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Blood & Thunder by Mark Finn
2013
The Robert E. Howard Foundation Press
The following analysis is provided by guest proofreader W. T. Mosley.

Errors, Potential Errors, Conflicts, and Inconsistencies

ERRORS

Page 14 - 'Issac' should be 'Isaac'.

Page 21 - "Examiner's" should be "Examiners'"

Page 24 - it is stated, "Medical Examiners Board", as if that were the formal name of the organization. In Texas, the Medical Practices Act of 1901 created three medical boards, including the Texas Board of Medical Examiners. In 1907, all three boards were supplanted by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. See https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/20135/tsl-20135.html

Page 39 - 'illicit' should be 'elicit'

Page 44 - 'Gypsum' should not be capitalized.

Page 48 - 'highway 36' should be 'Highway 36'

Page 48 - "No more well water" is technically incorrect, as the Cross Plains municipal water supply then came (and still comes) from a well or wells, the only difference being communal wells vs. private wells.

Page 49 - 'clients' should be 'patients'

Page 49 - 'Axe Man' should be 'Axman' or 'Axeman'. The recognized term used for the killer at the time was usually 'Axman' although 'Axeman' was also frequently used in the area newspapers. History knows the criminal as The Axeman of New Orleans. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axeman_of_New_Orleans

Page 49 - The Axeman of New Orleans was a serial killer, not a spree killer.

Page 49 - At least seven people died by the Axeman's hand, not just six.

Page 54 - 'god-fearing' should be 'God-fearing'.

Page 61 - 'country side' should be 'countryside'.

Page 112 - it is stated, "about which he could care less", when the proper term should be 'about which he couldn't care less'.

Page 112 - it is stated, "had began", when the proper term should be 'had begun'.

page 115 - 'ringer' should be 'wringer'

Page 119 - it is stated, "the axe-murder slaying families", which should be 'axe-murderer slaying families'.

Page 119 - it is stated, "New Orleans Axe-Man". See comments page 49 above and 'CONFLICTS' comments pages 49 and 50.

Page 123 - "parent's" should be "parents'".

Page 144 - "Singer in the Shadows" should be 'Singers in the Shadows'.

Page 152 - 'rough neck' should be 'roughneck'.

Page 182 - "The Sowers of Thunder" should be 'The Sowers of the Thunder'.

Page 223 - 'just desserts' should be 'just deserts'.

Page 224 - "form on Nabodinus" should be 'form of Nabodinus'.

Page 229 - 'Peshkhuari' should be 'Peshkhauri'.

Page 229 - 'parlay' should be 'parley'.

Page 230 - in the excerpt from The People of the Black Circle, "Cimmerian" should be 'Cimmeria'.

Page 230 - it is stated that the Wizards (of Yimsha) kill Khemsa, but they do not do so as implied. They do mortally injure him but he lives long enough to later give Conan his magic Stygian girdle.

Page 231 - The correct name for Robert's work being discussed is indeed The Hour of the Dragon, as first cited, but subsequently it becomes just 'Hour of the Dragon'.

Page 232 - The crucified Conan did not fend off a "bird of prey", as vultures are scavengers and opportunistic predators, not true birds of prey as are falcons.

Page 232 - it is stated, "So, the evil sister has him crucified". Nowhere in the story A Witch Shall Be Born is this act by Salome/Taramis seen to occur. On the contrary, it is her consort Constantius who orders Conan to be taken alive and who apparently orders and implements his subsequent crucifixion.

Page 232 - 'parlays' should be 'parleys'.

Page 233 - The 'Captain of the Guard' whom Conan has crucified is none other than Constantius, who had seen to Conan's own crucifixion earlier, but he was Salome's consort, not her captain of the guard. With the mercenary Shemites in full control of the city, there was apparently no need of a separate palace guard any longer.

Page 233 - "but the Wright published" should be 'but then Wright published'.

Page 233 - The correct name for Robert's work cited is 'Jewels of Gwahlur', not "The Jewels of Gwahlur" as is indicated.

Page 239 - The term 'ad nauseum' should be 'ad nauseam'.

Page 244 - A comment regarding the caption of the photograph of the Cross Plains High School Faculty in 1935 states, "Not pictured amid these pillars of the community: Novalyne Price". Yet this is the exact same photograph on display in the REH Museum, and the caption to that photograph states that Novalyne Price is the woman second from the right in the front row. Other sources prove that Novalyne Price is indeed in the photograph, although the caption to the museum photograph identifies her as Novalyne Price Ellis, which is incorrect; in 1935 she was still unmarried and her surname was 'Price'.

Page 247 - 'leaning' should be 'learning'.

Page 256 - it is stated, "Novalyne tried to get Robert to go to social functions with him"; 'him' should be 'her'.

Page 268 - In Texas, the term used for "pick up trucks" is 'pickup trucks'.

Page 274 - 'Bumpo' should be 'Bumppo'.

