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Volume 0484
 A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
New Story - July 1913 - The Return of Tarzan 2/7New Story - August 1913 - The Return of Tarzan 3/7

N. C. Wyeth: Return of Tarzan - 26 interior b/w headpieces by St. John (debut)
Click to see large image of the Wyeth art
Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Edition Series
Joe Jusko Cover art
Completed by ERB in January 1913
Working titles: Monsieur Tarzan and The Ape-Man

Read the Online eText Edition 
(on hold)

New Story Magazine: 1913 June through December
    N. C. Wyeth: June and August covers ~ Unknown artist: one title headpiece in each issue
A. C. McClurg "printer's dummy" or "unique salesman's copy": Prior to March 1915
A. C. McClurg paperbound "pre-publication copy" prior to March 10, 1915 ~ 365 pages
A. C. McClurg: March 10, 1915 ~ 365 pages ~ 1st Ed. Print Run: 15,000 ~ Total: 570,000 ~ Heins word count: 86,000
    N. C. Wyeth: DJ (same as New Story August) ~ J. Allen St. John: 26 interior b/w headpieces
A. C. McClurg: after March 10, 1915 ~ five additional printings
A. L. Burt Co.: 1916
A. L. Burt Co.: 1916-1919 ~ annual reprint editions
Grosset & Dunlap: 1927
Grosset & Dunlap: 1935
Big Little Book: Whitman Publishing 1936 ~ abridged from 1929 daily strip ~ 432 pages
    Rex Maxon: cover and 209 interiors
Armed Services Edition #0-22 pocket-sized paperback by Armed Services, Inc. ~ 287 pages
    Cover: picture of the Methuen DJ and no interiors
Grosset & Dunlap "Madison Square" wartime edition: 1943 ~ 314 pages
    N. C. Wyeth: DJ ~ J. Allen St. John title page decoration but no interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: April 1948
    C. Edmund Monroe, Jr.: DJ ~ Rafael Palacios: end paper map and board and title page drawings
Ballantine Books paperback: July 1963 ~ 221 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Grosset & Dunlap: 1967 ~ 314 pages
    C. Edmund Monroe, Jr.: illustrated cloth cover
Whitman Publishing: 1967 ~ 214 pages
    Al Anderson: illustrated board covers and 12 interiors (with Sparky Moore)
Ballantine Books paperback: February 1967 ~ 221 pages
    Ron Ely photo cover NBC-TV series tie-in
Ballantine Books paperback: April 1969
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine Books paperback: April 1975
    Neal Adams cover
Ballantine/Del Rey paperback: November 1990
    Barclay Shaw cover
Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Edition Series: December 2019 ~ Joe Jusko Cover art
For detailed information, see Robert B. Zeuschner's
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Bibliography (ERB, Inc., 2016).
Click on or call 214-405-6741 to order a copy.

NC Wyeth Cover Art ~ June 1913 ~ First Installment

Cover Art Reconstruction by Charles Madison 
See the other pulp covers in the series at:
ERBzine 0221

The Return of Tarzan
The novel picks up where Tarzan of the Apes left off. The ape man, feeling rootless in the wake of his noble sacrifice of his prospects of wedding Jane Porter, leaves America for Europe to visit his friend Paul d'Arnot. On the ship he becomes embroiled in the affairs of Countess Olga de Coude, her husband, Count Raoul de Coude, and two shady characters attempting to prey on them, Nikolas Rokoff and his henchman Alexis Paulvitch. Rokoff, it turns out, is also the countess's brother. Tarzan thwarts the villains' scheme, making them his deadly enemies. Later, in France, Rockoff tries time and again to eliminate the ape man, finally engineering a duel between him and the count by making it appear that he is the countess's lover. Tarzan deliberately refuses to defend himself in the duel, even offering the count his own weapon after the latter fails to kill him with his own, a grand gesture that convinces his antagonist of his innocence. In return, Count Raoul finds him a job as a special agent in Algeria for the ministry of war. A sequence of adventures among the local Arabs ensues, including another brush with Rokoff. Afterward Tarzan sails for Cape Town and strikes up a shipboard acquaintance with Hazel Strong, a friend of Jane's. But Rokoff and Paulovitch are also aboard, and manage to ambush him and throw him overboard.

