Friday, January 1, 2021

Forgotten Stories: SOLOMON KANE by W.C. Tuttle?? (1923)

Solomon Kane, as I'm sure you know, was one of Robert E. Howard's first major series characters. Kane, a grim-faced puritan who battled sorcery with his sword, made his first appearance in the story "Red Shadows" in the August 1928 issue of Weird Tales. But here's proof that W.C. Tuttle, the creator of Hashknife Hartley and Sheriff Henry Conroy, employed the name five years earlier here in the August 10, 1923 issue of Adventure

The two characters are as different as can be, of course, but the name figures prominently here, and it's well known that Adventure was Howard's favorite magazine. Did 17-year-old Robert E. read this one? What do you think?


Some Line-Faced Scrivener said...

In July of 1933, Robert E. Howard wrote the following to H.P. Lovecraft:

“It was after I moved into ‘town’ [Cross Plains, Texas] (speaking comparatively) that I began to buy magazines. I well remember the first I ever bought. I was fifteen years old; I bought it one summer night when a wild restlessness in me would not let me keep still, and I had exhausted all the reading material on the place. I’ll never forget the thrill it gave me. Somehow it never had occurred to me before that I could buy a magazine. It was an Adventure. I still have the copy. After that I bought Adventure for many years, though at times it cramped my resources to pay the price. It came out three times a month, then."

Howard was 15 years old in 1921, and if he bought Adventure for many years, it is very possible he purchased this issue. What adds to the possibility is the fact he wrote two letters to the editors of the magazine, published in their reader’s forum on March 20, 1924 and August 20, 1924. So, this August 10, 1923 issue of Adventure is nicely bracketed increasing the chance this Solomon Kane might be the one for whom Howard derived the name of his famous character whose “eyes were mystical deep pools that drowned unearthly things.”

Todd B. Vick said...

In case you are interested, and it ties in with your post. I wrote an article about all this several months back. Here's a link to the article:

Evan Lewis said...

Great piece, Todd. I just stumbled upon this story a few days ago - while searching for Tuttle stuff - and was mighty surprised.

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