Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Master of Imaginative Fantasy Adventure
Creator of Tarzan and "Grandfather of American Science Fiction"
Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Press
A Life's Journey Through the Newspapers of the World
A Collection of newspaper clippings from
Chicago to Tarzana ~ around the world ~ and back to Encino/Tarzana
Personal Glimpses of World-Famed Southlanders ~ October 27, 1929
Tarzan as an Example ~ November 22, 1929
LETTERS TO THE TIMES
Los Angeles Times May 20, 1924
TARZANA RANCH, May 12 -- (To the Editor of The Times) I wish to register a protest against the ruthless and inconsiderate methods of the government Biological Department in the placing of poison in the hills without proper posting or other notification.
For the past several weeks I have kept my dogs confined at my residence, not even permitting them to run at large upon the several hundred acres of my own property surrounding my home. In every possible way I have sought to abide by the spirit of the quarantine regulations, however inconsistent and ridiculous they often appeared. I have given of my own time to patrol the hills, where, in the capacity of a deputy game and fire warden, I have been able to turn unauthorized persons out of the quarantined area.
Last Saturday morning the papers carried a notice ot the effect that the quarantine was lifted in the Santa Monica Mountains east of Topanga Canyon, and on Sunday morning we rode back into the hills and took one of our dogs with us. There was no poison sign posted on the gate through which we passed or in any part of the hills through which we rode, yet there was poison out, and our dog died before we reached home.
For nearly nine years this Airedale, who is known almost from coast to coast, has been the constant friend, companion and protector of my children. Those who have owned dogs know how closely the affections of a family are knit to these faithful friends and the grief of children when such a playmate is taken from them. The most casual amenities of social intercourse should have prompted the proper posting of the poisoned district, and that posting was possible is evidenced by the fact that when I rode this morning I found poison warning posted on the gate through which we took the dog Sunday morning -- put there too late.
No action on my part can bring "Tarzan" back to my children, but I am in hope that some publicity may help to safeguard other animals in the future.
Very sincerely yours,
Los Angeles Times ~ October 27, 1929
LEE SIDE O' L.A. By Lee Shippey
And so great has been the influence of their criticisms that up to date "Tarzan" has only been translated into sixteen foreign languages, including Arabic and, of course, the well-known Scandinavian. All the other best sellers of fifteen years ago have faded and gone like the last rose of summer and "Tarzan" is left blooming alone. It still brings in a goodly revenue twice a year, has been reprinted and reprinted and now is being condensed into a "strip" for more than seventy five big newspapers.
Never Saw A Jungle
This author of one of the greatest jungle stories ever written never saw a jungle, except, possibly, a few glimpses of the jungle of Chicago. He was born in the Windy City in 1875 and developed his romantic imagination as a department manager for Sears Roebuck & Co. Then, however, instead of going into the advertising department, he tried gold mining in Oregon, was a cowboy in Idaho, a soldier in Arizona and a policeman in Salt Lake. He returned to Chicago in 1912 as a department manager for A.W. Shaw & Co., the publishers of that highly romantic magazine, System. And then, for relaxation he spent his evenings and Sundays writing Tarzan of the Apes, the story of the orphaned baby of an English nobleman who was stolen by a fierce tribe of apes and grew to manhood thinking himself only a freakish and unusual ape, speaking their "language" and living their life. Then he is again thrown into contact with Europeans, the call of blood proves stronger than the habits formed by environment, human instincts more noble than those of most men and women reared in an environment of culture inspire him to heroic deeds and magnanimous sacrifices, and in both West Africa and Europe his life is one of thrilling adventures and breathless suspense's.
We summarize the story because, a movie having been made of it, countless people have it all wrong.
Makes No Pretenses
Ten years ago Burroughs bought the Otis ranch at Reseda, which he has renamed Tarzana. He doesn't try to produce much on the ranch except two novels a year, but that crop never fails. His office is a pretty cottage shaded by a huge black walnut tree, on Ventura Boulevard. As we entered it the first things which caught our eyes were book-lined walls; the next, huge bearskin rugs and a great tiger skin draped over a table.
"Did you shoot these?" we asked.
"I brought them down," he replied, with charming and disarming frankness, "not with one volley, but with one volume." They're gifts from Tarzan admirers. I'm really too fond of animal life to be much of a hunter. I carry a gun while riding about the ranch, but only because I'm my own ranger. I wouldn't use it, but it makes me look official. There are coyotes and rabbits and birds on this ranch which know me by sight and won't take flight at my approach. Every morning I take a long ride on my horse, the Senator, often getting off to walk a mile or two for exercise. Then I strip to the waist and take a sunbath while I plot my day's work, and then come here and speak it into a dictaphone. I don't pretend to be literary -- don't want to be. I just write for a living and enjoy it. It gives me more freedom than any other occupation would. I can work when and where and how I want to, live where I want to and write what I want to. I don't want to write stories to make people think, but merely to give them relaxation. I'm satisfied to let them think for themselves."
The Birth of Tarzan
"How did you happen to write 'Tarzan'?"
"I've been asked that hundreds of time and ought to have a good answer thought up by now, but haven't. I suppose it was just because my daily life was full of business, system, and I wanted to get as far from that as possible. My mind, in relaxation, preferred to roam in scenes and situations I'd never known. I find I can write better about places I've never seen than those I have seen."
"Have you traveled much since winning success?"
"Yes, indeed. With my tow sons, I've traveled all over California. With a bed-wagon trailer hitched to our car, we've had some great trips about this State. We have three children, a married daughter, a 20-year-old boy at Pomona and a 16-year-old boy in the Van Nuys High School. We're prouder of them than of all my books. They're fine children and they were reared on 'Tarzan.' I couldn't keep them from reading it. They almost know some of the books by heart. So I feel sure the bodies won't do youngsters any harm. My boys and I love to work together, too. We have a workshop in which we make lots of things and an old truck in which we go up into the hills, and bring down gravel and stones from our quarry. I always write in riding togs and most of the time wear clothes suited to outdoor work or play.
Grown-Up Fairy Stories
Burroughs has the bald head of a business man, but the fine figure of a conditioned athlete. He is devoted to his family and affable to everyone, but most of the time he prefers to be alone, carried by his imagination to realms he has never seen or even realms that never were on land or sea. He enjoys every day's work, for what is he doing but telling grown-up fairy stories to himself? And so he lives most pleasantly and does so much work he can hardly keep track of it.
"How many novels have you written this year?" we asked, as we were leaving. He thought a minute, then turned to his secretary.
"Ralph," he said, "how many books have I written this year, two or three?"
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
BILL & SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2005/2010 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.