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Placing "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" In Conan's Career


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#1 elegos7

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:28 PM

Nowadays the biographers of Conan (Dale Rippke, Simon Sanahujas, Dark Horse Comics) tend to place "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" as his first story chronologically (when he was around 16), based on a passage from REH?s letter to Schuyler Miller in 1936.

In the classical Clark/Miller/deCamp timeline this story was placed just before Queen of the Black Coast.

However, I recently discovered that in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH?s rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

?Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen.?
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan?s life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.

#2 Kortoso

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:51 AM

For reference, this may have been discussed to some degree in this thread previously:
http://www.conan.com...?showtopic=3614

#3 deuce

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:14 AM

Nowadays the biographers of Conan (Dale Rippke, Simon Sanahujas, Dark Horse Comics) tend to place "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" as his first story chronologically (when he was around 16), based on a passage from REH's letter to Schuyler Miller in 1936.

In the classical Clark/Miller/deCamp timeline this story was placed just before Queen of the Black Coast.

However, I recently discovered that in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH's rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

"Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen."
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan's life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.


Hey Elegos! Good to see you back on the forum. :D The same thought occurred to me when I first read "FKD" in Echoes of Valor not quite two years ago. I alluded to my doubts in the second paragraph of this TC blog entry:

http://www.thecimmerian.com/?p=3938

As you can see, I accepted an "early" placement in the service of my argument, but I'm still not sure about it by any means. Al Harron asked me about it at the time. I suppose one could say that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan. OTOH, Conan sporting a full hauberk of chain would be much easier to explain if the story took place, say, not long before QotBC (or even BtBR).

"FKD" is just a strange little yarn. REH could've easily have thrown in made-up names for everything. Instead, it seems to take place in the Hyborian Age. However, what are the odds of another warrior having the same thing happen to him? Atali's a slow learner, in that case. Perhaps, since he wasn't taking pay for it, REH just changed the name of the protagonist. If so, why did he add that extra text? It's just possible that REH was working from a previous draft of FGD. If that's the case, then the "early" placement is probably wrong.

A puzzling situation. Posted Image

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#4 jak

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:05 PM

Can't add much as to timeline placement, just that Frost-Giant's Daughter is one of my top 5 Conan stories. The imagery and determination of Conan running after her stays with me ... particularly when I'm gutting out a tough jog. B)

Cover is also one of my favorite (I see Dark Horse comics "borrowed" it). Men tough enough to combat in the snow in their furries. That is tough.


(can't use twitpic image or Amazon ... hmmm, wonder why)


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#5 guilalah

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 08:22 PM

I think FGD came before tBC or QotBS; not sure where it stand in relation to GitB, TotE or RitH.

I seem to recall somewhere, maybe a letter, Howard said Conan adventured North before he adventured south. FGD might be the youngest Conan, but I'm not sure of this. Conan seems more mature and decisive in FGD than he does in TGitB or TTotE, but that might be because, in the latter stories, he's inexperienced with civilized ways.

#6 Axerules

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 02:07 AM

I think FGD came before tBC or QotBS; not sure where it stand in relation to GitB, TotE or RitH.

I seem to recall somewhere, maybe a letter, Howard said Conan adventured North before he adventured south. FGD might be the youngest Conan, but I'm not sure of this. Conan seems more mature and decisive in FGD than he does in TGitB or TTotE, but that might be because, in the latter stories, he's inexperienced with civilized ways.

Indeed, it was in a letter to P. Schuyler Miller. It was included in the third Del Rey Conan volume, The Conquering Sword of Conan and you can also read it online here: http://www.barbarian.../millerlet.html
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#7 johnnypt

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:06 AM


Nowadays the biographers of Conan (Dale Rippke, Simon Sanahujas, Dark Horse Comics) tend to place "The Frost-Giant's Daughter" as his first story chronologically (when he was around 16), based on a passage from REH's letter to Schuyler Miller in 1936.

In the classical Clark/Miller/deCamp timeline this story was placed just before Queen of the Black Coast.

