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Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875 - 1950)

Burroughs, Edgar Rice

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in 1875, into a wealthy Chicago family, although he later claimed to have spent his childhood in Peking. During his early years, he attended several private schools and served in the military, where he first heard stories of battles with American Indians. He married Emma Hulbert in 1900, and spent the next decade in near-poverty, attempting various careers without success.

The turning point for Burroughs came in 1910, when he began writing for pulp magazines. A story called Under the Moons of Mars, which introduced the hero John Carter, was his first professional sale, published in 1912. All of Carter’s adventures were published in book form in 1917 as A Princess of Mars - the series eventually swelled to eleven titles. Burroughs’s other popular series included the Carson of Venus books, Pellucidar, and The Land that Time Forgot.

However, his most stunning success was the Tarzan series, beginning with Tarzan of the Apes in 1912. Burroughs eventually wrote 24 more Tarzan adventures, which were adapted into many films. In order to cover his financial losses, he wrote an average of three novels a year.

After serving as mayor of California Beach and a correspondent in the South Pacific during World War II, Burroughs died of a heart ailment on March 19, 1950. Although critics have labeled his novels badly-written, sexist and racist, they inspired a generation of adventure and science fiction writers and continue to be enjoyed today.

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Encyclopedia article about Edgar Rice Burroughs
Texts by Burroughs
At the Earth's Core
Takes place 500 miles beneath the earth's surface, where David Innes and Abner Perry have broken through. It is a world of eternal daylight, prehistoric beasts and primitive people, the Pellucidar. A tale of discovery and conquest.
The Beasts of Tarzan
Now a rich Lord, Tarzan's family is the target of kidnappers. With the help of animal friends, Tarzan tracks the kidnappers, seeking vengeance.
The Chessmen of Mars
Part of the "Barsoom" series, focusing on Tara, daughter of John Carter and Dejah Thoris. Tara meets Gahan, and Gahan falls in love with her. Tara is captured by the Kaldane. a species who eat humans as a food source. After a botched rescue attempt, Gaha and Tara must play against the Chessmen of Mars for their lives.
The Gods of Mars
The second book in the "Barsoom" series, details the events that happened after John Carter's return to Earth.
Jungle Tales of Tarzan
Sixth book in the Tarzan series, detailing Tarzan's youth living with apes.
The Land That Time Forgot
Bowen J. Tyler travels to Europe during World War I, but his ship is attacked by a German U-boat. Tyler helps rescue survivors, including a woman name Lys La Rue, and captures the U-boat. While trying to find a safe place to dock the U-boat, they happen upon the Lost World: a prehistoric land.
The Lost Continent
While sailing, a sudden storm brings Jefferson Turck to an England that has been destroyed after two hundred years of isolation.
The Monster Men
Doctor Maxon discovers the secret of how to create human life.
Out of Time's Abyss
Bradley and several companions try to find the lost island of Caprona. Bradley is kidnapped by flying creatures and taken to the city of Wieroo. When he escapes, he takes a girl with him, and they try to make their way back to Bradley's companions in order to make good their escape.
The Outlaw of Torn
Sir Jules de Vac is insulted by King Henry III and takes his revenge by kidnapping the King's son.
David Innes searches for Dian, and they try to stop the exploitation of the primitive humans in the Stone Age world.
The People That Time Forgot
A rescue journey to Antarctica, detailing the discovery of a land with dinosaurs and cavemen.
A Princess of Mars
Part of the "Barsoom" series, the character of John Carter describes the time he spent in the Civil War. After being attacked by Indians, Carter finds a mysterious cave that transports him magically to Barsoom, the planet Mars. While there, he becomes a chieftain and falls in love with Dejah Thoris, whom he must rescue from a tribe of Green Men.
The Return of Tarzan
Tarzan returns to the jungle to find the city of Opar, the city of gold.
The Son Of Tarzan
Tarzan's son, Jack, flees London life to go to the African jungle.
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Set in the forgotten city of Opar, La, a high priestess, dreams of Tarzan, whom she once tried to kill.
Tarzan of the Apes
Tale of the baby Tarzan who was stolen and reared by apes. After encountering three men and a woman, Tarzan must choose between the world of the jungle and the outside world.
Tarzan the Untamed
Men kill Tarzan's family, and he swears revenge.
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Book four of the Barsoom series, tells the story of Thuvia, Princess of Ptarth, who is abducted, and the son of John Carter is blamed.
Warlord of Mars
Another in the Barsoom series, the story of John Carter and his journey to find Dejah Thoris.

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