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The First and Only Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs Signature
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure 
Creator of Tarzan 
and 
"Grandfather of American Science Fiction" 

ERBzine 0140
COMPENDIUM 20-7
TARZAN AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY



The following ERB Time Line events have been excerpted from ERB LifeLine Bio to show ERB's total involvement with the mass media in the '30s as well as to give some idea of events which influenced his work and business decisions in this time period.
Click here to see the ERB LifeLine Bio in its entirety
1926
October 27 - November 4: At the invitation of the London Daily Express, Ed responds to the headline: "Mars Message Waited." At this time Mars is closer to Earth and thousands of radio enthusiasts are listening for possible messages. 
1930
* ERB does a radio interview on radio station KTM where he discusses conservation, prohibition, and  writing, expressing the belief that successful writing is an inherent ability and can not be taught. 
*  ERB writes Tarzan Jr. for the  miniature Fairy Castle Collection at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. ERB and Jack illustrate this one-of-a-kind tiny book 
January 24: The unfinished long poem, "Genghis Khan," is submitted to Good Housekeeping under the pseudeonym: Edgar Burr c/o C. R. Rothmund, Box 625 Reseda, California. It is rejected and filed away. 
January 29: Unhappy with the quality of Rex Maxon's artwork on The Return of Tarzan strip, Ed passes his concerns  on to his syndicate, the Metropolitan Newspaper Service. 
April 21: The article, "Entertainment is Fiction's Purpose", is sent by request to Writer's Digest.
1931
March 15: The Tarzan Sunday color pages debut. Ed, still critical of Maxon, finds his artwork much better here than in the dailies. Soon after, however, Ed is elated when Foster agrees to take over the Sunday pages. 
April 17: ERB advises George Carlin of United Features against the use of children in the Sunday colour page. He wishes to impress upon people that his stories are primarily for adults. Secretary Rothmund later meets with Carlin in New York to emphasize these concerns. 
April 28: Ed, making plans to publish his own books, asks Van Nuys High School principal, J. P. Inglis to recommend someone who could proofread the galley proofs of Tarzan the Invincible. He hires teacher, Adele Bischoff. 
September 20: Rex Maxon's last Sunday Tarzan page is published.
October 4: The appearance of the first Hal Foster illustrated Tarzan Sunday  page ("Terror From the Skies").
November 20: Tarzan the Invincible is the first book published under the Burroughs imprint. The printing and binding was done by Kingsport Press in Kingsport, Tennessee. They would print all of the ERB, Inc. books until 1948. Cover and frontispiece are by nephew Studley Burroughs
December 29: The 2000-word article, "Literary Rights," is sent upon request to Writer's Digest. It is published as "Protecting the Author's Rights" in the 1932 Writer's Yearbook.
1932
*  The first three of ERB's collection of nine murder mysteries - "Murder, A collection of Short Murder Mystery Puzzles" is published in Rob Wagner's Script Magazine (Beverly Hills): "Who Murdered Mr. Thomas?" "The Red Necktie," and "The Terrace Drive Murder." "The Lightship Murder" would appear in 1935. The 3,000-word "Dupuyster Case" remains unfinished.
February: ERB is extremely happy with the preview of MGM's first "talkie" Tarzan,  Tarzan, the Ape-Man, starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. The pronunciation of Tarzan is changed to Tar-ZAN in the picture. 
February 29: In a letter to niece Mrs. Carleton (Evelyn) McKenzie, Ed writes that he is impressed with the sound effects created for the first two preview episodes of the new Tarzan radio show
February?: The American Radio Syndicate production, Tarzan of the Apes, starring James and Joan Burroughs Pierce and Gale Gordon, is produced as six days a week serial, in 15-minute episodes. 
May 9: In response to Tarzan, the Ape-Man's huge success, Ed joins director Van Dyke and Maureen O'Sullivan in a personal stage appearance at a Los Angeles theatre.
June: "The Tarzan Theme" article appears in Writer's Digest. 
June: ERB closely monitors the new radio show. He sends his criticisms to company president Dahlquist, i.e. carelessness in script preparation - especially in grammar, Tarzan showing fear or laughing, comedy involving Tarzan. Ed is pleased enough with the programme to sign a three-year contract which also guarantees employment for Jim and Joan. 
July: "Tarzan for President" article appears in Blue Book 
July 9: The article, "Edgar Rice Burroughs Tells All," appears in Script magazine. An hilarious autobiography filled with events that never happened. 
July 26: Ed expresses his pleasure to J. C. Powell, Librarian Emeritus of the University of California at Berkley who has welcomed him into the honoured circle of authors of the Golden State. 
