H. P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard are two of the titans of weird fiction of their era. Dominating the pages of Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s, they have gained worldwide followings for their compelling writings and also for the very different lives they led. The two writers came in touch in 1930, when Howard wrote to Lovecraft via Weird Tales. A rich and vibrant correspondence immediately ensued. Both writers were fascinated with the past, especially the history of Roman and Celtic Britain, and their letters are full of intriguing discussions of contemporary theories on this subject.
Gradually, a new discussion came to the fore-a complex dispute over the respective virtues of barbarism and civilisation, the frontier and settled life, and the physical and the mental. Lovecraft, a scion of centuries-old New England, and Howard, a product of recently settled Texas, were diametrically opposed on these and other issues, and each writes compellingly of his beliefs, attitudes, and theories. The result is a dramatic debate-livened by wit, learning, and personal revelation-that is as enthralling as the fiction they were writing at the time. All the letters have been exhaustively annotated by the editors.