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Fu Manchu in Edinburgh

BBC

More Information

Location:

United Kingdom

Genres:

Art

History

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Fu Manchu in Edinburgh Presented by Miles Jupp Producer David Stenhouse "I am a doctor of philosophy from Edinburgh, a doctor of law from Christ College, a doctor of medicine from Harvard. My friends, out of courtesy, call me 'Doctor'." The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) An investigation into the hidden Scottish connections of one of literature's most perennial menaces. "Yellow Peril," "Celestial One" and "Devil Doctor" - Dr Fu Manchu traded under many aliases, but where was his doctorate from? According to his boast in 1932s' "The Mask of Fu Manchu," Sax Rohmer's evil genius was an alumnus of three world-famous universities. From the novels we can work out that Fu Manchu must have studied in Edinburgh in the early 1870s. So what can the historical records teach us about the fictional criminal genius' time in the city? The 1870s were an interesting time to be in town. Conan Doyle was registered at the University Medical School, studying at the feet of Joseph Bell, the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Thomas De Quincey, the English Opium Eater, had died in the city a few years before but the network by which he sourced his laudanum was still intact, brought by Chinese Coolies from the Port of Leith to the drawing-rooms of the New Town. There were Chinese students registered on the matriculation rolls of the University, some of them refugees from the Boxer rebellion, and the seamen's missions and city police reports make it clear that there was a thriving Chinese criminal network in Scotland's capital. Could Fu Manchu have learned his criminal trade as an undergraduate at the city's university? Could his later dominance of Limehouse in London have been based on the contacts he made with Chinese gangs in Edinburgh? What factual evidence exists to flesh out the experience of the fictional enemy of the West? Miles Jupp (also an Edinburgh University alumnus) investigates the hidden Edinburgh years of the criminal mastermind who fought a war against Western imperialism after learning his trade in one of

Language:

English


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