ERB in Focus
The Not Quite Exhaustive Robert B. Zeuschner
Excerpts from Mr. Zeuschner's 1996
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS The Exhaustive Scholar's and Collector's Descriptive Bibliography of Periodical, Hardcover, Paperback and Reprint Editions
McFarland & Company
Jefferson, North Carolina
Used by permission of the author.
To order a copy contact
The Introduction to Mr. Zeuschner's book was written by Philip José Farmer, which included comments such as:
It is a labor of love, written by one who fell in love with these semimythical beings at an early age. Bob Zeuschner did not write this for money. He wrote it because he felt, quite rightly, that there was a need for this book and because he had fun doing it.
Well, actually (tongue firmly inserted in left cheek) that was about all Mr. Farmer had to say. Farmer, like most of us Burroughs collectors readily recognized a good thing right off and knew "less said" is better. By golly, when a thing is right, it is right!
Image is one of many early ERB covers.
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Exhaustive Scholar's and Collector's Descriptive Bibliography is intended for collectors, libraries, rare book dealers, auction houses, and everyone else interested in the works of the extraordinary American author, Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 - March 19, 1950). The emphasis of this book is focused on the American hardback editions. There is an complete description of every Burroughs first edition, and the first state of the first edition is clearly distinguished from the second state, the third state, all reprintings by first edition publishers, and all other American hardback reprints. This information can be found quickly because all of the titles of hardback and significant paperback editions published in North America through 1995 are listed in alphabetical order. For the sake of completeness, there are brief entries for the two new ERB books which are scheduled to be published in 1996, You Lucky Girl! and Marcia of the Doorstep.
Each listing begins with a description of the first magazine appearance of the story. Next, the hardback first edition is set apart from the rest of the entries and described in detail. Then the major American reprint editions are listed chronologically and differentiated. Finally, the earliest of the paperback printings are noted, followed by subsequent paperback reprintings which may be significant because of a change of cover artist, or for other related reasons.
The first entry of each listing situates the Burroughs story so that the reader will know approximately when it was written, and which novel or short story was written immediately before or after.
The information in this Bibliography comes from several sources. The primary source is my own personal collection. However, my own knowledge and collection are not sufficient to account for every listing in this book. I have relied upon the expertise of many Burroughs scholars who have published articles found in the hundreds of issues of Burroughs fanzines to which I've subscribed and collected since the early 1950s. Many of these fine scholars are mentioned by name in the Acknowledgments.
But, most importantly, this book is simultaneously an amplification upon, and an abridgement of, the two primary bibliographic sources. They are:
1) Henry Hardy Heins, A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, Donald M. Grant, Rhode Island, 1964.
2) George T. McWhorter, EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS MEMORIAL COLLECTION: A CATALOG, House of Greystoke (ERB Memorial Collection, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292), 1991.
George T. McWhorter's A CATALOG is a comprehensive listing of library holdings of the Ekstrom Library (University of Louisville) up to 1991, the world's largest collection of materials by and about Edgar Rice Burroughs. Profusely illustrated, it has a detailed and lengthy bibliographic essay by McWhorter which carefully describes the printing history of the first edition publishers and the reprint publishers of Burroughs' works.
Reflecting years of scholarly research in the Library of Congress and dozens of other original sources, Henry H. Heins' A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY lists precise details on all editions through 1964, with appendices, lists, and numerous illustrations. Mr. Heins also provides reproductions of the magazine art work of the great illustrator of Burroughs, J. Allen St. John. Unfortunately, Mr. Heins' BIBLIOGRAPHY has been out of print since 1965, and is difficult and expensive to obtain.
