (especially the chapter on Fu Manchu).
Pause!, 1910
Little Tich (Autobiography)(ghostwritten by Ward) 191?
The Sins of Severac Bablon, 1914
The Mystery of Dr. Fu Manchu, [US Title: The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu] 1913
The Yellow Claw, 1915
The Exploits of Captain O'Hagan 1916
The Devil Doctor, [US Title: The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu] 1916
The Si-Fan Mysteries, [US Title: The Hand of Fu Manchu] 1917 "Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie, aided by Scotland Yard, battle the evil genius, Fu Manchu, and his mysterious, world-wide organization, the Si-Fan. The scene in London ranges from foreign embassies to the underworld; the stakes are no less than world domination. Using weapons that range from crude missiles to occult animal magnetism, the Orientals threaten to extinguish the white race and to make Dr. Fu Manchu Emperor of the World."
Brood of the Witch Queen, 1918
Tales of Secret Egypt, 1918
The Orchard of Tears 1918
Dope, 1919
The Golden Scorpion, 1919
Quest of the Sacred Slipper, 1919
The Dream Detective, 1920
The Green Eyes of Bast, 1920
The Haunting of Low Fennel, 1920
Bat Wing, 1921
Tales of Chinatown, 1922
Fire Tongue, 1921
Grey Face, 1924
Yellow Shadows, 1925
Moon of Madness, 1927
She Who Sleeps, 1928
The Book of Fu Manchu, [Compilation of first 3 Books] 1929
The Emperor of America 1929
The Day the World Ended 1930
The Daughter of Fu Manchu, 1931
Yu'an Hee See Laughs, 1932
The Mask of Fu Manchu, 1932
Tales of East and West (British edition) 1932
Tales of East and West(American edition) 1933
Fu Manchu's Bride, 1933 [UK Title: The Bride of Fu Manchu]
The Trail of Fu Manchu 1934
The Bat Flies Low, 1935
President Fu Manchu, 1936
White Velvet, 1936
Salute to Bazarada and other stories 1939
The Drums of Fu Manchu, 1939
The Island of Fu Manchu, 1941
Seven Sins 1943
Egyptian Nights(Bimbashi Barak of Egypt) 1944
The Shadow of Fu Manchu, 1948
Hanover House 1949
The Sins of Sumuru, [US Title: Nude in Mink] 1950
Wulfheim(written as Michael Furey)later printing as Sax Rohmer 1950
The Slaves of Sumuru, [US Title: Sumuru] 1951
Virgin in Flames, [US Title: Fire Goddess] 1953
Sand and Satin, [US Title: Return of Sumuru] 1954
The Moon is Red 1954
Sinister Madonna, 1956
Re-enter Fu Manchu, 1957 [UK Title: Re-Enter Dr. Fu Manchu]
Emperor Fu Manchu, 1959
The Secret of Holm Peel and other Strange Stories 1970
The Wrath of Fu Manchu, 1973 [published posthumously]
The Voice of Kali, 2009 [Crippen and Landru]

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