Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Taxon, Harry. Harry Taxon was created by the German author Kurt Matull (Lord Lister) and Theo Blankensee (Lord Lister) and appeared in Detektiv Sherlock Holmes--Aus den Geheimakten des Welt Detektiv #1-230 (1907-1911) and Harry Taxon und Sein Meister #1-97 (1908-1909). The Holmes/Taxon stories were later reprinted in Madrid (under the title of Memorias Intimas del Rey de los Detectives, 1908) and Barcelona (as Memorias Intimas del Rey de los Detectives, 1911).
Harry Taxon is Sherlock Holmes’ assistant, replacing Doctor Watson, whose absence is neither mentioned nor explained. Harry Taxon is a young boy who serves as Holmes' famulus, detective-in-training, butler, secretary, gopher, and errand boy. Unlike Dr. Watson Taxon is not slow-witted, and is actually rather agile and keen, to the point of sometimes correcting Holmes’ errors. In the Taxon stories Mrs. Hudson is replaced by Mrs. Bonnet. She does not answer the door to Holmes’ quarters, unlike Mrs. Hudson, because Holmes has equipped his apartment with a variety of instruments, including an "electric mirror apparatus," which lets him see who is at his door. In the Taxon stories Holmes is much more like Sexton Blake or Nick Carter (I) than Conan Doyle’s Holmes and is more action-oriented than intellectual.
Taxon fights a Yellow Peril version of Jack the Ripper in London’s Chinatown, duels with Arsène Lupin and other Lupins, fights Yellow Peril opium kings in London and Paris, Indian Mad Scientists, androids, vampires, anarchists, cursed guillotines, and pirates on the Thames. Taxon captures the real Jack the Ripper, fights an air pirate named Oceana, finds the body of a Sherlock Holmes double at the Reichenbach Falls, rescues Harry Houdini, tangles with a Irene Adler-like Femme Fatale named Miss Ruth, and fights a group of jiu-jitsu masters, the Mafia, and an Evil Surgeon named Professor Flax who is based on Dr. Flax. Taxon has dog named Admiral Nelson who narrates one story. There is some anti-Semitism in the stories.
Harry Taxon appears in stories with titles like “The Starving Artist and the Sons of Shiva,” “Bushels of Hair,” and “Satan’s Fair in the Ruins of Pompeii.”
* I'm including the Harry Taxon stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of their imaginative content. Kurt Matull's replacing the dufferish Doctor Watson with someone active and intelligent, and entangling Sherlock Holmes in a series of vigorous adventures more fitting of a Sexton Blake or a Nick Carter (I) than Holmes, were strokes of genius that allowed Matull and the other authors of the Harry Taxon heftromane to indulge their imaginations to an almost excessive degree. The Harry Taxon stories have everything heftromane writers could imagine circa 1907-1911. Nothing too imitative or extreme would be disallowed, no crossover ruled out. The authors produced endless ideasplosive stories of High Pulp, to the delight of readers past and present.
Table of Contents / Annotations / Blog / Books / Patreon / Twitter / Contact me