The ERBapa Reprint Series
Mad Kings. . . and New Paths
Seeking New Paths Collecting ERB, And Getting HOPELESSLY LOST!!!
My Sojourn on Mars
I first came in contact with Beyond Thirty in the small-retitled ACE paperback, The Lost Continent. That was in my last year of high school 1964 to 1965. I was purchasing all the small ACE ERB paperbacks, and had a full set of the Ballantine Tarzan and Mars books -- until new titles came out of the safe!
This book caught my attention fast! I love anything historical, and enjoy the "What IF books promulgating rewritten history. Beyond Thirty shows a world following The Great War of 1914 to 1918, and how it changed the world. 200 years into the future!
Additionally, I enjoy these stories that deal with a post apocalyptic world. Beyond Thirty deals with part of the world being reduced to pre-historic living conditions as compared to George Allan England's Darkness & Dawn trilogy from the pulps where a comet hits the Earth causing many people to die, and the remainder to be mutated.
Edgar Rice Burroughs like most people of that time living in cities kept abreast of current events. The US was engaged in a titanic inner struggle regarding isolationism or entering the Great European War. New from the war front sped by telegraph to all the major newspapers and news syndicates. The isolationists used it as canon fodder.
Beyond Thirty appeared complete in the February 1916 issue of the obscure All-Around Magazine. I believe that ERB wrote this after close to a year of European war. The reports were repulsive from the fronts. The dead maimed and wounded were casualties of astronomic proportions. The military leadership was fighting a modern mechanized war using outdated human frontal assaults! Wave after wave of young men charged entrenched machine gun emplacements, and were mowed down by the thousands!
Many people were disheartened by the war reports, and some radical Christians were predicting Armageddon. The future looked bleak, and these ideas gave rise to one of ERB's best futuristic works. It is instructive to note that America is part of Pan-America, and had enjoyed 200 years of peace because they remained out of the Great War of 1914. Many people did not believe the US would become embroiled in the conflict until Germany's sneaky Zimmerman telegram to Mexico, the blowing up of the munitions pier in New York harbor, and the fallout of the Lusitania sinking.
Fortunately it was the intervention of American troops that turned the tide in the Allies' favor in real life. In the book the war raged until all the sides came close to extinction, and their cities and lands in ruins!
The descendants of the UK were now "Grabritin's" with the language degenerating to a shadow of its former glory. Victory, hereditary Queen of England, was a great character. Somehow the head of state shifted from the male to female in 200 years.
The UK and Europe are overrun with wild animals. Maybe the result of zoo escapees? Maybe African and Asian predators overpopulated, and migrated to new feeding areas in Europe. Whatever, it adds the exotic touch that takes this futuristic story back to the primitive.
As an added bonus the Asian civilization is not the "Yellow Peril" that was so prevalent back then! In the end the Asians cause the 30 and 170 degree barriers to be lifted. The Americas are having interaction with the rest of the world, and will be helping the UK and Europe begin rebuilding.
I have read this book well over a dozen times, and still it is a fresh read!
Mad Kings. . . and New Paths
Here I sit at my computer typing like a madman trying to get in under the deadline. Gawd, I hope I do not do the "Fatfinger" act too often! In mid March I was admitted to the VA here in Saint Louis, as I was, AGAIN, four pints low on blood! I got a transfusion, and they did more tests. Now I have an anti-biotic, which is helping. I was moving slower for four months previous being low on iron, hemoglobin despite being very vigilant and sharp minded. Since complaining and griping changes nothing I move right along!
I really enjoyed the last few issues, and the summer symposium! I could easily have written an article on any of the lost cities and lost races mentioned, but I was happy and beyond pleased to read about them all!! What a great issue!!!! Henry did a great job in the issue's presentation, but it was sad to see the Three Shells retire from participation.
What I find exciting is the diversity. Each issue is a sprinkling of articles, essays, pastiches, art, comic, and first day covers. Such a wide variety, and not all written words!!!!! I would like to delve into The Mad King (and its precursor, The Prisoner of Zenda), and maybe other items of interest.
I have always enjoyed, and found fresh with each reading, ERB's The Mad King! Firstly I enjoy the story (both parts), and the totally romantic plot excites me. Secondly, it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood films and books, The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. While there are distinct similarities between the two books the books have major differences. That is worth looking at.
