Edgar Rice Burroughs
|Edgar Rice Burroughs|
Edgar Rice Burroughs
September 1, 1875|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||March 19, 1950
Encino, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Tarzana, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Adventure novel, Fantasy, Lost World, Sword and Planet, Planetary romance, Soft science fiction, Westerns|
Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American writer, best known for his creations of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
Burroughs was born on September 1, 1875, in Chicago, Illinois (he later lived for many years in the suburb of Oak Park), the fourth son of businessman and Civil War veteran Major George Tyler Burroughs (1833–1913) and his wife Mary Evaline (Zieger) Burroughs (1840–1920). His middle name is from his paternal grandmother, Mary Rice Burroughs (1802-ca. 1870).
Burroughs was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenza epidemic in 1891, he spent a half year at his brother's ranch on the Raft River in Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for the United States Military Academy (West Point), he ended up as an enlisted soldier with the 7th U.S. Cavalry in Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heart problem and thus ineligible to serve, he was discharged in 1897.
Some seemingly unrelated short jobs followed. Some drifting and ranch work followed in Idaho. Then, Burroughs found work at his father's firm in 1899. He married childhood sweetheart Emma Hulbert in January 1900. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work; some in Idaho, later in Chicago.
By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a pencil sharpener wholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time, Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan (1908–1972), who would later marry Tarzan film actor James Pierce, and Hulbert (1909–1991). During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines. In 1929 he recalled thinking that
...if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.
Aiming his work at the pulps, Burroughs had his first story, Under the Moons of Mars, serialized by Frank Munsey in the February to July 1912 issues of The All-Story —under the name "Norman Bean" as a precaution to protect his reputation.[a] (Under the Moons of Mars inaugurated the Barsoom series. It was first published as a book by A. C. McClurg of Chicago in 1917, entitled A Princess of Mars, after three Barsoom sequels had appeared as serials, and McClurg had published the first four serial Tarzan novels as books.)
Burroughs soon took up writing full-time and by the time the run of Under the Moons of Mars had finished he had completed two novels, including Tarzan of the Apes, which was published from October 1912 and went on to become one of his most successful series. In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman Burroughs (1913–1979).
Burroughs also wrote popular science fiction and fantasy stories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs's fictional name for Mars, and Amtor, his fictional name for Venus), lost islands, and into the interior of the hollow earth in his Pellucidar stories, as well as [westerns and historical romances. Along with All-Story, many of his stories were published in The Argosy.
Tarzan was a cultural sensation when introduced. Burroughs was determined to capitalize on Tarzan's popularity in every way possible. He planned to exploit Tarzan through several different media including a syndicated Tarzan comic strip, movies and merchandise. Experts in the field advised against this course of action, stating that the different media would just end up competing against each other. Burroughs went ahead, however, and proved the experts wrong — the public wanted Tarzan in whatever fashion he was offered. Tarzan remains one of the most successful fictional characters to this day and is a cultural icon.
In either 1915 or 1919, Burroughs purchased a large ranch north of Los Angeles, California, which he named "Tarzana." The citizens of the community that sprang up around the ranch voted to adopt that name when their community, Tarzana, California was formed in 1927. Also the unincorporated community of Tarzan, Texas, was formally named in 1927 when the US Postal Service accepted the name, reputedly coming from the popularity of the first (silent) Tarzan of the Apes film, starring Elmo Lincoln, and an early "Tarzan" comic strip.
In 1923 Burroughs set up his own company, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s.
Burroughs divorced Emma in 1934 and married the former actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935, the former wife of his friend, Ashton Dearholt, and Burroughs adopted the Dearholts' two children. The couple divorced in 1942.
At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during the Second World War. After the war ended, Burroughs moved back to Encino, California, where, after many health problems, he died of a heart attack on March 19, 1950, having written almost 70 novels.
Selected works 
Barsoom series 
- A Princess of Mars (1912)
- The Gods of Mars (1914)
- The Warlord of Mars (1918)
- Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1920)
- The Chessmen of Mars (1922)
- The Master Mind of Mars (1928)
- A Fighting Man of Mars (1931)
- Swords of Mars (1936)
- Synthetic Men of Mars (1940)
- Llana of Gathol (1948)
- John Carter of Mars (1964)
Tarzan series 
- Tarzan of the Apes (1912)
- The Return of Tarzan (1913)
- The Beasts of Tarzan (1914)
- The Son of Tarzan (1914)
- Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (1916)
- Jungle Tales of Tarzan (1916, 1917)
- Tarzan the Untamed (1919, 1921)
- Tarzan the Terrible (1921)
- Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1922, 1923)
- Tarzan and the Ant Men (1924)
- Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1927, 1928)
- Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1928)
- Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929)
- Tarzan the Invincible (1930–1931.)
