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Solomon Kane's Chronology


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#41 Patrice Louinet

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:42 AM

A quick note - no, I am NOT going to offer you any kind of chronology for Solomon Kane... - to tell you that there are no historical references whatsoever in the unfinished fragment known as "Redflame". The 1580 date mentioned above would indicate the times in which the adult Kane lived and fought. There are no dates given in any of the stories; heck, REH stated that stories took place in "medieval" France and Africa! And if you can roughly establish a chronology of the African stories (via N'Longa's stick and internal references), establishing a precise timeline and a character chronology is simply your or anyone else's conjecture.
But, by all means, have your fun! :)

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:45 PM

There are no dates given in any of the stories;
Patrice


True, technically. However, as has been discussed earlier on this thread, two of the poems (The One Black Stain and The Return of Sir Richard Grenville) tie Kane to one specific historic event each, and thereby to two specific dates. That pretty much invalidates your bottom line, M. Louinet.

#43 Taranaich

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:58 PM

As I was rereading Savage Tales the other night, I read the second version of "Solomon Kane's Homecoming," and was puzzled over the names thereign. I came back here, and I must've missed Deuce's post. Well, better late than never. B)

"Hawkins" is pretty clearly (imo) either reference to John Hawkins, the Plymouth , or possibly his son Richard Hawkins. John was a a second cousin and crewmate of Sir Francis Drake, who's obviously mentioned in the Kane tales: Richard was featured in Westward Ho! I can see either of them being the Hawkins of which Kane speaks, but at a guess, I'd say it would be the younger. Kane could've been a young friend of Richard's going by the 1560s dating. I can't see Kane being any friend of John with his part in the slave trade, whereas Richard was involved in fighting piracy and the Spaniards: much more Kane's game.

(The Hawkins' modern descendant engaged in some sickeningly meaningless platitudes to ally his conscience regarding his ancestor's part in the slave trade. It would've been nice if he did something meaningful, like contributing his family's fortune founded on the slave trade, rather than an obnoxious self-flagellating interpretative dance, but I'm getting off-topic.)

"Oxenham" might well be John Oxenham, also a character from Westward Ho!

So, to expand Arcadian's list:

Richard Grenville (1541-91)
Francis Drake (1540-96)
Elizabeth I (Reign: 1558-1603)
Thomas Doughty (? - 1578)
John Hawkins (1532?95)
Richard Hawkins (1562?1622)

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#44 deuce

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 07:12 AM

Hawk of Basti and The Children of Asshur show, without a doubt, that Solomon Kane spent some time in Egypt and Mesopotamia prior to his adventures in Africa. WHERE do those adventures fit into the SK chronology?

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#45 Taranaich

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:35 AM

Hawk of Basti and The Children of Asshur show, without a doubt, that Solomon Kane spent some time in Egypt and Mesopotamia prior to his adventures in Africa. WHERE do those adventures fit into the SK chronology?


Why, obviously he raided into Egypt and Mesopotamia as leader of a murderous band of pirates, of course! :P

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#46 daniel

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 02:30 PM

from all chronologies it is revealed that sk left england at the start of his recorded adventures, returned there in the middle, before "hills" only to leave it agan for other adventures. now, i must admit that this is an odd decision on howard's part: in the 16th century travel was very ardous,and i think that even a howardian protagonist, more inured to danger than most may consider it as such. sk has already circulated the globe with drake, at a young and impressionable age. would'nt he have found it more logical, as well a in keeping with his spiritual quest, to travel in a circle around the world as a pattern? he could do it more than once if he wanted to, in principle at least.

#47 Ironhand

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 06:00 AM

I don't think Solomon follows a pattern; he goes where evil lurks. :ph34r:
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#48 deuce

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 09:08 AM

I don't think Solomon follows a pattern; he goes where evil lurks. :ph34r:



That was always my take on it, Ironhand. Not sure what this "pattern" has to do with SK's chronology. Like you, it seems to me that the yarns indicate he simply went where his spirit moved him to go. In "MoS", for instance, Solomon Kane traveled from Devon to the Levant to the Slave Coast to south-central Africa.

