is a 1920 thriller novel by "Sapper" (real name Herman Cyril McNeile).
Captain Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond is finding life boring now that the War
is over. He meets an attractive young woman whose father has become entangled in an international conspiracy to overthrow the British Empire...
The novel had over a dozen sequels and inspired around two dozen films. The film series had its last gasp in the 1960s
; by then, it was transparently attempting to attract the audience of the Bond movies
The series was popular in its time and influenced the development of the pulp thriller. It was so popular, it inspired parodies: P. G. Wodehouse
's Leave it to Psmith
includes a protracted and not unaffectionate parody
of the first novel's opening. But it has aged badly because of its heroes' casual nationalist and racist bigotry. Modern references (as in Bullshot
, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
, and Kim Newman
's "Pitbull Brittan
") are most often bitingly satirical
in the vein of "They don't make 'em like that any more and the world is better for it
Novels by Herman Cyril McNeile
- Bulldog Drummond (1920)
- The Black Gang (1922)
- The Third Round (1924)
- The Final Count (1926)
- The Female of the Species (1928).
- Temple Tower (1929).
- The Return of Bulldog Drummond (1932).
- Knock-Out (1933)
- Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1935)
- The Challenge (1937). Swan song for the original author, who died in 1937.
Novels by Gerard Fairlie
- Bulldog Drummond on Dartmoor (1938)
- Bulldog Drummond Attacks (1939)
- Captain Bulldog Drummond (1945)
- Bulldog Drummond Stands Fast (1947)
- Hands Off Bulldog Drummond (1949)
- Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951)
- The Return of the Black Gang (1954)
Novels by Henry Raymond
- Deadlier than the Male (1966)
- Some Girls Do (1969)
provides examples of:
- Arch-Enemy: Carl Peterson. Then, following his death, Irma inherits the role from The Female of the Species on.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: In the first novel, Carl Peterson, the most dangerous man in Europe, and Henry Lakington, who was the most dangerous man in England until Peterson stepped off the Calais ferry.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Toward the end of the first novel, Drummond is captured by the villains. Peterson points out that he has a talent for getting out of hopeless situations, and is all for killing him on the spot, but Lakington refuses to give him a quick and simple death, and insists on keeping him alive until they have time to subject him to something painful and drawn-out. Which of course gives Drummond time to escape.
- Contemplative Boss: Drummond and Peterson have a conversation in Peterson's lair where Peterson is looking out the window with his back to Drummond; Drummond considers trying to jump him, but realises in time that Peterson is only pretending to look out the window, and is actually watching Drummond's reflection in the glass.
- Dark Mistress: Irma
- Death Trap: Lakington's house has several built in.
- Dirty Communists: Featured in The Black Gang.
- Femme Fatale: Irma
- Fun with Foreign Languages: Hugh Drummond attempting, with a "microscopic" knowledge of French, to explain to a customs official how he came to be in France. Goes on for a whole page before his sidekick, who does speak French, stops laughing long enough to straighten things out.
- High-Class Glass: Algy Longworth's Iconic Item. It's implied to be part of his Upper-Class Twit fašade, as he can see quite clearly without it.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Lakington is killed by one of his own death-traps.
- In Harm's Way: Hugh Drummond
Demobilized officer, finding peace incredibly tedious, would welcome diversion. Legitimate, if possible; but crime, if of a comparatively humorous description, no objection. Excitement essential.
- In Which a Trope Is Described
- Make It Look Like an Accident
- Master of Disguise: Peterson
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of The Final Count, Bulldog and the First-Person Peripheral Narrator of the book find Irma there accusing Drummond of killing her 'lover' Peterson, and guesses the correct time, rather than the fabricated one. She explains it as having a 'psychic link' with Peterson, and the First-Person Peripheral Narrator wonders if whether in his final moments, Peterson did speak to Irma, or if it was just someone telling her about it. It's left ambiguous.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine
- No Name Given: "Carl Peterson" is only the latest of a long string of aliases. Nobody knows his real name.
- Not My Driver: At one point, Drummond takes the place of Lakington's chauffeur/getaway driver, not to abduct Lakington but so that he can get into the villains' lair.
- Outlived Its Creator: The novel series outlasted McNeile by over a decade.
- Poisoned Weapons: At one point, Drummond is attacked by "some sort of native" with a blowpipe and poisoned darts.
- Sanity Slippage: Irma goes off the edge completely after Peterson dies. She talks to a bust of Peterson, and even some of her henchmen doubt whether it was a good idea to continue with her.
- Spotting the Thread: Drummond is able to recognise the Comte de Guy as Peterson in disguise, though he looks completely different, because he has the same unconscious mannerism when he's feeling impatient.
- T-Word Euphemism
- Writing Indentation Clue: One of Peterson's mooks uses this to find out what Drummond wrote in a telegram—only to reveal a rude message from Drummond, who'd realised he was being followed.