This collection contains all of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian stories published during his lifetime, contextualized with biographical details of their author.
Excerpt from the introduction:
"When the first Conan of Cimmeria story appeared in the pages of Weird Tales magazine in December 1932, nothing quite like it had ever before appeared in print. Author Robert E. Howard had been writing stories broadly similar to it for half a decade; but it was with Conan, and the Hyborian Age storyworld in which he was placed, that Howard finally fully doped out the sub-genre that would become known as "sword and sorcery", of which Howard is today considered the founding father.
Conan's origins date back to an experiment in 1926 titled The Shadow Kingdom, featuring the character Kull, exile of Atlantis. The idea - Howard's great innovation - was, at its core, historical fiction set in a pre-historical period. That pre-historical period - being, of course, lost in the mists of time - could contain anything Howard might like to include: evil races of sentient snake-things, sorcerers, undead creatures, demons walking upon the earth, anything.
"In other words, Howard was creating a secular mythology."