However, I recently discovered that in "The Frost King's Daughter", REH's rewrite of his "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", where he exchanged Conan with Amra of Akbitana, he added the following:

"Far have I wandered, from Zingara to the Sea of Vilayet, in Stygia and Kush, and the country of the Hyrkanians; but a woman like you I have never seen."
(from page 105 in People of the Dark (2007), volume two of the Weird Works of REH)

So it seems this story takes place even later in Conan's life, after he has been to Stygia and Kush with Belit. REH mentioned in that letter Conan had returned a couple of times to Cimmeria, perhaps this story takes place during one of those returns.


Hey Elegos! Good to see you back on the forum. :D The same thought occurred to me when I first read "FKD" in Echoes of Valor not quite two years ago. I alluded to my doubts in the second paragraph of this TC blog entry:

http://www.thecimmerian.com/?p=3938

As you can see, I accepted an "early" placement in the service of my argument, but I'm still not sure about it by any means. Al Harron asked me about it at the time. I suppose one could say that REH simply added a little extra to differentiate Amra from Conan. OTOH, Conan sporting a full hauberk of chain would be much easier to explain if the story took place, say, not long before QotBC (or even BtBR).

"FKD" is just a strange little yarn. REH could've easily have thrown in made-up names for everything. Instead, it seems to take place in the Hyborian Age. However, what are the odds of another warrior having the same thing happen to him? Atali's a slow learner, in that case. Perhaps, since he wasn't taking pay for it, REH just changed the name of the protagonist. If so, why did he add that extra text? It's just possible that REH was working from a previous draft of FGD. If that's the case, then the "early" placement is probably wrong.

A puzzling situation. Posted Image


I just pulled it out and read it myself. Puzzling is right. It's hard to know exactly what to do with it. Since he sent it to Fantasy Fan in November 1933, he must have rewritten it after several Conan stories had been published in WT, I guess changing the name so as not to tick Farnsworth off. Should it be treated as a draft like Red Nails with the burning of Valedad? If so, it'd have to actually take place after QOTBC with references to his travels in Kush and probably after ISITM with the Vilayet references. If it's more of a "By This Axe I Rule-Phoenix on the Sword" situation, then they're two different stories and you forget about the added paragraph. It's also analagous to the Steve Costigan-Dennis Dorgan stories. I guess the easiest thing to do is say FGD is a Conan story and FKD is something different since it was rewritten.

#8 guilalah

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 07:40 PM

I reread the letter to Miller last night. FGD might be placed with Conan's first leaving Cimmeria and joining a group of Aesir warriors. Agsinst this is that, in FGD, Conan refers to his past wanderings. Howard aludes to Conan returning to Cimmeria. Since Conan gre up in NW Cimmerian, his return might well have put him back in contact with the Aesir (who's rolicking way Conan confesses (in PotS) prefering to those of the Cimmerians).

#9 Patrice Louinet

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:49 PM

The Amra version of the story was not written until at the very least September 1932, several months after REH completed "Frost Giant". Up to that point there was no "Kush" in the Conan stories (it was still "Cush"), and, more importantly, there was no "Vilayet"; that sea was always referred to as the "Inland Sea".
Stanley Lane-Poole's TURKEY, which was the major source for "The Road of the Eagles", a cossack story written abt september 1932, was also a source for some Conan stories, most notably "Iron Shadows in the Moon" (October 1932), which borrows the names Amurath, Akif, Irem and Yildiz from that book, as well as marks the first appearance of the name "Vilayet" in the Conan stories, once again taken from Lane-Poole.
In other words, the line in "Frost King's Daughter" was added specifically for the Amra version and was not (could not) be present when Howard completed "Frost Giant" in March 1932. It has nothing to do with Conan's "biography."

Patrice

Edited by Patrice Louinet, 08 February 2010 - 08:23 PM.


#10 deuce

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

The Amra version of the story was not written until at the very least September 1932, several months after REH completed "Frost Giant". Up to that point there was no "Kush" in the Conan stories (it was still "Cush"), and, more importantly, there was no "Vilayet"; that sea was always referred to as the "Inland Sea".
Stanley Lane-Poole's TURKEY, which was the major source for "The Road of the Eagles", a cossack story written abt september 1932, was also a source for some Conan stories, most notably "Iron Shadows in the Moon" (October 1932), which borrows the names Amurath, Akif, Irem and Yildiz from Lane-Poole's book, as well as marks the first appearance of the name "Vilayet" in the Conan stories, once again taken from Lane-Poole.
In other words, the line in "Frost King's Daughter" was added specifically for the Amra version and was not (could not) be present when Howard completed "Frost Giant" in March 1932. It has nothing to do with Conan's "biography."

