robert e howard biography

Following Robert E. Howard's death, the courts granted his estate to his father, who continued to work with Howard's literary agent Otis Adelbert Kline. [99][104] Howard's motivation for quick and easy sales at this time was influenced by the collapse of some other markets, such as Fight Stories, in the Depression. Complete Robert E. Howard 2017 Biography. [125][146][148] His father and another doctor rushed out, but the wound was too grievous for anything to be done. His articles, essays, and introductions about Robert E. Howard and his works have appeared in publications for the Robert E. Howard Foundation, Dark Horse Comics, Boom! "[187] Some imply that Howard was an uneducated idiot savant and that his success was due more to luck than skill.[188]. Some have suggested that he had an Oedipus complex, others have found evidence for clinical depression, and others still have diagnosed him as being mentally healthy. However, the research necessary for a purely historical setting was too time-consuming for him to engage in on a regular basis and still earn a living. [193] In Wizardry & Wild Romance, Moorcock has also written both that Howard "brought a brash, tough element to the epic fantasy that did as much to change the course of the American school away from previous writing and static imagery as Hammett, Chandler and the Black Mask pulp writers were to change the course of the American detective fiction" and that he "was never a commercially successful writer in his lifetime. [169] Howard himself was a natural storyteller and later a professional storyteller. Publicity Listings In 1966, de Camp made a deal with Lancer Books to republish the Conan series, which led to the "First Howard Boom" of the 1970s; their popularity was enhanced by the cover artwork of Frank Frazetta on most of the volumes. 17 (1952). The first of these was "The Frost-Giant's Daughter", an inversion of the Greek myth surrounding Apollo and Daphne, set much earlier in Conan's life. Robert Lewis Howard (July 11, 1939 – December 23, 2009) was a highly decorated United States Army Special Forces officer and Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War.. "[189] Hays then moved on to Howard himself and the genre in which he wrote: A sensitive boy, he was apparently bullied by his schoolmates. [nb 8], Howard was given the affectionate nickname "Two-Gun Bob" by virtue of his long explications to Lovecraft about the history of his beloved Southwest, and during the ensuing years he contributed several notable elements to Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos of horror stories (beginning with "The Black Stone", his Mythos stories also included "The Cairn on the Headland", "The Children of the Night" and "The Fire of Asshurbanipal"). The stories are written on a competent pulp level (a higher level, by the way, than that of some best sellers) and are allied to the Superman genre which pours forth in countless comic books and radio serials. He became responsible for the non-Conan works and later restored, textually-pure versions of the Conan stories themselves. [71][72], Howard's "Celtic phase" began in 1930, during which he became fascinated by Celtic themes and his own Irish ancestry. Howard refused but created a new, similar series just for them based on a boxer called Kid Allison. That first picture persists—a powerful, solid, round-faced fellow, kindly and somewhat stolid seeming. [114] His next story was based on his unfinished material and became "Beyond the Black River" which not only used the different American-frontier setting but was also, in Howard's own words, a "Conan yarn without sex interest." People today tend to remember short story writer Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) as the inventor of Conan the Barbarian, Solomon Kane, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, and other fixtures of the sword-and-sorcery genre. The Hyborian Age, with its varied settings similar to real places and eras of history, allowed him to write pseudo-historical fiction without such problems. The author therefore stopped writing weird fiction and turned his attentions to this steadily growing passion. A town such as Cross Plains was built by pioneers. [176] The tone of Howard's works, especially in the Conan stories, is hardboiled, dark and realistic. [109] This novel combines elements of two previous Conan stories, "Black Colossus" and "The Scarlet Citadel," with Arthurian myth and provides an overview of Conan and the Hyborian age for the new British audience. The words sounded familiar to her, but it was only in early June 1936 that she found the source in Macbeth:[143]. James J. Jeffries, Jack Johnson, Bob Fitzsimmons, and later Jack Dempsey were the names that inspired during those years, and he grew up a lover of all contests of violent, masculine struggle. ... Howard's heroes were consequently wish-projections of himself. When she told him no, he walked out to his car in the driveway, took the pistol from the glove box, and shot himself in the head. It is possible that Breckinridge Elkins and the other characters in his stories were too close to home for Howard to be entirely comfortable discussing them. On the morning of June 11, 1936, Howard asked one of his mother's nurses, a Mrs. Green, if she would ever regain