Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Williams, Hurricane. Hurricane Williams was created by Gordon Young (Red Clark, Don Everhard) and appeared in six stories and serials in Adventure (U.S.) from 1918 to 1931, beginning with “The Unlisted Legion” (Adventure (U.S.), May 1, 1918).
Hurricane Williams is a South Seas Adventurer. Originally he was Clive Stanley, the scion of upper-class New York City. He was wealthy, handsome, and intelligent. Unfortunately, he fell in love with a married woman, a beautiful, intelligent woman who hated her husband. She and Clive fled Gotham together and made their way to the South Seas. But their love grew bitter, she began to fear him, and eventually she had the "authorities" take him away. He was hanged, but inexpertly, and was cut down while still living. A convict named Brundage helped him escape, and he fled to the Solomon Islands, where he went native, living with headhunters and becoming increasingly savage.
After a few years a slave-hunting ship dropped anchor off Clive’s island. Clive storms the ship and took it over. He christens himself "Williams" and begins life anew, taking the ship around the South Pacific, trading, fishing and raiding. He staffs the ship with Samoans and Tongans, but never whites–Williams loathes all white men. He has a fierce temper and is the "most hated and despised white man in the South Sea Islands." He gains the nickname “Hurricane” because of the sudden ferocity of his violent attacks.
Hurricane Williams is a man of normal height and weight, deeply bronzed from the sun, with a short beard and "fierce" eyes. He is well muscled and exceedingly strong, and usually wears only cut-off trousers, with a knife sheathed at his belt. Hurricane is "peculiarly unfriendly" and disagreeable, although he mellows over the years. Similarly, Hurricane begins trusting no one and eventually takes three men into his life: Brundage, the old convict who helped free him; Dan McGuire, a flippant red-head; and Francisco, a knife-wielding crew member.
* I'm including the Hurricane Williams stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because of his archetypal status. Hurricane Williams is the archetypal South Seas Adventurer, the character on whom most of the other South Seas Adventurers are consciously or unconsciously modeled. The Typhoon Bradley stories lasted longer and were arguably more popular, but the Hurricane Williams stories were first, were better written, and had more compelling characters and action scenes and descriptions of settings and scenery. Recommended.
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