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Solomon Kane's Chronology


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#1 deuce

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:35 PM

I think somebody should start a Solomon Kane chronology thread on this board. :rolleyes:



EDIT: This post will have to do until I can edit it into a proper "original post". :)

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 08:14 PM

The snaphaunce was developed at about 1560, so about ten years before most of the stories are to have taken place(I recall 1570 as being mentioned).


While I admit that chronology is not the subject of this thread (one might not be a bad idea, come to think of it), allow me to point out the two firm years and one tentative one to be indicated in Howard's works. In the poem, The One Black Stain, Kane is serving under Sir Francis Drake when the latter orders the execution of Sir Thomas Doughty in 1578. Another poem has the Puritan with Sir Richard Grenville when he is killed in action against the Spainards in 1591. These are three historical personages and two historical events, so those dates are definite. The other is in the story The Right Hand of Doom, where one character refers to "the king's soldiers," a statement that if taken literally places this story before the 1553 death of Edward VI. Between them, his successors and sisters Mary I and Elizabeth I reigned for nearly fifty years. I have no idea and have not been able to determine if there is any plausibility/historical accuracy in allowing Englishmen to refer to "the king's [whatever]" with a woman on the throne. (The 1610 date for the poem Solomon Kane's Homecoming is based on the assumption that the seven-year dead woman named Bess, mentioned in the work, is Queen Elizabeth I, and that has been definitively refuted in another thread here [The Annotated Solomon Kane's Homecoming].)

#3 deuce

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 02:28 AM

Very astute, T! B) I'd missed that Right Hand of Doom reference. It DOES raise questions. Do I recall correctly, that "Doom" appears to be an "early" adventure of SK's? If it's not definite, then the reference might be to James I's men (1603 or later). Pre-1553 just doesn't seem workable, when all other factors are weighed.
BTW, I think the "SK Chronology" thread idea is a good one. :)

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

I thought we had a Kane chronology thread. I remember someone discussing the Toogood and Blosser chronologies. I don't think I would have looked up Toogood unless I had been prompted on this forum. I remember the dispute over the 1610 date for "Solomon Kane's Homecoming," Kane's Bess wasn't Queen Elizabeth, so Kane could have returned at another date. But I digress.


There's been some discussion of chronology pop up on various threads, but we haven't had one specifically dedicated to the concept. I also believe the idea of one has been raised before, but no one has launched it yet.

#5 deuce

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:42 AM

I thought we had a Kane chronology thread. I remember someone discussing the Toogood and Blosser chronologies. I don't think I would have looked up Toogood unless I had been prompted on this forum. I remember the dispute over the 1610 date for "Solomon Kane's Homecoming," Kane's Bess wasn't Queen Elizabeth, so Kane could have returned at another date. But I digress.


There's been some discussion of chronology pop up on various threads, but we haven't had one specifically dedicated to the concept. I also believe the idea of one has been raised before, but no one has launched it yet.


You're quite right, T. B) Consider it launched. I'll be pretty busy over the next few days. Once I have time, I'll edit that first post of mine, which I pulled out of another thread. I'll go over Toogood's chronology. I read Blosser's chronology a long time ago, but don't have access to it now. Hopefully, someone else does. :)

Pilgrim, I'm pretty sure I'm the one who pointed you to Van Hise's Fantastic Worlds of Robert E. Howard, which contains the Toogood article.

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#6 Axerules

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 03:44 AM

A few links to get us started:
http://users.rcn.com...d/kanechron.htm

http://www.pjfarmer....ton/Solomon.htm
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#7 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 04:00 AM

Very astute, T! B) I'd missed that Right Hand of Doom reference. It DOES raise questions. Do I recall correctly, that "Doom" appears to be an "early" adventure of SK's? If it's not definite, then the reference might be to James I's men (1603 or later). Pre-1553 just doesn't seem workable, when all other factors are weighed.
BTW, I think the "SK Chronology" thread idea is a good one. :)


I don't think the pre-1553 date will work, either. In the story Kane is never referred to as a young man. The tavern-keeper warns John Redly that Solomon Kane is more dangerous than a wolf. That implies that Kane has a reputation. That notoriety would have taken a while to gain. Toogood, you may recall, puts Kane's birth in 1549. If "Doom" does take place in 1553, and we accept Toogood's chronology, Kane would have been the most feared four-year-old swordsman in all Devon.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#8 Guest_Sermon Bath_*

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 04:09 AM

havent read Right Hand of Doom in a long while, not a fav cause Kane is
a bystander but does the story place Kane in England or somewhere else?

