Today is the birthday of my fellow Texan, and acclaimed author Robert E. Howard.
I am honored to come out of my long drought to link to/post in full from one of my favorite daily blogs, the Rebellion Blog
Today's post from the Rebellion Blog Link: This day in historyIn this post Old Rebel perfectly describes the why of this blog/this blog's name. So thanks, Old Rebel.
Please visit the Rebellion Blog, link it, and make it a daily visit. It does not disappoint.
And now reprinted in full:
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 This day in historyIn 1906, Robert E. Howard was born. This native Texan became the king of pulp fiction, creating such memorable characters as Conan and Solomon Kane.
One of the real-life colorful characters who inspired the young writer was his grandfather, a Confederate veteran who literally "rode with Forrest":
Howard had a profound admiration for his grandfather’s exploits, a Confederate veteran, a man who “rode for four years with Bedford Forrest,” “was accounted the strongest man in his regiment and one of the strongest men in Forrest’s command. He could cleave a man from shoulder to waist with a single stroke of his saber,” [he] “loaned money, dealt some in cattle; he bought a sheep ranch, but, in the midst of a cattle country, with hired men running it, it was not a success. He wandered over into western New Mexico and worked a silver mine not far from the Arizona line” where “chief old Geronimo once stole a bunch of [his] horses.”
Howard also drew inspiration from his own Anglo-Celtic heritage. Tales of Celtic warfare fired his imagination, and certainly planted the seeds of the future exploits of Conan . In a letter to fellow author H.P. Lovecraft, Howard wrote:
Books dealing on Scottish history were easier for me to obtain than those dealing with Irish history, so in my childhood I knew infinitely more about Scottish history and legendry than Irish. I had a distinct Scottish patriotism, and liked nothing better than reading about the Scotch and English wars. I enacted these wars in my games and galloped full tilt through the mesquite on a bare-backed racing mare, hewing right and left with a Mexican machete and slicing off cactus pears which I pretended were the heads of English knights.
Howard's Conan stories portray its hero as an honest, fierce, manly, and incorruptible barbarian who cannot comprehend the soft, cynical, self-doubting, and decadent city dwellers he often has to rescue.
Not a bad example for the modern Southerner. Here's one excellent site, appropriately named Conan The Cimmerian, that celebrates Howard's pro-Southern legacy.