An Annotated Bibliography
of Sax Rohmer’s First Editions

Last updated 10 September 2005

Note: Books published with different American and British titles are grouped together. In cases where the true first edition was a paperback, both the paperback and first hardcover are listed. As time permits, we are attempting to list all known editions. If you have an edition which is not listed, please let us know.

Pause! Anonymous. London: Greening & Co., Ltd, 1910.

Published anonymously, Pause! was based on ideas Sax Rohmer was given by George Robey, a performer Rohmer has written songs for. It was Robey who introduced Rohmer to the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The "Bibliographica Rohmeriana" in The Rohmer Review No. 8 reports that W. O. G. Lofts examined the copy in the British Museum Library. "The book is bound in shiny paper covers, with the title in Red letters and a design consisting of a photo of the palm of a man's hand against a black background." (p. 26)

The contents are not just "essays" (though I probably said that at some point in the past)---there are a few plain essays, but other items are inspirational quasi-sermons, dramatic monologues ("Quetzalcoatl"), prose sketches, and fantasy/horror short stories ("Sebek-Ra" and "The Bronze Mirror"). Hitting all the bases, "Tumuli and Roses" even includes an untitled poem, supposedly a translation from the Italian but almost certainly Rohmer's own work. It is also worth noting that the Preface is dated "Herne Hill, February 13, 1910"---Herne Hill was where the Rohmers were living at the time, so this serves as built-in evidence of Rohmer's connection with the book.  -- R. E. Briney (Email, March 12, 1998)

Title page and Contents

Little Tich: A Book of Travels (and Wanderings). London: Greening & Co., Ltd, 1911.

  Little Tich (Harry Relph) was a very popular entertainer at the turn of the century. Sax Rohmer had written some material for him and when the publisher of Pause asked him to "edit" (actually ghostwrite) Relph's autobiography, he agreed.

Cover, photograph, title page, contents, and the text of chapter 16--"My Impression of the Great Pyramid

The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu. London: Methuen, June, 1913.
The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
. New York: McBride, Nast, September, 1913.

Covers and other editions     Serial publication titles and dates

The first book with Arthur Sarsfield Ward's pseudonym, "Sax Rohmer," and the first of many Fu Manchu novels. Over his lifetime, Rohmer gave various accounts of how a mysterious "Mr. King" inspired Dr. Fu-Manchu; they are available here.

The Sins of Severac Bablon. London: Cassell, 1914; New York: Bookfinger, 1967.

A series of connected short stories first published in Cassell's Magazine June 1912 through January 1913, with an extra episode in August 1913. Rohmer is said to have characterized the series as "a story of a Jewish Robin Hood." Cay Van Ash (Master of Villainy 82)

Covers and other editions

The Romance of Sorcery. London: Methuen, 1914; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1915.

A non-fiction work which treats occultism seriously and contains biographies of some of the more famous practioners from Nostrodamus to Madame Blavatsky. Harry Houdini wrote a letter to Rohmer complimenting him on the book and they later became close friends.

The Romance of Sorcery (Abridged edition). London: Methuen, 1923; New York: E. P. Dutton, 1924.

The Yellow Claw. New York: McBride, Nast, 1915; London: Methuen, 1915.

Featuring Fu Manchu’s prototype, "Mr. King," it was also released as a Stoll Production Company movie in 1921 – the first movie based on Rohmer’s work.

The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu. New York: McBride, February 1916.
The Devil Doctor. London: Methuen, March 2, 1916.

 Covers and other editions.   Serial publication titles and dates.

Written for magazine publication from the Fall of 1914 though 1915, Rohmer chose to leave the World War out of the stories lest their escapist value be diminished.

The Exploits of Captain O'Hagan. London: Jarrolds, 1916; New York: Bookfinger, 1968.

10:30 Folkestone Express. London: Lloyd's Home Novels. No. 41, undated. ca. 1916-1920.