Miraculously, Tarzan manages to swim to shore, and finds himself in the coastal jungle where he was brought up by the apes. He soon rescues and befriends a native warrior, Busuli of the Waziri, and is adopted into the Waziri tribe. After defeating a raid on their village by ivory raiders he becomes their chief. The Waziri know of a lost city deep in the jungle, from which they have obtained their golden ornaments. Tarzan has them take him there, but is captured by its inhabitants, a race of beast-like men, and condemned to be sacrificed to their sun god. To his surprise, the priestess to perform the sacrifice is a beautiful woman, who speaks the ape language he learned as a child. She tells him she is La, high priestess of the lost city of Opar. When the ceremony is fortuitously interrupted, she hides him and promises to lead him to freedom. But the ape man escapes on his own, locates the treasure chamber, and manages to rejoin the Waziri.

Meanwhile, Hazel Strong has reached Cape Town, where she encounters Jane, and her father Professor Porter, together with Jane's fiancé, Tarzan's cousin William Cecil Clayton. They are all invited on a cruise up the west coast of Africa aboard the Lady Alice, the yacht of Lord Tennington, another friend. Rokoff, now using the alias of M. Thuran, ingratiates himself with the party and is also invited along. The Lady Alice breaks down and sinks, forcing the passengers and crew into the lifeboats. The one containing Jane, Clayton and "Thuran" is separated from the others and suffers terrible privations. Coincidentally, the boat finally makes shore in the same general area that Tarzan did. The three construct a rude shelter and eke out an existence of near starvation for some weeks until Jane and Clayton are surprised in the forest by a lion. Clayton loses Jane's respect by cowering in fear before the beast instead of defending her. But they are not attacked, and discover the lion dead, speared by an unknown hand. Their hidden savior is in fact Tarzan, who leaves without revealing himself.

Later Jane is kidnapped and taken to Opar by a party of beast-men pursuing Tarzan. The ape man tracks them and manages to save her from being sacrificed by La. La is crushed by Tarzan's rejection of her for Jane. Escaping Opar, Tarzan returns with Jane to the coast, happy in the discovery that she loves him and is free to marry him. They find Clayton, abandoned by "Thuran" and dying of a fever. In his last moments he atones to Jane by revealing Tarzan's true identity as Lord Greystoke, having previously discovered the truth but concealed it. Tarzan and Jane make their way up the coast to the former's boyhood cabin, where they encounter the remainder of the castaways of the Lady Alice, safe and sound after having been recovered by Tarzan's friend D'Arnot in another ship. "Thuran" is exposed as Rokoff and arrested. Tarzan weds Jane and Tennington weds Hazel in a double ceremony performed by Professor Porter, who had been ordained a minister in his youth. Then they all set sail for civilization, taking along the treasure Tarzan had found in Opar.

N. C. Wyeth: Return of Tarzan - 26 interior b/w headpieces by St. John (debut)
Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Interior Art by J. Allen St. John
Summary (from blurb in Ballantine edition)

Tarzan had renounced his right to the woman he loved, and civilization held no pleasure for him. After a brief and harrowing period among men, he turned back to the African jungle where he had grown to manhood. It was there he first heard of Opar, the city of gold, left over from fabled Atlantis. It was a city of hideous men—and of beautiful, savage women, over whom reigned La, high priestess of the Flaming God. Its altars were stained with the blood of many sacrifices. Unheeding of the dangers, Tarzan led a band of savage warriors  toward the ancient crypts and the more ancient evil of Opar.

Munroe DJ: Return of Tarzan: Later G and D editionArmed Forces edition Return of TarzanRex Maxon cover: Big Little Book edition
Edgar Rice Burroughs'
The Return of Tarzan


I. The Affair On The Liner
II. Forging Bonds of Hate and ------?
III. What Happened in the Rue Maule
IV. The Countess Explains
V. The Plot That Failed
VI. A Duel
VII. The Dancing Girl of Sidi Aissa
VIII.The Fight in the Desert
IX. Numa "El Adrea"
X. Through the Valley of the Shadow
XI. John Caldwell, London
XII. Ships That Pass
XIII. The Wreck of the "Lady Alice"
XIV. Back to the Primitive
XV. From Ape to Savage
XVI. The Ivory Traders
XVII. The White Chief of the Waziri
XVIII. The Lottery of Death
XIX. The City of Gold
XX. La
XXI. The Castaways
XXII. The Treasure Vaults of Opar
XXIII. Fifty Frightful Men
XXIV. How Tarzan Came Again to Opar
XXV. Through the Forest Primeval
XXVI. The Passing of the Ape-Man