ERB and Anthony Hope wrote a book with a sequel about impersonation in a royal manner. Anthony Hope wrote first The Prisoner of Zenda and later a sequel Rupert of Hentzau. These were both novel length stories. ERB wrote two novellas (short Novels) that came to be published in one book. "The Mad King" followed by "Barney Custer of Beatrice" were published in book form as The Mad King. This we all know.
I was exposed to Anthony Hope's version first through the Classics Illustrated comic book, and then the Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr film. Later I was privileged to view the Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Ronald Coleman film. I liked the older film best. Doug Fairbanks was perfect as Count Hentzau, but James mason was a close second. I got to meet Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in 1964, and said the line about killing an unarmed man to which he smiled that smile and replied, "Of course!" Then I got him to sign my mother's autograph book next to his 1937 autograph.
The story by Hope fascinated me from that first comic book reading. I suppose it is the romantic in me! I had to pick up the book version as soon as I could to read all the words. I suppose it is the history buff in me that is drawn to films like that. I learned that a sequel was written, but did not find it until 1971, and that was the Dover book that contained the two novels. It was the only edition to contain both novels in one book.
The Mad King I discovered in that wild glut of small ACE paperbacks from 1963 to 1966. All those great Krenkel and Frazetta covers drew me into the story before I ever opened the pages! I read ERB's book with a faster gusto than I ever dreamed of while reading the Hope book. Burroughs' book was more alive as it flowed so easily. I could not stop turning the pages as I despised the usual nasty villains. The ending of The Mad King was superior to my thinking than either of Anthony Hope's stories!
The Prisoner of Zenda and the sequel Rupert of Hentzau were written about two decades before ERB's stories appeared. Both are by Anthony Hope. These two books are full-length novels, and thus, longer that ERB's Two- Parts of The Mad King. Hope's tomes predate ERB's by a good 20 years, and reflect the waning days of Old Europe of the Pre Great War years!
As I reported I first read Prisoner of Zenda in the Classics Illustrated comic edition, and have reread that comics numerous times over the decades ever since. I wish there was a comic adaptation of The Mad King to enjoy as well!! PLEASE?????? Then I read the book version of "Prisoner" several times, while enjoying the 1937 and 1952 film adaptations. It is a grand story.
In Prisoner the look-alike leaves the country as Barney Custer does in part 1 of The Mad King. They both return in sequel.
However, in "Barney Custer of Beatrice," Barney returns, the King dies, and Barney rules as the king. In Rupert of Hentzau Rassendyll returns, becomes king, but is assassinated. However, he marries Flavia, and they have a male heir to rule with Flavia ruling as regent following Rudolf's death until their son is able to assume the throne on his own. The Mad King is a more upbeat story with a much happier ending than part two of Prisoner.
Personally, I enjoy Prisoner a lot, but am depressed by the second book despite the good action. The Mad King is just great. Barney lives through a firing squad, travels through a sewer, impersonates Austrian soldiers and rescues Princess Emma again. In both parts of The Mad King Barney's Military skills shine leading troops in desperate combat as he wins great victories in battles of a desperate nature in both parts. ERB wrote great action scenes, with vivid imaging.
Then there is the timeline difference. In ERB's version the son of a runaway Princess of Lutha returns to see the homeland his mother described to many times growing up. In Hope's classic several generations (five I think) have passed since a Prince has a dalliance with a Rassendyll, and the Ruritania facial looks surface every two or three generations. I would still enjoy a story where Barney Custer's father travels to Lutha following the US War Between the States meeting the royal family, and Princess Victoria. Then how their love grew, and they flee the country barely ahead of a pursuing troop of cavalry dispatched to bring them back.
Hope's books show us life in the late Victorian era. Zenda was published in 1894 and Hentzau was published in 1898. Very "Old World" with no cars. Trains, Horses and carriages provided transportation. In Mad King we experience the tension of pre WW I Europe, and part two takes place during the early days of WW I. In ERB's stories cars, and modern weapons are quite prevalent.
