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Volume 1802

The Ape-Man

Kith and Kin


A collection of texts 

which prepared the advent


Tarzan of the Apes*


Edgar Rice Burroughs

A Major Research Project
Georges T. Dodds (Ph.D.)
Department of Bioresources Engineering
McGill University
Sainte Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada

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Purpose and Genesis of the Project

This collection of texts developed from an initial project, entitled The Incunabular Ape-Man Writings, to reprint in book form a number of evident thematic precursors of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes (The All-Story Magazine, Oct. 1912; Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1914). However, after close to four years of digging, it has become increasingly clear that the probability of any such hard-copy publication occurring within a reasonable time frame is becoming increasingly small -- this doesn't mean a hard copy will never be published, just that it has become a secondary priority to me. This is in part because of some interpersonal frictions, in part because I don't know when to stop gathering material, and lastly because I am much more interested in making the material widely available to scholars and ape-lore enthusiasts, than deriving any profit by it -- and, yes, I'll admit, I'm a wee bit lazy.

Consequently, I would state the current purpose of this site to be: 'Somewhere where anyone can find the text, in English, of pre-1914 works of fiction or non-fiction which prefigured, informed or prepared the advent of the character of Tarzan, as described by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his novel Tarzan of the Apes.'

In presenting the works included here, I have used the most basic no-frills HTML-code possible (no conversions from MSWord), without decorations other than original illustrations when available. I have used HTML rather than Adobe PDF or other image -- vs. text-based systems to render the text easily searchable, cut-and-pastable, and most of all quickly updatable. This ease in updating is an advantage given that many texts have only seen one proofreading, while many works I have translated to English remain in first draught form.

Types of Works Included

On the Table of Text Links page, I have separated the works presented into 3 main topics, and a total of 11 subtopics:

These are categories which have evolved over time, and best represent in my mind the main themes of the texts collected and being collected or prepared. Some works could clearly be placed in more than one of these categories, and some really don't fit any category, but remain relevant, in my opinion.

I have tried, as much as possible, to be overly accepting rather than exclusionary in my choice of texts, leaving those who peruse the texts to draw their own conclusions as to their closeness of fit to the purpose stated above.

Edgar Rice Burroughs mentioned to Rudolph Altrocchi ("The Ancestors of Tarzan" p. 95, in Sleuthing in the Stacks, 1944 ( full reference at bottom) a dimly remembered tale of

"a sailor who, as the only survivor of a shipwreck, landed on the coast or Africa. . . . During this forced sojourn in the jungle, a she-ape, which he had tamed, became so enamoured with him that when he was finally rescued, she followed him into the surf and hurled the baby after him."
While Altrocchi did not find this specific story, he found a number of similar stories in early 17th century European literature. A comprehensive worldwide gathering and overview of such tales is presented in: Consequently, texts along this plot theme are not provided here

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