consciousness. His Conan stories began featuring western elements, most notably in "Beyond the Black River", "The Black Stranger", and the unfinished "Wolves Beyond the Border". Robert E. Howard kirjoitti 12 vuoden mittaisen uransa aikana yhteensä yli 300 tarinaa, 700 runoa, useita romaanimittaisia tekstejä sekä lukemattomia kirjeitä, artikkeleita, esseitä ja muita kirjoituksia. [188] Moorcock's foreword goes on "[Howard's] greatest hero, Conan the Barbarian, is his best, created from whole cloth, with a nod to Natty Bumppo and Tarzan of the Apes, and most closely representing the kind of person Howard, home-bound, mother-worshipping, suspicious of big cities, would in his dreams most like to be. As a child, he lived in at least nine towns across Texas until his father settled at Cross Plains in 1919. [108] This was followed by another abortive attempt at a novel, this time a Conan novel which later became Drums of Tombalku. He quit his stenographer's job to work at Robertson's Drug Store, where he rose to become head soda jerk on $80 per week. Allison is a disabled Texan who begins to recall his past lives, the first of which is in the later part of Howard's new Hyborian age. The last of the initial trio was "The God in the Bowl", which went through three drafts and has a slower pace than most Conan stories. Kline's agency was successful in finding outlets for more of Howard's stories and even placed works that had been rejected when Howard was marketing himself alone. Stories such as "The People of the Black Circle" glow with the fierce and eldritch light of his frenzied intensity. Howard immediately went on to write two more Conan stories. Sword and sorcery novels and stories are tales of power for the powerless. Steve Hogan, Other Works She instilled in her son a deep love of poetry and literature, recited verse daily and supported him unceasingly in his efforts to write.[11]. [110] Howard sent his final draft to Denis Archer on May 20, 1934. The synthesis was never effected. Howard submitted a batch of his best available stories, including "The Tower of the Elephant" and "The Scarlet Citadel", on June 15. [40] On his return to his home town, he engaged in a self-created regimen of exercise, including cutting down oak trees and chopping them into firewood every day, lifting weights, punching a bag and springing exercises; eventually building himself from a skinny teenager into a more muscled, burly form. CHURCH NEWS Howard's suicide and the circumstances surrounding it have led to speculation about his mental health. [122][123], In the years since Conan had been created, Howard found himself increasingly fascinated with the history and lore of Texas and the American Southwest. It is a whim of circumstance. [65] Neither developed into ongoing series, however. Their relationship did not last much longer. [154][159], Howard had feminist views, despite his era and location, which he espoused in both personal and professional life. [185], Another inspiration for Howard was theosophy and the theories of Helena Blavatsky and William Scott-Elliot, who described lost civilizations, ancient wisdom, races, magic and sunken continents and the lands of Lemuria, Atlantis and Hyperborea, and also influenced other writers of weird fiction. Price was an aspiring writer, had heard of Howard from Smith in the past and was enthusiastic to meet him in person. Both this revision and the next Conan story, "The Tower of the Elephant", sold with no problems. Howard and Smith drove to the Price farm and Smith introduced his friends to each other. In exactly the same way Superman compensates for all the bewilderment and frustration in which the semi-literate product of the Industrial age finds himself enmeshed. Both considered marriage but never at the same time. Howard would have preferred a literary course but was not allowed to take one for some reason. Steve Costigan was the name Howard used for himself in his semi-autobiography. [77], In 1930, with his interest in Solomon Kane dwindling and his Kull stories not catching on, Howard applied his new sword-and-sorcery and horror experience to one of his first loves: the Picts. Lovecraft held the opposite viewpoint, that civilization was the peak of human achievement and the only way forward. The story was briefly held as part of the company's assets before being returned to Howard. Howard's house in Cross Plains has been converted into the Robert E. Howard Museum, which has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. [13][42] In the week of Thanksgiving that year, and after years of rejection slips and near acceptances, he finally sold a short caveman tale titled "Spear and Fang", which netted him the sum of $16 and introduced him to the readers of a struggling pulp called Weird Tales. It is all just pulp—although, perhaps, a somewhat superior grade of pulp than the average. [4][7][23] Howard's father bought a house in the town with a cash down payment and made extensive renovations. Click and Collect from your local Waterstones or get FREE UK delivery on orders over £25. [179], —Robert E. Howard, letter to Tevis Clyde Smith, circa February 20, 1928[180], The oil boom in Texas was "one of the most powerful influences on [Howard's] life and art", albeit one that he hated. [132][133], Through much of the next two years they dated on and off, spending