- Edgar Rice Burroughs
name = Edgar Rice Burroughs
birthdate = birth date|1875|9|1|mf=y
Chicago, Illinois, United States
deathdate = death date and age|1950|3|19|1875|9|1|mf=y
Encino, California, United States
occupation = Novelist
nationality = American
period = 20th century
Adventure novel, Lost World, Sword and Planet, Planetary Romance, Soft science fiction, Westerns
notableworks = Tarzan series, Barsoom series
H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Edwin Lester Linden Arnold
Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Michael Moorcock, Lin Carter, Leigh Brackett, John Norman, Otis Adelbert Kline
Edgar Rice Burroughs (
September 1, 1875– March 19, 1950) was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzanand the heroic John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.
Burroughs was born on
September 1 1875in Chicago, Illinois(although he later lived for many years in the neighboring suburb of Oak Park), the son of a businessman. He was educated at a number of local schools, and during the Chicago influenzaepidemic in 1891 spent a half year on his brothers' ranch on the Raft Riverin Idaho. He then attended the Phillips Academyin Andover, Massachusettsand then the Michigan Military Academy. Graduating in 1895, and failing the entrance exam for West Point, he ended up as an enlisted soldierwith the 7th U.S. Cavalryin Fort Grant, Arizona Territory. After being diagnosed with a heartproblem and thus found ineligible for a commission, he was discharged in 1897.
What followed was a string of seemingly unrelated and short stint jobs. Following a period of drifting and ranch work in
Idaho, Burroughs found work at his father's firm in 1899. He married Emma Centennia Hulbert in 1900. In 1904 he left his job and found less regular work, initially in Idaho but soon back in Chicago.
By 1911, after seven years of low wages, he was working as a
pencil sharpenerwholesaler and began to write fiction. By this time Burroughs and Emma had two children, Joan and Hulbert. During this period, he had copious spare time and he began reading many pulp fiction magazines and has since claimed:
"...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 these pulp fiction magazines, his first story "Under the Moons of Mars" was serialized in "
The All-Story" magazine in 1912ERBzine, [http://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0419.html Volume 0419 -"A Virtual Visit to The Nell Dismukes McWhorter Memorial Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection"] , with photographs.] [http://www.all-story.com/issues.cgi?action=show_story&story_id=69 Zoetrope: All-Story: Back Issue ] ] and earned Burroughs US$400 (roughly the equivalent of US$7600 in 2004).
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 begin his most successful series. In 1913, Burroughs and Emma had their third and last child, John Coleman.
Burroughs also wrote popular
science fictionand fantasystories involving Earthly adventurers transported to various planets (notably Barsoom, Burroughs' 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 Magazine". Tarzanwas 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 1923 Burroughs set up his own company,
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and began printing his own books through the 1930s. He divorced Emma in 1934 and married former actress Florence Gilbert Dearholt in 1935, ex-wife of his friend, Ashton Dearholt, adopting the Dearholts' two children. They divorced in 1942.
At the time of the attack on
Pearl Harborhe was a resident of Hawaiiand, despite being in his late sixties, he asked for permission to be a war correspondent. This permission was granted and so he became the oldest war correspondent for the U.S. during World War II. 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 seventy novels.
The town of
Tarzana, Californiawas named after Tarzan. In 1919 Burroughs purchased a large ranch north of Los Angeles, Californiawhich he named "Tarzana." The citizens of the community that sprang up around the ranch voted to adopt that name when their town was incorporated in 1928.
The Burroughs crater on Mars is named in Burroughs' honor.
A Princess of Mars" (1912) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/62] ) (LibriVox.org MP3 recording [http://librivox.org/a-princess-of-mars-by-edgar-rice-burroughs/] )
The Gods of Mars" (1914) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/64] ) (LibriVox.org MP3 recording [http://librivox.org/the-gods-of-mars-by-edgar-rice-burroughs/] )
The Warlord of Mars" (1918) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/68] ) (AudioBooksForFree.com MP3 recording [http://www.audiobooksforfree.com/details/Fiction/2000036/Warlord-Of-Mars] )
Thuvia, Maid of Mars" (1920) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/72] ) (AudioBooksForFree.com MP3 recording [http://www.audiobooksforfree.com/details/Fiction/2000030/Thuvia-Maid-Of-Mars] )
The Chessmen of Mars" (1922) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/1153] )
The Master Mind of Mars" (1928) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100201.txt] )
A Fighting Man of Mars" (1931) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100211.txt] )
Swords of Mars" (1936) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100221.txt] )
Synthetic Men of Mars" (1940) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100231.txt] )
Llana of Gathol" (1948) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks01/0100241.txt] )
*"John Carter of Mars" (1964)
John Carter and the Giant of Mars" (1940) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600581.txt] )
Skeleton Men of Jupiter" (1942) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0600591.txt] )
Tarzan of the Apes" (1912) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/78] )
The Return of Tarzan" (1913) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/81] )
The Beasts of Tarzan" (1914) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/85] )
The Son of Tarzan" (1914) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/90] )
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar" (1916) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/92] )
Jungle Tales of Tarzan" (1916, 1917) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/106] )
