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Volume 0494
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Official ERB, Inc. Library Edition
Art Gallery of J. Allen St. John Interiors ~ Publishing History ~
Summary ~ Cast ~ Titles ~ Paperback Covers ~ Comics ~ Review
Read the Online eText Edition (on hold)

ERB commenced writing in August 1920
Argosy All-Story Weekly: 1921: February 12, 19, 26; March 5, 12, 19, 26
    P.J. Monahan: cover ~ no interiors
A.C. McClurg: June 20, 1921 ~ 408 pages ~ 1st Ed. Print Run: 45,000 ~ Total: 262,500 ~ Heins word count: 94,000
    J. Allen St. John: DJ and nine interior sepia plates ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs: map of Pal-ul-don and glossary
A.C. McClurg: 1922
Grosset & Dunlap: 1923 ~ 408 pages
    J. Allen St. John: DJ and only four b/w interiors ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs: map and glossary
Grosset & Dunlap: 1934
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ ERB map and glossary but no other interiors
Big Little Book Whitman Publishing: 1942 ~ 432 pages
    John Coleman Burroughs: cover & interior flip animation art ~ Rex Maxon: 209 illustrations abridged from 1931-32 daily strips
Grosset & Dunlap Madison Square wartime edition: 1943 ~ 305 pages ~ St. John DJ & title page but no interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1949, 1955, 1958 ~ 305 pages
    C. Edmund Monroe: DJ ~ Rafael Palcios: Africa map on endpapers (omitted in 1958)
Ballantine paperback: July & November 1963 ~ 220 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Grosset & Dunlap: 1967 ~ 305 pages
    C. Edmund Monroe: pictorial boards using previous DJ illustration
Ballantine paperback: October 1969 ~ 220 pages
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine paperback: November 1976
    Boris Vallejo cover
Del Rey-Ballantine Double paperback with Tarzan the Untamed: March 1997 ~ 467 pages
    J. Allen St. John cover
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.

Tarzan the Terrible
In the previous novel - Tarzan the Untamed - during the early days of World War I, Tarzan discovered that his wife Jane was not killed in a fire set by German troops, but was in fact alive. In this novel two months have gone by and Tarzan is continuing to search for Jane. He has tracked her to a hidden valley called Pal-ul-don, which means "Land of Men." In Pal-ul-don Tarzan finds a real Jurassic Park filled with dinosaurs, notably the savage Triceratops-like Gryfs, which unlike their prehistoric counterparts are carnivorous. The lost valley is also home to two different races of tailed human-looking creatures, the Ho-don (hairless and white skinned) and the Waz-don (hairy and black-skinned). Tarzan befriends Ta-den, a Ho-don warrior, and Om-at, the Waz-don chief of the tribe of Kor-ul-ja. In this new world he becomes a captive but so impresses his captors with his accomplishments and skills that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru (Tarzan the Terrible), which is the name of the novel. Jane is also being held captive in Pal-ul-don, having been brought there by her German captor, who has since become dependent on her due to his own lack of jungle survival skills. She becomes a pawn in a religious power struggle that consumes much of the novel. With the aid of his native allies, Tarzan continues to pursue his beloved to rescue her and set things to right, going through an extended series of fights and escapes to do so. In the end success seems beyond even his ability to achieve, until in the final chapter he and Jane are saved by their son Korak, who has been searching for Tarzan just as Tarzan has been searching for Jane.
Tarzan the Terrible: Dust Jacket by J. Allen St. John
Edgar Rice Burroughs'


Lieutenant Obergatz had fled in terror from the seeking vengeance of Tarzan of the Apes. And with him, by force, he had taken Tarzan's beloved mate, Jane. Now the ape-man was following the faint spoor of their flight, into a region no man had ever penetrated. The trail led across seemingly impassable marshes into Pal-ul-don—a savage land where primitive Waz-don and Ho-don fought fiercely, wielding knives with their long, prehensile tails—and where mighty triceratops still survived from the dim dawn of time. And far behind, relentlessly pursuing, came Korak the Killer.

Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Tarzan the Terrible

Chapter Titles 
(See ERBzine 0066 for a 

complete list of all ERB chapter names)

I. The Pithecanthropus
II. "To the Death!"
III. Pan-at-lee
IV. Tarzan-jad-guru
V. In the Kor-ul-gryf
VI. The Tor-o-don
VII. Jungle Craft
VIII. A-lur
IX. Blood-Stained Alters
X. The Forbidden Garden
XI. The Sentence of Death
XII. The Giant Stranger
XIII. The Masquerader
XIV. The Temple of the Gryf
XV. "The King Is Dead!"
XVI. The Secret Way
XVII. By Jad-bal-lul
XVIII. The Lion Pit of Tu-lur
XIX. Diana of the Jungle
XX. Silently in the Night
XXI. The Maniac
XXII. A Journey on a Gryf
XXIII. Taken Alive
XXIV. The Messenger of Death
XXV. Home

CAST LIST with Important Pal-ul-don Place Names (in alphabetical order)
Ab-on: Acting chief of Kor-ul-ja
A-lur: City of light
An-un: Father of Pan-at-lee
Bu-lot: Son of chief Mo-sar
Bu-lur: City of the Waz-ho-don
Dak-at: Chief of a Ho-don vilage
Dak-lot: One of Ko-tan's palace warriors
Dor-ul-Otho: (Son of God) Tarzan
Es-sat: Chief of Om-at's tribe of hairy blacks
Ho-don: Hairless white men of Pal-ul-don
Id-an: One of Pan-at-lee's two brothers
In-sad & O-dan: Kor-ul-ja warriors searching for Pan-at-lee
In-tan: Kor-ul-lul left to guard Tarzan
Ja-don: Chief of a Ho-don village and father of Ta-den
Jar-don: Name given Korak by Om-at
Ko-tan: King of the Ho-don
Kor-ul-gryf: Gorge of the gryf
Kor-ul-ja: Es-sat's gorge and tribe
Korul-lul: Another Waz-don gorge and tribe
Lu-don: High priest of A-lur
Mo-sar: Chief and pretender
O-lo-a: Ko-tan's daughter
Om-at: A black
Pal-ul-don: Land of Man
Pal-ul-ja: Land of lions
Pan-at-lee: Om-at's sweetheart
Pan-sat: A priest
Ta-den: A white
Tarzan-jad-guru: Tarzan the Terrible
Tor-o-don: Beastlike man
Tul-lur: Mo-sar's city
Waz-don: Hairy black men of Pal-ul-don
Waz-ho-don: Mixed black-white race
For Nkima's Art Analysis and even larger images of this St. John art
- part of our Tarzan the Terrible Compendium series -
please see ERBzine 0105

Nine Interior Plates
J. Allen St. John
Click for larger images
Tarzan the Terrible Frontispiece by J. Allen St. John
As the two antagonists battled, a devil-faced saber-tooth peered menacingly from the jungle.
Like a gigantic rat the shaggy, black figure moved across the face of the perpendicular cliff.
She felt her fingers numbing slowly to the strain upon them

He dove headforemost beneath the giant reptile and plunged his knife into the slimy belly
The two women dropped to their knees, stricken with awe at the thought of the awful nearness of the Great God
“Ko-tan spring forward, and seizing Jane about the waist, carried her off struggling and fighting fiercely.
“Every enemy back being toward her, Lady Greystoke slid quietly into the chill, dark lake.

“The gryf issued his hideous challenging bellow and charged the warriors.


Place your mouse pointer on each illustration above to see the respective caption displayed

1.  frontispiece

2.  (between pages 22-23) "As the two antagonists battled, a devil-faced saber-tooth peered menacingly from the jungle."