The Mad King (both parts) has been one of my favorite ERB stories outside of a series! Even though it is dated to just before (and during) World War One! I am a lover of history, and all things historical! The story of Prisoner of Zenda is good, but The Mad King is much more believable!! Then there is the element of insanity. A lie truly, but the intimation of insanity has that extra element that is quite outside the realm of everyday existence. A nice touch of horror.
In Zenda Rudolf impersonates the king, and later meets the Princess Flavia. In Mad King Barney met Princess Emma von der Tann first, and later impersonated the king. In both books the king is ungrateful of all that the impersonater has done on his behalf! The king in Mad King was much more ungrateful, and easily swayed by enemies, and those around him.
Comedy is interjected more in The Mad King than Prisoner of Zenda. We see the earliest mention I have seen of an election bet! Why people made such stupid bets and vows is beyond me! Not shaving for a year is pretty drastic, and most jobs nowdays would allow someone to look like a bum with a year's growth of beard! NOTE: I did not say all, just most!
Now to save this on a disc, and go to Kinko's on Tuesday to print out, and ready for copying. Hopefully I will mail it on Tuesday also, and get the copies to Shawn on time! Somehow I have to figure out what the Hell is wrong with my printer!
I have dressed up my now complete collection of ERB hardcovers. Those that did not have original dust jackets I decked out with beautiful reproductions. The mad Kind was one that I needed a repro cover, and reading hardcovers is now very cool in appearance!!
I have the cover of the dust jacket for mad King on page one, and the Classics illustrated comic for Zenda on page two. I used the older Classics comic edition because I enjoy the old line drawn covers much better than the painted one of the later years.
I desired one of every ERB title in hardcover for easier reading, and preserving my paperbacks from falling apart from too much reading! Especially those old Ballantine editions where I had many covers separate from the cheap glue!
I concentrated on G&Ds and ERB Inc¹s then added Canaveral¹s and some first editions. Now I am collecting first editions, Burt¹s, and many other variant publishers and editions. I am starting to seriously consider purchasing another condo to store all my books in as it is Definitely getting crowded here!
I read my year and a half granddaughter the Hogarth Tarzan book, and the Illustrated Tarzan book #1. She likes Tarzan!!!!!!!!
I want to thank the one person who voted for me for OE. Even I did not vote for myself! I do appreciate you're thinking of me in that manner. I have a great idea for next issue, and I have started on it already. I may do it AND the Summer Symposium topic too. Cheers to all and UMGAWA!!!! Terry
Seeking New Paths Collecting ERB, And Getting HOPELESSLY LOST!!!
I have chosen an unusual topic for this submission to go with my quirky autistic nature. I sought new paths into collecting ERB, and have now become hopelessly lost!!!!
When I was alone I collected paperbacks and comics growing up, and I was fat, dumb and happy. Then I found fellow ERB lovers in October 1996 on the Internet, and was astounded by all their postings and conversations about their collections. I turned green as I drooled at the thoughts of all those differing ERB items! I just had to have them. Have them all!!!! In May 1997 I started buying like a maniac!
Having paperbacks was not good enough I had to have every first edition, and I acquired them. Then I wanted every different cover and publisher, which rounded up. At the same time I joined the Burroughs Bibliophiles getting new, and past, editions of the bulletins. I began searching for other fanzines as well.
I began finding ERB hardcovers starting primarily with the Grosset & Dunlop editions. Then I began to find some ERB Inc. volumes adding them too. The supply of money was limited so I was not adding many hardcovers at first. However, I was able to trade for some, but all but two of these had no dust jackets.
The beginning of this problem is the Dell Tarzan comics. I purchased these from 1951 through the early 1960s. I also watched many Tarzan films on television, but they were mostly the Johnny Weissmuller ones. I did see the Denny Miller one about 1962 on TV, and some of the Gordon Scott and Lex Barker films were shown sparingly.
I was enraptured by the comics, and ordered things advertised on the back of the Tarzan comics and later other comics as well. I seem to have entered fully into a second childhood. OK, childhood never ended, but just got more intense and juvenile.
I have been picking up Dell Tarzan comics during the past three years from E-Bay and other sources. I have enjoyed reading them, and some I recall reading as a child. They brought back lots of great memories!!!
