posted on Aug, 31 2016 @ 09:42 AM
Anyone who has read Cormac McCarthy's gruesome yet mesmerizing prose in Blood Meridian
has been imprinted with the enormous and nighmarish
figure of Judge Holden. I would posit that Holden is the most terrifying antagonist ever written into a work of fiction. Holden leads the gang of
maurading, gibbering murderers on their path of mutual destruction through the desolate landscape of the old American West.
So what if one were told that Judge Holden was based on a real man? How much more terrifying does he become?
According to Samuel Chamberlain's memoirs My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue
, Judge Holden is a real-life character surrounded my
mystique and fear. Here's an excerpt regarding the horrific Judge:
"Second in command to Glanton was a Texan- Judge Holden. In describing him, Chamberlain claimed, "a cooler blooded villain never went unhung;"
Holden was well over six feet, "had a fleshy frame, [and] a dull tallow colored face destitute of hair and all expression" and was well educated in
geology and mineralogy, fluent in native dialects, a good musician, and "plum centre" with a firearm. Chamberlain saw him also as a coward who would
avoid equal combat if possible but would not hesitate to kill Indians or Mexicans if he had the advantage. Rumors also abounded about atrocities
committed in Texas and the Cherokee nation by him under a different name. Before the gang left Frontreras, Chamberlain claims that a ten year old girl
was found "foully violated and murdered" with "the mark of a large hand on her throat," but no one ever directly accused Holden."
All info was found on the following website--
So, fellow readers, what do you think? Does the fact that Judge Holden had a real-life counterpart add to the nightmare that is put forth in
McCarthy's novel? I look forward to your thoughts on the man behind the novel. In my opinion, he sounds like the devil himself. Any thoughts?