3.  (between pages 40-41)  "Like a gigantic rat the shaggy, black figure moved across the face of the perpendicular cliff."

4.  (between pages 96-97)  "She felt her fingers numbing slowly to the strain upon them"

5.  (between pages 126-127)  "He dove headforemost beneath the giant reptile and plunged his knife into the slimy belly"

6.  (between pages 168-169)  "The two women dropped to their knees, stricken with awe at the thought of the awful nearness of the Great God."

7. (between pages 248-249)  “Ko-tan spring forward, and seizing Jane about the waist, carried her off struggling and fighting fiercely.” [Ko-tan is incorrectly named.  It should read, “Mo-sar.”]

8. (between pages 278-279) “Every enemy back being toward her, Lady Greystoke slid quietly into the chill, dark lake.”

9. (between pages 354-355)  “The gryf issued his hideous challenging bellow and charged the warriors”

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
John Coleman Burroughs art: Big Little Book 1942
Big Little Book 1942
Adapted from Rex Maxon's daily Tarzan strips.
John Coleman Burroughs cover and flip pages art

Tarzan the Terrible
1931 Daily Strips by Rex Maxon
September 21, 1931 - January 24, 1932
Continuity by R. W. Palmer

Episodes 1-108 (I1-I96)

Russ Manning's Daily Strips featuring Tarzan in Pal-ul-don start at:
Russ Manning's Colour Sunday Pages Featuring Pal-ul-don
Tarzan® Returns to Pal-ul-don I
Tarzan in Pal-ul-don II

Read the Gold Key Comics Adaptations
Read ALL the GK & Dell Tarzan Comics in ERBzine

Argosy All-Story Weekly: 1921: February 12

US Paperback Gallery
Richard Powers art: Ballantine 1963Robert Abbett art: Ballantine 1969Robert Abbett art: Ballantine 1972Boris Vallejo art: Ballantine 1980Boris Vallejo art: Ballantine 1993

Cover Art by J. Allen St. John
Del Rey Doubles Series

Robert Abbett Cover Art

The Edgar Rice Burroughs Art of Robert Abbett
Abbett Profile | Mars Art | Tarzan Art I | Tarzan Art II | Tarzan Art III

Boris Vallejo Cover Art
ERBzine 3610

UK Paperback Gallery
UK 4 Square Editions 1960 and 1964: Edward Mortlemans Art
Click for full size image
Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square 1960Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square 1964

From the Laurence Dunn Collection
UK Methuen 1st Edition ~ Fred Leist: Artist

UK Four Square Edition
Edward Mortelmans art ~ 1960

1953 First Pinnacle Paperback
Cover art by James E. McConnell

Japanese Edition

Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From 1921, where it was published as a seven part serial in ARGOSY ALL-STORY WEEKLY, this is more like it! Starting off these reviews with some of the weaker, less energetic entries from later in the series gave me a wrong impression. I had forgotten just how good Edgar Rice Burroughs could be.

TARZAN THE TERRIBLE is one of the very best of the entire series, filled with imaginative details, strong characterization and tighter plotting that`s unified by the Apeman`s search for his missing wife. It showcases one of Burroughs` most intriguing and believable Lost Worlds.

Seperated from discovery by a huge nearly impassable morass, Pal-Ul-Don features a few prehistoric beasts still surviving, notably the sabretooth and the triceratops- like `gryf` (I`m sure the triceratops is the favorite dinosaur of many of us, and if one could be still extant and lumbering around, I`d prefer it to a T. Rex, that`s for sure).

Pa-Ul-Don is inhabited by two species of pithecanthropoi...essentially modern humans except for their opposable big toes and odd thumbs. Oh, and there is the fact that they have long, prehensible tails. The black skinned denizens are the Waz-Don, and except for the fact that they have a beautiful glossy pelt, they`re mirror images of the white skinned Ho-Don. The Ho-Don live in settlements, while the Waz-Don build elaborate caves which honeycomb cliff walls. (I love the images of these guys scurrying up and down sheer cliffs with their system of removable pegs set in holes in the walls...if the people I know who pay to practice indoor rock climbing could spend a weekend in Paul-Ul-Don, they`d be delirious.)