Page 283 - it is stated, concerning Lavaca Grimes' punching out of her husband, "...and that scares the sheriff and Elkins away". Elkins, meaning Breckinridge, was not scared away, only the sheriff, his posse, and the tenderfoot Van Brock were.

Page 288 - 'tenants' should be 'tenets'.

Page 289 - it is stated, "In the last year of his life, Otto Binder also represented Robert's work". Since Otto Binder died in 1974, this is hardly likely. What is meant - but not properly stated - is, 'In the last year of Robert's life, Otto Binder also represented his work'. Later in the same sentence, the same error occurs again with "as his letter to Novalyne Price from 1936 revealed", wherein 'his' implies that it was Otto Binder's letter instead of being Robert's.

Page 295 - it is stated, "The men carried Robert back into house". The 'the' is missing between 'into' and 'house'.

Page 295 - it is stated, "...once thought to have been paraphrased from and Ernest Dowson poem...". The 'and' should be 'an'.

Page 295 - The term 'ad nauseum' should be 'ad nauseam'

Page 298 - it is stated, "At least twelve people took their own life between 1922 and 1928"; 'life' should be 'lives'.

Page 299 - 'moreso' should be 'more so'.

Page 307 - 'prophesy' should be 'prophecy' (twice).

Page 335 - it is stated, concerning the film Conan the Barbarian, "...to casting a young, then-unknown body builder named Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role". Schwarzenegger was hardly an unknown then; at the time of casting he was the world's most famous bodybuilder and had already appeared in five feature films, two television series, and two TV movies.

Page 337 - "writer's" should be 'writers'.

Page 337 - 'Robet' should be 'Robert'.

Page 337 - "Camp's" should be 'Camps'.

Page 344 - it is stated, "As the first full-length biography of Robert E. Howard in twenty-five years, it is inevitable that I...". For this sentence to be closer to being grammatically correct, 'biography' should be replaced with 'biographer'.

Page 345 - it is stated, "...many of the comments I received were people who were grateful...". A 'from' seems to be missing between 'were' and 'people'.


POTENTIAL ERRORS

General

In many cases, excerpted quotes don't match the original story text verbiage as found in online sources. However, since the various sources, online and otherwise, may have all been polluted by deCamp, Carter, and others as equally misguided, it is difficult to tell now what is accurate and what is not. Example: Page 283 - in the extract from The Haunted Mountain that is provided, 'detests' should be 'despises' and 'Aunt Lavaca Grimes' should be just 'Aunt Lavaca' to match the original text.

Page 20 - it is stated that Isaac Howard's date of birth was April 1, 1872. Records from three different U.S. Censuses give birth years of 1871, 1872, and 1873. Isaac's death certificate and headstone both indicate 1871. See https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/12910424/isaac-mordecai-howard

Page 20 - it is stated that Isaac Howard was the second youngest of six children. Genealogical records indicate that there were seven children.

Page 20 - it is stated, "...she moved her six children..."; whereas genealogical records indicate that there were seven children.

Page 21 - it is stated, "Sarah Jane Martin gave birth to ten children...". Genealogical records indicate that there were but six children.

Page 21 - it is stated, "Alice Wynne bore him six more children". Genealogical records indicate that there were but three more children.

Pages 21-22 - it is stated, "Ervin returned south in 1890, buying a farm and a house in Exeter, Missouri". The move to New Mexico was from Lampasas, Texas, which is east of New Mexico, and the move to Missouri would have been northeast from New Mexico. Thus it is unclear as to which location 'south' refers.

Page 23 - it is stated, concerning Isaac Howard's marriage to Hester Ervin in 1904, "He was thirty two" and "That he chose a woman two years older than him..". Both statements indicate that Isaac was born in 1872, but this is probably not the case. See comments for page 20 in this section.

Page 24 - it is stated, "According to Robert's birth record, Hester was now miraculously five years younger than Isaac". The birth certificate of Robert E. Howard seen below does not show his parents' ages at all. Note also that his middle name is misspelled as 'Ervine'. Is it possible that an earlier birth certificate (No. 1?) exists?
Blood & Thunder.

Page 50 - Robert's account of the murders states, "The ax-man had butchered an entire family - hacked a young man and his wife to death - though they eventually recovered." Needless to say, this account makes no sense. Is this verbiage quoted verbatim?

Page 120 - it is stated, "...he was promoted to head soda jerk , making a whopping eighty dollars a week." Is it certain that the 'eighty dollars a week' is correct? The weekly wage for a typical workingman in 1926 was about thirty dollars, and yet this astonishingly high wage is being paid for working at a drug store soda fountain in a small Texas town? Was the oil boom responsible for such high wages (and seven-day work weeks)?

Page 132 - 'archeology' is an obsolete variant spelling of 'archaeology'.

Page 243 - 'God All-Mighty' is traditionally rendered as 'God Almighty'.

Page 270 - It is stated, concerning Robert's story, The Horror from the Mound, "Years later, it informed the Weird West trend as one of the first stories ever written in the genre". This sentence makes no sense; is 'informed' the intended word here?

