Dr Fu Manchu is a fictional character in novels by British author Sax Rohmer during the first half of the 20th century.
The character was also featured extensively in cinema, television, radio, comic strips and comic books for over 90 years He has become an archetype of the evil genius.
The author's description of him was:
- "Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, ... one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present ... Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man".
–The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu
A master criminal, Fu Manchu's murderous plots are marked by a use of biological warfare; he disdains guns or explosives, preferring dacoits, thuggee, and members of other secret societies as his agents armed with knives, or using "pythons and cobras ... fungi and my tiny allies, the bacilli ... my black spiders" and other peculiar animals or natural chemical weapons.
In the earliest books, Fu Manchu is an agent of the secret society, the Si-Fan. and is the mastermind behind a wave of assassinations targeting Western imperialists. In later books, he seeks control of the Si-Fan. The Si-Fan is largely funded through criminal activities, particularly the drug trade and white slavery. Dr. Fu Manchu has extended his already considerable lifespan by use of the elixir vitae (elixir of life), a formula he spent decades trying to perfect.
Fu Manchu is opposed by a typical English detective of the Sherlock Holmes type: Denis Nayland Smith. Fu Manchu's daughter, Fah lo Suee, is a devious mastermind in her own right, plotting to usurp her father's position in the Si-Fan, and aiding his enemies within and outside of the organisation. Her real name is unknown; Fah lo Suee was a childhood term of endearment.
Books[change | change source]
- The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu (1913) (US title: The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu).
- The Devil Doctor (1916) (US title: The Return of Dr Fu-Manchu )
- The Si-Fan Mysteries) (1917) (US Title: The Hand of Fu Manchu
- Daughter of Fu Manchu (1931)
- The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
- The Bride of Fu Manchu (1933) (US Title: Fu Manchu's Bride)
- The Trail of Fu Manchu (1934)
- President Fu Manchu (1936)
- The Drums of Fu Manchu (1939)
- The Island of Fu Manchu (1941)
- The Shadow of Fu Manchu (1958)
- Re-Enter: Dr. Fu Manchu (1957) (US title: Re-Enter Fu Manchu)
- Emperor Fu Manchu (1959) was Rohmer's last novel.
- The Wrath of Fu Manchu (1973) was a posthumous anthology. It had the title novella, first published in 1952, and three later short stories: The Eyes of Fu Manchu (1957), The Word of Fu Manchu (1958), and The Mind of Fu Manchu (1959).
- Allison & Busby reprinted all the novels plus The Wrath of Fu Manchu in five volumes of an omnibus edition, 1995 to 2000.