Essay Samples

News from the REH Foundation Press Essay

Our own Rob Roehm, the editor of the REH Foundation Press, has some news on the remainder of Howard books scheduled for publication. These are not the actual titles, but rather the subject matter of the books: A book of Pirate Stories Four volumes of Boxing Stories Autobiographical (Post Oaks and Sand Roughs, etc.) Reincarnation …

New Finds from Paul Herman, the Neverending Hunter Essay

Paul Herman, is a renowned Howard scholar, researcher and the author of The Neverending Hunt, the comprehensive bibliography of Howard’s prose and poetry. He is also a board member of the Robert E. Howard Foundation and just completed his editing duties on the ten volume Weird Works of Robert E. Howard collection from Wildside Press. …

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New Conan Hardcover with Frazetta and Brom Paintings Essay

Coming in September from Underwood Books is …And Their Memory Was a Bitter Tree, a collection of Conan stories by Robert E. Howard, with art by Frank Frazetta and Brom, a Foreword by Arnie Fenner and an Afterword by H.P. Lovecraft.  This volume features a stunning cover painting of Conan and Belit by Brom, a …

New Blog at REHupa Website Essay

Be sure and check out the new re-designed REHupa website, which now includes a blog manned by Howard scholars Bill Cavalier, Morgan Holmes and Rusty Burke.  There is a wealth of information at the website and  the addition of this blog adds a whole new dimension to REHupa’s place on the web.

Nemedian Dispatches 2012 — No. 3 Essay

This is final post for 2012 of the online version of Nemedian Dispatches. This feature previously appeared in the print journal and is now on the blog. On roughly a quarterly basis, Nemedian Dispatches will highlight new and upcoming appearances of Howard’s fiction in print, as well as Howard in other types of media. In …

Murder in Hawaii – Part Two Essay

Hawaii was afire.In 1932 it still remained a territory of the U.S. A., not a state, and its governor was Lawrence McCully Judd, whose father had been a judge and whose grandfather an American missionary. His active and constant concern for the patients in the leper station on Molokai was admirable, but it’s not certain …

Mooney’s Musings Essay

Above: Booth Mooney (and Harold Preece) at a Lone Scout Conference in August 1927. Photo from http://www.westtexasscoutinghistory.net/lonescouts_regional.html One of the more interesting folders in the Tevis Clyde Smith collection (housed at Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives) contains Booth Mooney’s letters to Smith. The letters are undated, but since they all appear to have …

Mighty Saul and Sneaky Samuel Essay

Robert E. Howard had a fascination with the odd byways and lesser known abandoned courtyards of history.  Every fan of his knows that.  His work had a lot to do with raising the same strong interest in me.  His, and that of other, more prestigious historical fiction writers like Treece, Welch, Sutcliff, Cecelia Holland (whose …

McHaney Brings Back Jenkins’ A Gent From Bear Creek Essay

Saddle up, pards, and ride the range with one of Robert E. Howard’s greatest characters, Breckinridge Elkins. This is the novel version of A Gent From Bear Creek, first published in 1937 in London by Herbert Jenkins, and the rarest and most valuable Howard book ever published.  Howard’s dream was to have a book of …

Mark Finn Talks About The Updated Edition of Blood & Thunder Essay

The Robert E. Howard Foundation has just announced on their website that pre-orders are now being taken for Mark Finn’s new edition of Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard. In this new edition, Mark takes a broadsword to many of those tired, outdated myths that have grown up around Howard …

Mark Finn and Conversations with the Weird Tales Circle Essay

Howard scholar and author of the Howard biography Blood and Thunder Mark  Finn, contributes to this massive and expensive volume ($225.00 a pop) on the lives and careers of many Weird Tales writers. Among the writers featured you will find H.P.  Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long, Seabury  Quinn, E. Hoffmann Price, Henry …

Margaret Brundage, Grand Mistress of the Weird Tales Cover Essay

During the 1930s, getting your story illustrated on the cover of Weird Tales by Margaret Brundage was a prize coveted by most of the magazine’s contributors, and Howard was certainly no exception. There is little doubt that he would purposefully insert a scene of a nude or nearly nude damsel in distress, often writhing at …

