Monday, July 14, 2008

Robert E Howard (1933) Letter - with some other anecdotes

Robert E Howard, Letter to Lovecraft July ?, 1933

Dear Mr. Lovecraft:
I am sending on to you the enclosed manuscript, according to instructions. I read it the same day I received it, and I hardly know how to express my admiration for the splendid work you and Mr. Price have accomplished. I was most intrigued by the personalities of "Etienne de Marigny" and "Ward Phillips"! And hope these fine characters will be used again.
My sensations while reading this story are rather difficult to describe. The effect of reality was remarkable. Some of the speculations were over my head, at the first reading--not from any lack of clarity, but simply because of their cosmic depth.
The Dhole-haunted planet of Yaddith conjures up tantalizing vistas of surmise, and I hope you will use it in future stories. I hope, too, that you'll decide to get poor Randolph Carter out of his frightful predicament. I remember "The Silver Key"--yet remember is hardly the word to use. I have constantly referred to that story in my meditations ever since I read it, years ago--have probably thought of it more than any other story that ever appeared in Weird Tales. There was something about it that struck deep. I read it aloud to Tevis Clyde Smith, and he agreed with me as to its cosmic depth.
I should be answering herewith your recent--and as always, interesting letter; but I'm swamped with work just now. However, I hope to answer it in full soon. Our points of disagreement are not so radical as I had previously thought.
Thanks for the picture folder, and please present my best wishes to Mr. Long. I here enclose a few snaps taken at old Fort McKavett, which lies in Menard County, 155 miles southwest of here, three miles from the head of the San Saba River, mentioned in tale and fable, and in connection with the Lost Bowie Mine, mentioned in a previous letter. McKavett is fascinating--a village of ruins and semiruins, people living in the old unruined barracks and soldier's quarters, among the remnants of other buildings which have not stood the test of time. I was in too big a hurry to get much of its history, or many pictures, but I hope to return there some day for more data. The fort was established in 1871 by the Federal government which was foolish enough to station negro troops there; their arrogance led to a fierce and bloody war between the fort and the inhabitants of the country--a wild, hilly, rocky, thickly timbered expanse--in which the natives had the best of it, and in 1883 the fort was definitely abandoned. Don't bother to return these snaps; I have duplicates of them.
Robert E. Howard


I found some brief anecdotes from an article in Frontier Times Magazine of Vol 15 # 9 June 1938 on the Fort.

Fort McKavett Was A Frontier Post
Fort McKavett, frontier outpost in Menard county near the Schleicher county line, established in 1852, abandoned by order of General Twiggs in 1860, was reoccupied by troops on April 1, 1868, continuing the drama that marked the early developments in the building of a West Texas empire.

I also found this RANGE CANNING Co. 1898 mutton label and this "W. B. Tobin's" c. 1890 chili-con-carne label on line. Apparently, another claim to fame!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've found your blog a few days ago and I think it's amazing. I also have included you in my RSS feed. I have a question for you. Where do you get all this information? John Hay Library at Brown University?

Thank you :)


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