I like the ads too. The BB Rifles and the license plates of the states. I remember nagging my parents to purchase Wheaties to get those license plates, and I set off for two sets the one with Missouri and the New England set
Well guess what I spotted on E-Bay??? Those 1953, 1954 and 1955 license plates. By chance I looked at "seller¹s other auctions" to see what else they may have that I desired to own. It took me a long time to learn that, but thanks to Jim Van Hise, I checked his other auctions making many more bids and purchases.
I won three auctions getting all 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii and DC in one lot, and two lots of foreign plates. The foreign were mostly Canadian provinces along with a few Europeans. I could hardly wait for the license plates to arrive. I made a display for the wall in the book room. FINALLY I get to play with the full set of license plates!!! I am all anxiety to have them here, and now I do not have to wait as they are long since arrived here!
OK, did anyone else order those license plates from the back of the Tarzan comics??? I mention it now that all three auctions are over, and I won all of them. I see how license plates have changed since 1953 to 1955 now that I have the miniatures of the mid 1950s to hold and admire!
Remember Buffalo Bill, Junior selling those BB- guns / air rifles??? That was my second rifle as a child to play with. My first was a Davy Crockett muzzleloader, and pistols were Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger and Wild Bill Hickok.
The Dell comics always held a deep fascination for me. Tarzan went to many lost cities, and isolated areas where dinosaurs were to be found! He would sit on the neck of a giant eagle named Argus, and it would fly him where he wanted to travel. Very Cool! Most non canonical too!
I recall one comic had a nice map of Pal-ul-don on the back cover. It showed all the cities and villages. Also this was where different forms of people resided. Some people had TAILS!!! That was so fascinating for me in the 1950s, but I did not fully understand how inaccurate it was until I read the actual Tarzan books in 1952 to 1965. Tarzan the Terrible was terrific because I recalled reading about Pal-ul-don in several comics.
I have been obtaining the Dell Tarzans on a regular basis for the past five months. In that time I have picked up about 75 issues plus four Annuals. I found the Gold Key paper cover annual. I still swear it looks like Dell art and stories rather than Gold Key. I have been read the comics as I acquired them or at least within a week. Some comics I recalled reading in the tree in the back yard, in the basement fruit cellar or on the bus to school. I smiled a lot while reading them!
When I first saw the ad for the Wheaties State license plates boy did my eyes light up! I remembered making mom and dad purchase Wheaties so I could get the plates. Of course I had to go shopping with dad to pick out the right kind of box, as mom never did learn how to drive. I ordered the Midwest set first then the New England set because I hardly ever saw them in Missouri.
I had no idea they still neither existed still nor thought of them until I started reading the Dell Tarzan comics, and I just had to have them. I have them now basically in my ERB / Tarzan collection by association. The BB Rifle sold by Buffalo Bill, Jr. I have on the wall in a covered display box. Since they were advertised in Tarzan comics I considered them as Tarzan related items to be sought out, purchased and collected!
I do not know about everyone else but I believe that everything I have in my library and collections is to be READ! I cannot just purchase books to look at rather than reading them. I am enjoying reliving my childhood rereading the Dell comics, and also Gold Key, DC, Marvel and the rest.
The license plates look great, and it only took me 50 years to get the complete set! <g> The sad part of collecting comics is seeing ads you've replied to as a child and teen, and those longing feelings begin to rise up once again. The Gold Key had even more ads. Remember the WWII soldiers?? The Civil Wars soldiers? The Knights, Romans and Revolutionary war soldiers?? The naval ships?? Gee, I ordered all that stuff, and some twice to replace the ones my younger siblings mangled or lost.
Also on E-Bay I found a nifty ERB book display, which I bid on and won. That looked so cool! It reminded of the displays with dump bins full of Ballantine or Ace paperbacks when I was in high school spending all the money I could get my hands on for books.
I put this item¹s photo on the first page of this submission, and the license plates on page two. I would love to have had the ERB hardcovers come with it, but alas no. I have old Gridley Waves showing Ballantine displays, and I would love to find some sometime.
So I went from paperbacks to hardcovers. Then added fanzines, comics, buttons, films and a host of other ERB related material. Now I am adding items advertised in Tarzan comics, and books by other authors advertised inside the G&D dust jackets. Somewhere along the line I get hopelessly lost seeking my new paths in ERB collecting. I fear to ask Huck where I am on his submission of the seven levels of collecting?
