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Volume 0723

1st Edition: Burroughs ERB, Inc. Tarzana 1932
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Studley Burroughs Art ~ Publishing History ~ Summary
Cast ~ Chapter Titles ~ Lord Greystoke's Cover Gallery
Reviews ~ Pulps ~ Comics ~ Links
Read the e-Text Edition HERE (Temporarily On Hold)

ERB, Inc. Authorized Edition 2022 ~ Joe Jusko Cover Art
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ERB commenced writing in February 1931 ~ working title: Tarzan and the Raiders

Blue Book Magazine: 1931 October-December ~ 1932 January - March
    The Triumph of Tarzan serialized in six parts
    Laurence Herndon: covers in Oct. and Dec. issues ~ Frank Hoban: many interiors
ERB Inc. Tarzana: September 1, 1932 ~ 318 pages ~ Print Run: 15,728 ~ Word count estimate: 74,000
    Studley Burroughs: DJ and five interiors
ERB Inc. Tarzana: 1934 with only four interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1934 with only four interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 with no interiors
ERB Inc. Tarzana: 1940 with only frontispiece interior
ERB Inc. Tarzana: March 26, 1948 with only frontispiece
Ace paperback: April 1963 ~ 222 pages
    Roy G. Kenkel with Frank Frazetta: cover
Ballantine: March 1964 ~ 192 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Ballantine: April 1970
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine: November 1975
    Neal Adams cover
Del Rey Double Edition: 1997 ~ with Tarzan and the City of Gold ~ 426 pages
    Sanjulian 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 Triumphant
Backed by Chief Muviro and his faithful Waziri warriors, Tarzan faces Soviet agents seeking revenge and a lost tribe descended from early Christians practicing a bizarre and debased religious cult.

CAST (in order of appearance)
Lady Barbara Collis ~ English aviatrix
Kabariga ~ Chief of Bangalo people of Bungalo
TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke Lord of the Jungle, Waziri war chief
Leon Stabutch ~ Russian agent sent to kill Tarzan
Joseph Stalin~ Soviet dictator, orders Tarzan "removed"
Lafayette Smith ~ Prof of Geology, Phil Sheridan Mil Acad
Abraham, son of Abraham ~ South Midian Prophet (Paul's hair black)
Elija, son of Noah ~ North Midian Prophet (Paul's hair yellow)
Martha ~ daughter of Abraham
Jezebel ~ defender of Lady Barbara in South Midian
Jobab and Timothy ~ Apostles in South Midian
Dan "Gunner" Patrick ~ small-time Chicago mobster
Goloba ~ Stabutch's headman
Lord Passmore ~ mysterious English hunter
Ogonyo ~ Lafayette Smith's headman
Dominic Capietro ~ Italian communist, now slave trader
Isaza ~ Lord Passmore's "boy" and cook
Obambi ~ Lafayette Smith's "boy"
Zugash ~ king of tongani (baboon) tribe
Eshbaal ~ shepherd from North Midian
Muviro ~ sub-chief of Tarzan's Waziri

Book Blurb Summary
from Ballantine Books
Evil men had come to the land that belonged to Tarzan of the Apes, looting and killing as they moved. Patiently, the ape-man pursued them. But there was other evil. In a small valley of the Ghenzi Mountains, the last remnants of an ugly, perverted people dwelled in what they called their faith. It was an ancient belief—one that had come with their ancestors from Rome nearly 2000 years before. Now they were wicked and many of them were insane. Now they had captured Lady Barbara Collis and meant to use her as a human sacrifice—unless Tarzan arrived in time!
I. Gathering the Threads
II. The Land of Midian
III. The "Gunner"
IV. Gathering the Strands
V. When the Lion Charged
VI. The Waters of Chinnereth
VII. The Slave Raider
VIII. The Baboons
IX. The Great Fissure
X. In the Clutches of the Enemy
XI. The Crucifixion
XII. Out of the Grave
XIII. The "Gunner" Walks
XIV. Flight
XV. Eshbaal, the Shepherd
XVI. Trailing
XVIII. She is Mine!
XVIII. A Guy and a Skirt
XIX. In the Village of Elija
XX. The Best Three out of Five
XXI. An Awakening
XXII. By a Lonely Pool
XXIII. Captured
XXIV. The Long Night
XXV. The Waziri
XXVI. The Last Knot is Tied

Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

This was more fun than you might expect. Although the books in the second half of the series don't feature much of the creative enthusiasm or inventiveness Edgar Rice Burroughs showed in the first dozen, each usually has a few good points that make it worth reading at least once for a pulp fan. Two or three of the books are completely hopeless drags, of course, and there is a LOT of repetition from the early stories, hey, that's true of most any pulp series.

TARZAN TRIUMPHANT has a good deal of flowery, pretentious writing at first about the strange ways of Fate but Burroughs drops it quickly for his usual style.

