Mexico borderlands from 1849 to 1850 for bounty, pleasure, and eventually out of nihilistic habit. The role of antagonist is gradually filled by Judge Holden, a physically massive, highly-educated, exceptionally multi-talented member of the gang, depicted as completely bald from head to toe. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. It is his first novel set in the Southwestern United States, a change from the Appalachian settings of his cormac mccarthy blood meridian pdf work.
Critics have repeatedly demonstrated that even brief and seemingly inconsequential passages of Blood Meridian rely on historical evidence. The Glanton gang segments are based on Samuel Chamberlain’s account of the group in his memoir My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue, which he wrote during the latter part of his life. Chamberlain rode with John Joel Glanton and his company between 1849 and 1850. The novel’s antagonist Judge Holden appeared in Chamberlain’s account, but his true identity remains a mystery.
Chamberlain does not appear in the novel. The novel follows an adolescent runaway from Tennessee with a predilection for violence, known only as “the kid,” who is introduced as being born during the famous Leonids meteor shower of 1833.
In the late 1840s, he first encounters an enormous and completely hairless character, Judge Holden, at a religious revival in Nacogdoches, Texas. There, Holden shows his dark nature by falsely accusing a preacher of raping both a young girl and a goat, inciting those attending the revival to physically attack the preacher.