Chronology of Dr. Fu Manchu and Sir Denis Nayland Smith
by Win Scott Eckert
(with thanks to Dr. Lawrence Knapp; special thanks to Rick Lai for putting some events in the Fu Manchu series in historical context)
Some novels are narrated by first person characters; all novels "edited" by Sax Rohmer unless otherwise noted.
Nayland Smith (later Sir Denis Nayland Smith of the British Secret Service), nephew of Sherlock Holmes, appears in most of the Fu Manchu adventures as Fu Manchu's adversary.
Fu Manchu also matched wits with detective Solar Pons on more than one occasion, in short stories written by Pons' associate, Dr. Lyndon Parker. These were "edited" by August Derleth and, later, Basil Copper. Please see Steven Marc Harris' The Solar Pons Chronology.
For Philip José Farmer's speculations regarding Fu Manchu's relationship to the Wold Newton Family, please read Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life and view this family tree. For Mr. Farmer's speculations regarding Nayland Smith's genealogy, please read Tarzan Alive and view this family tree.
For Dennis Power's speculations regarding Fu Manchu's life and descendants, please read Asian Detectives in the Wold Newton Universe.
For further speculations regarding descendants of Fu Manchu, as well as the families of Smith and Petrie, please read The Malevolent Moriartys and The Dynasty of Fu Manchu.
After reading the Chronology of Dr. Fu Manchu and Sir Denis Nayland Smith, please go on to Part II, Matthew Baugh's The Shang Chi Chronology.
Several events relating to the Fu Manchu and Shang Chi series are also mentioned in my The James Bond Chronology.
More accurate dates have been provided for some entries in this Chronology, based on Rick Lai's exacting research in his Some Chronological Observations on the Fu Manchu Series.
Birth of Fu Manchu, son of Sir William Clayton and Ling Ju Hai. (See Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life.)
The Musgrave Version (A short story by Reginald Musgrave, edited by G.A. Effinger. Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Fu Manchu.)
Fu Manchu puts into motion his grandiose plot to falsify scientists' deaths & conscript them into his service; he will continue to use these methods for at least sixty years (The Island of Fu Manchu).
Denis Nayland Smith is born. Smith is the son of Sherlock Holmes' sister, Sigrina Holmes, and thus is the nephew of Holmes. (See Tarzan Alive.)
Birth of Madame de Medici, daughter of Fo-Hi. Fo-Hi is the mastermind featured in Sax Rohmer's The Golden Scorpion. (See Rick Lai's The Brotherhood of the Lotus, published in Nemesis Incorporated, Volume 4, Number 28, December 1988.)
Birth of Dr. Dexter Flinders Petrie, son of celebrated British Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie. (Dr. Petrie's full name was revealed in Evelyn A. Herzog's On Finding Petrie's Correct Name, in The Rohmer Review number 18, Spring/Summer 1981.)
Birth of Fah Lo Suee, daughter of Fu Manchu and an unnamed Russian woman (The Daughter of Fu Manchu). The unnamed Russian woman is also the mother of Madame de Medici. Thus, Fah Lo Suee and Madame de Medici are half sisters. (Madame de Medici was featured in Sax Rohmer's "The Key to the Temple of Heaven" in Tales of Chinatown and "The Black Mandarin" in Tales of East and West. See Rick Lai's The Brotherhood of the Lotus, published in Nemesis Incorporated, Volume 4, Number 28, December 1988.)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Allan Quatermain, Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo (Prince Dakkar), The Invisible Man (Hawley Griffin) and Mina Murray (formerly Mina Harker), are pitted against the Devil Doctor who controls London's Limehouse. The Devil Doctor is clearly Fu Manchu, and the conflict is part of a larger battle between Fu Manchu and the first Professor Moriarty for control of London's underworld. Comics mini-series by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.)
Smith's first posting is in Egypt (see The Fires of Fu Manchu).
Fu Manchu begins long years of research into perfecting a life-extension elixir (see The Mask of Fu Manchu).
The Suicide Room (A short story relating Hanoi Shan's (aka Fu Manchu's) criminal operations in Paris, found in H. Ashton-Wolfe's Warped in the Making: Crimes of Love and Hate. See Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life.)
The Scented Death (A further story of Hanoi Shan (Fu Manchu) in Paris, in H. Ashton-Wolfe's Warped in the Making: Crimes of Love and Hate. See Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life.)
The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu (Written by Dr. Petrie. Smith is the Police Commissioner of Burma. First appearance of Petrie's future wife, Kāramančh.)
The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (By Dr. Petrie.)
Mid November 1913-Late January 1914
The Hand of Fu Manchu (Chapter 1-Chapter 30, paragraph 1) (By Dr. Petrie.)