In addition to the two books mentioned above, I have used valuable bibliographical information found in the remarkable biography of Burroughs written by Irwin Porges, EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: THE MAN WHO CREATED TARZAN (1975)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE MAGAZINES AND BOOKS
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FANTASY REALMS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, CONTACT ANY OF THESE BURROUGHS FANZINES:
THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN published for the Burroughs Bibliophiles
c/o George McWhorter
Ekstrom Library - The Burroughs Memorial Collection
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40492
Phone (505) 852-8729
c/o D. Peter Ogden
8001 Fernview Lane
Tampa, Florida 33615
Phone (813) 884-8144
The Edgar Rice Burroughs News Dateline
c/o Mike Conran, Editor
1990 Pine Grove Dr.
1990 Pine Grove Dr.
Jenison, Michigan 49428
Phone (616) 457-1446
Bill Ross, Editor
7315 Livingston Road
Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Phone (301) 839-6666
c/o Camille "Caz" Cazedessus II
1447 Main St.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802-4664
La Tribune des Amis d'Edgar Rice Burroughs
Michel DeCuyper, Editor
59 Rue de la Filature
59180 Cappelle la Grande
Roland Schwegler, Editor
Kurt S. Denkena, Editor
Fantastic Worlds of ERB
Frank Westwood, Editor
77 Pembroke Road
Seven Kings, Ilford
Essex, IG3 8PQ
ERBmania! Editor's Note: As of 2018 a number of the above are no longer active. In some cases the editor/publisher of the fanzine has passed away and no continuing provisions were established. The listings, however, remain valid in that back issues, or those that are put up for sale from other collectors down-sizing for whatever reason, are highly desired.
The world's largest collection of material by and about Edgar Rice Burroughs is found at the Ekstrom Library of the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 40292, George T. McWhorter, Curator of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection.
ERBmania! Editor's Note: George T. McWhorter retired a number of years ago. In the that time period the ERB collection at Ekstrom has come under new curators and, while it remains the largest ERB collection in the world, has new "digs" and presentation.
Condensed from the print edition. I've included all the names since this reads like a "who's who" of ERB scholars and elder fans. The gush and maple surple (gag spelling, kiddies!) of Robert Zeuschner has been removed (kinda, sorta, at his request). :)
This book is not solely the work of one person. I have many people to thank. First, I must thank Edgar Rice Burroughs ... and ... My father, Raymond Zeuschner, ... and my grandmother, Clara Siggeman Zeuschner. ... Thanks to my wife, Lindy, who never complained ... (and) to my children, Jennifer, David, Danae, and Scott, who patiently allowed me to read and reread aloud to them book after book by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
I have referred to Henry Heins' A GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY BIBLIOGRAPHY ...(and am) indebted to George McWhorter's A CATALOG (and to) art collector and scholar Robert R. Barrett.
Bill Ross (and) Michael Conran read an earlier draft and assisted as well.
...people like the late Vernell Coriell (premier Burroughs fan, creator of the BURROUGHS BIBLIOPHILES and editor of the first ERB fan magazine, the BURROUGHS BULLETIN), Camille "Caz" Cazedessus, Jr., editor of the stellar fanzine ERB-dom, and George T. McWhorter, ... editor ... BURROUGHS BULLETIN...
...John Anthony Miller ...read an earlier draft (as did) Mitchell Harrison...Joe Lukes ...Bill Morse and J. G. Huckenpöhler ...Laurence Dunn... Frank Westwood ...Clarence B. Hyde (and) Danton Burroughs, and ERB, Inc.
Special thanks are due Brian Kirby...
This bibliography would not be as accurate as were not for these giants upon whose shoulders I've stood during its creation. However, despite all the assistance I received, all errors and omissions are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
—Robert B. Zeuschner
—12 May 1995
About the Author
Robert Zeuschner is a classical guitarist and an aspiring lutenist, who also loves to listen to and play the acoustic blues of the 1930s. He earns his living as a professor of philosophy, and has taught at the University of Southern California, and at the Universities of California at Santa Barbara and Riverside. He started out as a mathematician and computer programmer, and later earned his Ph.D. degree in comparative philosophy. The Zeuschner family lived in Hawaii for many years, and presently makes its home in the foothills near Pasadena, California.
