In the 2009 film, Robert E. Howard’s eponymous hero Solomon Kane, played moodily by James Purefoy, is described on the DVD case as ‘a brutally efficient 16th Century killing machine’. It is an epithet that also accurately describes Talus, the iron man made by the goddess Astraea in Book V of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590 & 1596). Along with Jove’s sword Chrysaor (another gift from Astraea), Talus is designed to help Artegall dispense justice in a blood-soaked Faerie Land (an allegorical version of Elizabethan Ireland). Talus is further described as being
Immoueable, resistlesse, without end.
Who in his hand an yron flale did hould,
With which he thresht out falshood, and did truth vnfould. (V.i.12, lines 6-9)
Talus’ sole purpose is to uphold justice by using his ‘yron flale’. He is an unstoppable force who will apparently spend all of eternity or ‘without end’ ridding Faerie Land of ‘falshood’. In the context of Elizabethan Ireland, the ‘truth vnfould’ may refer -Read more of this fascinating post>