Talk:Robert E. Howard

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Civil War vets?[edit]

In the years since Conan had been created, Howard found himself increasingly fascinated with the history and lore of Texas and the American Southwest. Many of his letters to H. P. Lovecraft ran for a dozen pages or more, filled with stories he had picked up from elderly Civil War veterans

This took place past 1930 if I read the article correctly, which would mean anyone who had been, say, 15 years old in 1860 (near the start of the civil war), would have been 85 years old in 1930. Is this reasonable? I didn't see a source for this particular info.

REH portal[edit]

While its still under construction, I have started a portal for Robert E. Howard and his works at Portal:Robert E. Howard (Shortcut - P:REH). Most of the content is just place holder text at the moment but it is beginning to take shape. Contributions and feedback are welcome. - AdamBMorgan (talk) 18:18, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


I'm at a loss to understand why User:Unionsoap reverted a whole series of changes by myself that were fully explained in edit comments and also an edit made by User:Tiptoety. As that editor has not provided any explanation for these reverts, and then reverted yet again with no comment after I pointed out that no justification was given -- and judging by some edits that account has made elsewhere -- I suspect it's just reverting for the sake of reverting. Since I don't want to get into an edit war with a person who has demonstrated a willingness to war over things he/she doesn't even bother to give any reasons for, I have filed a request for a third opinion.

Unionsoap's revert can be seen here and here. For the changes (and accompanying explanations) made by myself and Tiptoey, see the recent edit history. DreamGuy (talk) 14:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

I came from the Third Opinion site. I think that since unionsoap has not provided any explanation, then his changes should not stand until he explains himself. I have reverted him in the meantime. Todavia no se (talk) 18:11, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

He was gay.[edit] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

What nonsense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:38, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The reference doesn't say he was gay, a reader's comment does. Not a Wiki-reliable source. Piano non troppo (talk) 20:31, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Expansion, splitting and citations needed[edit]

Just so it's clear what I'm doing: I've just expanded the article, which I have been working on for a few months now. I'm hoping to eventually get it to Featured Article status and I have baed my expansion on existing featured biographies such as that of Samuel Johnson. However, I haven't finished the entire thing, so I have put [citation needed] tags whereever I think I need to put a citation eventually. I do intend to do this eventually (unless someone else wants to fill them in, of course). This is mostly in th "Writing" section which I haven't touched on as much as the biography itself. Shortly after uploading the new version of the biography, I realised it was too big (about 140kb) which was slowing down my computer as I did a little pruning. As per Wikipedia:Splitting, and again inspired by the Samuel Johnson article, I have made three daughter articles (Legacy, Character and Health). - AdamBMorgan (talk) 20:23, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

