M. P. Shiel, Race, and the Far East Menace
Amy J. Ransom, in “Yellow Perils: M. P. Shiel, Race, and the Far East Menace,” examines Shiel’s three “Yellow Peril” novels—The Yellow Danger (1898), The Yellow Wave (1905), and The Dragon (1913), republished as The Yellow Peril (1929)—in relation to their representations of racial Others. Largely adhering to the future war or secret history sub-genres, Shiel’s three novels—like much of his work—draw on contemporary headlines, such as the opening of Japan to the West in the Meiji period (1868-1945), the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902; 1905; 1911), and the Russo-Japanese war (1904-05). By situating Shiel’s work within the larger framework of Yellow peril literature and analyzing how its representations of Asians comply with (and depart from) contemporary discourses on race and degeneracy, Ransom reveals Shiel’s conflicted attitudes about his own multi-racial background.
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