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Volume 0485
 A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
J. Allen St. John: Beasts of Tarzan - wraparound DJ, FP, many b/w line interiors
Larger image of DJ
Another image of cover art
Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Edition Series #2
Joe Jusko Cover art

The Beasts of Tarzan
Pulp, 1st Ed. & BLB Covers
Art by J. Allen St. John
Part I: Publishing History ~ Summary ~ Cast ~ Interiors from Chapters I-XI

Read the Online e-Text Edition HERE
Read the Original Pulp Version HERE
(Temporarily On-Hold)

ERB writing time: January-February 1914 ~ Dedicated to Joan Burroughs
All-Story Cavalier Weekly: 1914: May 16, 23, 30, June 6, 13
    F. W. Small: cover with a b/w copy of the cover used as a headpiece for each issue
A. C. McClurg: prior to March 1916 ~ advance copy paperback versions of First Edition
A. C. McClurg: prior to March 1916 ~ "printer's dummy" or "unique salesman's copy" editions
A. C. McClurg: March 4, 1916 ~ 336 pages  ~ 1st Ed. Print Run: 19,500 ~ Total: 502,200 ~ Heins word count: 70,000
    J. Allen St. John: wraparound DJ, frontispiece, title page and many interior b/w line drawings
A.L. Burt: 1917
A.L. Burt: 1918-1927
Grosset & Dunlap: 1927
Triple-X Magazine: 1929 November, December ~ 1930 January, February
    No cover illustrations ~ Charles E. Dameron: Nov. & Dec. interiors ~ Jan and Feb interior artist unknown
Big Little Book Whitman Publishing: 1937 ~ 432 pages
    Hal Arbo cover ~ Rex Maxon: 218 interiors adapted from 1929 daily strip
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ same St. John DJ, title page and interiors but no frontispiece ~ 336 pages
Grosset & Dunlap Madison Square edition: 1943 ~ St. John: DJ, title page and numerous interiors
Ace Books paperback: May 1963 ~ 191 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover, title page and back cover ~ J. Allen St. John: three interiors
Ballantine Books: July 1963 ~ 159 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Ballantine Books paperback: April 1969
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine Books paperback: April 1975
    Neal Adams cover
Ballantine/Del Rey paperback: January 1991
    Barclay Shaw cover
Del Rey: 1996 ~ Two Novels for the Price of One edition: The Beasts of Tarzan & The Son of Tarzan ~ 373 pages
    Joe Jusko 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.

The Beasts of Tarzan
Not long after Tarzan claims his hereditary title of Lord Greystoke and marries Jane, their infant son, Jack, is kidnapped in London by his old Russian enemies, Nikolas Rokoff and Alexis Paulvitch. Following an anonymous call about the whereabouts of Jack, Tarzan himself falls into Rokoff's trap and is imprisoned aboard a ship carrying Jack. Jane, fearing Tarzan was entering a trap, follows him and also finds herself in Rokoff's clutches aboard the boat. Rokoff sets sail to Africa, eventually exiling Tarzan on an island near the African coast and telling Tarzan that Jack will be left with a cannibal tribe and raised as one of their own.

Using his jungle skill and primal intelligence, Tarzan wins the help of Sheeta, the vicious panther, a tribe of great apes led by the intelligent Akut, and the native warrior Mugambi. With their aid, Tarzan reaches the mainland, kills Rokoff, and tracks down his wife and son. Paulvitch, the other villain, is presumed dead, but manages to escape into the jungle.

Dust Jacket art by J. Allen St. John
Edgar Rice Burroughs'
The Beasts of Tarzan
Art by J. Allen St. John
Part I

Summary (from Ballantine Books blurb)
Now that he was the rich Lord Greystoke, Tarzan became the target of greedy and evil men. His son was kidnapped, his wife had been abducted, and Tarzan was stranded on a desert island where he seemed helpless. but with the help of Sheeta, the vicious panther, and the great ape Akut, Tarzan began his escape. Together with the giant Mugambi, they reached the mainland and took up the trail of the kidnappers. Tarzan sought his wife and his child—and he sought such vengeance as only a human beast of the jungle could devise. But the men Tarzan sought had fled deep into the  interior—and the trail was old and well-hidden.

