Howard, Robert E.: 

Among the great pulp writers whose work continues to enthrall new generations of readers—Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.P. Lovecraft, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler—few were as versatile as Robert E. Howard. Best known as the creator of Conan, Howard also wrote not only of other memorable fantasy characters, such as Puritan swordsman Solomon Kane and Pictish king Bran Mak Morn, but hundreds of stories of boxing, detection, westerns, horror, “weird menace,” desert adventure, lost race, historicals, “spicies”, even “true confessions.”  

Robert E. Howard is best known as the father of “sword and sorcery” fiction, an exciting blend of swashbuckling action and supernatural horror epitomized by his characters King Kull, barbarian usurper of the  throne of fabled Valusia, and Conan, who wanders the Hyborian Age “to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.”

But the young Texas author was far more gifted and versatile than many readers know: in a career that lasted only twelve years before his untimely death (see note at page end), he wrote some 300 stories and 800 poems, covering an astonishing variety of subject matter—fantasy, boxing, westerns, horror, adventure, historical, detective, spicy, even confessions—running the gamut from dark fantasy to broad humor, from brooding horror to gentle love story. This is the Ballentine First Edition.


Wandering Star was a UK small press that published six books under the Robert E. Howard Library of Classics title. These included three new illustrated editions of Robert E. Howard's original Conan stories. It made an effort both to restore Howard's original manuscripts and to provide a more scholarly and historical view of the Conan stories.

The three volumes were published in limited, "ultra limited", and leatherbound editions:

  • Conan of Cimmeria: Volume One (1932-1933) (collection) • Robert E. Howard • 2003
  • Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Two (1934) (collection) • Robert E. Howard • 2004
  • Conan of Cimmeria: Volume Three (1935-1936) (collection) • Robert E. Howard •  2009

The volumes include Howard's notes on the fictional setting and letters and poems concerning the genesis of his ideas as well as fragments and synopses. Between them, they make all of the original unedited Robert E. Howard stories available to readers for the first time

Full color paintings · Profusely illustrated with exquisite black and white line work throughout · Slipcased with embossed color plate · Dust jacket · Gilt edged · Embossed cover · Signed and numbered by award-winning artists - these are stunning.

Howard R.E. (10) Howard R.E. (11) Howard R.E. (13)Howard R.E. (15) Howard R.E. (16) Howard R.E. (18)Howard R.E. (19 Howard R.E. (20)Howard R.E. (22)

Subterranean Press continued this series of limited editions, three volumes have been done to date, each illustrated with color plates and black and white illustrations illuminating the text. The intention is to match or better the quality of materials used in the Wandering Star editions. We have a matched # set.        

Howard R.E. (01) Howard R.E. (02) Howard R.E. (03) Howard R.E. (04) Howard R.E. (05)Howard R.E. (06) Howard R.E. (07) Howard R.E. (08)


The Weird Works of Robert E. Howard - Wildside Press First Editions:




                Fax - First Edition                                           Grant - First Edition                                     Large TPB                                                    Grant - Signed/Limited


                                                                                                                                  Gollancz - First Editions             





                                                                                                                                 B- Formats



Lancer/Ace paperback editions, 1966-1977

The first comprehensive paperback edition, which compiled the existing Howard and non-Howard stories together with new non-Howard stories in order of internal chronology, to form a complete account of Conan's life. Lancer Books initially numbered its volumes in order of publication, switching to a chronological numbering for volumes published later and reprints of the earlier volumes. Lancer went out of business before bringing out the entire series, and publication was completed by Ace Books.

This edition of the stories was the one that introduced Conan into popular culture. Undertaken under the direction of de Camp and Carter, it includes all the original Howard material, including that left unpublished in his lifetime and fragments and outlines. De Camp edited much of the material and he and Carter completed the stories that were not in finished form. New stories written entirely by themselves were added as well. In the following list, volumes 6 and 11–12 do not contain any material by Howard. Of the thirty-five stories in the other eight volumes, nineteen were published or completed by Howard during his lifetime, ten are rewritten or completed from his manuscripts, fragments or synopses, and six are the sole work of de Camp and Carter. Eight of the eventual twelve volumes published in this series featured dynamic cover paintings by Frank Frazetta that, for many fans, presented the "definitive" impression of Conan and his world.


Other paperbacks:





                                                                    TPB’s                                                                                                          B- Format

The Tragic End:

In the weeks before his suicide, Howard wrote to Kline giving his agent instructions of what to do in case of his death, he wrote his last will and testament, and he borrowed a .380 Colt Automatic from his friend Lindsey Tyson. On June 10, he drove to Brownwood and bought a burial plot for the whole family. On the night before his suicide, when his father confirmed that his mother was finally dying, he asked where his father would go afterwards. Isaac Howard replied that he would go wherever his son went, thinking he meant to leave Cross Plains. It is possible that Howard thought his father would join him in ending their lives together as a family.

In June 1936, as Hester Howard slipped into her final coma, her son maintained a death vigil with his father and friends of the family, getting little sleep, drinking huge amounts of coffee, and growing more despondent. On the morning of June 11, 1936, Howard asked one of his mother's nurses, a Mrs. Green, if she would ever regain consciousness. When she told him no, he walked out to his car in the driveway, took the pistol from the glove box, and shot himself in the head. His father and another doctor rushed out, but the wound was too grievous for anything to be done. Howard lived for another eight hours, dying at 4 pm; his mother died the following day. On June 14, 1936 a double funeral service was held at Cross Plains First Baptist Church, and both were buried in Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood, Texas.

"All fled, all done, so lift me on the pyre; The feast is over and the lamps expire.” Howard was 30.

—Howard's suicide note, found in his typewriter after the event. The lines were taken from the poem "The House of Cæsar" by Viola Garvin.