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#49 daniel

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 08:19 PM

well, let's put it like this: if you knew that evil lurks everywhere, and that travelling from england to africa is a dangerous buissness, no matter who you are, would'nt travelling around the world in a circular course (begining and ending in england in each "round" ) be just as valid a concept?

this is how i interpert kane's history, now that this idea appeals to me:

1: kane leaves home in devon after some family-related event or a personal transgression on his part take place (the matter already was speculated upon far more eloquently by other members of this forum. i mean not to claim that worthy work as my own).
2: during his voyage with drake he learns of a secret history of evil beings who torment mankind. kane as a young seaman has a chance to prove himself as a worthy opponent to these dark forces. he battles with them during intervals in the voyage, which now form a secret history of that event.
3: he also matures before the great confrontation that awaits him at home in england. any resemblance to the film is unintended.


his second and now-independant voyage occures when it seemes that revelations at home turned him into a shattered bitter man, an acquaintance of such as le loup. encounters with the supernatural across the globe are yet those of a man unsure of his calling.


it is only at the end of this term, or close to it, that the truely formative struggle takes place.

the third circling, possibly the one before the last, sees kane as we know him from howard's stories.

the fourth begins with "homecoming" and would end in devon once again.

those who wish to pelt me with rancid tomatoes are welcome to the fray.

#50 EJA

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:25 PM

In trying to figure out which events occur when in Kane's life, I believe I've come up with a rough idea of his timeline. Please read and let me know what you think.

At the moment, I'm placing Kane's birth in 1544. He's in his early twenties when he travels to Europe and fights in the French religious wars, around 1566 - 1571. In early 1572, at twenty-eight years of age, Kane leaves France and goes to eastern Europe in search of a friend's missing daughter; this is when he first encounters Dracula in Romania, and is reluctantly forced to spare Dracula's "life" due to the vampire having saved his earlier from werewolves, in the SSOC comic story Castle of the Undead. The following year, Kane resolves to track Dracula down and destroy him. Along the way, he has the adventures chronicled in Rattle of Bones, The Castle of the Devil, and The Dragon at Castle Frankenstein. He finally reaches Romania and slays Dracula in Retribution in Blood. Having done this, Kane travels to the Mediterranean to battle Moorish pirates alongside John Silent, whom he met in Castle of the Devil. He's captured by the Moors in 1574 and spends a short time as their prisoner before managing to escape back to Europe. The story Red Shadows spans from 1576 to 1577, after which Kane briefly returns to England, only to ship out with Sir Francis Drake; he parts company with Drake following the events of The One Black Stain, in 1578.

It's sometime after this that Kane joins the Navy and quickly rises to the rank of captain, with the tales The Moon of Skulls and Blades of the Brotherhood taking up much of the 1580s. Kane's Navy career ends in 1591, as described in The Return of Sir Richard Grenville. After escaping from the Spaniards, Kane decides to revisit Africa; this is when The Hills of the Dead, The Return of Sir Richard Grenville, Wings in the Night, and The Footfalls Within occur. I'd say Kane is probably about fifty years old at this time, but is still fit and strong, with his hair only just starting to go slightly grey.

Kane is probably approaching his sixtieth year when he returns to England to have the adventures in Skulls in the Stars, The Silver Beast Beyond Torkertown, and The Right Hand of Doom, finally returning to his home village in Solomon Kane's Homecoming, before setting off for yet more adventures. It's probably just before or just after this that the events in the SSOC comic version of Death's Dark Riders take place. Kane is sixty now, or maybe even slightly older, and his hair is nearly white, yet he's still strong, hale and hearty enough that he's able to fight alongside Conan in ancient Negari.

And the rest, as they say, is silence...