Tarzan the Untamed" (1919, 1921) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/1401] )
Tarzan the Terrible" (1921) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/2020] )
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 and the Forbidden City" (1938)
*"Tarzan the Magnificent" (1936, 1937)
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)
Joe R. Lansdale) (1995)
*"At the Earth's Core" (1914) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/545] )
*"Pellucidar" (1923) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/605] )
Tanar of Pellucidar" (1928) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601061h.html] )
Tarzan at the Earth's Core" (1929)
Back to the Stone Age" (1937)
Land of Terror" (1944)
Savage Pellucidar" (1963)
Pirates of Venus" (1934)
Lost on Venus" (1935)
Carson of Venus" (1939)
Escape on Venus" (1946)
The Wizard of Venus" (1970)
*"The Land That Time Forgot" (1918) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/551] )
*"The People That Time Forgot" (1918) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/552] ) (AKA "People Out of Time")
Out of Time’s Abyss" (1918) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/553] )
The Moon Maid" (1926) (aka "The Moon Men")
** "Part I: The Moon Maid", "Part II: The Moon Men" and "Part III: The Red Hawk" have been published in varying combinations. Like most of Burroughs fiction, they were originally published serially, but the original book version included all three under the title "The Moon Maid". [ [http://www.erbzine.com/mag7/0767.html ERBzine] ]
*"The Mucker" (1914) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/331] )
The Return of the Mucker" (1916) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/331] )
The Oakdale Affair" (1917) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/363] )
Other science fiction
*"Beyond the Farthest Star" (1941) (Project Gutenberg (AU) Entry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0606081.txt] )
*"The Lost Continent" (1916) (aka "Beyond Thirty") (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/149] )
The Monster Men" (1929) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/96] )
The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw" (1937) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0601241.txt] )
Jungle adventure novels
The Cave Girl" (1925)
The Eternal Lover" (1925) (aka "The Eternal Savage")
*"Jungle Girl" (1932) (aka "Land of the Hidden Men")
The Man Eater" (1935)
The Lad and the Lion(1938)
Apache Devil" (1933)
The Bandit of Hell's Bend" (1926)
The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County" (1940)
*"The War Chief" (1927)
I am a Barbarian" (1967)
The Outlaw of Torn" (1927) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/369] )
*"The Efficiency Expert" (1921) (
Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/3475] )
Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder" (2001) ( [http://www.strangeexcursions.com/tarzana publisher link] )
The Girl from Farris's" (1916)
The Girl from Hollywood" (1923)
The Mad King" (1926) ( Project GutenbergEntry: [http://gutenberg.net/etext/364] )
Marcia of the Doorstep" (1999)
Pirate Blood" (1970)
The Rider" (1937)
You Lucky Girl!" (1999)
Burroughs's work has had an influence on many science fiction and fantasy writers, including
H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Ray Bradbury, who have exerted a considerable influence of their own on the science fiction and fantasy genres. In addition, fantasy writer Michael Moorcock, who co-wrote the screenplay for the 1975 film adaptation of "The Land That Time Forgot", has expressed admiration for Burroughs's work.
*In the video game "" there is a statue of E. R. Burroughs, possibly as a reference to his novel "The Land That Time Forgot".
*In chapter 16 of
Stephen King's novel " Desperation" can be found the line "The Farting Buzzards of Desperation". Sounds like a goddam Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, doesn't it?" (Such adjective-noun-noun titles are actually a rarity among Burrough's novels; the closest analogue would be "The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County".)
Mars Trilogynovels of Kim Stanley Robinsonthe original capitol 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 in search of inspiration for a new novel (actually, Burroughs never set foot in Africa).
*The 1980 novel "The Number of the Beast", by
Robert A. Heinleinfeatured characters named Zebediah John Carter, Jacob Burroughs, and Dejah Thoris Burroughsin homage to Burroughs' Mars novels. Among other things, these and the other main characters travel to various alternate universes, including Barsoom, Oz and Wonderland.
* The Marvel Comics book Excalibur created by
Chris Claremontand Alan Davispaid 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 "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
Rocky II, Rocky reads "The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County" to Adrian while she is in a coma.
Books on Edgar Rice Burroughs
* "" by
Richard A. Lupoff
* "" by John Taliaferro
Mars in fiction
Otis Adelbert Kline
Sword and planet
*"John Carter of Mars" film
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
* [http://www.tarzan.com/ Tarzan.com]
* [http://www.tarzan.org/ Tarzan.org]
* [http://www.erbzine.com/ Edgar Rice Burroughs Web Museum and Weekly Online Fanzine]
*gutenberg author|id=Edgar_Rice_Burroughs|name=Edgar Rice Burroughs
* [http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#burroughs Works by Edgar Rice Burroughs] at [http://gutenberg.net.au Project Gutenberg Australia]
* [http://www.tarzan.org/official_biography_part1.html Official biography of Burroughs]
* [http://scifan.com/writers/bb/BurroughsEdgar.asp Bibliography] on
* [http://librivox.org/newcatalog/search_advanced.php?title=&author=burroughs%2C+edgar+rice&cat=&genre=&status=all&type=&language=&reader=&bc=&mc=&action=Search LibriVox Audiobook Recordings]
*isfdb name|id=Edgar_Rice_Burroughs|name=Edgar Rice Burroughs
NAME= Burroughs, Edgar Rice
SHORT DESCRIPTION= American novelist
DATE OF BIRTH= birth date|1875|9|1|mf=y
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Chicago, Illinois, United States
DATE OF DEATH= death date|1950|3|19|mf=y
PLACE OF DEATH=
Encino, California, United States
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