Collecting ERB snowballs to the point that the fledgling collector is not only buried with collectables but becomes months and months behind in reading as new items continually arrive! Then I found ERB-APA, and decided I wanted to get these quarterly reading all the differing views and ideas expressed by all the members.
I am staggered by how my home is now overflowing with books, fanzines and other ³goodies.² I fear my collecting mania will not end until I breathe my last.
I remember as a teenager using my Roman soldiers I ordered as playing Tarzan and the Lost Empire, and the same with the Knights and Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. The dinosaurs I displayed painted like Gryfs, and other denizens of lost areas that Tarzan visits. Yeah, I am kind of pathetic.
So some of the soldiers I ordered I used to play Tarzan or display as I was reading Tarzan. I wonder if anyone else went off the deep end like that???
Now I am concentrating on the comics and fanzines I still need, while seeking other oddities to add to my collections. I am always looking to upgrade to better condition items as well.
I am enjoying the fanzines the most. It is great to read of all the events of the past three or four decades as they were happening then. Of course I have now some knowledge of those events, and recall many things in ERB fandom as they happened.
I wanted to subscribe to the fanzines listed in the Ace paperbacks in the 1960s, but I had only a small amount of expendable cash. It was either the books that were being released or the fanzines and clubs with NO books.
What started as being drawn into ERB by the great covers on the ACE paperbacks, and the uniform Ballantine paperbacks has mushroomed into over 3,000 books and other items. Hmmm. I think I had better check E-Bay to see if there is anything new listed.
My Sojourn on Mars
KAOR!!! Hello APAns, and welcome to the New Year! I have read a rather eclectic array of books in the past six months, but have had this longing to visit Barsoom once again.
I have not written about Barsoom before in ERB-APA, and I thought I would tackle the Martian books of ERB in either this issue or this and the issue following. I remember being captivated by the Tarzan books when the Burroughs boom exploded all over the US and Canada. This high school student was like a dry sponge for the Tarzan, and all the other ERB books!
I have always been enamored with the planet Mars. My dad showed me Mars in the heavens during the early 1950s, and beings from Mars appeared in many films and comic books for my pre-teen years. I was reading the Tarzan books one after another usually in the backyard tree at that time. I would wait for the bus home at the local second hand bookstore (I would pass through it walking home). Hey, I just loved browsing the beautiful cover art, and the uniform Ballantine editions, and the superb ACE pocket books sporting Frazetta and Krenkel. I purchased the ACE Tarzan books for the different cover art, and picked up those four Martian tales too. The covers just drew me into the books! Every time I looked over the Ballantine Tarzan's I also viewed the Ballantine Mars books. The more I looked the more something drew me with increasing tenacity. I liked the covers, and the titles. I was especially struck with The Chessmen of Mars. That was a grand cover, and Martian chess was played to the death with living pieces?? Manna for this chess player!
I knew that ERB was going to be one of my favorite authors so I purchased all the different titles, and separating them into their respective series'. The first book I read was Tarzan Triumphant, and then I started at the beginning with Tarzan of the Apes reading straight through to Tarzan and the Foreign Legion. Reading twenty-two Tarzan books in succession was a total BLAST! I enjoyed reading them far more than viewing the Tarzan films I watched on television and in the movie theatres! Then I read the Pellucidar novels because I loved modern people finding cities and civilizations where time has stood still for centuries and millennia.
I was thinking of rereading Tarzan or the Sherlock Holmes canon next, but Barsoom was pulling me across the heavens! There was just something about those covers and titles that beckoned me within. Finally, I could no longer resist the pull, and took, in hand, A Princess of Mars. I had enjoyed Tarzan too much with all the Lost Cities and frequent amnesia plots. I suspected that Mars was going to be something different.
Different is hardly the word! John Carter is a Cavalry officer in the army of the Confederate States, and that historical point grasped my full interest straight away! Following the war he and his friend from the army go prospecting together in Arizona. (ERB was stationed here with the Yankee Cavalry in the late 1800s). The odd part was that John Carter could not recall a childhood, and that he was always as he is here - a man of about 30 years of age. He served in many armies as he sold his sword to any nation needing soldiers of fortune.
