Master of Villainy: A Biography of Sax Rohmer

U.S. Jacket

British Jacket

Ash, Cay Van and Elizabeth Sax Rohmer. Master of Villainy: A Biography of Sax Rohmer.  Edited, with Foreword, Notes and Bibliography by R. E. Briney, ed. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1972; London: Tom Stacey, 1972. 312 pages.

On the U.S. edition  the dust jacket was designed by Terry Fowler.  The drawings on the front jacket flap and the back of the jacket are by Mike Vosburg.  Fowler's jacket design and the Vosburg drawing from the back of the jacket are reproduced on the cloth binding of the hardcover, and on the front and back covers of the paperbound edition.    The British edition from Tom Stacey had a different and somewhat more dignified jacket, designed by Melvyn Gill.

Cay Van Ash met Sax Rohmer in 1935 and remained his friend until Rohmer's death in 1959. He typed Rohmer's manuscripts and helped him in other ways over the years. Following Rohmer's death Van Ash also wrote two additional Fu Manchu novels. Master of Villainy was originally going to be a biography written by Rohmer with his wife Elizabeth. Following his death the project was abandoned, but it was later completed by Elizabeth with Van Ash's help. Robert E. Briney, the leading Rohmer authority, edited the manuscript and provided a Foreword, footnotes, and a biblioography. 

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