Dark Agnes de Chastillon (also known as Agnes de Chastillon, Dark Agnes, Agnes de la Fere and The Sword Woman) is a fictional character created by Robert E. Howard and the protagonist of three stories set in 16th Century France, which were not printed until long after the author’s death.

The character of Agnes was beaten by her father and almost forced into an arranged marriage. She avoids this by killing the bridegroom and running away. She meets Etienne Villiers, who at first attempts to sell her to a brothel, and Guiscard de Clisson, a mercenary captain who trains her as a swordswoman. When de Clisson is killed, Agnes heads for Italy with Villiers.

The story in this chapbook is the second where Agnes, still with her sidekick Etienne Villiers, faces international intrigue with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. 

Like the later character Red Sonja, who was based on another Howard character, Red Sonya of Rogatino, Agnes has red hair and a short temper. But while Red Sonja’s skill in the handling of swords is a divine gift, Agnes’s skill is a mixture of innate talent and training.

The character may be partially based on Novalyne Price, an American schoolteacher and writer who became close friends with, and occasionally dated, Robert E. Howard.[1] Fictional prototypes include Jirel of Joiry, created by C. L. Moore. Moore was enthusiastic about the first of Howard’s “Dark Agnes” stories.

Contents

  • ix • Introduction (Blades for France) • essay by E. Hoffmann Price [as by E. Hoffman Price]
  • 1 • Blades for France • non-genre • [Agnes de Chastillon] • novelette by Robert E. Howard
  • 12 •  Drove My Point into the Midst of his Black Beard • interior artwork by Stephen Fabian [as by Steve Fabian]
  • 20 •  While Men Fought and Slew and Cursed Madly • interior artwork by Stephen Fabian [as by Steve Fabian]

Notes

Heavy card cover with dust jacket.
Limited to 300 copies. Saddle stapled, wraps and dust jacket.
“First Edition” on copyright page. 

Publisher : George Hamilton
Year : 1975
Format : Booklet / Chapbook with dust jacket
Pages : x + 22 (total 38 including cover)
Cover : Steve Fabian
Illustrations : Steve Fabian (2 full page illustrations)
ISFDB Howard Works

 

Dark Agnes de Chastillon (also known as Agnes de Chastillon, Dark Agnes, Agnes de la Fere and The Sword Woman) is a fictional character created by Robert E. Howard and the protagonist of three stories set in 16th Century France, which were not printed until long after the author’s death.

The character of Agnes was beaten by her father and almost forced into an arranged marriage. She avoids this by killing the bridegroom and running away. She meets Etienne Villiers, who at first attempts to sell her to a brothel, and Guiscard de Clisson, a mercenary captain who trains her as a swordswoman. When de Clisson is killed, Agnes heads for Italy with Villiers.

The story in this chapbook is the second where Agnes, still with her sidekick Etienne Villiers, faces international intrigue with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. 

Tags: Agnes de Chastillon / E. Hoffmann Price / Robert E. Howard / Stephen Fabian