"The Triumph of Tarzan" ran in six installments in BLUE BOOK from October 1931 to March 1932. Like most of the later entries, it doesn't exactly have a linear plot as such. Burroughs basically throws half a dozen characters into the African jungle, stirs in a lost city and some slavers, and lets everyone run back and forth for two hundred pages until he drags them back together for the resolution. Sometimes his writing reminds me a scoutmaster trying to get an unruly troop of cub scouts lined up, with one or two always wandering off and getting into mischief.

Like several other of the entries of this period, TARZAN TRIUMPHANT takes place in Abyssinia (today called Ethiopa), which was much in the news at the time as the new Emperor Haille Selassi was facing Italian aggression and his country would eventually be invaded by Mussolini's forces in 1935. So it was a natural setting for a writer who wanted to toss in a few European spies and instigators to give Tarzan headaches. In the previous book TARZAN THE INVINCIBLE (these generic titles are another uninspired aspect of the later books), our hero had stopped a Communist expedition to stir up trouble in Abyssinia and Egypt, causing the death of Red agent Peter Sveri in the process. Back in Moscow, Stalin himself is annoyed enough to send an assassin to avenge Sveri. Unfortunately for the story, it's not someone as awesome as SMERSH's Red Grant but the rather drab and unimpressive Leon Staubich.

Back on his own turf, Tarzan is receiving a desperate plea for help from the chief of the Bangalo people far to the north. They have been victimized by shiftas, black raiders who take slaves to sell to the Arabs. Tarzan says that's a shame but none of his business ("I do not interfere among tribes beyond the boundaries of my own country, unless they commit some depradations against my own people.") The chief answers that the shiftas are led by a white man and "it is known among all men that you are the enemy of bad white men." Oh well, that's different and Tarzan promptly agrees to look into things.

This is an interesting point. Despite all the times we're told Tarzan is a simple beast to whom all those awful humans are alike, he has a sense of diplomacy. His personal kingdom is basically protected to provide safety for his family (although they are not mentioned here) and his adopted tribe, the Waziri (who are really flourishing with this guy as their overlord). Beyond the rather large territory, he has staked out, Tarzan doesn't interfere with what the natives do to each other, but he does step in when white people show up and cause trouble. Maybe he feels their actions reflect badly on himself; maybe he thinks the black Africans should be free to kill and enslave each other their own way; and maybe as an English lord with large business interests, he likes the situation as it is, and doesn't welcome European agitators to disturb the status quo.

Be that as it may, the Apeman sets out to investigate. He poses as a British traveller named Lord Passmore, with a full safari. This might have been intended to be a big surprise at the end of the book, but Burroughs pays so little attention to "Lord Passmore', who hardly makes an appearance, that he might have skipped it and no one would notice. It does give Tarzan an excuse to loll about in front of his tent, "faultlessly attired in evening clothes", eating a good meal and sipping coffee. Maybe Jane had corrupted him more than he admitted.

As you might expect if you've read a few of these books, Tarzan inevitably finds a pair of warring lost cities full of white people deep inside Africa. What the heck? How come Stanley and Burton and the other 19th Century explorers didn't come back and mention Opar or the City of Gold or Pal-Ul-Don? It would have made world history class more interesting. This time out, we're dealing with Midian, an unattractive slum in the crate of an extinct volcano, inhabited by epileptic religious fanatics descended from a follower of the apostle Paul. These mangy mutts practice human sacrifice as part of their distorted form of quasi-Christianity and are not much fun to visit, being offended by anyone even smiling.

Dropping down into this hellhole are an intrepid British aviator, Lady Barbara Collis; a sheltered geologist with good intentions but poor survival skills, Lafayette Smith; and a ex-gangster from Chicago who has fled to Africa because things got unhealthy back in his town, Danny "Gunner" Patrick. The fourth member of the cast is a potential PLAYBOY Playmate of the Year from Midian, the gorgeous blonde Jezebel. (Once again, Burroughs sets up a colony of ugly brain-dead males and their beautiful oppressed females - it would be nice just once if we found a lost city of homely hags and buff young studs, but I think he was trying to win over women readers.)

All four outsiders become completely tangled up in each other's problems. getting captured and freeing each other, fighting off the slavetakers and wild animals, tangling with the vile Staubuch and and an Italian Comminist he happens to meet and team up with, wandering through the jungle and running into each other as if they were all at a small county fair instead of lost in a vast wilderness. Meanwhile, Tarzan carries on as normal for him, dropping out of trees and mugging lions, making daring rescues and pausing for an occasional brief sermon about the evils of the human race and how wonderful animals are ("Geeze! That guy ain't so crazy about men," the gangster observe astutely.) Nothing new here, although it's handled well enough.

