“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

A Close Look at M.P. Shiel’s The Yellow Danger – 1898

Posted: December 5th, 2017 | No Comments »

The excellent London Fictions website has posted an article by Anne Witchard on MP Shiel’s 1898 The Yellow Danger…..(the entire article here)

China in the Western imagination has long been  both the repository of fantasy and a mirror of our disquietudes. In the early twentieth century Sax Rohmer created the fiendish Dr Fu Manchu as the epitome of Chinese threat, ‘the yellow peril incarnate in one man’ intent on nothing less than the downfall of Western civilization.

Even beyond its cohort of unrepentant fans and equally vociferous detractors, Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series (beginning in 1912) sustains a cultural longevity that merits our attention. That this dated generic phenomenon has now outspanned the century of its birth might be attributable to the fact that Rohmer’s super villain actually has his imaginative genesis in the 1890s. The closing decade of the Victorian era is redolent with metropolitan associations that remain iconic: Hansom cabs and Sherlock Holmes, mummy curses and murky gaslight, a visiting vampire count and Jack the Ripper. 
We might date the start of an obsession with a Yellow Peril in British popular culture from 1898, its most notable marker being the publication that year of M. P. Shiel’s novel, The Yellow Danger.
Click here for the rest of the article

 

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