Friday, August 3, 2012

Joan Clarkson

actress Joan Clarkson

The series of novels featuring the fuctional master criminal Dr Fu Manchu made the English writer Sax Rohmer one of the most successful and well-paid authors of the 1920s and 1930s. It's a fast-paced story about Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie who face the worldwide conspiracy of the 'Yellow Peril'.
Cover of the 1st edition

In 1923 a 23 episode long series of silent short movies was made about the Chinese crime lord's attempts to 'overthrow Western civilisation through a mixture of cold-blooded murder, Eastern mysticism and outlandish science'.

Fu Manchu's reluctant slave, Karamenah, was played by (among others) Joan Clarkson. In the movies she is forced into drug addiction and endures a number of sado-masochistic beatings. She rebels against Fu Manchu by repeatedly rescuing Smith and Petrie from perilous situations, with the result that Petrie falls hopelessly in love with her.


next episode: Aleppo


  1. A very pretty girl who looks like a fresh-faced innocent; perhaps that's why she fitted the part so well.

  2. What an exciting story that must have been. She has such an open and beautiful face.

  3. Way back when I was a teenager, I bought a box of old books in a junk shop. Two of those were Sax Rohmer stories, "The Si-Fan Mysteries", and "The Mystery of Fu-Manchu".
    They were full of adventure, great fun.


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