Patrice


As always, many thanks for the enlightening information, Patrice. B)

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#11 indestructibleman

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:02 PM

i'm curious. is the Amra version in print anywhere?

eta: Deuce mentinoed reading it in Echoes of Valor, that's the one edited by KEW right? so the Frost King's Daughter that's in that essentially the same as Gods of the North that was published in 1932?

Edited by indestructibleman, 08 February 2010 - 08:05 PM.


#12 deuce

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:03 PM

i'm curious. is the Amra version in print anywhere?


Like I mentioned above, it's easily and cheaply available in the KEW-edited "Echoes of Valor" series of anthologies. Just go to Howard Works to find all the printings, for that matter.

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#13 indestructibleman

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:22 PM

thanks, that's what i get for skimming the thread rather than reading it. also for not refreshing the thread before editing a post.

#14 elegos7

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 12:17 PM

Thanks Patrice, for the info.

You say the word "Vilayet" was first used in "Iron Shadows in the Moon" in Oct 1932. Then how it is possible it appears in the published version of "Hyborian Age" as well? This was apparently written in the spring of 1932, but was only published by Lany Corporation in 1938. Does it mean some editor inserted the name "Vilayet" into the published version of "Hyborian Age", or some of REH's drafts were written later then the fall of 1932? (We know draft "d", the published version by Lany, is lost.)

Edited by elegos7, 11 February 2010 - 10:26 PM.


#15 Patrice Louinet

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 08:40 PM

Thanks Patrice, for the info.

You say the word "Vilayet" was first used in "Iron Shadows in the Moon" in Oct 1932. Then how it is possible it appears in the published version of "Hyborian Age" as well? This was apparently written in the spring of 1932, but was only published by Lany Corporation in 1938. Does it mean some editor inserted the name "Vilayet" into the published version of "Hyborian Age", or some of REH's drafts were written later then the fall of 1938? (We know draft "d", the published version by Lany, is lost.)


Yes, there were very probably some edits in the published version of "The Hyborian Age", either by REH or by whoever edited this. REH used "Inland Sea" (capitalized or not) in 37 instances (stories, essay or maps) before opting for "Vilayet" in "Iron Shadows", the only exception to that being draft d - and only draft d - of "Hyborian Age". So it's obvious REH (or whoever) changed the denomination to bring it up-to-date, so to speak.

Patrice

Edited by Patrice Louinet, 11 February 2010 - 08:42 PM.


#16 Guest_tank666_*

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 12:45 AM

The Amra version indicates he was a bit more seasoned in traveling,although young.Thats the one big difference(sentence).I allways thought this was writen after the Conan was rejected.Thanks for clearing it up PL

Edited by tank666, 11 May 2010 - 12:51 AM.


#17 korak

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:08 AM

Deuce mentions that the same thing would not happen twice to Atali, and that is a good point that should be viewed from a literary standpoint. That is, often, when a writer revises a story, then he considers the final version to be the definitive version. For instance, Poe was always tinkering with his published stories, dropping entire gorgeous paragraphs of prose at times, which to those of us who love his prose seems a shame. But when they published the "definitive" versions in the Library of America, they used the final versions. To get the older versions with the deleted material you have to get an annotated edition such as Mabbott. Well, since Frost Giant had not ever been published at all when he revised it, then it is possible that Howard did not consider it any longer a Conan tale. Thus when he writes about Conan making his debut in print in Tower of the Elephant, he not longer considers Frost Giant to be Conan canon. The same type of argument could be made regarding Black Stranger-- once Howard himself changed it into a Black Vulmea tale, then should it truly be considered a Conan story? Just something to consider.

#18 Halfdane

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 07:46 AM

Since he sent it to Fantasy Fan in November 1933, he must have rewritten it after several Conan stories had been published in WT, I guess changing the name so as not to tick Farnsworth off.

 

I didn't find time to start a thread about the writing order in general, yet, so I guess I'll just ask the specific question I had for you here, since it is about the above-quoted statement about the submission of The Frost-King's Daughter.

 

Here is the timeline as we know it, according Mr. Louinet's excellent study of the texts detailed in Hyborian Genesis:
-Mar. 1932: The Frost-Giant's Daughter is written, submitted, and rejected.