We all know what happens. Big gold strike, and as Powell is taking samples for assay he is captured by Apaches. Having a bad feeling, Carter follows, sees Powell tied to a torture stake, and steals his body from the tormentors. He gets lost in the dark and unfamiliar territory, and ends up at a cul-de-sac with a cave. Was he drawn there too? Can any fan believe it was an accident? I think not.
Strange sounds emanate from the cave that draw rather than repulse Carter's interest. The Indians approach, and he flattens quickly as strange scent and mist fill the cave. He feels nauseous, and the Indians are frightened off. He discovers he cannot move. He exerts all his strength, and stands up to see his body lying on the floor of the cavern. He is drawn outside, looks at Mars, and as he raises his arms to Mars he is engulfed in a cold, black void.
ERB never really tells us how John Carter's transportation to Mars is accomplished, and most of us do not really care. What is important is that John Carter had departed from Jasoom, and appeared on Barsoom! A weird landscape having unworldly colors was enough to convince John Carter that he was on Mars. Somehow, he just knew. Then we have a spirit being transported to mars with a corporal body? How does that work? The first inhabitants Carter meets are the Tharks, and they are green, 15 feet tall with six limbs. Not at all human looking. Carter keeps his life by his jumping ability. Like Superman when he came to the Earth from Krypton in the 1938 comics he jumped from building to building, Carter jumps higher and farther than he has ever dreamed!
The lesser gravity of Mars gives John Carter a fighting edge over these warlike Tharks being far more agile, stronger and wiser than the Barsoomians. Carter sees an incubator where Martian eggs are germinated to fruition. Life for Martian children is 10 years in an ever-growing egg. Carter learns much about life on Mars with the Tharks in the retune of Tars Tarkas, and from Sola in particular.
Carter becomes an enigma, as he is a captive, but also a Tharkian Chieftain after besting two Tharks in fights. We also meet other Barsoomians in Dejah Thoris, jewel of the Red race, and the great white apes of Mars. John Carter uses his agility, and wisdom to defeat the apes along with that multi legged streak of ferocity, Woola. Carter's watchdog, which becomes like his pet dog later on. All through the part of the story in Thark nobody goes to the bathroom. This has always struck me as odd the stories are all action, without any mundane daily functions we humans do by rote. Is it not interesting that our heroes do everything save bodily functions? At least they eat meals for some reality to help the story identification with the readers.
Carter's manners as a Southern Gentleman cause him problems. He smacks a Thark abusing Dejah, and he refers to her as "his princess." She is affronted, and he does not understand why. This scene plays out in Pellucidar too. Princess reminds me of many situations where I found myself in an unknown place among strange people, and had NO idea of what was going on! Also Carter did not meet the majority race on Mars first, but rather the most ferocious race - The Green Men!
As I read I loved John Carter's adventures, and misadventures, on Mars. His not knowing the customs of Barsoom caused him to insult Dejah without his being aware of it. I have been there several times before! I liked Carter's advantages i.e. nobody could read his thoughts, agility, jumping and hightened swordsmanship in the thinner air. The "romantic" in me appreciated his steadfast love for Dejah Thoris despite several women throwing themselves at him!
I was dismayed when Carter was transported back to Earth following the Atmosphere Plant incident. For 10 years he suffered not knowing what had happened on mars. Then he returned, but to the Valley Dor! ERB, I think, wanted to poke fun at long-established religions by Carter eradicating the religion of Issus and the Therns! GODS is a long chase to locate Dejah Thoris. He finds her only to loose her for a year in the infamous Temple of the Sun!
WARLORD is a long chase to the frozen North Polar area to find Dejah, Mors Kajak and Tardos Mors. Everyone is
reunited, and a relationship between Carthoris and Thuvia is suggested.Erich von Harben
Beyond Thirty: ERB C.H.A.S.E.R Encyclopedia
Beyond Thirty: eText Edition
Beyond Thirty: Review by Dale Robinson
The Mad King Online e-Text
The Mad King: ERB C.H.A.S.E.R.
The Prisoner of Zenda Online e-Text
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