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Censoring Solomon Kane


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#1 Taran

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:17 PM

Some time ago, on another thread, I noted that the Project Gutenburg text for "Wings in the Night" changed the heading for Ch. V from "The White-skinned Conqueror" to "The Conqueror". Turned out that wasn't the only change, as a fairly lengthy paragraph noting Kane's Anglo-Saxon heritage got chopped significantly. Was this the fault of the transcriber, or did earlier editions also feature politically-correct meddling with the text? My Baen edition most certainly does not. Beyond L. Sprague deCamp (who, from what I know, never touched Solomon Kane), are there other examples?

I know The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle has also received such censoring for far less offensive passages, in a manner I deemed wholly unnecessary and actually detrimental because entire subplots and passages were replaced, but this is a whole different kettle of fish.
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#2 Tex

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:14 PM

Sounds like they used the Grant text. Donald M. Grant, in a misguided attempt to make his limited edition books more palatable to the masses (who would never see them due to their specialty nature,) PC-pansied the text.

Here's a great quote about this from Marc Cerasini, from an interview with him and Charles Hoffman, conducted by the late Steve Thompkins...

"To be frank, I feel more ill-will toward Donald M. Grant these days. While Don did a lot of wonderful things ? most especially publishing Post Oaks and Sand Roughs and Novalyne?s memoir ? I have to ask what freaking God gave anyone the right to publish bowdlerized versions of Howard?s Solomon Kane and Kull tales, to actually have them edited for politically correct purposes? This shortsightedness ruined what little legacy the Donald M. Grant books had. Beautiful volumes such as the two hardcover editions of Solomon Kane (both illustrated by Jeff Jones) are utterly useless because the text is corrupt, passages were altered, the race of a main character in ?The Moon of Skulls? was changed, etc. It?s just sickening. Insane. There?s a special ring in hell for people who do things like this."

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#3 Arcadian

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 12:40 AM

Seems odd if it's only the white/anglo-saxon characteristics that were censored. I'm more sensitive to depictions of other races in the fiction of that time, not that I see any reason to censor SK.

I also don't believe you can get an uncensored edition of the Adventures of Marry Poppins these days either. The chapter where they visit different countries that promote racial stereotypes has been replaced by visiting animals in those countries. (?!?)

#4 Konorg

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

Seems odd if it's only the white/anglo-saxon characteristics that were censored. I'm more sensitive to depictions of other races in the fiction of that time, not that I see any reason to censor SK.

I also don't believe you can get an uncensored edition of the Adventures of Marry Poppins these days either. The chapter where they visit different countries that promote racial stereotypes has been replaced by visiting animals in those countries. (?!?)


I am soooooo sick of the PC PARTY LINE.I'm going start ordering myself copies of the pre-pc era editions of classic tales offline.


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#5 amster

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:08 PM


Seems odd if it's only the white/anglo-saxon characteristics that were censored. I'm more sensitive to depictions of other races in the fiction of that time, not that I see any reason to censor SK.

I also don't believe you can get an uncensored edition of the Adventures of Marry Poppins these days either. The chapter where they visit different countries that promote racial stereotypes has been replaced by visiting animals in those countries. (?!?)


I am soooooo sick of the PC PARTY LINE.I'm going start ordering myself copies of the pre-pc era editions of classic tales offline.


Del Rey's The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane has the original unaltered text.
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Money and muscle, that's what I want; to be able to do any damned thing I want and get away with it. Money won't do that altogether, because if a man is a weakling, all the money in the world won't enable him to soak an enemy himself; on the other hand, unless he has money he may not be able to get away with it.
--Robert E. Howard to Harold Preece, ca. June 1928--

#6 Fierro

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:39 PM

If they'll **** with Huck, nothing is safe....

#7 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:56 PM

Seems to me all this censorship is unnecessary. I think most readers are sophisticated enough to know when they are reading religious or ethnic stereotypes from earlier times. Do we allow those old Puritan texts to retain all their unkind words about Quakers? After all, there are still a lot of Quakers around and some of them may get their feelings hurt.

What an author writes has to be taken in context with the times in which it was written. If you bowdlerize Mark Twain, for instance, you loose important insights into his place in time. The offensive stuff is often only offensive in a modern context. Leave the writer's original work alone. It's shameful to abridge a writer's work on the dubious ground that the censor knows what is best for other people. Its arrogant, immoral and often a slippery slope to thought control.
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 Waldgeist

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:57 PM

Just imagine a censored "Mein Kampf" by Hitler. :D A PC version of that would be fun to read. Only two pages long ;)
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#9 Konorg

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 12:21 AM



Seems odd if it's only the white/anglo-saxon characteristics that were censored. I'm more sensitive to depictions of other races in the fiction of that time, not that I see any reason to censor SK.

