Dark Valley Destiny

Dark Valley Destiny
Dark Valley Destiny: the Life of Robert E. Howard  
Dark Valley Destiny.jpg
Dust-jacket illustration for Dark Valley Destiny
Author(s) L. Sprague deCamp, Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin
Cover artist Kevin Eugene Johnson
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Biography
Publisher Bluejay Books
Publication date 1983
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 402 pp
ISBN 0-312-94074-2
OCLC Number 9945011
Dewey Decimal 813/.52 B 19
LC Classification PS3515.O842 Z62 1983

Dark Valley Destiny: the Life of Robert E. Howard is a biography of the writer Robert E. Howard by science-fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp in collaboration with Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin, first in hardcover published by Bluejay Books in 1983. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form.[1][2]

The work, an examination of the famous fantasy writer and creator of Conan the Barbarian, was the first major independent biography of Howard. It is an expansion of de Camp's earlier study The Miscast Barbarian: a Biography of Robert E. Howard (1975), itself an expansion of his article "The Miscast Barbarian", which appeared in the magazine Fantastic in June, 1971.


De Camp's "warts and all" approach to his subject has been branded by some fans as unflattering and unbalanced. For instance, Mark Finn, author of Blood & Thunder: The Life & Art of Robert E. Howard, argues that De Camp deliberately framed his questions about Robert Howard in order to elicit answers which matched his Freudian theories about the "neurotic" and "Oedipal" Howard.[3]



  • Laughlin, Charlotte; Daniel J. H. Levack (1983). De Camp: An L. Sprague de Camp Bibliography. San Francisco: Underwood/Miller. p. 47.