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Volume 0721
J. Allen St. John: Tarzan at the Earth's Core - wraparound DJ -  different b/w FP
1st Edition Cover ~ Metropoliltan Books 1930
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J. Allen St. John art ~ Publishing History ~ Summary
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ERB began writing this novel on December 6, 1928
Blue Book Magazine: 1929 Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec ~ 1930 Jan, Feb, Mar
    Frank Hoban: covers for 6 issues and  interiors
Metropolitan Books: November 28, 1930 ~ Word count estimate: 79,000
    J. Allen St. John: wraparound DJ painting and a different frontispiece
Metropolitan Books and Grosset & Dunlap 1932 mixed edition
    J. Allen St. John DJ & Frontispiece
Grosset & Dunlap: 1932
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940
Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., Tarzana ~ March 25, 1948
Canaveral Press ~ November 28, 1962
    Frank Frazetta: DJ, illustrated end papers, eight interior illustrations
Ace Books: January 1963
    Frank Frazetta cover
Ballantine Books: March 1964
    Richard Powers cover
Canaveral Press: 1974 (same as 1962 but with tan rather than red cover)
Ace Books: Three more printings with same art up to March 1973
Ballantine Books: April 1970 (3rd printing)
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine Books: November 1975 (5th printing)
    Neal Adams 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 at the Earth's Core
In response to a radio plea from Abner Perry, a scientist who with his friend David Innes has discovered the interior world of Pellucidar at the Earth's core, Jason Gridley launches an expedition to rescue Innes from the Korsars (corsairs), the scourge of the internal seas. He enlists Tarzan, and a fabulous airship is constructed to penetrate Pellucidar via the natural polar opening connecting the outer and inner worlds. The airship is crewed primarily by Germans, with Tarzan's Waziri warriors under their chief Muviro also along for the expedition. In Pellucidar Tarzan and Gridley are each separated from the main force of the expedition and must struggle for survival against the prehistoric creatures and peoples of the inner world. Gridley wins the love of the native cave-woman Jana, the Red Flower of Zoram. Eventually everyone is reunited, and the party succeeds in rescuing Innes. As Tarzan and the others prepare to return home, Gridley decides to stay to search for Frederich Wilhelm Eric von Mendeldorf und von Horst, one last member of the expedition who remains lost (The missing Von Horst's adventures are told in a sequel, Back to the Stone Age, which does not involve either Gridley or Tarzan).
CAST (in order of appearance)
TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Jason Gridley ~ Young So. Californian seeking Tarzan to rescue David Innes in Pellucidar
Dr. von Harben ~ German Medical Missionary
Erich von Harben ~ his son
Faviona ~ Eric's wife, from Castrum Mare
The O-220
Crew ~ Zuppner, Captain, Von Horst, Dorf, Mates
Lt. Hines ~  Navigator
Robert Jones ~ Negro Cook, from Alabama
Victor ~ one of two Filipino cabin-boys
remainder of crew ~ 12 engineers, 8 mechanics, 10 Waziri warriors
Muviro ~ Chief Waziri
Tar-Gash, To-Yad ~ Sagoths
M'wa-lot ~ King of Sagoths
Thoar ~ Man from Zoram
Jana ~ Red Flower of Zoram
Shruk, Gluf ~ Men of Pheli
Ovan ~ 10-12 year old boy of Clovi
Avan ~ Ovan's father, Chief of Clovi
Ulan ~ Clovi warrior
Maral ~ Ovan's mother
Rela ~ Ovan's sister
Tomar ~ a Clovi youth
Carb ~ Clovi warrior leader
Lajo ~ wisest of the Korsar warriors
Ja, Dacor, Kolk, Tanar ~ Captains of the Viking ships
David Innes ~ Emperor of Pellucidar
Cast List Ref: Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia and Ed Stephan's Tarzan of the Internet

Book Blurb Summary
from Ballantine Books
David Innes was a captive in Pellucidar, the strange world within a world that lay under Earth's crust. To rescue him, Tarzan came into that savage, prehistoric land at the head of an expedition equipped with every modern device. But Pellucidar was not like the jungles the ape-man knew. Here were sabre-toothed tigers and every savage creature from the beginning of the time. Here the horizon curved back on itself and the sun was always in the middle of the sky. And now, for the first time, Tarzan was hopelessly lost in a land teeming with unknown,  gigantic killers . . . where even time had no meaning!