- Tarzan Triumphant (1931)
- Tarzan and the City of Gold (1932)
- Tarzan and the Lion Man (1933, 1934)
- Tarzan and the Leopard Men (1935)
- Tarzan's Quest (1935, 1936)
- Tarzan the Magnificent (1936, 1937)
- Tarzan and the Forbidden City (1938)
- Tarzan and the Foreign Legion (1947)
- Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins (1963, for younger readers)
- Tarzan and the Madman (1964)
- Tarzan and the Castaways (1965)
- Tarzan: the Lost Adventure (with Joe R. Lansdale) (1995)
Pellucidar series 
- At the Earth's Core (1914)
- Pellucidar (1923)
- Tanar of Pellucidar (1928)
- Tarzan at the Earth's Core (1929)
- Back to the Stone Age (1937)
- Land of Terror (1944)
- Savage Pellucidar (1963)
Venus series 
- Pirates of Venus (1934)
- Lost on Venus (1935)
- Carson of Venus (1939)
- Escape on Venus (1946)
- The Wizard of Venus (1970)
Caspak series 
Moon series 
- The Moon Maid (1926) (aka The Moon Men)
- Part I: The Moon Maid
- Part II: The Moon Men
- Part III: The Red Hawk
These three texts have been published by various houses in one or two volumes. Adding to the confusion, some editions have the original (significantly longer) introduction to Part I from the first publication as a magazine serial, and others have the shorter version from the first book publication, which included all three parts under the title The Moon Maid.
Mucker series 
Other science fiction 
- Beyond the Farthest Star (1941)
- The Lost Continent (1916) (aka Beyond Thirty)
- The Monster Men (1929)
- The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw (1937)
Jungle adventure novels 
- The Man-Eater (1915)
- The Cave Girl (1925)
- The Eternal Lover (1925) (aka The Eternal Savage)
- Jungle Girl (1932) (aka Land of the Hidden Men)
- The Lad and the Lion (1938)
Western novels 
- Apache Devil (1933)
- The Bandit of Hell's Bend (1926)
- The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County (1940)
- The War Chief (1927)
Historical novels 
Other works 
- The Efficiency Expert (1921)
- Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder (2001)
- The Girl from Farris's (1916)
- The Girl from Hollywood (1923)
- The Mad King (1926)
- Marcia of the Doorstep (1924)
- Minidoka: 937th Earl of One Mile Series M (1998)
- Pirate Blood (1970)
- The Rider (1937)
- You Lucky Girl! (1927)
Popular culture 
- In the video game Jurassic Park: Trespasser there is a statue of E. R. Burroughs, possibly[opinion][original research?] as a reference to his novel The Land That Time Forgot.
- Burroughs is mentioned in the classic 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird in the first chapter: "Routine contentment was: improving our treehouse that rested between giant twin chinaberry trees in the back yard, fussing, running through our list of dramas based on the works of Oliver Optic, Victor Appleton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs."
- In Rainbow Mars by Larry Niven, several different fictional Martian races appear, including a people who are a combination of the Red Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs and those by Ray Bradbury, and another who are unmistakably Burroughs' big fierce Green Martians.
- In the Mars Trilogy novels of Kim Stanley Robinson the original capital city on Mars is named Burroughs as a sort of tribute. It is later flooded.
- Season 1, Episode 29 of Disney's The Legend of Tarzan animated series, "Tarzan and the Mysterious Visitor", illustrates Burroughs as a struggling writer who travels to Africa after learning about Tarzan in the hopes of getting inspiration for a new novel. (The real Burroughs never set foot in Africa.) The character is only referred to as "Ed" throughout the episode and his true identity is not revealed until his name is shown on his book.
- The 1980 novel The Number of the Beast, by Robert A. Heinlein featured characters named Zebediah John Carter, Jacob Burroughs, and Dejah Thoris Burroughs in homage to Burroughs. The main characters travel to alternate universes, including Barsoom, Oz and Wonderland. The protagonist of Heinlein's Glory Road also muses on Barsoom.
- Marvel Comics' Excalibur, created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis, paid a tribute to the John Carter stories in issue #16 and 17. The story was billed on the cover of issue #16 as "Kurt Wagner, Warlord of ?" The series added a further tribute with issue #60 and the story "Braddock of the Jungle".
- In The Alternate Martians (Ace, 1965) A. Bertram Chandler explored a fictional Mars curiously combining characters, including Deliah (for Dejah) Thoris and Tars Tarkas, and characteristics of Burroughs's Barsoom with the malevolent Martians of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.
