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Portal:Robert E. Howard

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Professional photograph of Robert E. Howard wearing a hat and suit.
Howard in 1934

Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was an American author who wrote pulp fiction in a diverse range of genres. He is well known for his character Conan the Barbarian and is regarded as the father of the sword and sorcery subgenre.

Howard was born and raised in Texas. He spent most of his life in the town of Cross Plains, with some time spent in nearby Brownwood. A bookish and intellectual child, he was also a fan of boxing and spent some time in his late teens bodybuilding, eventually taking up amateur boxing. From the age of nine he dreamed of becoming a writer of adventure fiction but did not have real success until he was 23. Thereafter, until his death by suicide at age 30, Howard's writings were published in a wide selection of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and he became proficient in several subgenres. His greatest success occurred after his death.

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Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

— The Tower of the Elephant, 1933

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Bran Mak Morn is a hero of five pulp fiction short stories by Robert E. Howard. In the stories, most of which were first published in Weird Tales, Bran is the last king of Howard's romanticized version of the tribal race of Picts.

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Related article

Glenn Lord (1931—present) has been an agent, editor, and publisher of the prose and poetry of fellow Texan Robert E. Howard (1906-1936), and the first and most important researcher and scholar of Howard’s life and writings. He started as a Howard fan in the 1950s and tracked down then-missing copies of Howard's unpublished work, notably the contents of "The Trunk" which had been lent to E. Hoffmann Price in California. Using material from the trunk, he published a book of Howard's poetry called Always Comes Evening through Arkham House in 1957. From 1961–1973 Lord published a journal called The Howard Collector, which also contained previously unpublished material in each issue. At the recommendation of L. Sprague de Camp, he became agent for the Howard estate in 1965, a position he held until 1993. He is responsible for the first publiation of a large amount of Howard's non-Conan work.

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Members of REHupa, the Robert E. Howard Robert E. Howard United Press Association, formed in 1972. Image includes Glenn Lord standing at center.

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The Riders of Babylon

The riders of Babylon clatter forth
Like the hawk-winged scourgers of Azrael
To the meadow-lands of the South and North
And the strong-walled cities of Israel.
They harry the men of the caravans,
They bring rare plunder across the sands
To deck the throne of the great god Baal.
But Babylon's king is a broken shell
And Babylon's queen is a sprite from Hell;
And men shall say, "Here Babylon fell,"
Ere Time has forgot the tale.
The riders of Babylon come and go
From Gaza's halls to the shores of Tyre;
They shake the world from the lands of snow
To the deserts, red in the sunset's fire;
Their horses swim in a sea of gore
And the tribes of the earth bow down before;
They have chained the seas where the Cretans sail.
But Babylon's sun shall set in blood;
Her towers shall sink in a crimson flood;
And men shall say, "Here Babylon stood,"
Ere Time forgot the tale.

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