Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Collecting "Yellow Peril" Era Mysteries

Here's an interesting list of collectibles. Otto will explain...

Sally Owen
The Mysterious Bookshop


One of the most interesting areas of collecting is books about Oriental villains determined to conquer the world with their fierce, barbaric hordes. Yes, yes, I know it’s politically incorrect, but get over it. These books were largely produced during the very late 19th century up to World War II, when Nazis became the villains of choice. A Chinese American, William F. WU, wrote a fascinating book on the subject titled, of course, The Yellow Peril, which focused on Chinese in American literature, although most evil Oriental books were written by English writers. The most famous is Dr. Fu Manchu, partially inspired by the Boxer Rebellion in the early part of the 20th century and the fear by many in Great Britain of a massive Asian uprising. Although many of Sax Rohmer’s novels remain exciting, in truth many other Yellow Peril were pure pulp and few survived the paper drives in England during WWII. We have just acquired a small group of these very scarce books.

Grant, Maxwell, Jade Dragon and The House of Ghosts, N.Y., Mysterious Press, 1981. First edition of these two novels from 1940s pulps. The first is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown and features the mandarin Chung Sung, head of the Wei Hai Wei. Limited to 300 copies, numbered and signed by the author as both Maxwell Grant and Walter Gibson. Very fine in slipcase. $100.00

Another copy, numbered and signed, but without the slipcase. $50.00

Howard, Winifred, The Vengeance of Fu Chang, New York, Oxford University Press, 1932. First edition. Appears to be a young adult novel. Illustrated. Bookplate and gift inscription, else a fine copy. $25.00

Jepson, Selwyn, The Death Gong, N.Y., Grossett & Dunlap, 1927. Reprint. "Out of the dark of an Oriental monastery into the daylight of an Occidental laboratory came a strange instrument to change many lives." Near fine in a lightly chipped and rubbed dust jacket with a great sinister Oriental shadow. $20.00

Sax Rohmer

THE DRUMS OF FU MANCHU, N.Y., Doubleday, 1939, 1st U.S. edition, rebound with an Oriental illustration. Very good. $25.00

THE DRUMS OF FU MANCHU, N.Y., Sun Dial, 1939. Fine in a gorgeous pictorial dust jacket with minor rubbing at spine tips. $75.00

THE YELLOW CLAW, N.Y., Burt, 1920. Spine ends lightly worn, else near fine, $25.00

THE YELLOW CLAW, N.Y., Burt, 1920. Fine in a brilliant

THE ISLAND OF FU MANCHU, London, Cassell, 1956. 2nd printing. Fine in dust jacket, which has some rubbing at top of spine. $75.00

THE DAUGHTER OF FU MANCHU, N.Y., Burt, 1931. Good only. $20.00

THE RETURN OF DR. FU-MANCHU, N.Y., McBride, 1916. First U.S. edition. A good copy of the 2nd book in the series. $35.00

THE WRATH OF FU MANCHU, London, Stacey, 1973. First edition. Short stories. Fine in dust jacket. $75.00

TALES OF EAST AND WEST, London, Cassell, 1932. First edition of a scarce book. Gift inscription, else very good. $100.00

Thorne, E.P., The Smile of Cheng Sue, London, Wright & Brown, 1946. First edition. Very good. $25.00

Vane, Nigel, The Vengeance of Li-Sin, London, Modern, 1935. First edition. Spot on front cover, else very good in a homemade dust jacket that incorporates the front panel of the original jacket with a great full-color illustration of a menacing Oriental. $30.00

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