Late January 1914-April 1914
Ten Years Beyond Baker Street (By Dr. Petrie, edited by Cay Van Ash. Sherlock Holmes takes on Fu Manchu. Dr. John Watson makes a brief appearance.)
April 1914-Late Spring 1914
The Hand of Fu Manchu (Chapter 30, paragraph 1-end) (By Dr. Petrie. First appearance of the daughter of Fu Manchu, Fah Lo Suee, unnamed, as the Lady of the Si-Fan.)
Marriage of Petrie and Kāramančh.
The Mark of the Monkey (Smith and Petrie appear without Fu Manchu.)
The Si-Fan kidnaps Grand Duke of Ivan of Russia and Dr. Henrick (Sven) Ericksen before the start of World War I. (According to The Drums of Fu Manchu, Ericksen's abduction was in 1914. The description of the Grand Duke's abduction in The Golden Scorpion indicates that the time was before both the start of World War I and the Russian Revolution of 1917.)
Fleurette, daughter of Dr. Petrie and Kāramančh, is born. Shortly thereafter, she is presumed dead. In fact, Fu Manchu fakes baby Fleurette's death and raises her in his own household (The Bride of Fu Manchu).
The Golden Scorpion (French investigator Gaston Max foils the schemes of The Golden Scorpion, a henchman of Fu Manchu, who makes an unnamed appearance during the case. Fo-Hi tells Stuart that Ericksen was abducted in the previous year.)
The Fires of Fu Manchu (By Dr. Petrie, edited by Cay Van Ash. Smith is now attached to British Army Intelligence with the rank of Colonel.)
The Blue Monkey (Smith and Petrie appear anonymously.)
Smith returns to England from Burma and is posted to Scotland Yard (The Daughter of Fu Manchu).
Mid September 1923
The Adventure of the Seven Sisters (Solar Pons and his associate, Dr. Lyndon Parker, cross paths with the evil Dr. Fu Manchu and his Si-Fan organization for the first time. Short story by Dr. Lyndon Parker, edited by August Derleth in The Chronicles of Solar Pons.)
The Adventure of the Praed Street Irregulars (Solar Pons and Fu Manchu meet again. By Dr. Parker, edited by Derleth, in The Reminiscences of Solar Pons.)
The Daughter of Fu Manchu (By Shan Greville. Sir Denis Nayland Smith is now an Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard.)
The Turkish Yataghan (Smith and Petrie appear without Fu Manchu.)
After twenty-five years of research, Fu Manchu perfects his elixir vitae (see The Mask of Fu Manchu).
Birth of Dr. Petrie's son, Val Petrie. (See Lin Carter's Horror Wears Blue.)
Smith resigns from Scotland Yard and goes on special assignment. Although not explicitly stated, most likely he is now attached to the British Secret Service (see The Mask of Fu Manchu).
The Mask of Fu Manchu (By Shan Greville.)
Fah Lo Suee declares her love for Nayland Smith and agrees to assist him in defeating Fu Manchu's latest scheme, which involves programming his Si-Fan warriors with the murderous abilities of Jack the Ripper. Smith, Petrie, and Lyman Leeks thwart the plan, but Fu Manchu escapes again, taking Fah Lo Suee with him (Master of Kung Fu 100).
The Bride of Fu Manchu (By Alan Sterling. Fu Manchu's comments on geopolitics imply that FDR has not yet been inaugurated President and that Hitler hasn't yet been appointed Chancellor.)
The Trail of Fu Manchu (By Sax Rohmer. Fah Lo Suee again declares her love for Nayland Smith. This novel occurs two months after the previous one. It is also early in the year. The references to 1934 are viewed as erroneous.)
Smith, Petrie, and Leeks foil Fu Manchu's plot to kidnap the leaders of the League of Nations (Master of Kung Fu 81).
The Adventure of the Camberwell Beauty (London detective Solar Pons and Fu Manchu match wits. In The Return of Solar Pons by Dr. Parker, edited by August Derleth.)
The Adventure of the Defeated Doctor (Solar Pons and Fu Manchu again go head-to-head. Short story found in The Further Adventures of Solar Pons, by Dr. Lyndon Parker, edited by Basil Copper. The 1935 date is conjectural.)
President Fu Manchu (By Sax Rohmer. The novel is a fictionalization of the real-life assassination of Senator Huey Long of Louisiana. If we believe the references to winter in this novel, then we will also have to believe that no one in the novel read the clause in the Constitution that forbids Salvaletti (born in Italy) from running for President.)
The Drums of Fu Manchu (By Bart Kerrigan. Fah Lo Suee, thought dead since 1933, reappears; however, her memory has been completely wiped by her father and she now has a new identity as "Koreāni." The novel mentions the resignation of British and Turkish leaders, and includes a fictionalized portrayal of French leader Leon Blum ("Marcel Delibes").)
