The Best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Harry Dickson

harrydickson1Dickson, Harry. Harry Dickson was created by “Jean Ray,” the pseudonym of Raymond de Kremer (Edmond Bell, Jack Linton) and appeared in the French pulp Harry Dickson, le Sherlock Holmes Americain #1-178 (1929-1938). Harry Dickson is a Great Detective. Harry Dickson, le Sherlock Holmes Americain began as a French-language translation of a Dutch translation of the German pulp Detectiv Sherlock Holmes und Seine Weltberühmten Abenteuer (1907-1911), which was an unauthorized pastiche of Sherlock Holmes stories, with Harry Taxon replacing Doctor Watson. Jean Ray grew tired of translating substandard stories and began writing his own, using Harry Dickson in place of Holmes. Dickson is similar to Holmes: Dickson is a gentleman detective, living in London on Baker Street. But Dickson is assisted by Tom Wills, a blond teenager, rather than by an older Watson figure, and Dickson’s cases and adventures are far more fantastic than Holmes’ or even Sexton Blake’s. Dickson confronts and defeats villains as varied as Euryale Ellis, who can turn men to stone like her (possible) ancestor, the Medusa; Gurrhu, an Aztec god living in a temple underneath London; a silver-faced killer android; the bloodthirsty Hindu god Hanuman; and the lethal cult, the Moon Knights. Dickson is a young middle age, an expert on rare poisons, strange cults, and ancient civilizations, and is respected by both Scotland Yard and foreign governments.

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