You've so substantially changed this article, it's difficult to compare versions. My overall impression is that you have removed factual material (some of it cited), and added a fairly large amount of material that is trivia, WP:PEACOCK "great mythic figures", and original research "whose pop-culture imprint might be compared". The fact that it's someone else's published peacock doesn't change that it's unencyclopedic.
You very largely reworked the material on suicide, changing the implication from his long being suicidal to an apologetic implying he was not: completely removing passages such as "Howard's writings reveal that he planned to kill himself while young and in health. Friends recall him defending the act of suicide as a valid alternative as early as eighteen years old" and replacing it with "While Howard did talk of suicide during his life, statistics show that one out of three teenagers contemplate suicide and the details of Howard's are normal".
Your stated purpose was to trim the article because it was "slowing your computer". If that's a problem, then the place to start would be removing or making smaller the numerous photos. (Particularly the off-topic picture of a rock group??)
I don't know Howard particularly well, but overall, I wouldn't definitely say your changes were an improvement. You removed and reworked of dozens of other editors from the last year. For such sweeping changes, it would have been better for you to ask before making them. Your changes may put other editors to a lot of work, fixing them. Piano non troppo (talk) 21:12, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Taking your points in turn:
1) I made a single large change so the comparison can be made here. The "Great Mythic Figure" quote adds to the information it references and hence is not WP:PEACOCK; that only applies if it is added "without imparting verifiable information". Additionally, someone else's published peacock is encyclopedic because cited quotations are explicitly exempted from WP:PEACOCK. I have not, to my knowledge, removed any previously cited data.
2) "Howard's writings reveal that he planned to kill himself while young and in health" was both unreferenced and Original Research. I have found nothing in the biographies, essays and websites available to me to suggest that this is true. "While Howard did talk of suicide during his life..." meanwhile is cited and verfiable. Nor have I whitewashed this area. I have clearly set out the different views on the subject, especially in the relevent daughter article Robert E. Howard's health.
3) The slowness merely alerted me to the problem. The actual trimming is based on Wikipedia:Article size and Wikipedia:Splitting. Anything above about 60kb should really be split. 140kb (which doesn't include the pictures) is a little too much. The article will probably need to be split again, actually, as its still a bit above the recommendation (probably Early Life if I continue to mimic Samuel Johnson). That can wait, however.
4) I disagree. The policy Wikipedia:Be bold is clear on this. Besides, every single thing I have added is referenced. This is why it took me months to get the article ready; I'm working towards a featured article.
I believe my edits have been for the better, adding properly cited neutral information from reliable sources to an article that prevously lacked this.- AdamBMorgan (talk) 23:41, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your considered response. This article you created is a good piece of work Robert E. Howard's health However, the fact that you have spent months on something doesn't mean you can largely rewrite an article. I'm not going to pursue this, because others need to weigh in. But peacock is peacock, it doesn't matter if a radiant being writes it in the sky, and has it published in 1000 languages. Peacock remains unencyclopedic. You seem to be a fan of following the letter of the law, citing Wikipedia:Article size and Wikipedia:Splitting. My point is that if you were really concerned about performance, you'd delete the rock and roll picture that you added, rather than cite guidelines. You are using Wikipedia as a platform for trivia and fandom. Your changes to this article are not always encyclopedic. Piano non troppo (talk) 23:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

What stories?[edit]

The article says:

"Howard had written nine Conan stories before the first saw print."

Is there some chronological list over these stories?

"Howard then took a short break from Conan after his initial burst of stories, returning to the character in mid-1933. These stories, his "middle period," are routine and considered the weakest of the series."

Is there a list over these stories as well? It says in the article that the first Conan story after his middle period was The Devil in Iron, so I assume all published after that is considered his late and last period. (talk) 01:14, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

racism re Mexicans[edit]

While the informaiton on how mexicans are portrayed is mostly true the sentence "The only exception is the sympathetic portrayal of a Mexican sharecropper in "The Horror From the Mound."[241]" Is, in my opinion, in accurate. In the story "Black Wind Blowing" the hero intorduces his new bride to his Mexican man of all work "The old Mexican hid his astonishment with a low bow, and said, with the natural courtliness of his race: _"Buenas noches, senora!_ Welcome to the _hacienda_." Later leaving the bride under the protection of that Mexican:

"Trust me, _senor!"_ Old Sanchez's face was grim as he fondled the

worn butt of his old single-action Colt. Men had died before that black muzzle in the wild old days when Sanchez had ridden with Pancho Villa. Sanchez could be depended on. Glanton clapped him on the back, leaped into the Ford and roared away southward."

While this second part may only indicate that he honors this particular Mexican the earlier mentioned passage seems to embrace all mexicans. I"m by no means an expert on Howard and this is a minor and, frankly, lousy story, furthur different stories may take different attitudes because of the central character, that is, we can not attribute to Howard the beliefs of everyone of his characters, so I will leave it to someone better versed in Howard to check my source and modify the line. The text is posted at project guttenburg. (talk) 12:43, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Howard's religion[edit]

Anyone know what it was? I'm guessing Protestant —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Jewish, I think[edit]

I think he's Jewish. See here: [1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:03, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Howard's listed ethnicity[edit]

This info is in the body of the article:

Howard was proud of his Irish ancestry at a time when the Irish were considered an undesirable minority group themselves.[161] He was consciously defining himself as part of a minority group and most of his characters are also of Irish origin in some way (including the prehistoric Kull and Conan, who both belong to racial groups that later become the Celts).

