Robert E. Howard s Weird Works Volume 1: Shadow Kingdoms.

Robert Ervin Howard (22 January 1906, Peaster, Texas – 11 June 1936, Cross Plains, Texas), was an extraordinarily prolific and inventive writer of fiction and poetry during the 1920s and 1930s.

Although best known as the creator of Conan , REH wrote hundreds of poems and over three hundred works of fiction in a wide range of genres – about half of which were published during his tragically short career.

REH was the son of Dr. Isaac Mordecai Howard, one of the southwest's most prominent pioneer physicians, and Hester Jane Ervin Howard. As a child, he lived in at least nine towns across Texas until his father settled at Cross Plains in 1919.

REH steeped himself in the folklore and history of the southwest, but his interests were far broader than this, encompassing not just Texana, but history and anthropology, sports, erotica, and poetry. All show through in various stories – crystalised by REH's growing up during the last days of America's frontier culture.

At fifteen, he began writing his tales of savage men living outside the rest of society, battling against other men, for land and pride. Though the circumstances and settings changed, the hero, or anti-hero, was always somehow a shade of the same creature – part savage, part nobleman, part poet, part pioneer – not unlike REH himself.

REH was a keen amateur boxer, participating in bouts at the local ice house. Between 1925 and 1928 had put himself through a weight and strength program, taking on really heroic proportions! He is described as an imposingly tall, dark, brawny man – with piercing blue eyes. His characters were as much himself as they were pulled from his extraordinary imagination.