I also don't believe you can get an uncensored edition of the Adventures of Marry Poppins these days either. The chapter where they visit different countries that promote racial stereotypes has been replaced by visiting animals in those countries. (?!?)


I am soooooo sick of the PC PARTY LINE.I'm going start ordering myself copies of the pre-pc era editions of classic tales offline.


Del Rey's The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane has the original unaltered text.


And thats why I like to buy Del Rey.


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#10 Ironhand

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:18 AM

Just imagine a censored "Mein Kampf" by Hitler. :D A PC version of that would be fun to read. Only two pages long ;)

If they keep censoring and re-censoring REH every 30 years or so, his works will end up being reduced to only two pages. For instance, doesn't someone need to rewrite People of the Black Circle to keep from injuring the sensibilities of Afghans and Indians? And what about those evil Stygians? Someone might mistake them for Egyptians.
"Did you deem yourself strong, because you were able to twist the heads off civilized folk, poor weaklings with muscles like rotten string? Hell! Break the neck of a wild Cimmerian bull before you call yourself strong. I did that, before I was a full-grown man...!" - Conan, in "Shadows in Zamboula", by Robert E. Howard
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#11 Waldgeist

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 10:30 AM

The interesting thing is... no one cares about the sensibilities of afghans, arabians, muslims in general in present war movies or even worse in present video games, where the heroic world savers bash the shit out of the evil, sneeky, badly dressed arabians :D...

If there is real money to make by being un-PCish... suddenly all the PC talk is out of the window.

Edited by Waldgeist, 17 June 2011 - 10:31 AM.

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#12 Kortoso

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:23 PM

A tempest in a teapot, IMHO. I mean, we're talking about Project Gutenberg of all things. :blink:

#13 crossplain pilgrim

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:41 PM

Why not? One man's tea pot is another man's tempest.
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"

#14 Mikey_C

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:08 PM

I agree with Kortoso; this is unlicensed material, there are probably any number of inaccuracies and errors in there. Have you tried contacting PG and pointed out that they are using a corrupted text.

Saying that, PC bowdlerism is a growing problem. Someone lent me a Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural collection of Sexton Blake tales and it openly states at the front that the text in one of the tales has been altered. They publish a Howard anthology but fortunately there is nothing amiss there so far as I've noticed.
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#15 Konorg

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 11:09 PM

I agree with Kortoso; this is unlicensed material, there are probably any number of inaccuracies and errors in there. Have you tried contacting PG and pointed out that they are using a corrupted text.

Saying that, PC bowdlerism is a growing problem. Someone lent me a Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural collection of Sexton Blake tales and it openly states at the front that the text in one of the tales has been altered. They publish a Howard anthology but fortunately there is nothing amiss there so far as I've noticed.



I wish I could publish all of the old tales from before the PC era took hold,i'd be the worlds most hated publisher because i'd go with all of the unaltered texts,and flod the market with Original texts stories.Think of all the people who would cry foul and either be sueing me or out for my head...NOW THAT WOULD BE AN ADVENTURE WORTH LIVING! :)

Edited by Konorg, 17 June 2011 - 11:10 PM.



The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#16 Mikey_C

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 02:12 PM

Someone lent me a Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural collection of Sexton Blake tales and it openly states at the front that the text in one of the tales has been altered. They publish a Howard anthology but fortunately there is nothing amiss there so far as I've noticed.


I spoke too soon! I just looked at Wordsworth's Solomon Kane volume on Amazon and - lo and behold! - Chapter V of Wings in the Night has been retitled "The White-Faced Conqueror". It could be a mistake (the phrase white-faced is in the first sentence after all) - but somehow I doubt it. :angry:

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#17 daniel

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 07:04 PM

I agree with Kortoso; this is unlicensed material, there are probably any number of inaccuracies and errors in there. Have you tried contacting PG and pointed out that they are using a corrupted text.

Saying that, PC bowdlerism is a growing problem. Someone lent me a Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural collection of Sexton Blake tales and it openly states at the front that the text in one of the tales has been altered. They publish a Howard anthology but fortunately there is nothing amiss there so far as I've noticed.


the right hand of doom as well? damn!

i think that the literary imposition of pc is unrealistic because in order to combat stereotypes, discrimination, etc. it's important to know that they existed. and those who forget the errors made in history are doomed to repeat them.

Edited by daniel, 18 June 2011 - 07:05 PM.


#18 Libaax

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 12:54 AM

Frankly i rather read racially off-putting things in old books rather than PC altered version. I prefer the true version of any story no matter how ugly the content is.


Also i think these days we are kidding ourselves with PC trixing with literature when there is so much real hate,sexism in our own times. We cant act like we are better than the old times.

Most of the times its BS too, some people think having a black villain in a Conan story is racism and thats just silly.


Grant is just lame that we have to deal with these things today.