Dr. Zeuschner has travelled the Carribean, purchased chess pieces in Greece, and spent time in Japan studying Japanese garden design and practicing Zen meditation.
In addition to his extensive collection of books and magazines by and about Edgar Rice Burroughs, he has accumulated Burroughs-related art, old-time-radio programs, Japanese and Chinese black-ink landscapes and calligraphy, the films of Laurel and Hardy, the music of J. S. Bach; he owns one Renaissance lute, three classical and five acoustic blues guitars, and at one time his house had seven computers in it. Dr. Zeuschner reads many other authors including Thorne Smith, Earl Der Biggers, George Barr McCutcheon, Edgar Wallace, Sax Rohmer, Isaac Asimov, J. P. Donleavy, Philip José Farmer, Gary Snyder, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu. It has long been his wish to have enough bookcases to hold his library.
He has published translations from the Chinese and Japanese, written on Buddhist philosophy, and published a college textbook on comparative ethics.
In addition to his wife Lindy, and children, David, Danae, Jennifer and Scott, the Zeuschner household belongs to a dog named Abu, a cat named Spot and two noisy love-birds called Stan and Ollie.
Bob begged me by phone to delete this excerpt. It appears most of the animals have departed this mortal coil and he thought the article was too cute. I thought it was cute enough to include at this web site. Sue me, O Tardos Mors, for publishing this embarrassment to the Internet. :)
"Edgar Rice Burroughs Tells All"
An Autobiographical Sketch by Edgar Rice Burroughs
This delightful example of Burroughs' humor was originally written for a small Hollywood publication of the 1930s entitled Rob Wagner's SCRIPT published July 9, 1932.
I am sorry that I have not led a more exciting existence, so that I might offer a more interesting biographical sketch; but I am one of those fellows who has few adventures and always gets to the fire after it is out.
I was born in Peking at the time that my father was military advisor to the Empress of China, and lived there, in the Forbidden City, until I was ten years old. An intimate knowledge of the Chinese language acquired during those years has often stood me in good stead since, especially in prosecuting two of my favorite studies, Chinese philosophy and Chinese ceramics.
Burroughs continues (get Mr. Zeuschner's book!) to exercise his humor and inventivness in this "alternate" history of his life. This autobiographical sketch by Edgar Rice Burroughs, complete with the experience of playing the violin, is among the more rare writing examples this American author (1875-1950) ever produced.
WHO WAS EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS AND WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE READ HIS STORIES?
No one's life should be summarized in just a few lines, least of all the life of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Born on September 1st, 1875, in Chicago, young ERB was a creative, bright, and imaginative child. His father, George Tyler Burroughs, was a successful businessman and had been a Union cavalry officer during the Civil War; his son Edgar was always fascinated by his father's stories of war and battle. At age fourteen (1889), his parents shipped young Edgar to a cattle ranch in Idaho run by his elder brothers. Two years later, he returned home. However, cleverness and a stubborn independence finally found young Edgar placed in a military school, where he had difficulty fitting into a highly structured atmosphere. Upon graduation, he applied to West Point but was not accepted. In May of 1896 he joined the army and was assigned to Fort Grant in Arizona, but was released in March of 1897 because a heart murmur was discovered.