Pages 293- 294 - it is stated that the source of Robert's phrase "sere and yellow leaf" was Macbeth, which features 'sear, the yellow leaf' instead of the exact phrase used by Robert. Robert likely read Thomas Hardy, as he and Hardy shared the same opinion regarding the detrimental, corrupting influence of civilization on mankind. One of Hardy's short stories, The Three Strangers (1883), used to be required reading in Texas high schools, and an excerpt from near the end of this story contains an exact match to Robert's phrase:

The grass has long been green on the graves of Shepherd Fennel and his frugal wife; the guests who made up the christening party have mainly followed their entertainers to the tomb; the baby in whose honor they all had met is a matron in the sere and yellow leaf.

Page 302 - it is stated, "Robert was a sensitive child, far and away the most naturally smart person he came into contact with". This sentence makes no sense as it is written; are some words missing?

Page 304 - it is stated, "Daughtery told Novalyne Price that his father wasn't interested in money...". The discussion concerns Isaac Howard, Robert's father, but the sentence is structured improperly to covey that information.

Page 306 - it is stated that the name of the Howards' cow was 'Delphi', whereas other sources report it to have been 'Delhi', as in New Delhi, India.


CONFLICTS

Page 50 - 'Axe-Man' conflicts with 'Axe Man' found on page 49, and in any event, the recognized terms used for the killer at the time was usually 'Axman' although 'Axeman' was also frequently used in the area newspapers. History knows the criminal as The Axeman of New Orleans.

Page 123 - It is stated, "Exhausted by a year and a half of menial jobs, no money, and professional rejections... He spent a few weeks at home in August, finally free of the drug store...". Yet on page 120 it is stated, "...he was promoted to head soda jerk , making a whopping eighty dollars a week. It was great money, but he spent it on nothing, as he was too tired...". If Robert had been making 'great money' at the drug store, but 'spent it on nothing', then why did he have 'no money' when he finally quit working there?

Page 196 - it is stated, concerning Pigeons From Hell, "There's no mystery, though, as to where Robert cribbed the fantastic elements for the story - from his own East Texas childhood and the ghost stories that his "Aunt" Mary Bohannon used to tell him". Yet, on page 50, credit for the horrific imagery of the story is given to the Howard family's experience with the 1918-1919 Axeman of New Orleans and his crimes.

Page 279 - it is stated, "Conan was a combination of various people he knew". The backstory of this statement is found on pages 235-236, but later on page 236, this story is refuted altogether in a discussion Robert later had with Novalyne Price, of which an excerpt reads, "I doubt any writer knows for sure where his characters come from".

Page 313 - it is stated, "Isaac surreptitiously had all of the guns removed from the house by his friends". Yet on page 298, we find matters to be less definite: "Isaac Howard may have corralled his friends into removing Robert's guns and weapons from the house...".

Page 357 - it is stated, "...wherein Dave talks about meeting Robert at the post office some thirty minutes before he killed himself". Yet on page 294, it is stated "...he ran into Robert coming out of the post office on the morning of June 11th. They talked for nearly an hour".


INCONSISTENCIES

General

The Cover says 'Blood & Thunder' but the flyleaf says 'Blood and Thunder'.

'Robert' and 'Howard' are frequently used interchangeably and often at the most inopportune occasions.

Throughout the text, we find 'Tevis Clyde Smith', 'Clyde Smith', and 'Smith' used interchangeably and inconsistently.

'Breck' and 'Elkins' are frequently used interchangeably.

One of Robert's friends is identified as both 'Lindsay' and 'Lindsey' Tyson.

Story and book names throughout the text are sometimes italicized, other times found in quotation marks.

Throughout the text, 'boomtown' and 'boom town' are frequently used interchangeably.

Throughout the text, 'caregiver' and 'care giver' are frequently used interchangeably.

Throughout the text, the name of Novalyne Price's family doctor is given as 'Daugherty' (pg. 258-259), 'Daughtery' (pg. 304), and 'Daughterty' (pg. 369). Which spelling, if any, is correct?

Page 102 - in the text, we find both '21st century' and 'twenty-first century'.

Page 141 - 'puritan' is capitalized everywhere within the book except here.

Page 185 - The 'Three Musketeers' of Weird Tales are identified as Robert, Lovecraft, and Smith, these being one by first name and two by last ones. Last names should be used for consistency. See second item under 'General' in this section.

Page 214 - Here "The Frost Giant's Daughter" appears without a hyphen, this being the only such instance in the book.

Page 214 - it is stated, "It's a couple of snow giant brothers", whereas it should be 'frost-giant' brothers.

Page 215 - it is stated, "Conan, the outlander, the Other, the Cimmerian, the Barbarian"; 'outlander' should be 'Outlander' for consistency.

Page 233 - the author's commentary concerning a statement by Conan is included in the block quote as if it were part of the quote itself. None other in the book is so structured.

Page 268 - In the same paragraph we find 'six-shooters' and 'six shooters'.

Thank you to guest proofreader W. T. Mosley!

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