Thursday, February 7, 2013

Blogging Sax Rohmer’s The Bride of Fu Manchu, Part One

Sax Rohmer’s The Bride of Fu Manchu was originally serialized in Collier’s from May 6 to July 8, 1933 under the variant title, Fu Manchu’s Bride. It was published in book form later that year by Cassell in the UK and Doubleday in the US. The US edition retained the original magazine title until the 1960s when the UK book title was adopted for the paperback edition published by Pyramid Books. Under any title it is without a doubt the finest book of the series in terms of prose and plotting. The Bride of Fu Manchu introduces readers to a new narrator/hero in the form of the young botanist, Dr. Alan Sterling. As the book opens, Sterling is in France along with Dr. Petrie. They have both been called in to investigate a strange new epidemic that has stricken the Riviera. Sterling comes ashore on Ste. Claire and discovers a beautiful girl on an otherwise deserted beach. The introductory scene is a long and evocative one and will be instantly familiar to James Bond fans as a clear influence on Ian Fleming. The girl is called Fleurette and likens herself to the goddess, Derceto. She is the property of the mysterious Mahdi Bey who owns the great house on Ste. Claire. A strange sonic trumpet sounds and Fleurette rushes back to her master’s home leaving Sterling both smitten and frustrated by their brief but tantalizing encounter. TO CONTINUE READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE VISIT THE BLACK GATE ON FRIDAY.

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