#9 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 04:21 AM

havent read Right Hand of Doom in a long while, not a fav cause Kane is
a bystander but does the story place Kane in England or somewhere else?


England. Early on it is noted the tavern where it begins is close to Torkerton of "Skulls in the Stars."
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:00 PM

Very astute, T! B) I'd missed that Right Hand of Doom reference. It DOES raise questions. Do I recall correctly, that "Doom" appears to be an "early" adventure of SK's? If it's not definite, then the reference might be to James I's men (1603 or later). Pre-1553 just doesn't seem workable, when all other factors are weighed.
BTW, I think the "SK Chronology" thread idea is a good one. :)


To be honest and fair and to give credit where it is due, it was pointed out by J. Ramsey Campbell in his introduction to the first of Bantam's two-volume collection of the Kane stories & poems, c. 1980. I did not pick up on it myself.

#11 deuce

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:39 AM

A few links to get us started:
http://users.rcn.com...d/kanechron.htm

http://www.pjfarmer....ton/Solomon.htm


Above and beyond, Axe! B) Links like that really move this thread forward. :) Comments below...

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#12 deuce

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:50 AM

Here's the Toogood-derived "Wold Newton" chronology (with additions from Zuddas)...


1549

Solomon Kane is born to a prosperous Puritan family in Devonshire, England.

c. 1566

Kane enters the merchant marine. During the next few years he will travel as far as Hindoostan and Cathay and rise to the rank of ship's captain.

Posted Image c. 1566

Kane's first voyage to the New World involves him with an Aztec princess and a legendary monster. "L'Isola del Serpente Plumato" ("The Island of the Feathered Serpent") by Gianluigi Zuddas. (This story is plagued with historical problems[1] and may have to be regarded as strictly fictional.)

c. 1572

Kane travels to Hispanola where he becomes a buccaneer with letters of marque against Spanish ships.

1573

Kane returns to Europe and fights for the Hugenots in the French wars of religion.

1575

Kane leaves France and has his three recorded adventures in the Black Forest: "Death's Black Riders," "The Rattle of Bones" and "The Castle of the Devil."

1576

Solomon Kane travels to the Mediterranean where he and John Silent (first encountered in "The Castle of the Devil") become privateers. He is eventually captured by Moslems and sold as a galley slave.

1577

Kane escapes from the Moslems and returns to England where he signs on to Sir Francis Drake's expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

1578

"The One Black Stain" (poem)

1579-80

"Red Shadows"

1585-86

Kane assists Sir Richard Grenville in several colonial attempts in the New World.

1587

"Skulls in the Stars"

1588

Kane is present at the English defeat of the Spanish Armada.

1588-90

"Blades of the Brotherhood"

1591

Kane is serving aboard the "Revenge" when the ship is taken and Sir Richard Grenville killed in fighting with the Spanish. Kane is taken prisoner and suffers at the hands of the Inquisition.before escaping.

1592-1605

Solomon Kane returns to Africa and spends a number of years probing that continent's mysteries. His adventures during this period include ""The Moon of Skulls", "The Hills of the Dead", Hawk of Basti," "The Return of Sir Richard Grenville" (poem), "Wings in the Night," "The Footfalls Within" and "the Children of Asshur."

1605

Kane returns to England - "The Right Hand of Doom."

1610

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming" (poem)

The poem closes with the aging Puritan turning away from the idea of a peaceful retirement and setting out once again on the open road. There is no record of Solomon Kane's later years or his death.

Posted Image 1610

Gianluigi's version of Solomon Kane's last adventure sets him on a voyage to Greenland to help the survivors of a lost colony of Vikings in their struggle against a tribe of wolf-men. "La Corona di Asa" ("The Crown of Asa") by Gianluigi Zuddas.


I'm sorry, but the Zuddas pastiches sound like pure CRAP. I honestly wish it weren't so.

Anyway, the two big problems that I have with Toogood's chronology is that it fails to address the fact that SK definitely seems to have traveled in Egypt and northern Mesopotamia. This is shown by the "Hawk of Basti" and "The Children of Asshur" fragments.

IMO, it would seem that SK escaped from the Inquisition and had to flee EAST. He then wandered a bit before he made it back to the Sceptred Isle and then Africa. Any thoughts? :)

Of course... It might be possible that he got separated from his crew (shipwreck?) during his "merchant marine" period and then made it back to England from there, somehow.


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#13 deuce

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:00 AM

Here's the "shogan" chronology that Axe linked to...

