Introduction

Post Oaks & Sand Roughs is a fictionalized semi-autobiographical adventure novel by Robert E. Howard. The novel makes clear that Smith and Vinson were Howard’s most important friends during his formative years as a writer. The story is a fictional account of Robert E. Howard’s life. The viewpoint character is named Stephen Costigan but is probably not intended to be the same as Sailor Steve Costigan from Howard’s boxing stories. 

It was completed and submitted to an unnamed publisher circa October/November 1928. It didn’t get published. It was not published until 1989 in France by NéO (Nouvelles Editions Oswald) under the title of “Le Rebelle”.

Here’s from a letter (#093) Howard wrote to Harold Preece, circa December 1928:

I haven’t heard from the novel but know it won’t be accepted. I wouldn’t take it myself if I were a publisher. I’ll try to rewrite and believe I will eventually sell it. Still, I doubt it, as I’ve cursed out every known cult, creed and nationality in it; if any man takes it, he’ll be either unusually broad minded or else a misanthrope.

He sent his friend Tevis Clyde Smith a letter (#101) circa February 1929, which contained a list of what he sold and what was rejected:

Of course I started scores which I never completed, and completed several which I never sent off, but this list comprises the majority of those I did send off. In addition, I collaborated with one Clyde Smith on a short story and rewrote a novel, to say nothing of writing a novel on my own.

The collaboration with Smith was ‘Diogenes of Today’, the rewrite was ‘West of the Rio Grande, and the novel ‘Post Oaks and Sand Rough’.

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