What`s most appealing about this story is how open-minded Burroughs was. The Ho-Don and the Waz-Don are essentially equals in intelligence and morals; and characters from both species are likeable. Tarzan himself is more complex and subtle than the simplistic one-dimensional portrayal he was later shown as. For one thing, he enjoys primitive art for its own sake. In an interesting moment, he appreciates gazing at scenery ("that spiritual enjoyment of beauty that only the man-mind may attain..."). Later, we`re told that he had differed from the apes in many characteristics "not the least of these were in a measure spiritual, and one that had doubtless been as strong as another in influencing Tarzan`s love of the jungle had been his appreciaton of the beauties of nature."

This dual nature is one of the things I love best about the character. Tarzan is not a mere animal in a human form, he is a unique symbiosis of the human and the animal natures. In the later books, this was forgotten in favor of increasingly mean spirited attacks on human nature, but the balance between Lord Greystoke strolling through Hyde Park with Jane on a Sunday and Tarzan ripping raw meat from a freshly killed gazelle* is an essential part of the appeal. Tarzan is yin and yang in a single body.

Another vital factor in this book being so good is Jane Clayton herself. She is badly missed by her absence after TARZAN AND THE GOLDEN LION. Not only does she give the Apeman a compelling, urgent motivation to go through all the hardship and danger he undertakes here (in later books, he often seemed to get involved in wars and crises out of boredom), but Jane herself is a very likeable character. For the past two years, she has been a prisoner of the Germans and the native tribes, but she`s kept her self respect and as much dignity as possible. As soon as she can escape, she does. Jane is half naked and unarmed, but in a short period of time, she`s making spears and building a tree house. The moment when she claps her hands in joy at managing to build a fire is a delight for the reader as well as herself. Jane provides a focus to Tarzan`s life that he himself  realizes very well, and her inexplicable absence from the later books accounts for much of their blank, inconsequential feeling.

There is another supporting character that keeps showing up during the story, a dark giant in a loincloth who doggedly struggles through the morass and vicious wildlife that gave Tarzan himself so much trouble. This stranger is carrying bandoliers of ammo and an Enfield rifle which he refuses to use until he reaches his goal. Longtime readers of the series will know who he is, of course, and his dramatic entrance at just the most critical moment is perfectly handled. The fact that Tarzan, his family and friends, love each other so strongly that they will hike through wilderness for years to find each other, is touching and rewarding for the reader to witness.

There is a lot more to recommend in this book. In Pal-Ul-Don, Tarzan encounters a false religion which he manipulates to his own ends, and the situation is handled much more defty than in later books. It should be noted too that, here the Apeman actually is Tarzan the Terrible in deed. Not only is he capable of rampaging through a mob of armed opponents, throwing them in all directions, leaping over low walls so quickly that no one is sure what happened to him, killing lions with a knife and so forth, but he`s remarkably callous. Twice, when he needs to inflitrate, he thinks nothing of killing a Ho-Don priest (who has done him no harm), cutting off the man`s tail and fastening it to his loincloth to pose as a Ho-Don. He also lops off the head of a slain warrior, taking it with him as a "recollection of the days when he had delighted in baiting the blacks of the distant jungle of his birth." (I don`t remember those scenes in the recent Disney cartoon.) There is nothing saintly about Tarzan, he`s no perfect Zen master.

 *There is a mention here of Tarzan supplementing his diet with fruit and berries, a detail neglected in the later books which seemed to have him thriving exclusively on raw meat.

With alternative theories
By Rick Johnson
ERBzine 1527

Read Christian Sildan's In-Depth Article

Click for full-size collages

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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
Tarzan the Terrible in Wikipedia
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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