The European Wold Newton Universe


Robert Macaire c. 1801-1823. The rogue, scoundrel, and ne'er-do-well Robert Macaire carries a series of scams and thefts across France, fraudulently swindling businesses out of insurence money and succeeding and failing at thefts great and small. He and his partner in crime, Jacques Strop, are jailed, but after a short while escape. They stop at a provincial inn, where Macaire accidentally meets the wife he abandoned and the son he never knew. Macaire is  killed while trying to escape from the soldiers dispatched to capture him. (Benjamin Antier's L'Auberge des Adrets, 1823, and Frederick Lemaître's Robert Macaire, 1834).

1805. An innocent German college student, Nathanael, is driven insane through his involvement (first as a child, then as a young man) in one of the schemes of "Dr. Coppelius," a.k.a. Cagliostro. Cagliostro, posing first as Coppelius and later as "Coppola," creates an android, "Olimpia," who unbalances Nathanael and finally causes him to commit suicide. (E.T.A. Hoffmann's "Der Sandmann," 1817). Why Cagliostro (thanks to Dr. Lofficier's information, now better known as Joseph Balsamo) would have bothered with a non-entity like Nathanael is unknown--unless one takes into account the present of the android, Olimpia, who is a crude creation with a very limited vocabulary. Perhaps Nathanael was only a test subject for a scheme that history has so far not discovered? (If so, the scheme failed. Nicholaus Geibel's android "Lieutenant Fritz" was no more advanced than Olimpia (see below)).

1806. The Spaniard Don Diego Vega begins adventuring as Zorro. (Johnston McCulley's Zorro stories, beginning with "The Curse of Capistrano," 1919).

Brigadier Gerard 1807-1821. Étienne Gerard leads a life of adventure and honor in the service of Napoleon. As a member of the Emperor's 10th Hussars, Brigadier Gerard gets many chances to back up his boasts about the quality of his swordsmanship and horsemanship. Gerard fights any number of duels, carries out several of the Emperor’s intrigues, escapes from Dartmoor prison and the clutches of a ruthless Spanish bandit, captures Saragossa single handedly, woos any number of women, befriends English officers, and in general has a fine old time in Europe and Russia. (Arthur Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard stories, beginning with "How the Brigadier Won His Metal," 1894).

1816. Emil St. George is a Frenchman whose brother, a General under Napoleon, was killed by the Prussians while a prisoner. St. George himself was decorated by Napoleon on the morning of Waterloo. But Napoleon lost and was exiled, and St. George was left embittered because of the loss and with a burning hatred for all Prussians because of the ignoble way in which his father was killed. So Emil enrolls in the University at Heidelberg. This being Heidelberg, dueling is all the rage. Emil takes a particular pleasure in provoking quarrels with the Prussian students, and these quarrels always result in duels, which Emil insists on fighting a l’outrance (using sharp weapons and no armor) rather than in armor. Emil always kills his opponent, rather than just scarring him, as is the custom. Emil fights at least one duel a week, sometimes against four or more men in a row, and during these duels not only kills his opponent but displays a terrifying skill with the short sword and saber. It is because of his bloodthirstiness, and the evil smile across his face as he fights, that he is known at school as the “Demon Duelist.” At the same time Emil is leading a gang of bandits--veterans of Napoleon’s Grande Armée--in rampages across the German countryside. Eventually Emil has his heartbroken at the death of a Prussian woman and rejoins the French military, dying in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. (Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery's “The Demon Duelist,” 1881).

1828. The German Count Axël d’Auersberg unsuccessfully struggles with material temptation. He fails, committing suicide and greatly disappointing his Rosicrucian mentor Master Janus. (Villiers de l’Isle Adam's Axël, 1872).

The German magistrate Mr. von L----- is called upon to solve the puzzling mystery of a murder, despite the apparent murderer being willing to confess to the crime. Mr. von L----- succeeds in convincing the murderer that it was a bandit who pulled the trigger. (Adolph Müllner's “Der Kaliber,” 1828).

1830-1838. The reformed faux-monnoyer M. Favart rises in the ranks of the police in Paris and is regarded as “one of the most renowned chiefs of the great Parisian police, a man worthy to be the contemporary of the illustrious Vidocq.” Favart is killed while attempting to break up a ring of counterfeiters. (Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's Night and Morning, 1841).

Hadji Stavros 1833-1856. With the end of the Greek War of Independence Hadji Stavros finds himself out of work. During the war he was a patriotic priate, fighting against the Turks both on land and on sea. He became an international hero because of this; Byron dedicated an ode to him, Parisian poets compared him to the heroes of the classics, and citizen organizations in France, England and Russia sent him money to continue the fight against the Turks. But when the war ended Stavros ran into difficulties, because he was unwilling to pay taxes for the money he had been given. So he continued his banditry, this time focusing on travelers. His success attracted others to him, and by 1850 he was the leader of an enormous gang of cutthroats who obey him completely and without question. Stavros is a jolly, conscienceless murderer who is willing to commit small crimes as well as large ones, as long as he profits from them. His men spend their money foolishly, but Stavros invests his money wisely, so that when the Greek Army  finally destroys his gang, Stavros simply retires, enjoys his profits, and contemplates becoming the Greek government's Minister of Justice. (Edmond About's Le Roi des Montagnes, 1857). (The similarity between Stavros and Don Q (see below) is intriguing, but there is no proof of any relationship between them).

