Thursday, April 22, 2010

Author of the Week: Sax Rohmer


The author of nearly 50 books, Arthur Sarsfield Ward (1883-1959) wrote as Sax Rohmer and is remembered today mainly for his creation of the ultimate Yellow Peril villain, the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Most of his novels and short stories involve life among the criminal elements of the Chinese or Egyptian underworld and frequently have suggestions of occult or supernatural events and powers. Although his work is not politically correct, Rohmer ranks among the half-dozen greatest and most popular writers of mystery and adventure fiction.

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu, N.Y., Burt, 1920. 5th printing (originally published in 1913). The first Fu Manchu book and a Haycraft-Queen cornerstone. Name inside front cover, top edge soiled, else near fine in a bright pictorial dust jacket, which has two chips on front panel, small chips at spine ends, and several small closed tears. $75.00

The Quest of the Sacred Slipper, N.Y., Burt, 1914. Reprint. Fine in dust jacket which, apart from light soiling of the white spine, is fine. $85.00

The Quest of the Sacred Slipper, N.Y., Burt, 1914. Reprint. Faint stains on rear cover, else fine in a bright dust jacket with a tiny chip at bottom of rear hinge. $65.00

The Quest of the Sacred Slipper, N.Y., Burt, 1914. Reprint. Name inside front cover, else very good in dust jacket, which is chipped at spine ends and on rear panel, with wear along front hinge. $45.00

The Yellow Claw, N.Y., Burt, 1920. Third printing (originally published in 1915). Name and bookplate, else about fine in a stunning, fine, pictorial dust jacket. $75.00

The Return of Fu Manchu, N.Y., McBride, 1916. First U.S. edition. Covers soiled and rubbed at edges, else good-very good. $25.00

The Return of Fu Manchu, N.Y., Burt, 1916. Third printing. Front hinge broken, preliminary pages torn; good reading copy only. $12.50

The Orchard of Tears, London, Methuen, 1936. 7th edition (originally published in 1918. Page edges a trifle foxed, else a fine copy in dust jacket, which has light wear to spine ends. An handsome early vintage edition in a scarce dust jacket. $125.00

Fire-Tongue, N.Y., Burt, 1922. Reprint. Frontispiece loose, hinge cracked, else a good-very good reading copy. $15.00

The Dream Detective, N.Y., Doubleday, 1925. First U.S. edition, which has one story not in the U.K. edition. Features Moris Klaw, an occult detective. A Queen’s Quorum title. Very good. $45.00

The Daughter of Fu Manchu, N.Y., Burt, 1931. Reprint. Good copy. $17.50

Tales of East and West, London, Cassell, 1932. First edition. Gift inscription, else very good. $100.00

Hangover House, N.Y., Black, 1949. Reprint. Good. $10.00

(Rohmer, Sax) The Fires of Fu Manchu by Cay Van Ash, N.Y., Harper, 1987. First edition. A Fu Manchu novel by the biographer of Rohmer. Fine in dust jacket. $20.00

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