What I liked best about TARZAN TRIUMPHANT is that for once the comic relief is actually amusing. "Gunner" speaks in an exaggerated big city jargon, both Lady Barbara and Lafayette Smith speak upper class dialect and poor Jezebel (who has been taught some English by Lady Barbara) only catches parts of what Gunner is saying. Even Tarzan, who has travelled around Europe and the States and who is fluent in French and Latin, sometimes is baffled by what "Gunner" is saying. It's good-natured and inoffensive (the characters themselves seem to enjoy the repartee), and it seems to make these people more lifelike than the usual folks we meet in these stories.

"Gunner" also provides some crudely funny moments. He verbally mistreats the Africans badly, calling them "smokes", "Cotton Ball here", and "tar baby" but the natives don't seem to notice or care. Trying to trail the villains, "Gunner" spots a footprint which is one of his own and starts to follow it. "I guess I'm getting good," he thinks smugly, "Pretty soon that Tarzan guy won't have any edge on me at all." All the time, he is undergoing that character development Burroughs often put his people through, where surviving a week in the jungle brings out the good in a person.

The inevitable romance which develops between "Gunner" and Jezebel is surprisingly well-handled and not forced. They're an unlikely couple, a thug who carries a Tommy gun around the African jungle and a girl brought up in a colony of fanatics, but then we've all seen marriages where you can't imagine how they ever got together. She seems a bit boy-crazy, too, marvelling how every man she meets outside Midian is "beautiful" and frankly, I think "Gunner" will have his hands full. Lafayette Smith and Lady Barbara also hook up, but less convincingly, and I bet they didn't stay together after the last page, err after they went to England.

(I like Lady Barbara's attitude. Captured by ignorant Midianites who have already tried to drown her, she tricks the leader into staring down the barrel of a revolver he has confiscated, and then tells him to pull the trigger. "It will make a light in the little hole," she promises helpfully ashe complies. It probaby did make a light for that split-second.)

TARZAN TRIUMPHANT is okay, not the memorable high adventure of TARZAN THE TERRIBLE or TARZAN AND THE ANT MEN, but not the mean-spirited rants of some of the later books, either. It has a light, cheerful feel to it, with likeable characters who care about each other. The sharp little digs at organized religion are perceptive and pretty bold for 1932, although Burroughs prudently restrains from attacking mainstream churches. The holy men of Midian "were intoning their senseless gibberish, meant to impress the villagers with their erudition and cloak the real vacuity of their minds, a practice not unknown to more civilized sects." Comments like that must have slightly miffed or tickled many readers at the time.

The book is better than I had feared. It would have been nice if Burroughs had dropped either the shiftas or the other colony of boring South MIdian, so as to spend more time developing the Red plot to kill Tarzan. Stalin's appearance is so brief and sketchily described as to make no impression; I would have loved it if, at the end, Tarzan had somehow smuggled a package into Moscow, maybe Staubuch's chewed up jacket or something, just to give Stalin a jolt. 

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Blue Book Pulp Magazine Covers
Laurence Herndon cover: Blue Book October 1931- Triumph of Tarzan 1Laurence Herndon cover: Blue Book December 1931 - Triumph of Tarzan 3
See images of all six pulp covers in the
ERBzine Pulp Bibliography - 1930s Page

Studley O. Burroughs Gallery of Interior Art
(Frontispiece and 4 interiors)

Frontispiece  ~  A scream of terror burst from the doomed man.

A white giant who fought with his bare hands ~ With a scream, the fellow rolled from his saddle.

Sheeta plunged to the earth dead, slain by the spear.A scream of terror burst from the lips of the doomed man.Then Smith firedWith a scream, the fellow rolled from his saddle.
A scream of terror burst from the lips of the doomed man.A white giant who fought with his bare handsWith a scream, the fellow rolled from his saddle.
Three scans of the original proofs

US Paperback Cover Gallery

Ballantine: April 1970
    Robert Abbett cover

Ballantine: November 1975
    Neal Adams cover

Del Rey Double Series
Cover Art by Sanjulian

Richard Powers art: Ballantine 1964

UK & Japanese Paperback Gallery
Goulden UK edition 1950Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square 1964Tarzan Triumphant Japanese edition

Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square UK edition 1961
Goulden Edition  ~ Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square UK edition 1961

Click for full screen image

Roy Krenkel with Frank Frazetta - ACE cover art (click)


ACE F-194 | 1963




Tarzan Triumphant: Victorious
Art by Enric Torres-Prat

Read the Gold Key Tarzan Comics Adaptation
ERBzine 2584  ||  ERBzine 2585

Tarzan and the Fire Gods
(A major re-write of ERB's Tarzan Triumphant)
 Daily Strips: Art by Rex Maxon ~ Continuity by Don Garden
P1-P162 (25 Feb. 1935-31 Aug. 1935) ~ 162 Strips


Click for full-size promo collage

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Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
Studley Oldham Burroughs Bio & Gallery
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Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
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Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
Golden Age Comic Book Stories

The Fantastic Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
Danton Burroughs Website: Tarzana Treasure Vaults
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Volume 0723

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