August: Signal Oil purchases exclusive broadcasting rights for California. 
August: Ed purchases a home in Malibu at 90 Malibu La Costa Beach when he realizes that the planned renovations of the Tarzana home will be too expensive. 
September 10: The radio premier (episode number one on record) of the Tarzan radio show is presented at the Fox Pantages Theater in Hollywood with the entire cast present. ERB and Jim and Joan make brief speeches. The series is one of the first radio shows to be transcribed for world-wide markets. 
September 12: Tarzan of the Apes radio show is released nationwide. It will run for at least 286 episodes. 
September 20: Signal Oil launches a  promotional campaign involving a Tarzan Jig-Saw Puzzle Contest.
October: Signal Oil organizes the Tarzan Club which by December 1933 has grown to 125,000 members.
1933
*  Stephen Slesinger, Inc. of New York is licensed to handle ERB merchandise rights. His authorization of a Whitman Big Little Book of Tarzan of the Apes is not valid, but ERB and Whitman eventually negotiate a whole series of BLBs
February 1: Encouraged by the success of Signal Oil's Tarzan Club, ERB plans to form the Tarzan Clans of America. Members will receive an official guide containing rules, election and meeting procedures, rules for games and field meets, clan rituals and songs, instructions for making "weapons," an ape/English dictionary, etc. The booklet was copyrighted in 1936. 
April 3 - 7: The Burroughs family take a vacation trip to Death Valley. Ed gives a humorous account of the expedition in a nine-page article titled, "The Death Valley Expedition of the Intrepid Thirty-Threers."
June 28: Ed is accepted into the International Mark Twain Society, Webster Groves, Missouri.
August: Sol Lesser, who has obtained rights to Tarzan the Fearless, releases it as combined full-length feature and serial. Tarzan is played by 1932 Olympic swimming champion Buster Crabbe who has pushed out the actor originally contracted for the role - James Pierce.
Fall: J. Allen St. John prepares samples of a Martian strip to be presented to King Features Syndicate but it is rejected by Hearst himself. 
September 13: Ed is elected hon, mayor of Malibu Beach.
October 26: ERB informs Dahlquist that he is not satisfied with the radio show and would like take over the script writing with episode 248. He contacts Neebe, informing him of his plan to take over the show in March 1934.
November 11 - January 6, 1934: Tarzan and the Lion Man runs as a nine-part serial in Liberty magazine ($10,000 -  for the first time a commission of $1,500 is paid to an agent) . The British magazine Tid-Bits purchases the story for 200 pounds. 
1934
* The name Tarzan is listed in the main section of the unabridged Merriam-Webster New International Dictionary
January 5 - noon: Ed takes his first flying lesson from instructor Jim Granger at Clover Field. The plane is a Kinner Security low wing monoplane. The permit is made out to: "Smith" (to prevent Emma from worrying), age 58, weight 189, height 69 1/2".
February 10: Ed takes delivery of a Security Airster plane which he names the Doodad
February 19: Ed leaves Emma to live at The Garden of Allah, Villa 23 and spends much time with Florence Ashton. 
March: MGM's second Tarzan film, Tarzan and His Mate, is completed.
March?: Hulbert, along with Rothmund,  manages the radio branch of ERB, Inc. and then turns to photography.
May 5: Hulbert Burroughs is assigned the job of salesman for the series and makes the rounds of potential markets to which he distributes a full colour brochure: Tarzan of the Air.
* A 39-part  radio serial, Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher, begins its run.
May 13 - January 19, 1935: Tarzan novel #19,  Tarzan and Jane (Tarzan's Quest), is written (80,000 words). ERB starts the project at 2029 Pinehurst and completes it at Tarzana. The manuscript is rejected by Liberty and Collier's.
July: Hulbert makes a tour of eastern cities, making contacts with radio stations and advertisers. Neebe turns down a offer to work in sales and promotion.
*  ERB, Dearholt and two other investors, form Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises to produce Tarzan pictures. Their office is located at 8476 Sunset Boulevard. Plans are made to film a Tarzan movie in Guatemala.
August 13: A son, Michael, is born to Joan and Jim Pierce.
September 1: Tarzan and the Lion Man is published by ERB, Inc. with illustrations by St. John.
October: Olympic athlete Herman Brix is chosen to play "Tarzan in Guatemala." Ed refuses to write a movie tie-in novel, preferring to leave the promotion to a special Whitman Big Little Book, a Tarzan Club campaign, and Signal Oil.
October 20: Tarzan the Fearless Big Little Book is published by Whitman.
October 21: Ed and Florence travel to Las Vegas where he takes up residency. 