This title was first reported in "Bibliographica Rohmeriana" in the ninth issue of The Rohmer Review in 1972. Derek Adley and W.O. G. Lofts found the title listed in the publisher's advertisement in a companion volume. It has since been  listed in various bibliographies and is included here. Upon its discovery in 1972, R. E. Briney noted that "This particular volume is missing from the British Museum's file of the Lloyd's Novels, so it has not been possible to examine an actual copy of the book."

To date, we remain unaware of anyone who has actually examined a copy.  Other titles in the Lloyd's Home Novels series were, indeed, novels. Was this an expanded version of the short story, "The Ten-Thirty Folkstone Express," which appeared in Lippincott's Magazine in December, 1914? Or was it a collection of short stories which featured  "The Ten-Thirty Folkstone Express"? 

Any clarification or information would be much appreciated.

The Si-Fan Mysteries. London: Methuen, 1917.
The Hand of Fu-Manchu
. New York: McBride. 1917.

Covers and other editions.   
Serial publication titles and dates.

Brood of the Witch Queen. London: C. Arthur Pearson. 1918; New York: Doubleday, 1924.

H. P. Lovecraft thought rather highly of this book. In Supernatural Horror in Literature (New York: Abramson, 1945), Lovecraft noted:  "Dracula evoked many similar novels of supernatural horror, among which the best are perhaps The Beetle, by Richard Marsh, Brood of the Witch-Queen, by "Sax Rohmer" (Arthur Sarsfield Ward), and The Door of the Unreal, by Gerald Bliss." In a letter Lovecraft also notes that he read Rohmer's Romance of Sorcery (Selected Letters, Vol. 5).

Oddly enough, some portions of this book are actually autobiographical. The "Bats of Meydūm" section which describes a trip on donkeys to the Pyramid at Meydūm and a frightening descent to the "King's Chamber" is based largely on the Rohmers' experiences on a honeymoon trip to the Pyramid at Meydūm in 1913 that was financed by the success of The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu. Rex Engelbach, who later became curator of the Cairo Museum, personally escorted the Rohmers, on donkeyback, to the nearly inaccessible pyramid and down its interior shafts to the burial chamber. He later told them that Elizabeth was the first woman to have crawled through the rubble and up into the actual chamber. The episode is recorded in   "The False Pyramid,"  Chapter 12 of Master of Villainy, Rohmer's biography: "It was like crawling down a drain. The foul-smelling passage was so low that it was not even possible to employ one's knees--one had to just wriggle along it, literally like a snake" (92).

The experience was used again in the second of the Tales of Abū Tabāh, "The Death-Ring of Sneferu," when Neville Kernaby makes the descent.

Covers and other editions   Serial publication

Tales of Secret Egypt. London: Methuen, August, 1918 (312 pages); New York: McBride. 1919.

The  Methuen 2nd through 8th editions were 240 pages and omitted three stories: "Lure of Souls," "The Secret of Ismail" and "Harūn Pasha."

For fun, a rebound  McKinlay, Stone & Mackenzie version misspelled the author's name.


Tales of Abu Tabah:

The Yashmak of Pearls
The Death-Ring of Sneferu
The Lady of the Lattice
Omar of Ispahan
Breath of Allah
The Whispering Mummy

Other Tales:

Lord of the Jackals
Lure of Souls
The Secret of Ismail
Harūn Pasha
In the Valley of the Sorceress
Pomegranate Flower

The Orchard of Tears. London: Methuen, October 24, 1918; New York: Bookfinger, 1970.

"A theosophical novel . . . expounding his ideas of a religion based on the esoteric truths concealed in the world's rival faiths." Cay Van Ash (Master of Villainy 110)

Covers and other editions.

The Quest of the Sacred Slipper. London: C. Arthur Pearson. 1919; New York: Doubleday, 1919.

Covers and other editions.

Dope: A Story of Chinatown and the Drug Traffic. London:
Cassell, 1919.
Dope: A Tale of the Drug Traffic. New York: McBride, 1919.

The full text (Scanned by Alan Johns).