An unrecorded continuation of the events of The Drums of Fu Manchu. Fah Lo Suee regains her memory and departs for Haiti. Fu Manchu wins back the Presidency of the Si-Fan from a pro-Fascist usurper, and decides there is still time to stop World War II if Hitler and Mussolini can be murdered at the Munich Conference (September 1938). Nayland Smith foils Fu Manchu's scheme. These events were suppressed by the British Foreign Office, the same agency responsible for the obviously false assassination of Hitler ("Rudolph Adlon") in The Drums of Fu Manchu.
The Island of Fu Manchu (Written by Bart Kerrigan. There is a headline about Hitler's invasion of Norway and Denmark. The reference to a gap of two years since the end of Fu Manchu's campaign against dictators is really to the suppressed continuation of the previous novel. During the 1937-1938 unrecorded events, Fah Lo Suee has regained her memory, although Kerrigan still refers to her as Koreāni.)
The Shadow of Fu Manchu (By Sax Rohmer.)
The Wrath of Fu Manchu (Novella by Sax Rohmer. Fah Lo Suee appears again.)
Shang Chi is born. He is the son of Dr. Fu Manchu and an unnamed American woman scientifically chosen to bear him. His name roughly translates as "the rising and advancing of the spirit." (See Master of Kung Fu 15.)
Re-Enter Fu Manchu (By Sax Rohmer.)
The Eyes of Fu Manchu (A short story by Sax Rohmer, found in The Wrath of Fu Manchu.)
The Word of Fu Manchu (A short story by Sax Rohmer, found in The Wrath of Fu Manchu.)
The Mind of Fu Manchu (A short story by Sax Rohmer, found in The Wrath of Fu Manchu.)
Emperor Fu Manchu (By Sax Rohmer.)
Following the events of Emperor Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu takes vengeance on his enemies, killing American agent Tony McKay, and crushing Smith's legs, crippling him (Master of Kung Fu 15).
The Book of Changes (A novel by R. H. W. Dillard. Fu Manchu, Fah Lo Suee and the Si-Fan exist and the Council of Seven all exist in the world described in this novel, but are used as misdirection from the actual antagonists; they do not actually appear or play a role. When the protagonists finally confront "Fah Lo Suee," she laughs at them:
"Fah Lo Suee!" the mysterious lady replied, her voice losing its gentle sibilance and rising to an Occidental shrillness. "Fah Lo Suee!" Her eyes widened to become molten gold pools. "Fah Lo Suee! So that is what you take me for. Fool, have you not eyes to see? Fah Lo Suee, indeed!"
As I was later to learn, that mysterious lady was indeed Madame Fang-Loos, but she was not the infamous Fah Lo Suee, was rather her enormously successful rival, possibly the finest secret agent the Orient has ever produced . . . .
(As for dating, direct references are made to the years 1964, 1965 and 1968.)
The Rainbow Affair (A Man From U.N.C.L.E. novel written and edited by David McDaniel. Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, Alexander Waverly, Nayland Smith, Fu Manchu, Simon Templar (a.k.a The Saint), The Avengers (John Steed and Emma Peel), Miss Marple, and Sherlock Holmes (a.k.a. William Escott), among others, appear in this adventure. James Bond is mentioned. Thrush attempts to recruit Fu Manchu. By this time Nayland Smith must either have discovered the secret of Fu Manchu's own elixir of life or have gotten some royal jelly life-extension treatment from his uncles, Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. How The Saint got access to some life-extension treatment is unknown, but he must have by this point.)
Kāramančh is thought dead. In fact, Fu Manchu has faked her death, provided her with elixir vitae, and pressed her back into his service (see Master of Kung Fu 76-89).
Horror Wears Blue (The fifth Prince Zarkon novel, written and edited by Lin Carter. Prince Zarkon and his Omega Crew, in London, encounter George Gideon of Scotland Yard, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Bulldog Drummond, Doc Savage's aide Monk Mayfair, and Simon Templar (The Saint). Of note, Dr. Petrie's and Kāramančh's son, Val Petrie of Scotland Yard, plays a prominent role in the novel.)
The Black Lotus (Miami detective Mike Shayne encounters Leiko Smith, the Black Lotus. It is strongly hinted that the Black Lotus is the granddaughter of Fu Manchu. Note: This has since been confirmed by the author, James Reasoner.)
Death From the Sky (Another tale of Mike Shayne and the Black Lotus.)
Doomsday Island (The final Mike Shayne / Black Lotus tale. All three stories were written by James Reasoner under the Brett Halliday pseudonym.)
Now please go to Part II, Matthew Baugh's The Shang Chi Chronology