I. Skulls in the Stars
II. The Right Hand of Doom
III. Red Shadows
IV. Rattle of Bones
V. The Castle of the Devil
VI. The Moon of Skulls
VII. The One Black Stain
VIII. Blades of the Brotherhood

Posted ImageIX. The Hills of the Dead
X. Hawk of Basti
XI. The Return of Sir Richard Greenville
XII. Wings in the Night
XIII. The Footfalls Within
XIV. The Children of Asshur
XV. Solomon Kane's Homecoming




I like how Scott Allie ignored both this chronology AND that of Toogood and placed "Castle" first. Apparently, he just couldn't wait to bestow upon us his version of The Brotherhood of the Wolf. :rolleyes:

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:32 PM

Here's the Toogood-derived "Wold Newton" chronology (with additions from Zuddas)...


Solomon Kane travels to the Mediterranean where he and John Silent (first encountered in "The Castle of the Devil") become privateers. He is eventually captured by Moslems and sold as a galley slave.



I HAVE to ask, since other Kane commentators (Blosser, in both of his two Kane bios for Marvel's b/w mags, and Campbell, in one of his Bantam paperback intros, especially come to mind) have said that same thing: Where is the support for this? I can find no mention of John Silent in genuine REH Kane stories other than "The Castle of the Devil," and there's nothing in that fragment to suggest that Silent would have survived Howard's unwritten resolution. So why is this claim of decidedly specific subsequent joint activity so commonly and so flatly given? Is there additional material left by REH that does indeed support this, but that nobody thinks needs to be mentioned, something that they assume--incorrectly--that everybody already knows about? Certainly Campbell's work otherwise reads as if he was expecting to be perused by the uninitiated (which I didn't feel I qualified as, even then). He had no right to make such an assumption.

#15 Landsknecht

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:26 PM

http://images.photos....jpg?0390003930

http://www.lepg.org/warfare.htm

So SK would have fought alongside German Landsknechts and Reiter in France. Go figure. German protestant princes sent thousands of troops to support the Hugenots(sp?) and raid the French country side.
Schwarz Reiters were also know as pistoleers due to packing a brace of wheellock pistols. Unlike the more fashion setting Landskenchts the Reiter wore a very distinct blued/blackened armour with silver highlights which might have had some influence on SK's clothes and equipment choices later.

Posted Image

having said all of this, which story was his participation in the French Religious Wars taken from? I would like to re-read this since old age is causing me to draw a blank.

Edited by Landsknecht, 30 July 2009 - 12:00 AM.

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#16 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:12 AM

I can find no mention of John Silent in genuine REH Kane stories other than "The Castle of the Devil," and there's nothing in that fragment to suggest that Silent would have survived Howard's unwritten resolution. So why is this claim of decidedly specific subsequent joint activity so commonly and so flatly given?


Well, tbrittreid, except for those two previously mentioned dates that provide definite historical markers for Kane, any chronology is pretty much speculative, isn't it? It is a fact that in "The Castle of the Devil" John the Silent tells Kane that he is on his way to Genoa to board a ship that is setting out against Turkish corsairs. And there is another story (slips my mind) in which Kane mentions being a prisoner of the Turks. So I guess Toogood just put the two together. In the "Castle" fragment, Kane mentions he had sailed on such ships and he scorned them as common pirates. So even if John the Silent survived the unfinished story, Kane might not have gone to Genoa. In fact, could it not have been that Kane was captured by the Turks on one of those previous voyages he alluded to in "Castle?" Once again, it's all mostly speculation.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#17 Guest_Sermon Bath_*

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:20 AM

its my understanding that John Silent appears in the fragment REDFLAME although I
havent read it...very hard to find indeed

#18 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:24 AM

Hey, Sermon. Interesting. I had not heard of "Red Flame" before. Sure would like to know more.
A wild moon rode in the wild white clouds,
the waves their white crests showed
When Solomon Kane went forth again,
and no man knew his road.

"Solomon Kane's Homecoming"

#19 Guest_Sermon Bath_*

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 05:34 AM

dont know a lot more...apparently Mr. Patrice included it in his French Solomon Kane
compilation...along with the Malachi Grim version of Blue flame of Vengeance
maybe you should direct questions in his direction?

also he talked about an alternate version of Rattle of Bones that he put in there
guess we gotta learn French

Edited by Sermon Bath, 30 July 2009 - 05:35 AM.


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Posted 30 July 2009 - 06:37 AM

Back to Right Hand of Doom...Im guessing that since the story was rejected, Howard
probably moved on and established a different time line starting with his next
submission? it would make sense that he felt no obligation to adhere to a time line
that involved a story that didn't sell and likely wouldn't because it was obviously
targeted to weird tales magazine and they didn't want it