November - April, 1935: Swords of Mars runs as a six-part series in Blue Book.
November: Dearholt reports casting problems for the Tarzan film. He is anxious to start a treatment on the Mad King.
November 12: Walter Winchell reports that ERB is staying at the Apache Hotel in preparation to end 34 years of marriage. His next bride will be Florence Dearholt of Queens Road, Hollywood.
November 13: ERB assigns all rights to Romance Films to George Stout, including the boy scout film serial, "Young Eagles."
November - end: The Tarzan film expedition sails for Guatemala.
December: The Dearholt expedition, aboard the liner Seattle, lands on the Guatemala coast in a storm which causes incredible difficulties.
December 11: Variety reports that the Guatemala Tarzan film will be called Tarzan and the Green Goddess. Titles later considered include The New Adventures of Tarzan and Tarzan's 1935 Adventures.
December 6: Ed is granted a "quickie" divorce.
December 25: Ed and Florence announce their engagement at the Gilbert home.
1935
January: Ed and Florence pick out a home at 806 Beverly Hills, currently occupied by Maurice Chevalier. Ed moves out of 7933 Hillside Avenue, Hollywood.
January 7: ERB is enthusiastic over the early Guatemala rushes, on what is to be a 12-part Tarzan serial.
February 5: Ed sends the Tarzan and Jane manuscript to Emma, whom he has put on the ERB, Inc. payroll for tax purposes as a copyreader/proofreader. 
March 5: ERB is disappointed over the uncut film from Guatemala.
April 4: Ed and Florence take a Western Air Express flight to Las Vegas. They are married at the court house.
April 5: The newlyweds board the S.S. Lurline for Honolulu. During the voyage they dine at the Captain's table with Jeanette McDonald and her mother.
April 11: Ed and Florence dock at Honolulu and receive leis sent by Florence's friend Janet Gaynor who has a cottage on the island.
April 11 - May 11: ERB and his bride swim, surf and relax on their honeymoon in Hawaii.
July: "Tarzan for President" appears in Blue Book.
August 17: Rothmund begins a barrage of submissions of ERB's 1930 western "That Damned Dude,"
September 7: Tarzan and the Leopard Men is published by ERB Inc.
October: ERB rents a home for eight months at Arena Road, Palm Springs. They spend much time at the Palm Springs Racquet Club owned by Ralph Bellamy and Charles Farrell. The children are given swimming lessons by  Johnny Weissmuller.
*  Ed the pleases Florence's children by telling them the same cliffhanger stories he once told to Joan, Hulbert and Jack.
October 22: As a promotional gimmick, The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times request a political speech for Tarzan. Ed composes a 600-word campaign speech delivered by N'kima who supports Tarzan's Nude Deal Platform.
October 26: "The Lightship Murder" is published in Rob Wagner's Script.
October - March 1936: Blue Book serializes Tarzan and the Immortal Men (written as Tarzan and Jane and later in book form appears as Tarzan's Quest) for which they have paid $3,000.
November: Still suffering from his bladder obstruction trouble, Ed enters the Good Samaritan Hospital under the name John B. Downs. A long period of  convalescence follows.
November 5: Ed's political speech for Tarzan appears as a large ad with Maxon illustrations under the heading "Down with Lion Politicians."
November 6: ERB starts writing The Gang Murder.
December 3: Ed writes the light verse, "Dear Old Eight-Two-Three," while convalescing in room 823 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.
1936
*   Tarzan Escapes starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan is released by MGM.
*   Swords of Mars is published by ERB, Inc. The letters of the first word in the prologue and chapters form the acrostic: "To Florence with all My Love Ed."
 January: Burroughs-Tarzan Pictures (BTP) is negotiating various films: Dark River, Typee, Three Wise Monks, The Drag-Net, The White Glove, The Phantom of Santa Fe, Tundra, and Murder at the Carnival. The company soon faces serious financial problems.
February 15: Swords of Mars is published by ERB Inc.
March 9: Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja (written in 1928 as Jad-Bal-Ja and the Tarzan Twins) is published as a Whitman Big Big Book. Both Tarzan Twins books are later combined in a 1963 Canaveral Press book.
March: Tarzan the Magnificent is completed at Palm Springs (42,000 words).
March 22 - 25: Elmer is written (5,000 words) in Palm Springs and Tarzana. The name "Elmer" is the name of one of the skulls in his sons' skull collection - it had been given to them by Ed's physician, Dr. Elmer Belt. It is rejected by Collier's.
*  Preliminary shooting of The Phantom of Santa Fe is completed at Tarzana Ranch.
May 1: Tarzan the Magnificent is submitted to Liberty where it is rejected. It is then rejected by Blue Book.
