Arthur Henry "Sarsfield" Ward better known as Sax Rohmer, was an English novelist. He is best remembered for his series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.
Born in Birmingham to working class Irish parents William Ward (c. 1850–1932), a clerk, and Margaret Mary (née Furey; c. 1850–1901), Arthur Ward initially pursued a career as a civil servant before concentrating on writing full-time. He worked as a poet, songwriter and comedy sketch writer for music hall performers before creating the Sax Rohmer persona and pursuing a career writing fiction.
Like his contemporaries Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen, Rohmer claimed membership to one of the factions of the qabbalistic Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Rohmer also claimed ties to the Rosicrucians, but the validity of his claims has been questioned. His doctor and family friend Dr R. Watson Councell may have been his only legitimate connection to such organisations.
His first published work was issued in 1903, when the short story "The Mysterious Mummy" was sold to Pearson's Weekly. Rohmer's main literary influences seem to have been Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle and M. P. Shiel. He gradually transitioned from writing for music hall performers to concentrating on short stories and serials for magazine publication. In 1909 he married Rose Elizabeth Knox.
He published his first book Pause! anonymously in 1910.
In 1934, Sax Rohmer moved into a newly refurbished house, Little Gatton in Gatton Road, Reigate, Surrey, where he lived until 1946.
He died after succumbing to Asian flu in 1959.
Books by Sax Rohmer
The Yellow Claw is a 1915 crime novel by Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward, known better under his pseudonym of Sax Rohmer. The story features Gaston Max, a Parisian criminal investigator and master of disguise, and his battle with Mr. King, a master crim...