He worked for his brothers for a few years, and then, at age 24, he married his childhood sweetheart, Emma, on January 31, 1900. However, Burroughs was unable to earn a decent living and couldn't support his wife and growing family, no matter what business he tried. He ran a stationary store in Pocatello, Idaho; he dredged for gold in Parma, Idaho and he was a railroad policeman in Salt Lake City, Utah. Finally, flat broke, he and Emma auctioned off all their belongings and returned to Chicago. There he tried selling candy to drug stores, selling electric light bulbs to janitors, selling pencil sharpeners, and he even pretended to be an accountant. He was a salesman for a quack cure for alcoholism until the Food and Drug Administration closed the business down. More than once, Burroughs visited a pawn shop to raise enough money for food. Finally, at age 35, he transferred his frustrations and his daydreams to paper, and managed to escape from unpleasant reality. The result was the magazine publication of A PRINCESS OF MARS (1912). It was a romantic adventure set on the planet Mars, where the hero is transported to a dying world collapsing into barbarism and facing imminent extinction. It is a world where only the fittest survive, but there was a beautiful Martian princess and plenty of swordplay. It was ideal for the pulp magazine audience. Thomas Newell Metcalf, ALL-STORY editor, paid him $400 for it. The serial was well-received, and Burroughs tried writing another, a medieval romance inspired by Ivanhoe titled THE OUTLAW OF TORN. At the time, nobody wanted to buy it. Frustrated, he almost gave up writing.
Writing allowed some catharsis, some place where things worked out the way he wanted. In his imagination, Burroughs freed himself from failure and frustration. He daydreamed of being free from business and petty bureaucrats, and living in a primeval jungle Eden. These daydreams provided another idea for a story, set in the jungle, away from the nastiness and defects of civilization. It is a place where we find the simple virtues of nature's creatures, all living free. Biographer Irwin Porges quotes Burroughs on how he came to write Tarzan:
I suppose it was just because my daily life was full of business, system, and I wanted to get as far from that as possible. My mind, in relaxation, preferred to roam in scenes and situations I'd never known. I find I can write better about places I've never seen than those I have seen.
A tiny child is raised by a tribe of apes, yet the child is the product of millions of years of higher evolution. Using only his own strength and human intelligence, he grows to battle his way to become lord of the jungle. ERB started writing his tale of ape-to-man in December, 1911, and worked on it for six months. The result was the enduring popular classic, TARZAN OF THE APES (1912). Burroughs received $700 for this effort, at a time when a decent job paid $15-$25 per week.
TARZAN OF THE APES was a genuine sensation in the pulp magazine world. It combined romance and adventure with a droll sense of humor. The letters columns of subsequent issues of its parent magazine ALL-STORY were filled with requests for more Burroughs stories. Edgar Rice Burroughs' self-confidence began to soar. He wrote a sequel to his previous novel of Mars, THE GODS OF MARS (1913), one of his very best. He received $750 for this effort.
Next, Burroughs tried his hand at the short story form, writing two in 1912. Neither sold. Meanwhile, Metcalf, the ALL-STORY editor, wanted Ed Burroughs to write a new story, reuniting Tarzan and Jane. Burroughs toyed around with many ideas, and finally responded with a sequel, THE RETURN OF TARZAN. The editor rejected it. Disappointed and feeling betrayed, Ed Burroughs submitted it to a different pulp magazine, and it was purchased for $1,000. Realizing the power he had, he began negotiating better and better rates, until he became the reigning monarch of pulp fantasy fiction for the next thirty years, demanding and receiving the highest payment possible. In fact, he became so successful that he was able to move his family to southern California, and in 1919, he purchased the 540-acre ranch estate of Gen. Harrison Gray Otis in the San Fernando valley. The city which eventually grew around the ranch was given the name "Tarzana" in 1930.
In 1931, ERB formed his own publishing company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and in addition to reprinting his earlier titles, published twenty-three new Burroughs books during his lifetime (and one title posthumously). From his office in Tarzana, Burroughs was able to use the business skills which had failed him so miserably twenty years earlier, and built an empire based upon books, films, radio programs, newspaper comic strips, and many advertising campaigns featuring Tarzan.
