Exploring the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs

FAQs, Articles, Reviews, Persona Directory, Hall of Memory
Summarizing ERB's works one chapter at a time
Shorts, Novels, Poetry, Plays, Pulps
Articles, Contributors: Tangor Responds, Edgardemain, ERB: In Focus, Nkima Speaks, Beyond 30W, Tantor Trumpets, Dime Lectures, Korak in Pal-ul-don, Public Domain novels of ERB
Worlds of: Barsoom, Pellucidar, Moon, Amtor, Caspak, Pal-u-don
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The Heroines of Edgar Rice Burroughs from the Series Novels


The daughter of an American professor, Jane is 19, blonde, and voluptuous. A girl with inner strength, troubled by a confused heart, she is swept away by the physicality of her "forest god" during an enforced stay upon the African coast. Jane Porter's love for Tarzan came early and completely at odds with the counsel of those in her stranded party. Even before she knew the real identity of the man she loved her defense of him was complete and heartfelt. She proclaimed as much to William Clayton:

"There are no other human beings than savages within hundreds of miles, Miss Porter. He must belong to the tribes which attacked us, or to some other equally savage—he may even be a cannibal."

Jane blanched.

"I will not believe it," she half whispered. "It is not true. You shall see," she said, addressing Clayton, "that he will come back and that he will prove that you are wrong. You do not know him as I do. I tell you that he is a gentleman." Take me to AFRICA!

Dejah Thoris by Tangor


The Princess of Helium—an advanced, though barbaric red race city/state on the planet Mars, is the daughter of 10,000 jeddaks. Revered by her people and beautiful beyond compare, Dejah Thoris is captured by savage green martians shortly after John Carter arrives on Barsoom. She is drawn to the American adventurer who has pledged his sword and life—and his heart—to her safety and protection. A woman of brave heart and compassion, her vision is a planet of peace and compassion.

"Why, oh, why will you not learn to live in amity with your fellows, must you ever go on down the ages to your final extinction but little above the plane of the dumb brutes that serve you! A people without written language, without art, without homes, without love; the victim of eons of the horrible community idea. Owning everything in common, even to your women and children, has resulted in your owning nothing in common. You hate each other as you hate all else except yourselves. Come back to the ways of our common ancestors, come back to the light of kindliness and fellowship. The way is open to you, you will find the hands of the red men stretched out to aid you. Together we may do still more to regenerate our dying planet. The grand-daughter of the greatest and mightiest of the red jeddaks has asked you. Will you come?"Take me to BARSOOM!

Dian the Beautiful


A savage woman more regal than any queen, she is the daughter of a Pellucidarian king. Dian the Beautiful captures the heart of David Innes at first sight. She is straight-forward and practical in all matters, as is revealed in an early conversation with the man from the outer world, when David Innes asks:

"How came you here?" I asked her.

"I was running away from Jubal the Ugly One," she answered, as though that was explanation quite sufficient.

"Who is Jubal the Ugly One?" I asked. "And why did you run away from him?"

She looked at me in surprise.

"Why DOES a woman run away from a man?" she answered my question with another. Take me to Pellucidar!

Lys LaRue


When the ship she is traveling on is torpedoed by a German U-boat in the early years of World War I, Lys is rescued by fellow survivor Bowen Tyler. A no-nonsense modern woman, she is caught between two men and must make her choice. She is most fondly remembered by Burroughs fans for her speech:

"Yes," she said, "but I am depressed by the awfulness of it all. I feel of so little consequence—so small and helpless in the face of all these myriad manifestations of life stripped to the bone of its savagery and brutality. I realize as never before how cheap and valueless a thing is life. Life seems a joke, a cruel, grim joke. You are a laughable incident or a terrifying one as you happen to be less powerful or more powerful than some other form of life which crosses your path; but as a rule you are of no moment whatsoever to anything but yourself. You are a comic little figure, hopping from the cradle to the grave. Yes, that is our trouble—we take ourselves too seriously; but Caprona should be a sure cure for that." Take me to Caspak!



The beautiful black-haired, white-skinned daughter of the Jemadar of Laythe, she is championed by Julian of Earth. Nah-ee-Lah is torn between devotion to her people and her father and the man of Earth who has saved her life on several occasions. When Laythe is attacked and overrun by the Kalkars of Orthis, she flees to Earth with the man she loves.

"I have loved you always," she replied. "From the very first, almost—way back when we were prisoners in the No-vans village. You Earth Men must be very blind, my Julian. A Laythean would have known it at once, for it seemed to me that upon a dozen occasions I almost avowed my love openly to you!"

"Alas, Nah-ee-lah! I must have been very blind, for I had not guessed until this minute that you loved me."

"Now," she said, "I do not care what happens. We have one another, and if we die together, doubtless we shall live together in a new incarnation."Take me to the Moon!



Carson Napier finds his hands full dealing with the unapproachable daughter of the jong of Vepaja. Beautiful, strong-willed, and imperious at times, Duare finds herself falling in love with the forward—and sometimes bumbling—aviator from Earth.

"I have been thinking a great deal about many things—and you. I commenced to think these strange thoughts after I saw you the first time in the garden at Kooaad. I have thought that perhaps it might be nice to talk to other men than those I am permitted to see in the house of my father, the jong. I became tired of talking to these same men and to my women, but custom had made a slave and a coward of me. I did not dare to do the things I most wished to do. I have always wanted to talk to you, and now for the brief time before we shall be again aboard the Sofal, where I must again be governed by the laws of Vepaja, I am going to be free; I am going to do what I wish; I am going to talk to you." Take me to Amtor!