ERB inscription at Coldwater Michigan, July 7, 1916

F.W. Small - All-Story Cavalier Pulp
From the ERBzine ERB Pulp Encyclopedia - Page 0222

Featured in the ERB Big Little Book Cover Gallery

Champneys art

         .                            .From the Laurence Dunn Collection
UK 4 Square and UK Green Dragon Editions ((Edward Mortlemans Cover Art)

Methuen Edition - Cover art by Walpole Champneys
Artist profile in ERBzine Art Encyclopedia

Methuen UK Edition
Featured in the ERBzine UK Checklist

Methuen art courtesy J. G. Huckenpöhler: Huck's ERB Collector's Pocket Checklist



CAST (in order of appearance)

Paul d'Arnot: French naval officer, Tarzan's friend in Paris
Tarzan: John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, Lord of the Jungle
Nikolas Rokoff: Tarzan's enemy
Alexis Paulvitch: Rokoff's assistant
Jane Porter Clayton:  Tarzan's wife, Lady Greystoke
Jack Clayton: Son of Tarzan and Jane
Carl: The Claytons' servant in London, kidnapping accomplice
Sven Anderssen: Swedish cook aboard the Kincaid
Molak, Akut: great apes (Mangani) on the island opposite the Ugambi river
Sheeta: panther who befriends Tarzan after being rescued
Mugambi: giant chief of the Wagambi who becomes Tarzan's lifelong friend
Kaviri: chief of a tribe on the Ugambi river
M'ganwazan: cannibal chief on the Ugambi, Rokoff's accomplice
Tambudza: oldest wife of M'ganwazan
Buulaoo: son of Mganwazan by a younger wife
Gust the Swede, Momulla the Maori, Kai Shang of Fachan: Cowie mutineers 
Schneider, Schmidt, Jones, Sullivan: mate and sailors from the Kincaid
Esmeralda: The Claytons' maid in London
Mosula woman: Mugambi's betrothed

Cast List Ref: Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia and Ed Stephan's Tarzan of the Internet
I. Kidnapped
II. Marooned
III. Beasts at Bay
IV. Sheeta
V. Mugambi
VI. A Hideous Crew
VII. Betrayed
VIII. The Dance of Death
IX. Chivalry or Villainy
X. The Swede
XI. Tambudza
XII. A Black Scoundrel
XIII. Escape
XIV. Alone in the Jungle
XV. Down the Ugambi
XVI. In the Darkness of the Night
XVII. On the Deck of the "Kincaid"
XVIII. Paulvitch Plots Revenge
XIX. The Last of the "Kincaid"
XX. Jungle Island Again
XXI. The Law of the Jungle

Click for full-page images

Frontispiece and Title Page - McClurg 1st Edition
I. Kidnapped
I. Kidnapped
Title page and frontispiece from The Beasts of Tarzan by ERB - illos by J. Allen St. John
Frontispiece and Title Page - Burt Reprint Edition
II. Marooned
II. Marooned
II. Marooned: The abduction of Lady Greystoke

III. Beasts At Bay
III. Beasts at Bay: Tarzan's fight with the bull ape
IV. Sheeta
IV. Sheeta
IV. Sheeta
V. Mugambi
V. Mugambi
V. Mugambi: Tarzan conquers the chief of the Wagambi
VI. A Hideous Crew
VI. A Hideous Crew
VI. A Hideous Crew: The war-canoe with its savage company
XX. Jungle Island Again
VII. Betrayed
VII. Betrayed: Upon the bank before the river stood the chief
VIII. The Dance of Death
VIII. The Dance of Death
VIII. The Dance of Death: Sheeta rescues Tarzan
IX. Chivalry or Villainy

IX. Chivalry or Villainy

IX: Chivalry or Villainy: Jane escapes from the Kincaid
X. The Swede
X. The Swede
X. The Swede: Tarzan see the savage about to kill the white man
XX. Jungle Island Again
XI. The Tambudza
XI. Tambudza

Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From ALL-STORY CAVALIER WEEKLY, where it ran as a serial in May and June 1914, this ended up as the third Tarzan book. In many ways, THE BEASTS OF TARZAN is the least well known or mentioned of the early books. The first two, of  course, give the Apeman`s origin story and are most often discussed. THE SON OF TARZAN introduces Korak and Meriem and also has its internal chronological problems which have been the subject of much speculation by Philip Jose Farmer and the Wold Newton school.

 But THE BEASTS OF TARZAN is usually neglected, which is a shame as it`s lively and brisk, and way over the top. It does  introduce Mugambi and Akut, finishes off a couple of villains and naturally has its full share of thrills and spills. Still, it seems to have an air of an early filler in the saga and winds up with the characters pretty much as they were on the fist page, except for some wear and tear.