Yet, the bio box has his ethnicity currently listed as "Scottish American." Is it both?? This needs corrected... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Evenrød (talkcontribs) 10:18, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

How can someone be listed as Irish American, if they have a surname called Howard, being a VERY English surname? (talk) 03:59, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

By being Irish-American. Funny how names work like that. For example, my last name is Luna. I, however, have no ethnic connection with any ethnicity that uses that name commonly. Plus, I seem to recall that the Irish and the English have had some sporadic contact over the years. danzig138 (talk) 05:34, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Two navigation boxes[edit]

There are two Speculative fiction writer navigational boxes for Howard, with title bars "Works by Robert E. Howard" and "Robert E. Howard" (template REH "2"). Should they somehow link each other?

There is some discussion at Talk: L. Sprague de Camp#Conan the Barbarian (today) and perhaps someday at Talk: Robert E. Howard, Template talk: Robert E. Howard, or Template talk: Robert E. Howard 2 (which all now carry this cross-reference).

--P64 (talk) 15:39, 3 April 2013 (UTC)


Maybe it could be of interest to include some of this info in the article:

"He began using a chronology based on theosophy in his unpublished Bran Mak Morn tale, "Men of the Shadows," of late 1925 or early 1926. Shanks surveys the thesophical literature and deduces from the elements REH used, as well as the book’s wide circulation at the time, that The Story of Atlantis (1896) by William Scott-Elliot was most likely Howard’s principal reference. This book contains maps of antediluvian epochs superimposed on the outlines of present-day continents, much like the Hyborian Age ones that REH plotted himself. Still, REH cherry-picked and altered the ideas he took. Many of these ended up in the Kull stories and his pseudo-scientific essay "The Hyborian Age," which he did not intend for publication, but to be a guide describing a chronological and geographical framework that would help him maintain consistency and add verisimilitude as he wrote his new Conan stories. As he progressed through the Kull stories, successive drafts of "The Hyborian Age," and the Conan and other tales, though, Howard utilized fewer and fewer theosophical concepts, and he telescoped the chronology from hundreds of thousands of years to a few thousand years as he developed and firmed up his view of prehistory. In tracing this development, Shanks demonstrates as unnecessary the conjectual contortions Dale Rippke goes through in his The Hyborian Heresies (Wildcat, 2004) in attempting to reconcile REH’s chronology with that of modern science." 2A02:FE0:C900:1:ADC4:D2C2:F604:A44D (talk) 22:39, 23 August 2013 (UTC)


Harry Lamb?[edit]

The article references Harry Lamb, a football player, as a writing influence on Robert E. Howard. This should CLEARLY be Harold Lamb, whom Robert E. Howard listed as one of his favorite writers. See the wikipedia article on Harold Lamb. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:12, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Racism Redux[edit]

The section on Robert E. Howard's racism seems incredibly biased toward downplaying and apologizing for his overtly racist viewpoints. As late as July of 1935, he was telling H. P. Lovecraft that "Texas, whatever its virtues or faults, is a white man’s state, and that fact is reflected in the manner of the non-white races. They know their place." He may have been a complex character, and he may have been living in a racist time and culture (although many, many writers in the 1930s did in fact resist racism), but that doesn't changed the fact that he regularly espoused racialist and white supremacist ideas, including disparaging remarks about African Americans, Mexicans, Polish immigrants, Jews, Asians, and others. We don't see, for example, the Ezra Pound wiki page trying to explain away the author's anti-semitism. I think the fact of Howard's racism should be expressed directly. JordanAssemblage (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 04:29, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Was Conan creator Robert E Howard a Jew ? | Yahoo Answers Nov 14, 2011 - Robert E Howard created the character Conan the Barbarian, popularised in comics, books and film. Howard's characters first appeared in pulp ...