Although some people tend to dismiss his novels as juvenile, Burroughs' primary audience was never children. The noble and keenly intelligent Tarzan which Edgar Rice Burroughs had created in 1912 was transferred to film and became virtually unrecognizable in the many versions produced by the Hollywood film industry. The scriptwriters trashed the scenarios which Burroughs himself produced, and instead created a brain-damaged yet cunning Tarzan who pointed and grunted in monosyllables, "Tarzan, Jane." Ed Burroughs was frustrated because the Tarzan he had created was able to speak fluent English and French before the end of the first Tarzan novel. His Tarzan may be the ape-man, but he is also Lord Greystoke, who moves freely in the drawing rooms of London and Paris, although he preferred his jungle estate (in the novels, Tarzan and Jane never occupied a tree house).
The books which Ed wrote between 1912 and 1930 were usually quite good, and many are genuine classics in the history of American fiction. They have remained in print virtually since their original publication, spanning some seventy-five years and several generations of readers.
Why do people like to read his stories? One answer is that each of them is a romance, and in almost all of them the beautiful damsel is rescued by a wonderful hero and true love conquers all. The pulps required this structure, and it fit perfectly into the author's own psychology. However, there is more to the fiction of Burroughs than this.
The romances are also adventures, and Burroughs was extraordinarily gifted when it came to describing action sequences. Each chapter arouses the imagination, and stimulates the adrenalin. Long after their parents had told them to turn off the light and go to bed, many generations of readers of Burroughs' stories read late into the night, under the covers with a flashlight. Every book and story by Edgar Rice Burroughs offers escape. Ed knew this. In 1932, writing on "The Tarzan Theme" for Writer's Digest magazine, he mused:
His appeal to an audience is so tremendous that it never ceases to be a source of amazement to me. This appeal, I believe, is based upon ... the constant urge to escape that is becoming stronger in all of us prisoners of civilization as civilization becomes more complex. We wish to escape not alone the narrow confines of the city streets for the freedom of the wilderness, but the restrictions of man-made laws, and the inhibitions that society has placed upon us.... We would each like to be Tarzan. At least I would; I admit it.
The prose is not always elegant, but the energy level is so high that we must turn the page, and even after finishing one entire book, we need to buy and read the next in the series to find out what happens to the hero and heroine. Their lives and exploits continue to live in our minds beyond the covers of the book. When we read a book by Burroughs, we create images of the ochre dead sea bottoms of Mars or can hear the lion roaring in rage and frustration. In provoking our imagination, Burroughs makes us an active participant and co-creator of universe after universe. When you've got a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, you never say "I'm bored; what shall we do?" However, there is more to the fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs than this.
There are ideas in these books as well. The characters in Burroughs' books all live by a strong moral code. The heroes and heroines are profoundly moral, they know the difference between duty and desire, and always do what they believe to be correct. They value friendship above all, and understand honor. The hero is a gentleman. The heroine is a gentlelady. Neither of them give in to greed or lust, and those characters in the books who do succumb to the baser human instincts often wind up with their bones bleaching beneath the burning equatorial sun. In the jungle of ERB's imagination, Tarzan evolves from feral child to British Lord, and he survives not only because he is strong and quick, but also because generations of noble ancestors have produced the foundation for a genetically noble human being. Whenever John Carter of Mars, born a Virginia gentleman, sees someone facing unfair odds, he rushes in to help. Instinctively, the Burroughs hero and heroine stand up against injustice, no matter what the cost. But, this morality is not based on the divine commands of a deity or inspired by the love of a divine father. None of his heroes are religious in the conventional sense of the word. Burroughs had a rather negative attitude towards all organized religions, and one often finds asides in his books which are profoundly critical of their rituals and ceremonies which are used to control blindly uncritical followers. In THE GODS OF MARS, Burroughs has a character describe the role of religion on Barsoom:
The whole fabric of our religion is based on superstitious belief in lies that have been foisted upon us for ages by those directly above us, to whose personal profit and aggrandizement it was to have us continue to believe as they wished us to believe.