The story itself is an old-fashioned melodrama, with the hateful villain Nikolas Rokoff going to considerable expense and great effort to get a convoluted revenge on the Apeman. Once he escapes from the French prison where Tarzan had sent him, Rokoff  might be expected to hire a thug with a rifle to simply shoot his enemy down but noooo, that would not be twisted enough. Just as master criminals are compelled to explain their plans before leaving the hero in the death trap, so Rokoff arranges for little Jack Clayton to be kidnapped and raised by cannibals ("His little boy a savage maneater! It was too horrible to contemplate!") and for Jane to end up in a harem (you know, I have to wonder if maybe she didn`t have some kind of karma involving harems from an earlier life, she ends up on her way there so often).

As for Tarzan himself, does Rokoff leave him dead in a pit or dropped overboard with a rock tied to his neck? Or maybe abandoned deep in the Arctic to freeze to death? Nah. He maroons the perfectly healthy and furious Apeman on a large island within easy sailing distance of Africa! Duh.As you might expect, this is like stranding a pulp fan in a used book store. In no time, Tarzan has whipped up a stone knife, bow and arrows, grass rope, loincloth and treehouse, and is feasting on raw deer carcass while he figures out how to get on Rokoff`s trail.

What gives this book much of its appeal is that our hero assembles the All Beast Squadron to help him. Luckily there are a colony of the Great Apes on the island and he quickly kills their leader and sets up Akut, a mangani of unusual insight, as the leader of the pack under Tarzan`s command. (It`s interesting that, although these huge seven foot tall apes understand his lingo, they are actually a slightly different species than the mangani who raised the boy. I don`t think it`s been emphasized that there are two different species of mangani in the books.) With Akut as his lieutenant, Tarzan has a commando squad of a dozen surly apes following him. We will meet Akut again, disguised as Korak`s grandmother (!) in the next book.

Tarzan also befriends a panther. Pause for a second while I crank my suspension of disbelief up a few notches. Okay, this isn`t a cub he raises and trains like Jad-Bal-Ja the Golden Lion. This is a fullgrown wild panther that Tarzan frees from being pinned under a fallen tree. That`s all it takes for Sheeta to decide he likes this human and start trotting alongside and hunting with the Apeman. The only explanation I can see is that Tarzan must be giving off unique and very potent body language and signals that the cat responds to. In a short time, Sheeta not only is devouring the kill alongside his new master, he refrains from attacking the apes and humans when told not to. (What makes this more plausible is that Sheeta is always dangerous and unpredictable, barely under Tarzan`s control; he`s not a trained police dog or anything.)

Finally, Tarzan meets and befriends Mugambi, the only survivor of a party of natives who have the misfortune to encounter the panther and the apes. Mugambi will be a lifelong friend and companion to Tarzan`s family; in JEWELS OF OPAR we learn that he has spent time in London museums and art galleries, soaking up culture, and he sets out on a brave quest of his own to rescue Jane. Now, it`s true that the African natives in these books are often shown as craven, mean-natured and brutal, but then so are most of the white Europeans. There are only a few decent humans in Burroughs` Tarzan books and actually more of them are black than white. Like the Waziri (into which tribe he will be inducted), Mugambi is as noble and heroic as anyone could wish.("The fellow was a magnificent specimen of manhood... a black counterpart in physique to the splendid white man whom he faced.")

After that, we`re off on a typical Tarzan adventure as the various characters chase each other all over the jungle for chapter after chapter. Burroughs shows a lot of enthusiasm for details and asides to the reader, and the narrative only slackens a wee bit before building up to a strong finish (the bit about the mutineers could be skipped to give a more unified story). Tarzan takes a lot of punishment this time, including being dragged by a crocodile to its underwater lair, leaving his leg pretty chewed up. All the agita really infuriates the Apeman, and that famous scar on his forehead is pretty much blazing red continously.

At one point, Tarzan is throttling one of the bad guys while Jane pleads for his life. "Not again. Before have I permitted scoundrels to live, only to suffer and to have you suffer for my mercy," he replies as he twists the man`s neck like a bottle cap. You know if this were in a movie, he would stop at last second and mutter something about how the man's not worth killing.

Doc Hermes

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Edgar Rice Burroughs Authorized Edition Series #3
Joe Jusko Cover art
Foreword by Howard Andrew Jones 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
Golden Comic Book Stories
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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