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The fact that he usurped the swordplay from Dumas and a good measure of supernatural horror from Lovecraft added to the distinction.
Yet the overriding difference is in mood and philosophy.
The words "black" and "dark" appear often in his fantasy titles, perhaps more because they represent Howards content than for any lack of inventiveness on his part.
This dark and brooding attitude was at the core of Howards creative impulse.
In general, the civic background of an army is the most important element in its long-range success or failure.
Half-trained barbarians may win a fluke victory over civilized troops once in a while, but that wont count for much.
In addition to authoring numerous books, he has been written up in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and hundreds of other publications. Howard fans and scholars will be happy to know that Robert E. Dumas gave us the Swashbuckler in DArtagnan and the three musketeers.
With the exception of one dream, I am never, in these dreams of ancient times, a civilized man.
Always I am the barbarian, the skin-clad, tousle-haired, light-eyed wild man, armed with a rude axe or sword, fighting the elements and wild beasts, or grappling with armored hosts marching with the tread of civilized discipline, from fallow fruitful lands and walled cities.
The entrenched Romans hold their own, but realize they will succumb eventually to exhaustion in the face of the day-and-night assault.
The officers of the legion decide to counterattack, storming with all troops out the sally ports and slaughtering one third of the barbarians.