Olga de Coude neé Rokoff: Countess, wife of Raoul, sister of Rokoff
Raoul de Coude: Count, official of the Ministry of War 
Tarzan of the Apes: aka Monsieur Jean C. Tarzan, John Caldwell, 
                                      John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Nikolas Rokoff: aka M.Thuran
Alexis Paulvitch: assistant to Rokoff, Countess de Coude's evil brother 
Paul d'Arnot: Tarzan's friend, French Navy Lieutenant
Jacques: servant to Countess de Coude 
M. Flaubert: duel second to Count de Coude 
General Rochere: Paris bureau chief, French Foreign Legion 
Lieutenant Gernois: Foreign Legion officer suspected of selling secrets
Captain Gerard: Tarzan's Foreign Legion friend in Oran
Abdul: Tarzan's interpreter at Sidi Aissa 
Kadour ben Saden: Shiek of a desert tribe south of Djefa 
Ouled-Nail: dancing girl in Sidi Aissa, Kadour's daughter 
Ali-ben-Ahmed: Shiek whose tribe captures Tarzan 
Ahmet-din-Taieb: Ouled-Nail's cousin, tribesman of Ali-ben-Ahmed 
Hazel Strong: Baltimore heiress, Jane Porter's bestfriend
Archimedes Q. Porter: Professor from Baltimore MD
Jane Porter: Prof. Porter's daughter, fianceé of William Clayton
Samuel T. Philander: Prof Porter's secretary and assistant
William Cecil Clayton: Tarzan's cousin, suitor of Jane Porter
Esmeralda: maid to the Porters
Lord Tennington: Londoner, owner of yacht Lady Alice
Captain Jerrold: captain of the Lady Alice
Busili: the first Waziri Tarzan meets 
Thompkins, Spider,Wilson: sailors who survive the wreck of the Lady Alice 
Tha: insane Priest of Opar 
La: High Priestess of the Flaming God of Opar 
Karnath, Magor:  Members of Tarzan's ape tribe 
Dufranne: Captain of a French cruiser 
Cast List Ref: Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia andEd Stephan's Tarzan of the Internet

The first softcover "paperback" editions of TARZAN of the APES,
in England, printed by Newnes, 1929.
They in turn would come to release secondary English rights to C. A. Ransom,
whom are customarily known for printing cheap editions of Edgar Wallace mysteries.
Ransom purchased Newnes' own printing plates, but issued these three novels with new covers.
The stories had appeared in England on prior occasions, but only in magazines and newsprint serials.
Newnes editions are available, in varying degrees of condition, but, are very much undervalued.

The Return of Tarzan, published by Methuen.
A Note from Laurence Dunne of the British ERB Society:
For the first 17 editions until March 1932, the cover art was by Walpole Champneys.
Then in November 1932, the 18th edition was released with new cover art by Geoffrey Walter Goss.
The 1952 25th edition was the last that Methuen would publish this title.

Dust Jacket Art by C. Edmund Monroe, Jr.    ~   End Papers Map by Rafael Palacios
This edition was my first Tarzan book after the Whitmans, given to me by my grandfather in 1955.
It, along with Tarzan the Terrible, are my two favourite Tarzan novels.
The earliest printings of the "Books for Boys and Girls" edition can be distinguished by the following:

(1) The bindings are cloth, not cardboard textured to look like cloth;
(2) the endpapers have the Palacios map of Africa in brown (except for JEWELS), and
(3) the pages are bound in 32-page signatures instead of glued in a single block.

From 1913, where it appeared as a seven part serial beginning with the June issue of NEW STORY MAGAZINE, this is great stuff.  So much happens in this book, yet it never feels dense and the pages practically turn themselves. After starting off with a few of the stale, tired entries from the second half of the series, reading one of the first dozen Tarzan books is a refreshing reminder of why Edgar Rice Burroughs was such a major writer of adventure fiction.

