"I have followed your work in Weird Tales for several years, with great interest, and have more than once expressed my admiration for your stories both to Lovecraft and to the editors of the magazine."
-- Robert E. Howard to August Derleth 15 December, 1932
"Frankly, it seems to me that the average pseudo-scientific tale (always excepting the really fine work of such men as [Donald] Wandrei, [Jack] Williamson, [David H.] Keller and a few others) is pretty poor stuff, below the average level of the weird, detective or adventure yarn. I attribute this partly to the necessity of bending plot, action, and atmosphere to fit some scientific or mock-scientific theory or formula, and partly to the fact that readers of this type of fiction seem to demand the same plots over and over again, and to resent the slightest variation. I may be wrong, but this is the conclusion I have reached from reading the published letters of pseudo-scientific fans. All readers of the wood-pulps are more or less inclined that way (or I should say most, instead of all) but the p.s.f. seem unusually conventional. A queer paradox."
-- Robert E. Howard to August Derleth, December 1933
Many Howard fans don't realize just how much Derleth did for REH in the two decades after Bob's death. Derleth put Howard's prose and fiction between well-made, classy hardcovers for the first time. It didn't hurt that, at the time, Derleth had by far the best literary reputation of any of the regular Weird Tales authors.
Here are all of the Arkham House volumes containing Howard's works:
Derleth was a noted regional writer. He and REH liked sharing various facts and insights about their respective regions. Derleth always thought Howard would've become highly-respected for his regional writing if REH had done more with it--as he often said he would--and if Bob had lived longer.
"I wish you could see that West Texas-South New Mexico country; it’s big — damned big — gigantic stretches of desert and mountains; dry, bare, desolate, but a man’s country, if there ever was one."
"The Germans and Austrians, to my mind, over do the latter phase [of high velocity ammunition] just a little with their Mausers, Lugers and Mannlichers. I've heard of Luger bullets going right through a bone without breaking it. When a bullet from a Colt .45 automatic hits a bone, it plays havoc with it. I suppose a Luger automatic has the highest velocity and flattest trajectory of any pistol, but its shocking power is comparatively small. On the other hand, the old Colt .45 sixshooter has the most terrific shocking power of any hand gun, but its velocity is not so great as that of several other arms."
Lovecraft had forwarded to Derleth a letter and photo he (HPL) had received from Howard. "Hrobjartiana" refers to one of REH's self-bestowed nicknames, "Hrobjart Havard-son".
"Glad the Terror of the Plains [REH] proved epistolarily entertaining. When you say the word I’ll shoot along some more Hrobjartiana. He certainly looks his temperament in the snap shot….Ajax defying the lightning! Some day he ought to get a bit of that Southwestern colour down on paper."
—H. P. Lovecraft to August Derleth Mid-December, 1932
"My first impression of Derleth was that of size. He was a big man and seemed to radiate physical strength as well as mental. Many writers are on the delicate side or at least are introverts, and it seemed strange to come upon a man in his profession who looked as though he would be more comfortable doing things with his hands."
-- Carl Jacobi, "Memories of August" (1972)
Derleth came from hardy stock. His father and grandfather ran a blacksmith shop and built wagons and horse-drawn sleighs.