“Machine Gun” Kelly’s Last Hooray Essay

The hardships of the Great Depression led to desperate times and spawned a number of desperadoes, many who operated in Texas.  In addition to most notorious of the bunch, Bonnie and Clyde, George “Machine Gun” Kelly was also a thorn in the side of Texas lawmen. Kelly was a relatively minor criminal until the kidnapping …

Loose Ends Essay

While researching Robert E. Howard’s involvement with The Lone Scouts of America and preparing the collection of material by Herbert Klatt, I’m sure there were items that went undiscovered, but the only frustrating thing was an item that I knew existed but that I couldn’t find copies of. In his December 21, 1925 letter to …

“Likely you’ve discovered Von Blon’s bookstore already.” Essay

In a letter to Harold Preece, written in August of 1928, shortly after Preece had taken up residence in Waco, Howard mentions one of his sources for books: Waco’s a Hell of a town, isn’t it? Likely you’ve discovered Von Blon’s bookstore already. The Prussian has some good books sometimes. The photo above was taken …

Kull, Exile of Atlantis Now Available Essay

Here is an update on the Kull hardcover that Rusty Burke recently posted on the REHupa website: Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press reports that the slipcases for their edition of Kull: Exile of Atlantis are reported to be on their way to him, and the books are finished and ready to go, so as soon …

J. Harvey Bailey, Dean of the American Bank Robbers Essay

In a letter to August Derleth, dated September 4, 1933, Howard writes about his attempt to get a look at a jailed notorious bank robber and associate of George “Machine Gun” Kelly while on a trip to Dallas: Speaking of outlaws, I hear that Harvey Bailey, the machine-gun bandit was captured in Ardmore, Okla. It …

Ishtar and Salome in the Hall of Mirrors Essay

In Robert E. Howard’s story “A Witch Shall Be Born,” Taramis, the beloved queen of Khauran, is kidnapped one night by an identical twin sister she thought was dead, who imprisons and tortures her, and steals her identity, ruling in her name as a cruel tyrant. This evil sister is Salome, a name familiar from …

Isaac M. Howard in the 1800s Essay

We’ve all heard the story of how Isaac M. Howard (above) ended up in Texas and got his start in the medical field. For those that don’t remember, here’s L. Sprague de Camp in Dark Valley Destiny: The stable organization of the Howard family was disrupted by the death of James Henry [Isaac Howard’s maternal grandfather] …

If Wishes were Horses — Part Two Essay

They of the East ride gallant steeds, And each knight wears a crown – We fight on foot as our forebears fought And we drag the riders down. — Robert E. Howard, “A Marching Song of Connacht” I’ve opened this post with the above stanza because it seems to embody a curious omission in REH’s …

If Wishes were Horses — Part One Essay

“Better a man’s steed, than a man’s slave, master,” said the girl. “Aye,” he answered, “for there is nobility in a good horse.” — Robert E. Howard, “The Slave-Princess” The above must be the slightest, most tenuous REH quote I’ve ever used as a springboard for a post yet. I’ll be citing other references to …

If Wishes Were Horses — Part 5b: The Wolf Brothers Essay

As described in the previous installment of this series, the fiercely independent and often predatory Cossacks were a thorn in the side of a good many rulers, from Poland to Russia to the Turkish Empire. Being fighters without equal, though, they were useful to have on one’s side in wartime. The trouble was getting them …

If Wishes Were Horses — Part 5a: Scalplock & Sabre Essay

The men were a strange picturesque band – tall and lean, most of them, as men become who spend their lives in the saddle. Indeed, they seemed not entirely at home on the water. They were burnt dark by the sun; beardless, their moustaches drooped below their chins; their heads were shaven except for a …

I Put a Spell on You: Robert E. Howard’s Conjure and Voodoo Stories Essay

He had thought of the South as a sunny, lazy land washed by soft breezes laden with spice and warm blossoms, where life ran tranquilly to the rhythm of black folk singing in sun-bathed cottonfields. But now he had discovered another, unsuspected side – a dark, brooding, fear-haunted side… — “Pigeons from Hell,” The Horror …

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