Venus of Ille 1836
. An old bronze statue of Venus is unearthed in the town of Ille, in the French Pyrenees. A local antiquarian is taken with it and installs it in his house. The statue is striking, but also unnerving, for "disdain, irony, cruelty, could be distinguished in that face which was, notwithstanding, of incredible beauty. Indeed, the longer one looked at that wonderful statue, the more distress one felt at the thought that such a marvelous beauty could be united with an utter absence of goodness." Unfortunately, the antiquarian's son makes the mistake of putting his wedding ring on the statue's hand. The hand closes on the ring and will not release it, and that night the antiquarian's son is crushed in his bed. The statue is later melted down and made into church bells, but their ringing brings death to the local vines. (Prosper Mérimée's “La Venus d'Ille,” 1837).

1840. A German nobleman, Baron von S-----, helps solve a decades-old murder. (Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's Die Judenbuche, 1842).

1841. A reclusive, impoverished French nobleman, the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, solves his first notable murder case. (Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," 1841).

Sandokan 1841-1868. Sandokan is the son of the former rajah of a nameless, prosperous Malaysian state. When Sandokan's father and family are attacked and slaughtered, their guards, who are the personal guards of James Brooke, the English Governor of the island of Labuan, do nothing. Sandokan goes to live with his faithful old teacher, but after dreaming of the deaths of his family resolves to search out Brooke and find out why Brooke betrayed Sandokan's father. Sandokan takes to sea as a ship's boy on a steamer bound for Labuan. Sandokan and his best friend Janez, a Portuguese wanderer, escape from a trap set by Brooke and set ashore on Mompracem, an island that later becomes their hideout. They first have to capture it from a band of pirates, who are so impressed by the courage of Sandokan and Janez that they join them, becoming “the young tigers of Malaysia.”

Sandokan begins a Robin Hood-like life of piracy, picking up a girlfriend, Marianna, along the way. That Marianna is James Brooke's niece does not, in the end, threaten their relationship, for they get married after he proposes to her with a gift of extremely opulent rubies. After fighting Thugs (in the dreaded Black Jungle of India), sorcerers, the English, the jungles of Malaysia, Honorata (the descendant of Circe) the slopes of the Himalayas, and various lost peoples, and after restoring at least one deposed princess of Assam to her throne, Sandokan defeats Brooke and his flunkies and regains the kingdom taken from his father. (Emilio Salgari's Sandokan novels, beginning with La Tigre della Malesia, 1883-1884).

Sandokan's defeat of the Thugs of the Black Jungle was unfortunately not permanent. They still existed in the 20th century and were fought by John Mauri and Rama Sahib, among others (see below).

1850-1859. An unnamed Italian secret society dispatches Isidor Ottavio Baldassare Fosco, later known as "Count Fosco," to England, “charged with a delicate political mission.” Fosco rises in English society but is eventually undone by a very clever English woman. (Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, 1859-1860). This secret society is only known as "the Brotherhood;" it is unknown if it had ties to the Black Coats

c. 1850-c. 1860. A Parisian man, bored with life in the city, emigrates to America and discovers his greatest talents. Valentine Guillois wanders around the American frontier as a kind of  übermensch, fighting for his principles, helping the poor and oppressed, and having a wide range of exciting adventures. Guillois fights savage Indians, crude, pious, hypocritical and greedy Yankees, and vicious Mexicans. The only thing that makes the frontier bearable for Guillois is the presence of his fellow Frenchmen and women, who create little enclaves of French culture across the wide frontier of America. ("Gustav Aimard"/Oliver Gloux's Valentine Guillois novels, possibly beginning with Les Pirates des Plains, 1858). (But see note #5 on the Notes page).

c. 1850-1865. A pair of German men take a warship and, with a crew of like-minded sailors, patrol the Atlantic, capturing slave ships, releasing the slaves to freedom in Africa, and seeing to the punishment of the American slavers. The Germans become known as the Slave Deliverers. (Die Sklavenbefreier #1-18, 1921).

c. 1850-1880. Captain Fred Stürmer, on his ship the Albatross, sails around the world and has various adventures. He is known as Stürm Vogel, the "Storm Bird," but is well-known and well-loved wherever he goes. (Kapitän Stürmer Fahrten und Abenteuer zu Wasser und zu Lande #1-75, 1906-1908).

c. 1855-c. 1865. An older German immigrant gains fame on the American frontier as the Old Scout. He works for the American army as a freelance Indian fighter, but also works as a scout for civilian settlers. Some of his encounters are supernatural, including conflicts with “jaguar men” and “wizards,” and he ranges widely, from northern Canada to southern Mexico. (William Taylor’s Der Alte Waldläufer #1-27, 1919-1920).

Bob Hunter c. 1855-c. 1875. The German cowboy Bob Hunter, moved by passionate feelings of justice and the plight of the less fortunate, begins traveling across the Americas, doing good whenever he finds that he is needed. With his native friend Red Ben, Hunter fights such enemies as the Red Pirate, warlike black Amazons in Brazil, slave owners in Louisiana, Aztecs along the Rio Puerco, the Man in the Red Turban, the Robin Hood-like King of the Forests, Comanches warring on settlers in western Canada, and a vicious group of Molly Maguires. (Bob Hunter auf Indianerpfaden #1-111, 1937-1939).

1859. A retired American diplomat, living in Paris, solves a crime (the theft of a valuable Indian diamond) and foils a conspiracy (to overthrow the French government). (Harriet Prescott Spofford's "In a Cellar," 1859). (The identity of this individual remains unknown).  

Timeline: To 1800.
Timeline: 1860-1900.
Timeline: 1901-1910.
Timeline: 1911-1920.
Timeline: 1921-1930.
Timeline: 1931-1945.
Some Unknown Members of the Wold Newton Family Tree.