#51 johnnypt

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:42 PM

I think they have the Fred Blosser article about the comics chronology in the Dark Horse B & W collection. Too bad Marvel never got around to doing adaptations of Hawk of Basti and Children of Asshur.

#52 EJA

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:33 PM

I've read the chronology in the Dark Horse TPB reprint, but unfortunately, I think it's in error, as it places Kane's birth around 1530, which would make him a bit too old by the time of the events narrated in The Return of Sir Richard Grenville.

Could the events of Kane's life described in Hawk of Basti have occured in the mid to late 1560s, prior to his tenure in the French army, or did they happen after The One Black Stain? If it was the former, then Kane would likely have been in his early 20s when he and Jeremy Hawk fought the Spaniards at sea.

#53 deuce

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:50 PM

In trying to figure out which events occur when in Kane's life, I believe I've come up with a rough idea of his timeline. Please read and let me know what you think.

And the rest, as they say, is silence...


Hi EJA. :D Some interesting points. Since many things you brought up in your thread have been discussed in depth in this thread (and there's no essential difference in the two topics) the two have been merged.

Looking forward to discussing SK's chronology again.

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:23 AM

Solomon Kane gets all kinds of supernatural help so I'm fairly positive he is a wandering ghost and therefore his age is meaningless

#55 EJA

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:02 PM

As for Kane visiting Egypt and the Middle East, I think it's possible he did that in his youth, before becoming a privateer in his early twenties.

#56 deuce

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:24 AM

As for Kane visiting Egypt and the Middle East, I think it's possible he did that in his youth, before becoming a privateer in his early twenties.


That was my theory. Perhaps a shipwreck near the Persian Gulf. He ends up in northern Iraq (perhaps a brush with Yezidees?) and then finds himself in Egypt. From there, he makes his way back to England.

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#57 Keith J Taylor

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:31 PM


I happen to have been putting a lot of work into a Solomon Kane chronology before Christmas -- not that I expect it to be free of mistakes, and it's speculation to a large degree. But I can help Landsknecht to this extent; SK's participation in the French Wars of Religion is mentioned in "The Blue Flame of Vengeance" aka "Blades of the Brotherhood."

Young Jack Hollinster, a fellow who seems to have roved and fought widely despite his youth, on encountering SK asks, "Were you not a captain the French army for a space, and were you not at -- " He named a certain name. Kane answers with a clouded brow, "I led a rout of ungodly men, to my shame be it said, though the cause was a just one. In the sack of the town you name, many foul deeds were done under the cloak of the cause ... "

Here's a snippet from my hypothetical SK timeline.

1589 – Henry of Navarre ascends the French throne as Henri IV. A converted Protestant, he had barely escaped the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre, and later led Protestant forces against the French royal army. He had to abjure his Calvinist faith to become king, and just the same his coronation was followed by a four-year war against the Catholic League to keep his crown. Elizabeth of England sends money and troops to support the Protestant cause, and Solomon Kane, ardent to take part, is a captain in that force. He’s now aged thirty-five.

1590 -- Henry IV’s forces are victorious at Ivry and Arques.

If that's congruent with REH's vision, the town that was sacked may well have been one of those two. I personally believe that much earlier, when he was eighteen, SK had been in Paris at the time of the anti-Huguenot St Bartholomew's Day massacre, and rescued a Huguenot family. (Dumas immortalized those events in LA REINE MARGOT.) I suspect he was softer and more romantic then; that his paranoid/obsessive side didn't fully kick in until after he was twenty. But as he'd already been taught the sword and campaigned with the Dutch Sea Beggars (my speculation again, as REH never mentions that)the basic elements of the fanatic and melancholy avenger were present in SK even in his teens.

#58 Keith J Taylor

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

EJA -- my own guess is that Solomon Kane was born at Salcombe in Devon in 1554, midway through the reign of Bloody Mary. But I believe he's a mortal man, even though there is something eldritch and timeless about him, so I'm not with MirrorThief there. It's his driven paranoia that makes him seem like a wandering ghost.

