30 Years On, I think that “Postliberal” sums it up best
I guess I'd vaguely thought R.E. Howard was a middle-aged Victorian. Surprising to find he was a Central Texas fellow who committed suicide in 1936 at the age of 30. I've never read his books, so my only exposure was the excellent "Conan" movie.I probably had him confused with H. Rider Haggard, who died in 1925 at the age of 69 but wrote all the stuff that I ever read ("She," "People of the Mist," etc.) before 1900.
I had never noticed how easy it might be to confuse the two because of name similarity and adventure-writing. I read all the earliest Tolkien and early fantasy commentary I could get my hands on in the 1970's, and learned that JRRT had once claimed that Haggard was an influence. I was uninterested in Conan, so the two went into separate piles forever.
I started with Haggard, then got into Tolkien, and didn't read any Conan until last year. (Lively and creative story, but I had a heck of time with willing suspension of disbelief in Conan's ability to recover from dramatic injury.)
I read Conan years ago. Tolkien much later. I probably got to Conan from Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories.
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