- In Frank Frazetta's Creatures published by the Frazetta Comics imprint at Image Burroughs appears as a member of a group of supernatural investigators led by former US president Theodore Roosevelt.
- In Rocky II, Rocky reads "The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County" to Adrian while she is in a coma.
- In Richard Bachman's short story "The Long Walk" the character named Olson introduces himself to Gary Barkovitch and says, "I'm John Carter...My home is Barsoom, Mars."
- In the TV series ER, the character played by Noah Wyle is usually called simply Carter, but his full name is John Carter. The creator of ER and Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, has cited the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs as an early influence, thus this homage.
- In the TV series Babylon 5, a character in season 2 named Amanda Carter — a Martian citizen and advocate of Mars' independence from Earth — is revealed to have had a grandfather named John who was a pioneer colonist on Mars. This has been confirmed by the series creator J. Michael Straczynski as a reference made by the episode writer Larry DiTillio to John Carter of Mars.
- In Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, John Carter appears twice. He teams up with H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain, H. P. Lovecraft's Randolph Carter, and Wells' Time Traveller on a strange journey in the supplemental Allan and the Sundered Veil. Later, he is seen leading the Green Martians in a battle against Wells' Martian invaders.
- In the 2012 Disney film John Carter, Daryl Sabara portrays Burroughs as a young man. In the film (as in the book), Edgar is the nephew and sole heir of John Carter, and receives Carter's belongings (including a journal of his adventures on Mars) after Carter's "death".
Books on Edgar Rice Burroughs 
- Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs by Richard A. Lupoff
- Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Creator of Tarzan by John Taliaferro
- Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs by the Rev. Henry Hardy Heins
- Tarzan Alive by Philip Jose Farmer
- Burroughs's Science Fiction by Robert R. Kudlay and Joan Leiby
- Tarzan and Tradition and Edgar Rice Burroughs by Erling B. Holtsmark
- Edgar Rice Burroughs by Irwin Porges
- Edgar Rice Burroughs by Robert B. Zeuschner
- The Burroughs Cyclopædia ed. by Clark A. Brady
- A Guide to Barsoom by John Flint Roy
See also 
- Mars in fiction
- Otis Adelbert Kline
- Sword and planet
- John Carter film
- Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
- Several electronic books (eBooks) written by Edgar Rice Burroughs are available from The Gutenberg Project for free. These books are listed at Edgar Rice Burroughs at The Gutenberg Project
- Skeleton Men of Jupiter (1942) "Long ago, I believed with Flammarion that Mars was habitable and inhabited;"
- Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2010. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.
- "Edmund Rice Six-Generation Database Online". Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
- Note: For a comprehensive treatment of the ancestry of Edgar Rice Burroughs, refer to Schneider, Jerry L.. 2004. The Ancestry of Edgar Rice Burroughs ERBville Press. 296pp. ISBN 978-1-4357-4972-6 Google Books
- Slotkin, Richard (1998). Gunfighter Nation. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 196. ISBN 0-8061-3031-8.
- Holtsmark, Erling B. (1986). Edgar Rice Burroughs. Boston: Twain Publishers. pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-8057-7459-9.
- Holtsmark, p. 5.
- Burroughs, Edgar Rice (October 27, 1929). "How I Wrote the Tarzan Stories". The Washington Post and the New York World (Sunday supplement) via ERBZine.com.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved April 8, 2013. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
- ERBzine, Volume 0419 -"A Virtual Visit to The Nell Dismukes McWhorter Memorial Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection", with photographs.
- Robinson, Frank M. (no date?). "The Story Behind the Original All-Story". Frank M. Robinson. Zoetrope: All-Story 4.1. American Zoetrope. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Tarzana Community Profile, Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- Holtsmark, pp. 9–10.
- Holtsmark, pp. 12–13.
- Holtsmark, pp. 13–15.
- Wells, Jeffrey (November 7, 1993). "Lost in Filmland? These Guys Sure Found The Way". Los Angeles Times.
- "Burroughs, Edgar Rice". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-22. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
- J. Michael Straczynski, (1994), "JMS usenet posting", rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated. Retrieved August 23, 2007.
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- Works by Edgar Rice Burroughs at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Edgar Rice Burroughs at Project Gutenberg Australia
- Bibliography on SciFan
- LibriVox Audiobook Recordings
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Works by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- https://sites.google.com/site/erburroughsuk1steditions/ UK 1st editions listed with pictures of the books.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs biography at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame
- Edgar Rice Burroughs at Find A Grave