This novel may have been prompted in part by the death of Billie Carleton, a London showgirl, who performed in the Armistice Victory Celebration at Albert Hall and died in her hotel room later that night of an overdose -- presumably opium obtained in Limehouse. The incident led to an official five year long investigation of Chinatown's drug traffic and a new novel from Sax Rohmer which the dustjacket proclaimed to be "based upon actual conditions as they existed in London." See INDIAN HEMP AND THE DOPE FIENDS OF OLD ENGLAND: A sociopolitical history of cannabis and the British Empire 1840-1928 for a full discussion.

"In a letter to the LONDON OPINION dated January 22, 1919 (and reproduced in THE ROHMER REVIEW #9, August 1972), Rohmer explicitly denies that DOPE was based on the Carleton case. He claims the story was 'on the stocks' before the case became public. He would have to be referring to the magazine publication, which began in the March 1919 issue of THE NEW MAGAZINE (which would have been on sale by mid-January). The Prefatory Note (dated June 1919) in the British book editions, also disclaims the connection with the Carleton case. Of course, it may well be that the author 'doth protest too much.'" (Robert E. Briney March 12, 1998)

Dope was also adapted and drawn as a comic by Trina Robbins.

The Golden Scorpion. London: Methuen, 1919; New York: McBride. 1920.

The Golden Scorpion linked the story lines developed in The Yellow Claw with Dr. Fu Manchu who appears but is not named.  "He wore a plain yellow robe and had a little black cap on his head. His face, his wonderful evil face I can never forget, and his eyes -- I fear you will think I exaggerate -- but his eyes were green as emeralds!"

Covers and other editions.

The Dream Detective. London: Jarrolds, 1920; New York: Doubleday, 1925.

Covers, other editions and complete serial publication data.

The "Dream Detective" was Moris Klaw. "In the early years of this century, when he was active in London, Moris Klaw was regarded as something of a magician. Nowadays, we would call him an exponent of ESP. He believed the universe to be pervaded by a kind of force-field upon which human emotions, if sufficiently intense, might be recorded, as though upon magnetic tape, and retrieved by those who knew how. This, incidentally, was no figment of the author’s vivid imagination but the theory of Baron von Reichenbach, a sober 19th century scientist, who proposed the existence of such a force...." 100 Great Detectives. New York: Carroll & Graf, 1991, page 121.

The Tragedies in the Greek Room
The Potsherd of Anubis
The Crusader’s Ax
The Ivory Statue
The Blue Rajah
The Whispering Poplars
The Headless Mummies
The Haunting of Grange
The Veil of Isis
The Chord in G (missing in most British editions)

The Green Eyes of Bast. London: Cassell, 1920; New York: McBride, 1920.

        Covers and other editions.

The Haunting of Low Fennel. London: C. Arthur Pearson. 1920.

Cover and other edition.

The Haunting of Low Fennel
The Valley of the Just
The Blue Monkey
The Riddle of Ragstaff
The Master of Hollow Grange
The Curse of a Thousand Kisses
The Turquoise Necklace

Bat-Wing. London: Cassell, 1921;
Bat Wing. New York, Doubleday, 1921.

Covers and other editions.

Fire-Tongue. London: Cassell, 1921; New York, Doubleday, 1922.

Dustjacket The full text

Rohmer decided to describe a seemingly impossible murder and then solve it as he continued to write. By the end of the third chapter, he realized he had left no room for a solution and gave up. Meanwhile his agent had sold the story to Collier's for serialization and the first chapter had already been printed. Sax travelled to New York and holed up in a hotel to try and find a solution. He kept writing but could think of no way out. Unbelievably, he was visited by Harry Houdini who had underlined one sentence and told Rohmer how to explain the murder. The all important sentence is in chapter 3.

Tales of Chinatown. London: Cassell, 1922; New York, Doubleday, 1922.

The Daughter of Huang Chow
Kerry’s Kid
The Pigtail of Hi Wing Ho
The House of the Golden Joss
The Man with the Shaven Skull
The White Hat
The Dance of the Veils
The Hand of the Mandarin Quong
The Key of the Temple of Heaven

Grey Face. London: Cassell, 1924; New York, Doubleday, 1924.

