London: The Illustrated London News, 1918. First Edition. wrappers. 1st appearance anywhere. The complete novel, in the newspaper’s 64 page Christmas issue, preceding all book editions. Self wrappers (11 1/2” X 16”), repaired tears to the margins of pages 37 and 64, and some lesser tears, else very good for such fragile ephemera, delicate as a tropical fish, integral, whole, clean, sound and rare. Very good. Item #491
The setting is London’s Chinatown and orbits the deeds of Dr. Fu Manchu’s temporary successor as head of the Council of Seven while the insidious doctor is recovering from a bullet wound. And though Fu is only briefly on stage in The Golden Scorpion, the plotline is exactly what the reader would expect from a tale in the Fu Manchu series.
Adam Worth (portrayed in press accounts as the prototype for the criminal mastermind) had a scandalous career from 1866 to 1900. Conan Doyle borrowed Worth’s press enhanced image for his Professor Moriarty (in Sherlock Holmes), as did L. T. Meade for her Madame Koluchy (in The Brotherhood of the Seven Kings). But with Rohmer’s Fu Manchu the model was finalized and hasn’t been much improved on since, whether in comics (Lex Luthor in Superman), in novels (Ernst Blofeld in 007), or in films (Darth Sidious in Star Wars).
We don’t sell many newspapers (millennials call them hobo laptops) so this is my chance to write about them. I have plenty to say about how reporters root for chaos, but I’ll pick on what papers call “a retraction.” Here’s a case in point: “Instead of being arrested, as we said in our headline story last week, for strangling his wife, lighting her remains on fire, and then dancing over her flaming corpse, humanitarian Peter Goodcup died 7 years ago unmarried.”.