THE RETURN OF TARZAN contains some of the most important moments of the canon. Tarzan marries Jane after much agita and suffering (their love seems genuine and poignant here, strange considering how they seem to drift apart later). He meets the noble Waziri, becomes one of them and eventually their chief. He discovers Opar, first of the many lost cities he will find scattered around Africa, and here he tangles with that other woman in his life, La (I had forgotten that La and Jane had met and that in fact La was about to carve Jane`s giblets when Tarzan interfered; another good reason not to let your girlfriends cross paths). Where TARZAN OF THE APES ended on a wonderfully melodramatic note of romance and self sacrifice, THE RETURN OF TARZAN sets up the framework for the rest of the series. 

What I enjoyed most about this book was how complex and introspective Tarzan himself is. After TARZAN AT THE EARTH`S CORE, all those amnesia inducing concussions seemed to have left the Apeman rather dim, a sullen brute moping around with not much on his mind. Here, though, he`s a creature unique in the world. Even though he seems to be able to get along perfectly well wherever he finds himself, Tarzan is also never entirely at home anywhere, always an outsider and a strange one. (His physical abilities help him dominate civilized society through action and charisma, while his intelligence and inventiveness helps him take over when back in the jungles; it`s a neat twist.)

The book gives the Apeman some lengthy episodes in Paris and Algeria; I really would have liked to have seen Burroughs do more of this, rather than dragging out the warring pair of hiden cities one more time. Tarzan in Paris, smoking cigarettes and sipping absinthe* as he enjoys the nightclubs  and museums, is a great reminder our hero has spent considerable time cultivating that thin veneer of sophistication he likes to shed when provoked. He`s not simply enduring civilization grudgingly, either. ("In the daytime he haunted the libraries and picture galleries. He had become an oniverous reader...." determined to learn as much history and culture as he could.) This is after all a man who as a boy taught himself to read just out of sheer curiousity and determination. We find out in a later book he has learned Latin so he can enjoy the classics.

Tarzan gets caught up in a mildly sordid domestic scandal, thrashes ten tough Apaches in a terrific scene, fights a pistol duel he doesn`t expect to survive, and in general has a lively time. Then, of all things, he becomes an investigator for the French Foreign Legion (posing as an American big game hunter!) and finds himself running around Algeria after possible traitors. Here, our hero befriends a sheik and fits in so happily with a crew of tough desert Arabs that he is tempted to stay with them permanently. It`s one of the most interesting  and yet least remembered episoes in the Apeman`s exploits. (It would have been great if Burroughs had later written Tarzan joining up with a bunch of real Apaches, wandering the Yukon or heading up the Amazon to tangle with the Jivaros. Throwing different challenges at the Apeman, even for only half a book, might have kept the series fresh.)

Two thirds of the way through the book, the Apeman is given the heave ho over the rails of a ship off the African coast and just happens to swim ashore within spitting distance of the cabin where he was born. Imagine that. Burroughs uses up a writer`s career allotment of coincidence right here, as virtually everyone important to the saga somehow ends up on that spot: Jane and her unfortunate fiancee William Clayton, her addled father, her friend Hazel Strong, even Paul D`Arnot (Even Tarzan is confounded by all this. "Paul! In the name of sanity what are you doing here?"). 

A little hard to believe, but if you`re going to read more Edgar Rice Burroughs (or pulp fiction in general), get used to having one-in-a-million chances lying thick on the ground. Probably, with more planning time and care, Burroughs could have come up plausible ways to drag all these characters together at just the right time. But what the heck, that wasn`t the kind of story he was telling. It`s meant to be a rollercoaster of thrills and chills, where you just hang on and enjoy the ride.

It`s interesting, too, that as much as he loves being back in the jungle, the animals don`t particularly care that Tarzan has returned. When he finds his tribe of great apes, they don`t really remember him at first; although the apes accept him back and get to admire the way he finds food, they`re not wild about Tarzan and certainly didn`t miss him. ("But who or what of all the myriad jungle would there be to welcome his return? Not one. Only Tantor, the elephant, could he call friend. The others would hunt him or flee from him as had been their way in the past.")