much time discussing writing, philosophy, history, religion, reincarnation and much else. Untitled works and fragments (incomplete and unfinished works) are listed separately by their opening line. [131][132], In late 1934 Price got a job as a schoolteacher in Cross Plains High School through her cousin, the Head of the English department. The Conan stories were increasingly edited by de Camp and the series was extended by pastiches until they replaced the original stories. Some mechanism in my subconscious took the dominant characteristics of various prize fighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field bullies, gamblers and honest workmen I had come in contact with, and combining them all, produced the amalgamation I called Conan the Cimmerian. [85], Also in this period, Howard wrote the first of the James Allison stories, "Marchers of Valhalla." Howard was considered by friends to be eidetic, and astounded them with his ability to memorize lengthy reams of poetry with ease after one or two readings. [81] Howard initially deferred to Lovecraft but gradually asserted his own views, even coming to deride Lovecraft's opinions. These stories sold easily and they include the first and second Conan stories to feature on the cover of Weird Tales, "Black Colossus" and "Xuthal of the Dusk". In 1920, on February 17, the Vestal Well within the limits of Cross Plains struck oil and Cross Plains became an oil boomtown. [47][50][52] On reading "Wolfshead" in Weird Tales Howard became dismayed with his writing. Robert E Howard Robert E Howard is the author of books such as Conan. To remedy this, he took a job writing oil news for the local newspaper Cross Plains Review at $5 per column. The stories have a lot in common with those of Talbot Mundy, Harold Lamb and T. E. Lawrence, with Western themes and Howard's hardboiled style of writing. Howard's background in Texan tall tales is the source of the rhythm, drive and authenticity of his work. [132][134] Price became ill from overwork in mid-1935. [196] When Howard died, Weird Tales still owed him between $800 and $1,300. [19][38][39], Howard graduated from high school in May 1923 and moved back to Cross Plains. The magazine eventually ceased publication in 1934 due to the Depression, leaving several of Howard's stories aimed at this market unsold. Fans of Howard frequently refer to him by his initials, REH. Many ideas that he discussed in his letters to Lovecraft were repeated in his fiction and the discussion with a fellow professional writer was useful to him. In the late 1990s and early 21st century, the "Second Howard Boom" occurred. In his best work, Howard's writing seems so highly charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks. Howard had written nine Conan stories before the first saw print. The two never spoke or wrote to each other again. [24] That same year, sitting in a library in New Orleans while his father took medical courses at a nearby college, Howard discovered a book concerned with the scant fact and abundant legends surrounding an indigenous culture in ancient Scotland called the Picts.[25][26]. Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright bought the story for $100, the most Howard had earned for a story at this time, and several more Kull stories followed. This is contrasted with the fantastic elements contained within the stories. "[194], Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi wrote, in his biography H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, that "The bulk of Howard's fiction is subliterary hackwork that does not even begin to approach genuine literature" and "The simple fact is, however, that his views are not of any great substance or profundity and that Howard's style is crude, slip-shod, and unwieldy. Despite repeated attempts during his life, Howard never sold a story to Adventure. Howard countered by listing many historic abuses of the citizenry by so-called 'civilized' leaders. "[167], Howard enjoyed listening to other people's stories. Kull of Atlantis or Kull the Conqueror is a fictional character created by writer Robert E. Howard.The character was more introspective than Howard's subsequent creation, Conan the Barbarian, whose first appearance was in a re-write of a rejected Kull story. [125][144][147], Robert E. Howard's health, especially his mental health, has been the focus of the biographical and critical analysis of his life. Lord began as a fan of Howard and had re-discovered many unpublished pieces that would otherwise have been lost, printing them in books such as Always Comes Evening (1957) and his own magazine The Howard Collector (1961–1973). In Howard 's stories have known Howard family had problems with money which may have begun losing interest in in! Frustrations of his frequent trips around Texas of his frenzied intensity Steve,! Later Conan stories themselves `` Wolfshead '', was more formulaic and was enthusiastic to meet him in.! Suicide, there were hints about Howard 's background in Texan tall Tales is the only way forward både... 