What Is the Wold Newton Family?

The Wold Newton Family is a group of heroic and villainous literary figures that science fiction author Philip José Farmer postulated belonged to the same genetic family. Some of these characters are adventurers, some are detectives, some explorers and scientists, some espionage agents, and some are evil geniuses.

According to Mr. Farmer, the Wold Newton family originated when a radioactive meteor landed in Wold Newton, England, in the year 1795. The radiation caused a genetic mutation in those present, which endowed many of their descendants with extremely high intelligence and strength, as well as an exceptional capacity and drive to perform good, or, as the case may be, evil deeds.

Popular characters that Philip José Farmer concluded were members of the Wold Newton mutant family include:Solomon Kane (a pre-meteor strike ancestor); Captain Blood (a pre-meteor strike ancestor); The Scarlet Pimpernel (present at meteor strike); Fitzwilliam Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth Bennet (present at meteor strike); Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty (aka Captain Nemo); Phileas Fogg; Monsieur Lecoq; The Time Traveller; Allan Quatermain; Tarzan and his son Korak; A. J. Raffles; Professor Challenger; Arsène Lupin; Bulldog Drummond and his archenemy, Carl Peterson; the evil Fu Manchu and his adversary, Sir Denis Nayland Smith; Sir Richard Hannay; G-8; Lord Peter Wimsey; The Shadow; Sam Spade; Doc Savage, his friend and associate Monk Mayfair, his cousin Pat Savage, and his daughter Patricia Wildman; The Spider; Nero Wolfe; Mr. Moto; The Avenger; Philip Marlowe; James Bond; Lew Archer; Travis McGee; and more.