The weakest part of the book in my view is the Russian spy, Nikolas Rokoff. Like Dan Backslide, he`s a coward, bully, cad and thief. Rokoff is so completely vile and unpleasant that he stops seeming to be a human being and ends up being almost amusing as he doesn`t miss a single chance to harass and annoy everyone. And Tarzan keeps letting him go with stern warnings! (Well, in the next book, though, Rokoff pays off his bad karma.) The ill fated William Clayton, who mean well and does his best but who just isn`t up the trials he must face, comes across as believable and very human in contrast. He, Tarzan and Jane all make their decisions (in the tangled mess of who is going to get married and who inherit the Greystoke title) with such thoughtfulness and concern with right and wrong that they all deserve to be rewarded. 

"Tarzan, although an impossible character, is most fascinating for a few hours, though no longer.
His return has been most satisfactory;
but we trust he will not have as many farewell appearances as our other friend, Sherlock Holmes!"
--review of "Return of Tarzan," Boston Transcript, March 20, 1915.

Whitman cover by Al Anderson and Sparky Moore

Chapter Head Pieces by J. Allen St. John

I. The Affair On The LinerII. Forging Bonds of Hate and ------?
III. What Happened in the Rue MauleIV. The Countess Explains
V. The Plot That FailedVI. A DuelVII. The Dancing Girl of Sidi AissaVIII.The Fight in the DesertIX. Numa El AdreaX. Through the Valley of the ShadowXI. John Caldwell, LondonXII. Ships That PassXIII. The Wreck of the Lady AliceXIV. Back to the PrimitiveXV. From Ape to SavageXVI. The Ivory TradersXVII. The White Chief of the WaziriXVIII. The Lottery of DeathXIX. The City of GoldXX. LaXXI. The CastawaysXXII. The Treasure Vaults of OparXXIII. Fifty Frightful MenXXIV. How Tarzan CAme Again to OparXXV. Through the Forest PrimevalXXVI. The Passing of the Ape-Man

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Richard Powers cover: Ballantine 63Ron Ely TV tie-in cover: Ballantine 1967Richard Abbett cover: Ballantine 1969Richard Abbett cover: Ballantine 1972Neal Adams cover: Ballantine 1981Charles Ren cover: Ballantine 1984Barclay Shaw cover: Ballantine 1993
Goulden edition 1951 UKEdward Mortelmans art Four Square edition 1959 UKFlamingo edition 1972NEL edition 1975 UK
Methuen UK Edition

Methuen Edition - Cover art by Walpole Champneys
Artist profile in ERBzine Art Encyclopedia
Some Methuen art courtesy J. G. Huckenpöhler: Huck's ERB Collector's Pocket Checklist

Green Dragon Edition with Edward Mortlemans Cover Art from and
NEL (New English Library) July 1975 cover by W.F. Philips
From the Laurence Dunn Collection

.Japanese Edition Illustrated by Motoichiro Takebe ~ UK Edition

Paperback cover art by Barclay Shaw
Ballantine/Del Rey: November 1990

The Return of Tarzan: Standing Ground
Art by Enric Torres-Prat

From the Laurence Dunn Collection
Paperback cover by Barclay Shaw
Ballantine/Del Rey: November 1990

Art by Igor Kordey
From the Casper Richter Collection


Cover and Two Interior Illustrations from
Boys Cinema (UK) ~ November 13, 1920
featuring the serial "The Return of Tarzan."

Return of Tarzan Cover art by Daryl Mandryk for Fall River edition

Art by Sal Amendola

Click for full-size collages

Summary and Comments by John Martin

PART I: ERBzine 7007
Chapters 1-6
PART II: ERBzine 7008
Chapters 7-12
PART III: ERBzine 7009
Chapters 13-18
PART IV: ERBzine 7010
Chapters 19-26

Click for full-size promo bars

Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Edition Series #2
Joe Jusko Cover art
Foreword by Will Murray and Afterword by Scott Tracy Griffin

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Illustrated Bibliography
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
ERBList Summary Project by ERB Fans
J. Allen St. John Bio, Gallery & Links
Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
G. T. McWhorter's Burroughs Bulletin Index
Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
Phil Normand's Recoverings
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine
ERB Emporium: Collectibles ~ Comics ~ BLBs ~ Pulps ~ Cards
ERBVILLE: ERB Public Domain Stories in PDF
Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography

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