I. The O-220
II. Pellucidar
III. The Great Cats
IV. The Sagoths
V. Brought Down
VI. A Phororhacos of the Miocene
VII. The Red Flower of Zoram
VIII. Jana and Jason
IX. To the Thipdar's Nest
X. Only a Man May Go
XI. The Cavern of Clovi
XII. The Phelian Swamp
XIII. The Horibs
XIV. Through the Dark Forest
XV. Prisoners
XVI. Escape
XVII. Reunited
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Blue Book Pulp Magazine Gallery
From ERBzine Illustrated Pulp Biblio: ERBzine 0220
Blue Book - September 1929 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 1/7
Blue Book - October 1929 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 2/7 .Blue Book - November 1929 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 3/7
Blue Book - December 1929 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 4/7 .Blue Book - January 1930 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 5/7
Blue Book - February 1930 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 6/7 .Blue Book - March 1930 - Tarzan at the Earth's Core 7/7

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St. John Cover Art
Restored by Recoverings

St. John Frontispiece

US Paperback Cover Gallery
Frank Frazetta Ace coverFrank Frazetta Ace later printingRichard Powers BallantineRobert Abbett BallantineNeal Adams BallantineSt. John Frontispiece: Lifting her to his shoulder, he leaped to the low branch of a nearby tree

Art by Boris

Artist Gerald Brom
Dell Rey Series

UK Paperback Cover Gallery
Goulden 1952 UK editionMortelmans art: Four Square 1959 UK EditionMortelmans art: Four Square later edition 1964

Tarzan At the Earth's Core .
Japan Art by by Motoichiro Takebe  ::  Japan Art by Shuji Yanagi

Alternate unpublished Frazetta cover art

Ace Cover

Frank Frazetta Ace Cover Art

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Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From 1930 (it was serialized in BLUE BOOK from September 1929 to March 1930), this is a crossover between two of the series which Edgar Rice Burroughs had running. It has some surprises, some nice bits of characterization and brisk action, and would be a good choice for someone new to Burroughs to sample his style.

Basically, Tarzan leads an expedition to Pellucidar, the prehistoric world inside our hollow Earth, in an attempt to rescue its Emperor, David Innes. A secondary hero named Jason Gridley has been picking up radio messages from Innes, and learning of his predicament, decides to go to the one man who could hope to invade Pellucidar with success. Tarzan accepts the challenge out of curiosity and helps fund the construction of a new dirigible, the 0-220. With a German crew and a commando squad of his Waziri tribesmen, Tarzan and Gridley fly through the huge opening near the North Pole into the lost world that lies on the inner surface of our planet. (There is a stunning scene as the big airship descends over the rim of the opening and, just as the midnight sun is lost to view, they first see the inner sun of Pellucidar. This moment really captures a sense of wonder.) Now there is absolutely no point in going into the unlikely physics of Pellucidar, with its miniature sun that hangs motionless at the center of the Earth. This is fantasy from 1930, with just enough scientific trappings to give it some credence, and you just have to crank up your imagination a few notches and go with it. It`s like Captain Future`s solar system, where every planet in habitable;  just relax and enjoy the ride.

Pellucidar is immense, filled with jungles and mountains and seas, packed to overcrowding with not only dinosaurs and prehistoric megafauna but also new life forms that Burroughs invented, as well as an assortment of various human tribes. Since it`s always noon under that unmoving miniature sun, there is no way to tell direction (even Tarzan gets hopelessly lost, something new and humbling for him). Almost as soon as they arrive, the rescue party scatters and spends most of the book wandering around in complete confusion, being chased by monsters and savages, in general having a terrible time but keeping the reader entertained, until they all luckily stumble back across each other when it`s time to end the story.