Even if ERB was not religious, neither was he a materialist. Perhaps we could call him "spiritual." Many of the passages in his books reverberate with a profound feeling of awe for nature, for the jungle, for the wild, prowling animals, for the distant planets and their moons which hurtle overhead illuminating dying civilizations, and for the mountains of the west caught in the alpenglow of the setting sun. Burroughs loved animals, and his deep and obvious affection for horses and dogs permeates many of his books. His asides in his novels often indicate that he holds the natural virtues of wild animals in higher regard than the cruel behavior of so-called "civilized men." He loved and appreciated the wondrous beauty of what nature had wrought, but Darwin's explanation for human existence seemed to make more sense to him than the stories which most of us have been taught in childhood. The books that Burroughs wrote teach a clear moral code which helped to shape the ethical values of many his readers, and this is combined with Burroughs' genuine gift for describing the wonders of nature.
One important theme which Burroughs explored over and over was the threat of death and its inevitability. His heroes are caught in mazes, trapped in dungeons, and they face death. They fight, and they escape one more time, but they know that death cannot be avoided forever. Each Burroughs hero recognizes that fact, but none of them ever quits. Burroughs was trapped in the mazes of business and social institutions, but he was stubborn, and he had an imagination which far outstripped most of his contemporaries.
Ever since he was a young man, Burroughs was searching for a way out. He joined the army. He travelled in Arizona and dredged for gold in Idaho. He was constantly taking his family on elaborate camping trips. But, Burroughs could not escape by going to some physical place. Finally, he did escape, by going inward — he put his pen to paper and he wrote.
Born of deeply held ideals, a well-developed sense of humor, a healthy skepticism, and a rich imagination, many of the literary creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs achieve their enduring quality because they can tap into a universal unconscious. Tarzan of the apes, the personal daydream of Edgar Rice Burroughs, is an archetype for every young person who ever wanted to be brave and strong, to be a hero, to stand face to face with death and rescue his loved ones from perilous conditions. Tarzan has moved from a hero in an adventure story to an icon of mythic proportions.
In a sense, Tarzan of the Apes is a Janus figure, simultaneously the missing link between ape and man, and also the next step in human evolution. Tarzan is what we hope to become when we grow up, brave, tall, straight, and strong. For the Burroughs hero, no situation is too terrible, no battle is ever hopeless. The hero never gives up. There is a way out. There is always a way out if only you try hard enough. The motto of John Carter of Mars, "I Still Live!" has inspired generation after generation of young men and women.
In the literary universe of Edgar Rice Burroughs, life is an adventure and death is its inevitable outcome, but each of us is alive now and that means that we must try again. Burroughs inspires us to wander the world and to study the heavens above, to explore the caves below, to use our own imaginations.
Burroughs may have been king of pulp fiction, but authors who wrote for the lowly pulps were given no respect within the literary community. Although outwardly denying that he was doing anything more than putting daydreams down on paper, inwardly Ed wanted to be thought of as a real author. He tried writing serious fiction and western novels, but they never attained anything like the success that his fantasies of the jungle and Mars did. In fact, rarely were they as good as his more imaginative tales; it was in the creation of alternative universes where his genuine talent and gift lay. His editors and fans wanted to read more adventures of Tarzan, and Burroughs found himself forced to continue writing stories of the ape-man long after his interest had waned. As had happened to others (like A. Conan Doyle), he became trapped by his own success. Although one of the most financially successful authors of the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, he always had large bills which needed to be paid, and he never had enough money saved to allow him to break away from what his fans demanded. So, he continued to write Tarzan stories year after year, about twenty-six of them in thirty-two years.
In the later Burroughs novels, the characters have a tendency to lose whatever psychological complexity they may have had in the earlier tales, and sometimes become delineated by cultural stereotypes, serving as pawns to the needs of the plot. Coincidences, always a strong element which ERB relied upon in his fiction, became more and more unbelievable, and the plot lines started to sound overly familiar. In several different books, Tarzan (or another hero) is bumped on the head, loses his memory, wanders off for two hundred pages until he is banged on the head once again, and then regains his memory just in time to save the beautiful heroine yet one more time.
