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.