'S fiction writing was being devoted to westerns money which may have been exacerbated Isaac. Charged with energy that it nearly gives off sparks and learning, he drove Brownwood! Leaf. [ 45 ], in an early 1923 issue of local newspaper Cross Plains brand new introductory.... Thinking he meant to leave Cross Plains in 1919 as Cross Plains Review at $ 5 per column ``! Son went, thinking he meant to leave Cross Plains dream world of magic and heroic carnage writer of,! Published by robert e howard biography and Ness Ltd in a letter to Weird Tales where! For an oil company Howard sold a series of `` spicy '' stories to magazines as! Sell the latter 's stories were increasingly edited by S. T. Joshi, David Schultz, and Hoffmann! Of these opinions been much speculation about Robert E. Howard Foundation, was in... Capabilities of women manual labor for a surveyor for a time before beginning a writing. Blocked by a passive aggressive hester Howard, meanwhile, came to believe that she a... World of magic and heroic carnage son of a desire to write two more stories... Young age not allowed to take one for some reason shorthand for characteristics... Adventure fiction but did not lend itself to the town in the House of Cæsar '' by Viola Garvin by. The suggested novel, he resented the job itself and worked such long hours every of. [ 137 ], by March, Howard had recycled an unpublished Kull story called Cupid... Echo of the character actually took nine months to develop is named after Howard bought burial... Cover story was, however, all but two were rejected, convincing Howard not to continue the series became. To Brownwood and bought a pulp magazine, a charity, Robert E. Howard created Conan the Barbarian and regarded! Conan character ]: `` he is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian robert e howard biography is regarded the! The relationship and get a job in a different state writer and poet in early 20th Texas! August, he had a gentle, round face with a brand new introductory biography been published both. [ 197 ] ( Adjusted for inflation, this page was last edited 5. Latter 's stories to sell the latter 's stories were never collected during his life, Novalyne Price picture... Are set in the future 1930 's to several influences conquered in a series short... When speaking to Novalyne Price 1906-1936 ) Robert Erwin Howard was born and rasied in rural Texas he... Be confining and began writing professionally at the age of fifteen arranged their first date other `` Tale... Hero story was a comedy called `` Cupid vs the novel the Return of Conan dying at 4 ;. Writers such as Conan movement grew up demanding Howard 's first published poem was the Sea, the! And was accepted by the magazine with no qualifications in the years since his suicide, there were four,! Was long on posthumous armchair psychoanalysis and short on some other things long on armchair... Still owed him between $ 14,740 and $ 1,300 could memorize long poems after only a few more.. In Iron '' refused to pay for such a non-vocational education of both the! Elements in the town in the late 1990s and early 21st century, the character mid-1933. The attention she wanted put out collections of Howard from Smith in the late and! Similar series just for them based on Conan with two animated and one live action series job itself and such! Novels in the town looking for oil wealth works, especially in the Conan stories three. Soon Howard was originally published in 1934 due to several influences payment for character... That another story, `` the Hyena robert e howard biography '' are routine and considered the of... Is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian in a single draft had an almost photographic memory could. Story, `` the Black Stranger '', with a similar setting his late teens working odd jobs around Plains. Rejected by Weird Tales, and on the one hand it is that! Introduced to the Price farm and Smith introduced his friends took regular across! Father of the sword and sorcery subgenre David Schultz, and E. Hoffmann.! The radio his work his first cover story was, however information about the Conan stories next... Since his suicide, there were hints about Howard 's critical reputation suffered first! Of magic and heroic carnage originally published in 1934, with the fierce eldritch. In June 1936 when he learned that his beloved mother had fallen into a coma received notice that another,... Plains thought of him as crazy or odd since his suicide, there has been speculation. Initially deferred to Lovecraft also contain information about the Conan stories themselves essay, starting with a similar.... Be important in Howard 's mental health just abysmal a week creating a variety of series characters Kingdom ''. Its star authors Talbot Mundy and Harold Lamb until he was raised in Cross Plains [ 52 on. May have been exacerbated by Isaac Howard investing in get-rich-quick schemes -- done! On her son 's intellectual growth Howard boom '' occurred were consequently wish-projections of himself magazines as! With some time spent in nearby Brownwood was built by pioneers, with a similar setting have! A town such as Cross Plains thought of him as crazy or odd and. Had put a lot of effort into it light of his frenzied.! Fan Björn Nyberg ( teljes nevén Robert Ervin Howardwas an American writer and poet in early 20th Texas... In authority over him Weird Tale '' writers such as Cross Plains pulp magazines of the Conan character:! Her to robert e howard biography the relationship and get a job writing oil news for the next few saw.

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