Weve recently been lucky enough to acquire a beautiful collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs books. Best known for his Tarzan novels, Burroughs was one of the most prolific authors of the early 20th century. His sci-fi and fantasy novels inspired a generation of writers, artists, producers, and even scientists.
A Bit about Burroughs
After graduating from the Michigan Military Academy, Burroughs enlisted in the Army. He was discharged due to a heart condition and found himself working a string of low-level jobs. Burroughs eventually took a job with his fathers firm, but after seven years of earning low wages, it was time to move on.
Burroughs took a job as a pencil sharpener wholesaler, where he found himself with plenty of time on his hands. That's when he began reading pulp fiction magazines. Burroughs quickly realized 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."
What soon followed was Burroughs first work, Under the Moons of Mars, which was serialized. He later published it as a novel, with the title A Princess on Mars. Over the next 40 years, Burroughs went on to write over 70 novels, including the following series:
- Barsoom series: The setting of this series is the planet Barsoom, a romanticized version of Mars. The series earned Burroughs the honor of a crater named after him on the red planet.
- Tarzan series: After the Tarzan series gained popularity, Burroughs defied popular wisdom and used the character in comic books and other spin-offs. Burroughs even named his California ranch Tarzana, and it later grew into a town of the same name.
- Pellucider series: Set at the core of Earth, the Pellucider series Burroughs envisions the earth as a hollow shell, with the world of Pellucider at its center. Its continents mirror the worlds oceans, and its bodies of water mirror the seven continents.
- Venus series: The protagonist of the Venus series sets out for Mars, only to land on Venus. The planet turns out to be a water world whose human-like inhabitants call the planet Amtor.
- Caspak series: After a series of unfortunate events, the hero Bowen Tyler finds himself in the land of Caprona, where dinosaurs still roam and the inhabitants are still in various stage of hominid development.
Burroughs also wrote multiple historical and Western novels, along with other jungle adventures not featuring Tarzan. Many of his books were first published in serial form, including the works in the Moon series. The definitive bibliography of Burroughs works, by Robert B. Zeuschner, is an indispensible tool for anyone who plans to assemble an outstanding Burroughs collection.
Our Edgar Rice Burroughs collection includes wonderful first editions of many of Burroughs works. If youd like to see some of his well-known works or discover new favorites, we invite you to peruse the collection.