May: Ed and Florence return to LA to stay at a succession of residences
Summer: Ed travels to Chicago and New York to seek outlets for BTP films.
September 1: Tarzan and the Immortal Men is released by ERB, Inc. as Tarzan's Quest, a title suggested by ERB secretary Mildred Bernard. It features the final book jacket and illustrations by long-time ERB illustrator J. Allen St. John.
September 19 - October 3: Tarzan and the Magic Men (written as Tarzan the Magnificent) is serialized in three parts in Argosy ($1,500).
September 28: ERB informs J. Allen St.John that son John Coleman Burroughs is taking over the illustrations on the next ERB, Inc. edition. Jack went on to illustrate 13 ERB books.
October 4: Tarzan's Quest is reviewed in the Boston Post.
November 13: ERB submits an idea for a dice-board game to Whitman. They reject the idea and refer him to Parker Brothers.
November 16: Ed writes Argosy to complain about the title change of Tarzan the Magnificent (they renamed it Tarzan and the Magic Men) as well as major revisions in the style and content of the story.
December 1 - March 8, 1937: Tarzan and the Elephant Men(a sequel to Tarzan and the Magic Men) is written. It is rejected by Argosy.
December 12: Jack marries Pomona College classmate, Jane Ralston.
December 19: ERB submits an idea for a radio show to be called, "I See by the Papers." Ed planned to play the part of a columnist for the at the Tarzana Tribune.
1937
March 18: "Man-Eaters" a 3,000-word article about lions, is completed. It is rejected by many publications in April and May. 
May: The article "A Letter from an Author who Publishes His Own Books" or "Mr. Burroughs Describes His Publishing Methods" appears in Writer's Digest
September: Men and Beasts (incorporating The Lad and the Lion) is rejected by Argosy and Blue Book.
September 2 - September 30: ERB works on strip continuity.
October 10 -  November 18: Tarzan and the Forbidden City is written (67,000 words). It is revised considerably and retitled for its appearance in Argosy the next year.
December 22: The Daily Express reports that Tarzan and the Green Goddess is doing great business in England.
1938
January 23: Ed is interviewed on KFWB Hollywood. He confesses that he had originally planned to write only two Tarzan books. He mentions that Tarzan strips are appearing 300 newspapers and Tarzan is being published in 35 countries and has been translated into 58 languages.
March: An interview with ERB is published in the article, "Romance Isn't Dead" by Oliver Poole, in Writers' Markets & Methods
March 19 - April 23: The Red Star of Tarzan (Tarzan and the Forbidden City) is serialized in six parts in Argosy.
*  Tarzan and the Forbidden City (appeared as The Red Star of Tarzan in Argosy) is published by ERB, Inc. with illustrations by John Coleman Burroughs.
October 15: Tarzan of the Apes is voted second best Argosy story of all time.
October 17 - April 17: Land of Terror is written (60,000 words). It is rejected by all magazines. ERB is losing confidence in his work.
December 19: "Heil Hitler!" a one-page synopsis, offers a "Suggestion for a story of what a humanitarian Hitler might accomplish for Germany and the World." A Hitler "double" is used in the plot. Studios appear afraid to touch it.
1939
*  Ed has another idea for a radio show which he submits to Thompson Agency - Quiet, Please! The emphasis of this fifteen-minute, once-a-week show is on objections to noise - quiet. In the sample columns written for the show he makes it known that he has no love for the Roosevelts, Hitler, Nazis or communists. He mentions that the recently deceased Douglas Fairbanks came close to playing Tarzan in the first Tarzan film. There is no sponsor interest and the show is never broadcast. 
* A radio serial, Tarzan and the Fires of Tohr, is transcribed (perhaps back in 1936) and copyrighted, but is not broadcast. Another Tarzan radio show, Commodore Productions' Tarzan - Lord of the Jungle, is produced after ERB's death. The 67 half-hour shows starring Lamont Johnson are first broadcast in 1951 and then re-broadcast by CBS from March 22, 1952 - June 27, 1953.
May 10: ERB revives the Tarzan Clans of America with the printing of a 32-page booklet, the "Official Guide of the Tarzan Clans of America."  He sends a proof to MGM to obtain permission for a tie-in to Weissmuller and the movies. The cover design of a native chief has been adapted by son Jack from a St. John illustration in The Beasts of Tarzan
October 18: Ed guests on Ken Murray's Texaco Star Theater radio program. Murray tries to talk Burroughs ERB into starring him as Tarzan instead of Johnny Weismuller and puts on his production of "Tarzan" entitled; The Home Life of Mr. and Mrs. Tarzan or The Apes of Wrath.

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