The scholar first, the fictionist second
Today marks the 57th anniversary of the death of Harold Lamb, one of the patron saints of Karavansara.
He was a writer of pulp fiction – a lot of his works were published in Adventure – much admired by Robert E. Howard among others, that later became so famous as an author of biographies and historical novels that his lighter and more adventurous side was almost completely forgotten.
He did work with Cecil Be Demille on his The Crusades, as a historical consultant.
It is not the first time I mention him here on Karavansara, and I am sure WordPress will add links at the bottom of this page.
Curiously enough, in my house the first reader of Lamb was my mother, that as a young woman working as a secretary enjoyed a lot Lamb’s books about the Crusades and Alexander the Great and many other historical figures.
Such titles have been out of print in my country from more than five decades.
I discovered him much later, in the excellent collections that Howard Andrew Jones edited for Bison Books. The four “Swords from…” volumes are my favorite (I am not too keen on Lamb’s Cossacks tales).
Lamb’s language and rhythm is the one I hear in my head when I write my Tales of the Frontier (the next one of which is long overdue).
Today, to remember this great writer, I suggest you try and read something of his if you never did.
If you are cheap – as I am – there is a nice Harold Lamb Megapack by Wildside Press that collects 18 stories by the author, and is a nice introduction to his style and themes for less than a buck.
If you are even cheaper, you can check out the books my mother loved, for free, via The Faded Page.