First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life & Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 2854
From the Ken Manson Collection

Edgar Rice Burroughs
Oak Leaves ~ September 1, 1933
One achievement after another has crowded into the eventual life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of "Tarzan" stories and plays -- and no one is more surprised about it than Edgar Rice Burroughs himself. His first Tarzan story, written while he lived in Oak Park, brought him fame and fortune over night, while publishers pleaded for additional stories on the same simian subject. Then moving picture producers, quick to follow the spark of promise, eagerly solicited plays of the Tarzan theme.

Mr. Burroughs wrote day and night to supply all these demands, almost fearful that he would wake up to find it all a dream. In the meantime he moved to California and from the sample profits of his first Tarzan books bought the beautiful 200-acre ranch of a retired newspaper editor, in the center of which stands a spreading vine-covered castle, the approach to the gates of which are bordered for a mile or more which red ragged-robin roses. But it is not in this castle of rare furnishing and charm  that Edgar Rice Burroughs writes -- for he prefers the privacy and the dust of a huge loft above his garage into which no servant or any member of his family dare trespass.
A typewriter, a male secretary, a desk and two chairs, with the usual reference library, are the author's only surroundings during his working hours, which for some time, were all day and sometimes all night -- when a publishing dead-line had to be reached. Eventually the law of nature began to take toll and made a cessation of the author's efforts imperative -- if he wanted to retain his lease upon life. He slowed down, reluctantly, but after realizing the real danger of his condition, quite obediently.

After a year's complete rest he was permitted to resume his work again at a more reasonable pace -- and due to the lesson learned by suffering -- he was careful to keep his efforts within the limit of his vitality. Since that time, Mr. Burroughs has published another book and several Tarzan moving pictures have been produced successfully. Meanwhile, the royalties from America and Europe have poured in -- and Edgar Rice Burroughs, kindly and lovable, has grown grey at the temples, brown and rugged as a cowboy -- and has never for a moment let his phenomenal success go to his head.

A recent signal honor for Mr. Burroughs came a few days ago when he was elected at a town meeting -- the "Mayor of Malibu," a fashionable ocean resort inhabited almost entirely by moving picture people and within a short distance of Beverly Hills, California.

Eighteen years ago Edgar Rice Burroughs lived with his family in Oak Park and he frankly admits now that he had a "darn hard time to get along." A bit shabby of habiliment, he rather uneasily occupied a business desk in a mail order house in Chicago, answering the "complaints" of mail order buyers -- and his answers were not always convincing. Perhaps his mind was occupied with African jungles and menacing apes swinging from tree-tops. But he found outlet for his literary inspirations by writing nights at home -- although he never confided to anyone his ambitions and aspirations.
Stealthily, half-ashamed, he wrote the first five chapters of his "Tarzan" story [sic] -- then sent them with a letter to an eastern publisher to ask if they were worth while. His hopes did not run high while awaiting the verdict -- consequently, he was overwhelmed with joy and surprise when the word came to -- "Finish and submit as soon as possible." Edgar Rice Burroughs scarcely took time to eat or sleep until the story of "Tarzan" [sic] in complete form -- was on its way to the publisher -- and the reward of genius within a month lay at his feet.

Mr. Burroughs will be in the book section of Marshal Field and Company, Chicago, on Saturday afternoon to autograph copies of his new book, "Tarzan and the City of Gold."

For more accurate information on ERB's early success in writing see the correspondence at:
ERBzine 2832

Clippings from Oak Leaves ~ Oak Park, Illinois

Tarzan of the Apes Film and Book Ads
Clipped from Oak Leaves ~ Oak Park, Illinois

Oak Leaves ~ October 1, 1969


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