This story proved to be not only a commercial success but, from the literary point of view,quite outstanding. Readers in the mid-1920's liked plots that were complex, and that of Grey Face is so intricate that it requires the closest attention to follow it. As an example of fashions in popular literature during that period, I consider it one of the finest things written -- Cay Van Ash (Master of Villainy 154)

Yellow Shadows. London: Cassell, 1925; New York, Doubleday, 1926.

Moon of Madness. New York, Doubleday, 1927; London: Cassell, 1927.


She Who Sleeps. New York, Doubleday, 1928; London: Cassell, 1928.

The Emperor of America. New York, The Crime Club, 1929; London: Cassell, 1929.

          Covers and other editions.

The Book of Fu-Manchu. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1929.

Three novel British omnibus edition containing The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu, The Devil Doctor, and The Si-Fan Mysteries.

The Book of Fu-Manchu. New York: McBride, 1929.

Four novel American omnibus edition containing The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu, The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu, The Hand of Fu-Manchu, and The Golden Scorpion.

The Day the World Ended. New York, The Crime Club, 1930; London: Cassell, 1930;Toronto, Canada: The Crime Club, 1930).

Daughter of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1931; London: Cassell, 1931.

An assortment of covers and dust jackets

Yu’an Hee See Laughs. New York, The Crime Club, 1932; London: Cassell, 1932.

Tales of East and West. London: Cassell, 1932.

Covers and other editions.

Tales of the East:

The Black Mandarin
Father of Thieves
The Turkish Yataghan
Spirit of the Black Hawk
Fires of Baal

Tales of the West:

Mark of the Monkey
The Squirrel Man
The Cardinal’s Stair
The M’Villin

The Mask of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1932; London: Cassell, 1933.

W. T. Benda's mask art for Collier's magazine and the many changes it underwent in later editions and the movie.

Tales of East and West. New York, The Crime Club, 1933.

Covers and other editions.

Tales of the East:

The Black Mandarin
The Valley of the Just
The Turquise Necklace
The Curse of a Thousand Kisses
Spirit of the Black Hawk
The Turkish Yataghan
Light of Atlantis

Tales of the West:

The Haunting of Low Fennel
At the Palace da Nostra
The Master of Hollow Grange
The Cardinal’s Stair
The Riddle of Ragstaff

Fu Manchu’s Bride. New York, The Crime Club, 1933.
The Bride of Fu Manchu.
London: Cassell, 1933.

The Trail of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1934; London: Cassell, 1934.

The final chapter, "A Lacquer Cabinet" is missing in the Pyramid paperback.
(Tim Lucas first called this to my attention.)

"Note that this chapter is missing ONLY from the U.S. Pyramid paperback reprints; it is present in all other hardcover and paperback editions that I have seen, including the 1985 Zebra Books reprint." -- Robert E. Briney (March 16, 1998)

The Bat Flies Low. New York, The Crime Club, 1935; London: Cassell, 1935.

The dustjacket. The full text (Scanned by Alan Johns).
On the cover of Famous Fantastic Mysteries, October, 1952.
Book of the Week Club Philadelphia Record

President Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1936; London: Cassell, 1936.

Covers and other editions

   "It was a three-cent Daniel Webster stamp, dated 1932, gummed upside down upon a piece of cardboard, then framed by the paper in which a pear-shaped opening had been cut.  The effect, when the frame was dropped over the stamp, was singular to a degree.
   It produced a hideous Chinese face!"

White Velvet. New York, Doubleday, 1936; London: Cassell, 1936.

Originally intended as a screen play with Marlene Dietrich in mind, White Velvet was a successful and controversial novel. It was also a radio serial on the B.B.C.

Dustjacket and additional background.

The Golden Scorpian Omnibus. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1938.

Contains two novels: The Golden Scorpion and Dope. The dustjacket.

