Robert E. Howard

From Academic Kids

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906June 11, 1936) was a writer of fantasy and historical adventure pulp stories, published primarily in Weird Tales magazine in the 1930s.

He was born in Peaster, Texas, the son of Dr. Isaac Mordecai Howard and Hester Jane Ervin Howard. His family had lived in various places in south, east and west Texas, as well as western Oklahoma, before settling in Cross Plains in central Texas in 1919.

He began to write at age 15, and was first published four years later when his story Spear and Fang appeared in the July 1925 edition of Weird Tales. He had his first 'cover' in 1926.

He wrote stories in many genres, but his most famous creation is the giant barbarian warrior Conan, first appearing in The Phoenix on the Sword in December 1932. His other characters include the Atlantean King Kull, the Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane and the Pict Bran Mak Morn. He also created the female warrior Red Sonja, although the version of the character known to most fans differs from Howard's version.

Howard also wrote historical fiction. For example, his story Gates of Empire involves a fictional character in the struggles between Shirkuh, Shawar, and Amalric for the control of Egypt, the story culminating in one of Saladin's famous early battles in the spring of 1167 CE.

Howard's prose is straightforward, colorful, and exciting more than subtle and literary, and it attempts to entertain rather than instruct, but it is not without sophistication. Howard tells of worlds where violence is usually the best solution to problems, and where gold, jewels, and beautiful women are often the hero's reward.

Howard corresponded with other pulp authors of the day, such as H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.

On June 11, 1936 at around 8 o'clock in the morning, after learning his tubercular mother was unlikely to regain consciousness from her coma, Howard settled into the front seat of his car with a borrowed .38 Colt automatic and shot himself in the head. He never recovered consciousness, and died at 4 o'clock that day. His mother died the following day, and they shared a funeral on June 14th. Both are buried in Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood.

On the morning of June 11th, 1936, Howard wrote this poem, which was found typed on a strip of paper in his billfold in his hip pocket:

All fled—all done, so lift me on the pyre—
The Feast is over, and the lamps expire.

(The second line is a quotation, except for "over" in place of "finished", from Ernest Dowson's poem "Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae".)

External links

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cs:Robert E. Howard de:Robert Howard es:Robert E. Howard it:Robert Ervin Howard ja:ロバート・E・ハワード ko:로버트 하워드 nl:Robert E. Howard pl:Robert E. Howard ru:Говард, Роберт Ирвин sv:Robert E. Howard

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