Archive for the ‘Robert E. Howard’s Life’ Category
Where can I learn more about Howard?
An excellent place to start would be Rusty Burke’s “A Short Biography of Robert E. Howard,” available online at the Robert E. Howard United Press Association’s site. CPI (Conan Properties International) has an Official Robert E. Howard site and forums, with plenty of information and discussion on the man and his works. The Wikipedia entry for Howard is a good deal better than it was in previous iterations, but the nature of a publically-editable database means that anyone can go in there and alter it, so it should be correlated with other sources wherever possible. Other excellent online resources can be found at The Robert E. Howard Directory, which include blogs from established Howard scholars: Don Herron’s site, Damon Sasser’s Robert E. Howard: Two Gun Raconteur blog, Dennis McHaney’s McHaney’s Robert E. Howard, Dave Hardy’s Fire and Sword, Ed Waterman’s Barbarian Keep, Brian Murphy’s The Silver Key, the now defunct The Cimmerian blog, and more: just peruse the links to the left.
Beyond the internet, there is a wealth of great scholarly material about Howard, much of which can be found in the “about REH” section of Bill Thom’s essential bibliographic site Howard Works. In particular, Mark Finn’s Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard is an excellent biography, with a second, revised edition coming soon. Other excellent books on Howard’s life include Glenn Lord’s The Last Celt: A Bio-Bibliography of Robert Ervin Howard, Novalyne Price’s One Who Walked Alone, Tevis Clyde Smith’s Report on a Writing Man & Other Reminiscences of Robert E. Howard, and Dennis McHaney’s Robert E. Howard: World’s Greatest Pulpster.
Did Howard ever leave his hometown?
Although it’s sometimes asserted that Howard never left his home state — sometimes that he never even left his home town — there is substantial evidence that Howard traveled outside of Texas. Indeed, Howard left his home town of Peaster fairly early in life, moving to a number of different towns before finally settling in Cross Plains — Dark Valley, Seminole, Bronte, Poteet, Palo Pinto, somewhere in “the Wichita Falls country” (possibly Burkburnett), Bagwell, Cross Cut, and Burkett.* Howard made a few extended stays in Brownwood for school or college, as well as personal visits. It is known that Howard visited San Antonio, Austin, Galveston, Fort Worth and Rio Grande in Texas, as well as New Orleans, Santa Fe and Carlsbad in New Mexico. Quite well-travelled for a Depression-era Texan.
Let’s crunch the numbers:
Cross Plains to Brownwood, Texas = 30 miles
Cross Plains to Peaster, Texas = 91 miles
Cross Plains to Fort Worth, Texas = 115 miles
Cross Plains to Austin, Texas = 153 miles
Cross Plains to San Antonio, Texas = 191 miles
Cross Plains to Carlsbad, New Mexico = 296 miles
Cross Plains to Santa Fe, New Mexico = 306 miles
Cross Plains to Galveston, Texas = 324 miles
Cross Plains to New Orleans = 558 miles
So you can see, even if we consider Howard’s occassional trips to Brownwood, Howard traveled far from his home, and in fact seems to have traveled not just hundreds, but thousands of miles over the course of his life. Again, this is a Depression-Era Texan we’re talking about.
*Special thanks to Rob Roehm for clarifying the many towns of Howard’s youth.