The Sax Rohmer Omnibus. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1938.


Contains two novels: The Yellow Claw and Tales of Secret Egypt.

Salute to Bazarada and Other Stories. London: Cassell, 1939.

"To My Friend Harry Houdini: Stone walls do not a prison make Nor iron bars a cage."

Contains the thirty chapter Salute to Bazarada as well as five additional stories, the first three of which are "Investigations of Paul Harley."

The Treasure Chest Murders
Death of Boris Korsakov
Skull Face

Sheba's Love Pearls
Limehouse Rhapsody

The Drums of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1939; London: Cassell, 1939.

Dustjacket of the 1940 Sun Dial Press edition.

The Island of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1941; London: Cassell, 1941.

Dustjacket from The Crime Club edition

This novel originally ran as a serial in Liberty magazine from November 16, 1940 to February 1, 1941. The first installment had a beautiful portrait of Fu Manchu by Arnold Freberg on the cover.

The British and US hardcover texts seem to be almost the same, allowing for the expected differences in spelling and punctuation.  The U.S. text (and the magazine serial) has references to "the Finnish campaign" and "the agony of Finland," while the British text substitutes "Greek campaign" and "the struggle in Greece."  I wonder which was Rohmer's original choice . . . .

Seven Sins. New York: McBride, 1943; London: Cassell, 1944.


Egyptian Nights. London: Robert Hale, 1944.


Bim-Bashi Baruk of Egypt. New York: McBride, 1944.

Egyptian Nights and Bim-Bashi Baruk of Egypt are the same material presented as a novel in Egyptian Nights and short stories in Bim-Bashi Baruk of Egypt.

Both of the Sax Rohmer entries in the Quintessential Quotations: Author Index are from Bim-Bashi and are listed under Misfortunes and Obstacles..

"Happy is he who leaves obstacles to the less fortunate." - Sax Rohmer, Bimbashi Baruk of Egypt, p. 50

"He who knows the camel knows the worst." - Sax Rohmer, Bimbashi Baruk of Egypt, p. 48


Mystery Strikes at Ragstaff Hill
The Bimbashi Meets Up with A 14
Murder Strikes at Lychgate
The Laughing Buddha Finds a Purchaser
Warning from Rose of the Desert
Lotus Yuan Lases Her Vanity Case
The Scarab of Lapis Lazuli
Vengeance at the Lily Pool
Adventure in the Libyan Desert
Pool-o’-the-Moon Sees Bimbashi Baruk

Shadow of Fu Manchu. New York, The Crime Club, 1948; London: Herbert Jenkins, 1949.

Covers and other editions.

Hangover House. New York, Random House, 1949; London: Herbert Jenkins, 1950.

Hangover House was based on a play, "The Body's Upstairs," written in collaboration with his wife. It was based, in part, on a New Years party hosted by the Rohmers.

Covers, serial publication and other editions.

Nude in Mink. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1950.
Sins of Sumuru
. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1950; New York: Bookfinger, 1977.

Based on an eight episode B.B.C. radio serial, this is the first of the five Sumuru novels. 
Covers, serial publication and other editions.

Wulfheim. Writing as "Michael Furey." London: Jarrolds, 1950; New York: Bookfinger, 1972.

The dustjacket.

An occult novel based on a play Rohmer wrote in 1926 which was never published or produced.
"Furey" was his mother's maiden name. It is also possible that he chose "Michael" because of the character "Michael Furey" in James Joyce's story, "The Dead," published in Dubliners (1914).

Sumuru. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1951.
Slaves of Sumuru
. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1952; New York: Bookfinger, 1979.

The British and U. S. editions end differently. In the U. S. edition, the hero, Drake oscoe, succumbs and joins Sumuru; in the British edition he remains steadfast.

Covers, serial publication and other editions.

The Fire Goddess. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1952.
Virgin In Flames. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1953; New York: Bookfinger, 1978.

Covers, serial publication and other editions.

The Moon is Red. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1954; New York: Bookfinger, 1976.