#59 Keith J Taylor

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:48 PM

Still trying to get the Solomon Kane chronology perfect.  It won't be.  But I believe, as I wrote aforetime, that he was born early in 1554 and sailed with the Dutch "Sea Beggars", the Netherlands Protestant rebels against Spanish rule, in his teens.  The Sea Beggars used Dover as a base with the English crown's tacit permission ... AFTER Catholic Mary Tudor kicked the bucket, of course, which happened when SK was about four years old, if my estimate holds water. 

 

I'm of the opinion that he made more than one wide wander through Africa, and that the first one occurred when he jumped Francis Drake's ship in Sierra Leone to escape Drake's mistrust and avoid Doughty's fate.  ("The One Black Stain".)  I don't think he met N'Longa on that first visit.  He hunted the villainous Le Loup all the way to Africa, and was searching for Marylin Taferal at the same time, which I think consitiuted his second visit.  Both were long frustrating trails on which he picked up clues and traces and then lost them again. 

 

N'Longa didn't give Kane the juju staff at their first encounter. (When Le Loup and Gulka the Gorilla-Slayer died.)  Kane's determination to find the vampire city of Negari, which even N'Longa avoided, most likely convinced the fetish-man that Kane was a crazy doomed white fellow, and Kane doesn't have the staff in "THe Moon of Skulls", so "The Hills of the Dead" must have come later.  It was after Kane successfully rescued Marylin and Negari was destroyed that N'Longa revised his opinion.  He realised that Kane had a very powerful spirit in him.   

 

Anyway, it's pretty clear that he gave Kane the staff of Moses and Solomon at a later encounter, because it happens at the beginning of "Hills of the Dead", and N'Longa says that "Many moons burn and die since we make blood-palaver.  You go to the setting sun, but you come back!"

 

Wherever Negari was, it had to be EAST of the slave coast, not west, since it was far inland.  The setting sun is the far west.  I'd suppose that in between, Kane had sailed to the Caribbean and battled the Spaniards with the pirate brotherhood, and that N'Longa's awareness of that is another instance of his supernatural perceptions.  Exactly when Kane visited the Middle East (presumably Mosul, then an Ottoman Turkish possession ruled by a pasha) and saw the ruins of Nineveh on the opposite bank of the Tigris, might be difficult to work out, but it had to be before the fragment "The Children of Asshur" which I would assume came LATE in his career, on what may have been his final visit to Africa.



#60 Keith J Taylor

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 03:36 AM

Greetings, Deuce.  You and EJA could well be right about Kane having visited the middle east in his early twenties.  Clearly he had to have visited Mosul in northern Iraq, in order to have seen the remains of Nineveh.  They lie just across the River Tigris from Mosul.  The exact order of his wanderings is hard to pin down, and there are only a few definite dates.  I wondered originally if he could have made that visit to Mosul while searching for Marylin Taferal.  He tells her, cutting the story down to the essentials in his unassuming way, that he went to Constantinople and Beirut at least ... he might have left Mosul out.  But since he found Marylin again when she was still young, certainly no more than twenty, it seems to me that he turned around and went west again straight after Beirut, seeking news of the Portuguese slaver who was her last known owner, and then passage to Africa.   

 

I believe myself that he sailed with the Dutch "Sea Beggars" in his teens.  After that went back to England, then to Cornwall (where he had his first encounter with Hardraker, the Fishhawk, and the larcenous Killigrew family) and Ireland.  There's a two-part recent post of mine on "REH Two Gun Raconteur" titled "Solomon Kane and Tudor Paranoia" (plug).  Part Two describes at least some of what I think he did in Ireland.  I'm hypothesising that he was there in his early twenties, not the Middle East, but with a bit of research you can make any hypothesis plausible.  Kane got around and he wandered at whim, after all -- or, as he said to John Silent, carrying out God's plan for him.

 

Making everywhere Kane is known to have gone fit into one man's lifetime ain't so easy!