“One of the most prolific (and arguably the best) Blake authors, giving us Prince Wu Ling, Huxton Rymer, and many more, including perhaps the finest, sexiest, bravest and most beautiful bunch of adventuresses in all of popular fiction.” ~Michael Moorcock on G. H. Teed, Sexton Blake Detective, 2009
George Hamilton Teed (1886-1938) was a Canadian writer who is regarded by fans as one of the best Sexton Blake authors of all time. He was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick and studied at McGill University, in Montreal. After graduation he travelled the world, trying his hand at various jobs including overseeing a banana plantation in Costa Rica, and sheep-farming in Australia. His writing career began by chance. While sailing to England from Australia in May 1912, he met the widow of Michael Storm, (Ernest Sempill, 1862-1909) a popular author of Sexton Blake tales. He convinced her to allow him to ghost her late husband’s stories for part of the fee. Over the summer with Teed at the typewriter and Mrs. Storm making the sales, the pair produced four works which they sold to the Amalgamated Press.
Legend has it that after falling out with Mrs. Storm, he approached the editors of the Amalgamated Press and declared himself to be the true author of the Michael Storm tales that they had published. The editors, of course, did not believe him, but when challenged Teed sat down at a typewriter and banged out the first few chapters of a new tale. The editors, impressed, bought the story on the spot and Teed became a regular contributor for Union Jack and other Amalgamated Press publications. He made his official debut in November 1912 with Dead Men’s Shoes.
It was in 1913 however, that the ‘Teed era’ truly began. That year saw the creation of three of his most legendary characters: Yvonne Cartier, a female criminal mastermind who sets out to avenge a crime against her family, Dr. Huxton Rymer a world-renowned surgeon who turns to a life of crime, and Prince Wu Ling, a member of the Chinese imperial family bent on world domination.
Yvonne Cartier made her debut in Beyond the Reach of Law the first tale in an 8-part story that became known as the ‘Vengeance Series.’ (Check out Sexton Blake: Yvonne’s Vengeance to find out more!) Dr. Huxton Rymer appeared for the first time in When Greek Meets Greek, the second story of that series. The Diamond Dragon, the first story in this collection, is an Easter double-length special where Rymer makes his first solo appearance against Blake. The Great Mining Swindle, an even longer tale, picks up where that story leaves off, provides a little more of Rymer’s backstory and gives a tip of the hat to the author’s native New Brunswick.
The last two tales in the collection The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle, and The Idol’s Spell, feature perhaps the wiliest and most dangerous of all of Teed’s creations: Prince Wu Ling the leader of The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle, a secret society founded in China during the fall of the Manchu Dynasty.
This is the second of 14 anthologies that collects G. H. Teed’s most popular works from 1913 to 1917. Each edition includes all of the original illustrations! Enjoy!
Beyond Reach of the Law & When Greek Meets Greek: Mark Hodder, Sexton Blake Bibliography, Blakiana
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