Covers and other editions.

Return of Sumuru. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1954.
Sand and Satin
. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1955; New York: Bookfinger, 1978.

Covers, serial publication and other editions.

Sinister Madonna. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1956; New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1950 ; New York: Bookfinger, 1977.

Covers, serial publication and other editions. 

Re-Enter Fu Manchu. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1957 (paperback original).
Re-Enter Dr. Fu Manchu
. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1957.


Emperor Fu Manchu. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1959 ; Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett, 1959 (paperback original).


The Secret of Holm Peel and Other Strange Stories. New York: Ace Books, 1970 (paperback).

The Secret of Holm Peel
The Owl Hoots Twice
A House Possessed
The Eyes of Fu Manchu
The Mystery of the Marsh Hole
For Love of Mistress Mary
Brother Wing Commanders

The Wrath of Fu Manchu and Other Stories. Introduction by Robert E. Briney. London: Tom Stacey Reprints, 1973; New York: DAW Books, 1976 Revised Introduction. (paperback).

Covers and art

The Wrath of Fu Manchu
The Eyes of Fu Manchu
The Word of Fu Manchu
The Mind of Fu Manchu
Nightmare House
The Leopard-Couch
The Mystery of the Fabulous Lamp
A Date at Shepheard’s
The Mark of Maat
The Treasure of Taia
Crime Takes a Cruise
A House Possessed

1983 Sax Rohmer's Collected Novels. Secaucus, NJ: Castle.
Includes "The Hand of Fu Manchu," The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu," "The Yellow Claw," and "Dope."

The dustjacket

A collection "celebrating the centennial of Sax Rohmer's birth." He was born February 15, 1883.

1996 The Fu Manchu Omnibus. Volume 1. London: Allison & Busby. The first three British titles: The Mystery of Fu Manchu, The Devil Doctor & Si-Fan Mysteries.


1997 The Fu Manchu Omnibus. Volume 2. London: Allison & Busby.  The next three British titles: The Daughter of Fu Manchu, The Mask of Fu Manchu & The Bride of Fu Manchu.

The dustjacket & details.

1998 The Fu Manchu Omnibus. Volume 3. London: Allison & Busby.  The next three British titles: The Trail of Fu Manchu, President Fu Manchu & Re-Enter Fu Manchu.

The dustjacket & details. This volume breaks the actual sequence of the novels by skipping the "Drums," "Island" and "Shadow" titles.

1999 The Fu Manchu Omnibus. Volume 4. London: Allison & Busby. 
The Drums of Fu Manchu, Shadow of Fu Manchu, Emperor Fu Manchu.


2004 Strange Tales of Sax Rohmer: Classic Tales of Mystery and Intrigue. Middletown, Virginia, USA: Wildcat Books.

"The Mysterious Mummy," The Green Eyes of Bast, and Batwing. 482 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. (Trade Paperback)

This bibliography of first editions, by definition, does not include the many, many reprints. The most common reprints were those published by A. L. Burt (which generally were cheaper reproductions of the originals), the "Masterpieces of Oriental Mystery" editions published by McKinlay, Stone & Mackenzie (blue hardcovers with Chinese characters imprinted on the front) and the Collier "Orient Editions" (black hardcovers with titles and spider illustrations on the spine in gold). The Bookfinger editions are reproductions of British titles and are American hardcover first editions (black with gold print, no dustjackets).

This list is primarily based on three collections: my own, William MacPherson's and Associate Editor, Robert E. Briney's.  It also incorporates bibliographic information from a wide variety of sources such as  Bradford Day's "Bibliography of Adventure," Cay Van Ash and Elizabeth Sax Rohmer's Master of Villainy (edited by Robert E. Briney), and the eighteen issues of the "Rohmer Review" -- particularly the "Bibliographica Rohmeriana."   Finally it continues to grow thanks to correspondence from many  other contributors.

Corrections and additions are encouraged.
Lawrence Knapp

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Drawn by Sax Rohmer and used in "The Black Mandarin."

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