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ERIC Number: EJ1054116
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Adventure and Detection in Charles Gilson's Fiction, 1907-1934
Chen, Shih-Wen
Children's Literature in Education, v46 n1 p53-69 Mar 2015
Before Charlie Chan and Fu Manchu became household names, San Francisco-born detective Mr. Wang and his rival Jugatai, the Manchu head of the Secret Society of Federated Asia, entertained young British readers in the early twentieth century. This article examines these under-explored characters, created by the prolific military officer-turned-writer Charles Gilson. It explores how Gilson developed a fictional formula that appealed to young readers and made slight variations to it in order to keep those readers interested. The characters of Mr. Wang and his nemesis Jugatai are also examined in terms of the conventions of the adventure story; in particular, the classic detective story stereotypes of the Chinese and fears of the yellow peril are subject to analysis. It is seen that Gilson created Mr. Wang as a respected character possessing many positive traits. However, to some extent, Mr. Wang is also a mouthpiece to support Western involvement in China, while Jugatai is an evil plotter destined to fail because of the superiority of the British. Therefore, although Gilson pushed some boundaries in detective fiction by featuring a Chinese detective more than a decade before the creation of Charlie Chan, he still conformed to certain formulaic plotlines of the boy's adventure story genre.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A