Prolific English author Sax Rohmer was born on this day in 1883 (d: 1 June, 1959). Mr. Rohmer is best known for his series featuring the mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu. A few months ago I also did a Fun Facts post about the character Dr. Fu-Manchu.
Fun Facts about Sax Rohmer:
- Sax Rohmer’s real name is Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward.
- Before being a novelist, Rohmer was a song and comedy sketch writer.
- Rohmer claimed his was a member for the qabbalistic Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as well as having ties to the Rosicrucians (study or membership in secret societies). However his claims were never proven and many think that they were just used to boost his reputation as an occult writer.
- Among his literary influences Rohmer named Edgar Allan Poe, M.P. Shiel and Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Rohmer published his first novel called Pause! Anonymously.
- The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu was an immediate success.
- The first three books in the Fu-Manchu series were published between 1913 and1917. The fourth book was published in 1931 (14 years later). Between 1931 and 1959, Rohmer wrote 10 more novels in the series.
- Contrary to Rohmer’s books which tells of a crime ridden Chinese community in London, the Chinese in London’s Limehouse district were the most low abiding community of all the ethnic minorities.
- In his novel, The Romance of Sorcery, Rohmer based his protagonist, a mystery solving magician named Bazarada, on his friend Harry Houdini.
- Rohmer created a super-villainess named Sumuru which was basically a female version of Fu-Manchu.
First published as Fun Facts Friday: Sax Rohmer on 15 February, 2003
Zohar – Man of la Book