Burroughs had expenses and a mortgage, and his writing was controlled by pulp editors who knew what their readers wanted. If a story was not set in Africa or on Barsoom, no editor wanted to pay the high rates Ed demanded and required. He tried writing in other genres, and several times submitted other stories under pseudonyms. When accepted, his "serious" stories were less desirable and he was paid at lower rates. The pieces which he submitted under pen names were always rejected.
Like his literary creations, Burroughs was not completely comfortable in social or emotional situations; he had difficulty making small talk, and he was not a "ladies' man." Although capable of a terse eloquence, by nature Tarzan is taciturn. John Carter is tongue-tied in the presence of his beautiful Martian princess, Dejah Thoris. David Innes of Pellucidar almost loses the woman he loves because he cannot tell her how he feels. This element is autobiographical. Although he loved his children, he was never as close to them as they wished. In the 1930s, his marriage floundered. Ed and Emma were divorced in 1934. He married a second time, to Florence Gilbert Dearholt, a beautiful woman who had been an actress and was the ex-wife of a Hollywood film director. Unfortunately, the marriage did not endure, and was amicably dissolved seven years later.
When Ed was sixty-six, he and his son Hulbert were in Honolulu and witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Fiercely patriotic all of his life, Burroughs desperately wanted to be involved in the war effort. Despite his age, he managed to become an accredited war correspondent and produced a series of newspaper columns under the title, "Laugh It Off." The novel TARZAN AND "THE FOREIGN LEGION" (written between June and September of 1944) reflects this period, with Tarzan ("Lord Greystoke") fighting on the side of the British during World War II. After the war ended, ERB returned to southern California, living in a modest home in Encino, California, near Tarzana.
In the novels, Tarzan found the secret of immortality, but Burroughs himself did not. He started one last Tarzan novel on September 7, 1946, but he did not have the energy to complete it. He left 83 typewritten pages. As he grew older his health became more precarious. On Sunday, March 19, 1950, after reading the Sunday funnies in the newspaper, Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away of a heart attack. He was buried under a black walnut tree in Tarzana, in an unmarked grave as he wished.
Edgar Rice Burroughs did die, but Tarzan still swings through the upper terraces of the forest giants, leaping perilously from branch to branch, racing to rescue Jane or La of Opar from a hideous fate. John Carter still fights side by side with his great friend, Tars Tarkas, the green Thark chieftain, the clanging of their swords echoing beneath the twin moons of Mars. The creations of Edgar Rice Burroughs continue to live on in the imagination of his readers in a way that few authors ever achieved. No matter where you go in this world, everyone knows of Tarzan. The imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs is with us today and endures.
It's not often one finds a reference that is consulted almost daily, or one that is more complete than Robert Zeuschner's Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliography with the incredibly long name. I'm not exactly sure how I came to deserve an autographed copy of this wonderful book which was sent to me by the gracious Bob Zeuschner, but like those Greek fellows, I'm not looking in the horse's mouth and will treasure the gesture for years to come.
Zeuschner, known variously as "Dr. Bob," "Tardos Mors" or, "that incredibly fine fellow" has authored what is arguably the best Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliography currently available. I'm no slouch as far as ERB is concerned, having been a fan and amateur scholar for nearly 40 years, but I do most humbly bow to the impeccable research and information available in Zeuschner's book. This fellow knows ERB like most of us know the back of our hand.
The volume is profusely illustrated with black and white examples of pulp, paperback, and hardcover editions. The wealth of images alone are worth the cover price. Bob's extensive ERB collection, knowledge, and input and submissions by other long time ERB collectors is the basis of this easy to use bibliography. Cross indexing of the variant titles is included, which makes it easy for the neophyte or collector to find the pertinent information as regards the various editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs' fantastic romance adventures.
Bob's love for the genre is evident in his dedication for detail and commentary as regards each volume.
This is a must read for anyone interested in reading or collecting the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.