-"a few months later": The Frost-King's Daughter is given to a fanzine [The Fantasy Fan].

-[Mar.] 1934: The Frost-King's Daughter is published.

 

Here is what we can add to that timeline based on his post above:
-Sep. 1932 or later: The Frost-Giant's Daughter is reimagined as The Frost-King's Daughter

 

In the post that I have quoted here, the date "November 1933" is cited as the date that The Frost-King's Daughter was submitted to The Fantasy Fan. However, this is a span of twenty months, which hardly agrees with Mr. Louinet's "a few months later" (though he may have not had any good idea of a submission date, and used such a phrase to keep things safely vague).
 

Where did you get the information that it was submitted in November of 1933? I would be excited to know this, as knowing the submission date gives us the terminal end of the timeframe that REH would have had to re-write the story.

 

Maybe that doesn't sound interesting to anybody else, but I personally think it would be fun to narrow it down and get at least a closer idea of when he revised it -- the reference to "Amra" traveling to Zingara could have either been a reference to The Pool of the Black One, or it could have been REH's "springboard" that inspired him to write The Pool of the Black One, since Conan hadn't yet been to Zingara in any previously written tales. That is just one potentially interesting tidbit that we might be able to glean from having a better understanding of when the story was revised.
 



#19 Patrice Louinet

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:50 AM

I am doing this in the morning, with my coffee and without notes, so apologies if I am mixing things up.

If memory serves, "Frost Giant" was rejected and rewritten some time later (but after Sep/Oct 1932) as "Frost King". Hypothesis #1, the Amra version was submmitted to another magazine and likewise rejected, hypothesis #2, the "some time later" was when he gave the story to Hornig for the Fantasy Fan. We have no documentation for #1, but it remains a possibility and doesn't invalidate #2.

 

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#20 johnnypt

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:29 PM

 

Since he sent it to Fantasy Fan in November 1933, he must have rewritten it after several Conan stories had been published in WT, I guess changing the name so as not to tick Farnsworth off.

 

I didn't find time to start a thread about the writing order in general, yet, so I guess I'll just ask the specific question I had for you here, since it is about the above-quoted statement about the submission of The Frost-King's Daughter.

 

Here is the timeline as we know it, according Mr. Louinet's excellent study of the texts detailed in Hyborian Genesis:
-Mar. 1932: The Frost-Giant's Daughter is written, submitted, and rejected.

-"a few months later": The Frost-King's Daughter is given to a fanzine [The Fantasy Fan].

-[Mar.] 1934: The Frost-King's Daughter is published.

 

Here is what we can add to that timeline based on his post above:
-Sep. 1932 or later: The Frost-Giant's Daughter is reimagined as The Frost-King's Daughter

 

In the post that I have quoted here, the date "November 1933" is cited as the date that The Frost-King's Daughter was submitted to The Fantasy Fan. However, this is a span of twenty months, which hardly agrees with Mr. Louinet's "a few months later" (though he may have not had any good idea of a submission date, and used such a phrase to keep things safely vague).
 

Where did you get the information that it was submitted in November of 1933? I would be excited to know this, as knowing the submission date gives us the terminal end of the timeframe that REH would have had to re-write the story.

 

Maybe that doesn't sound interesting to anybody else, but I personally think it would be fun to narrow it down and get at least a closer idea of when he revised it -- the reference to "Amra" traveling to Zingara could have either been a reference to The Pool of the Black One, or it could have been REH's "springboard" that inspired him to write The Pool of the Black One, since Conan hadn't yet been to Zingara in any previously written tales. That is just one potentially interesting tidbit that we might be able to glean from having a better understanding of when the story was revised.
 

 

 

In Echoes of Valor II, Karl Edward Wagner has this in the intro to the Frost Giant's/Frost King's Daughter duo:

 

In a letter dated November 10, 1933, Howard submitted 'The Frost King's Daughter' to Charles Horning, editor of the amateur fan magazine, The Fantasy Fan: "Here is a short story, 'The Frost King's Daughter' which I thought you might find suitable for The Fantasy Fan."

 

He might have rewritten it around the time the finished his first spurt of Conan stories in early 1933 or when he went back to writing Conan in October.  My guess would be the latter but all that's just utter speculation.