Tarzan does not enjoy the new surroundings as much as you might expect, being unfamiliar with the wildlife and not really have a chance to wander about as he might like to. He never returns there in later books, which might have been more interesting than the various lost cities of descendants of different ancient cultures. Stiil, he performs daring rescues and lives up to the hope everyone places in him to resolve things. Jason Gridley is bland but okay, a typical young Burroughs hero who is immediately smitten by the gorgeous Jana (the Red Flower of Zoram). Frankly, no matter how lovely this Jana might be, she`s a completely insufferable brat who makes Gridley suffer emotionally the entire book until she abruptly announces that she does love him in the last sentence.

Burroughs introduces one of his most gruesome creations, the snakelike humanoid Horibs, who ride big lizards and love to eat human flesh. They keep their prisoners in an underground chamber, the only entrance filled with water, where they intend to fatten up the captives until it`s time to feast. This is a genuinely creepy scene (anyone remember that 1950s drive-in flick ATTACK OF THE GIANT LEECHES?) There is also a dramatic scene where hundreds of sabretooths round up and slaughter a huge mass of herbivores, including some mammoths; the big cats wipe out a enormous number of prey, far more than they can possibly eat and then start fighting with each other over the spoils. (So much for the usual preaching about Man being the only creature that kills for pleasure, and so forth.)

And for hilarity, you can`t beat the scene where a multi-ton stegosaurus launches itself from a cliff, lowering its back plates to serve as glider wings, and swoops over our heroes. This is hysterical. The only way to beat this would be to have mastodons climbing trees with their trunks.

Although much of the appeal of Pellucidar is that, with no seasons and no transition from day to night, the inhabitants have no sense of time, the idea doesn`t really ring true. Women would still conceive and give birth, children would grow and people would age; so there would still be a general concept of years going by. (Presumably, women would still have menstrual cycles, but maybe not.) And although sundials would not work, certainly some Pellucidarians would have devised an hourglass filled with sand, water clocks, burning ropes marked in segments, or any number of ways that would be so useful someone would come up with them.

Finally, we should note that Muviro and his Waziri warriors are described by Tarzan as  "highly intelligent men", capable of learning to man the controls of the dirigible. They are shown as brave, resourceful and competent, standing up to an attacking horde of Horibs and mowing the snakemen down. In contrast to these noble warriors is  the American cook, Robert Jones, who is played for obvious low comedy (he throws his alarm clock overboard in exasperation at Pellucidar`s timeless nature). When he sees the impressive Waziri marching out in the wilderness, he "swelled with pride." ("Dem nigguhs is sho nuff hot babies," he says to himself.) I would love to know how Muviro and Jones would have gotten along and what they would have had to say to each other. Probably the Waziri would have felt no kinship with this American guy, but he might have wanted to befriend them and learn some of their history. It could have been a touching scene if handled with insight.

And as long as we`re considering ethnic stereotypes, it`s interesting that Burroughs has the dirigible crewed by a staff of Germans, when only ten years earlier, Tarzan (and the narrator) had been filled with a righteous hatred of Germany and all its inhabitants.


By Rick Johnson

by Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.


3084: Intro
3085: 1-9
3086: 10-18
3087: 19-27
3088: 28-36
3089: 37-45
3090: 45-54
3091: 55-63
3092: 64-72
3093: 73-81
3094: 82-90
3095: 91-96

Read the Gold Key Comics Adaptation
ERBzine 2579  ||  ERBzine 2580

An Original Etched Copperplate for the Frontispiece of Tarzan at the Earth's Core
Art by J. Allen St. John (Metropolitan Books, 1930).
The illustration is etched in copper with printed caption cast in pewter.

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The Four ERB Books Published by Metropolitan Books
Tarzan and the Lost Empire ~ 1929  ::  Tarzan At The Earth's Core ~ 1930
Tanar of Pellucidar ~ 1930  ::  A Fighting Man of Mars ~ 1931

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ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
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Volume 0721

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