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Volume 0725
 A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
J. Allen St. John: Tarzan and the City of Gold - 5 b/w interior plates
1st Edition ERB, Inc Burroughs Tarzana 1933
DJ Image
Larger Cover Image
Large Cover Art by St. John
Huge Cover Art Scan

Written in Novermber 1931
J. Allen St. John Art ~ Publishing History ~ Summary
Cast ~ Chapter Titles ~ Lord Greystoke's Cover Gallery
eText Edition (Temporarily on hold)

ERB, Inc. Authorized Edition 2022 ~ Joe Jusko Cover Art
Click for full size


Argosy Magazine: 1932 March 12, 19, 26 and April 2, 9, 16
    Paul Stahr: cover painting March 12 issue  ~ Samuel Cahan: one b/w interior per issue
ERB, Inc. Tarzana: September 1, 1933 ~ 316 pages ~ Print Run: 5,000 ~ Approximate word count: 65,000
    J. Allen St. John: DJ and five interiors (frontispiece) and Cover Art Scan
Grosset & Dunlap: 1935 ~ title page decoration: Tarzan and the Golden Lion logo by St. John
Grosset & Dunalp: 1935 ~ DJ and frontispiece but no interiors
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ St. John DJ and frontispiece
ERB, Inc. Tarzana: March 26, 1948
Whitman Publishing: October 6, 1952 ~ "Authorized Abridged Edition" ~ 250 pages
    Don McLoughlin: DJ front & back ~ Jesse Marsh: illustrated endpapers and 12 interiors
Whitman Publishing: 1954 ~ pictorial boards replace DJ ~ 282 pages
    Don McLoughlin: front and back cover ~ Tony Sgroi: endpapers, title page, and many blue tint interiors
Ace paperback: June 1963 ~ 191 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover and title page
Ballantine paperback: March 1964 ~ 190 pages
    Richard Powers cover art
Whitman Publishing: 1966 ~ Laminated picture board covers ~ 282 pages
Ballantine paperback: April 1970 ~ 190
    Robert Abbett
Ballantine paperback: November 1975
    Neal Adams cover
Ballantine-Del Rey: June 1991
    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 and the City of Gold
After encountering and befriending Valthor, a warrior of the lost city of Athne (whom he rescues from a group of bandits known as shiftas), the City of Ivory and capital of the land of Thenar, Tarzan is captured by the insane yet beautiful queen Nemone of its hereditary enemy, Cathne, the City of Gold, capital of the land of Onthar. This novel is perhaps best known for two scenes; in the first, Tarzan is forced to fight Cathne's strongest man in its arena. While an ordinary man might have been in trouble, Tarzan easily overpowers his antagonist. The second scene, in which Tarzan is forced to fight a lion, starts with the ape man being forced to run away from a hunting lion, Belthar, which will hunt him down and kill him. Tarzan at first believes he can outrun the beast (lions tire after the first 100 yards at top speed). This lion, however, is of a breed specifically selected for endurance, and ultimately Tarzan must turn to face him, though aware that without a knife he can do little but delay the inevitable. Fortunately his own lion ally, Jad-bal-ja, whom he had raised from a cub, arrives and intervenes, killing Belthar and saving Tarzan. Nemone, who believes her life is linked to that of her pet, kills herself when it dies. Unusually for lost cities in the Tarzan series, which are typically visited but once, Cathne and Athne reappear in a later Tarzan adventure, Tarzan the Magnificent. (The only other lost city Tarzan visits more than once is Opar.)
(in order of appearance)
TARZAN of the Apes ~ John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
Valthor ~ Shiftas' prisoner from Athne (city of ivory)
Tomos ~ Queen's Councillor in Cathne (city of gold)
Gemnon ~ noble of Cathne, old family
Althides ~ under-officer (sergeant) of Cathne
Phobeg ~ prisoner in Cathne, gladiator vs Tarzan
Erot ~ court hanger-on, Nemone's favorite
Nemone ~ Queen of Cathne
Xertsle ~ Gemnon's palace apartment mate
M'Duze ~ old hag at Nemone's palace
Belthar ~ Nemone's fighting lion
Alextar ~ Nemone's brother, rightful king, imprisoned
Doria ~ beloved of Gemnon, daughter of Thudos
Thudos ~ aristocrat, advocate of Alextar's rule
Pindes ~ officer of the guard, Erot's enemy
Hafim ~ Galla slave in Cathne freed by Tarzan
Niaka ~ Hafim's brother, slave in Cathne gold mine
Maluma ~ lady-in-waiting to Nemone
Phordos ~ Gemnon's father

When Tarzan of the Apes freed the white man who was being tortured by the savages, he was surprised to learn that the stranger came from no race or country the ape-man knew. He was from the fabled land of Onthar, where lay two ancient cities unknown to the outside world. One was Athne, city of ivory; the other was Cathne, city of gold and evil. There great prides of trained lions were used to hunt down men and wage eternal war. And there Tarzan met the beautiful queen Nemone, who was determined to have Tarzan as her king. . . or feed him to the lions!


I. Strange Quarry
II. The White Prisoner
III. Cats by Night
IV. Down the Flood
V. The City of Gold
VI. The Man Who Stepped on a God
VII. Nemone
VIII. Upon the Field of the Lions
IX. "Death! Death!"
X. In the Palace of the Queen
XI. The Lions of Cathne
XII. The Man in the Lion Pit
XIII. Assassin in the Night
XIV. The Grand Hunt
XV. The Plot That Failed
XVI. In the Temple of Thoos
XVII. The Secret of the Temple
XVIII. Flaming Xarator
XIX. The Queen's Quarry
Review contributed by Doc Hermes ERB Reviews

From 1932, where it was serialized in six parts in ARGOSY for March and April, this is pretty unrewarding. Most of the book has such an unpleasant, bitter attitude that it's difficult to find any excitement or pleasure in it. In the third half (errr the final third), though, everything comes together for a strong, tense finish... so if you are a diehard Tarzan or Edgar Rice Burroughs fan, the ending alone would make it worth trudging through the build-up. 

Wandering around Abyssinia for no good reason, the Apeman finds, yes, another pair of lost cities locked in endless pointless war. By this time, he seems to take it for granted that Africa is dotted with remnants of ancient civilizations populated by Europeans. This time, the City of Gold and the City of Ivory are apparently the surviving outposts of early Greeks (they use drachmas and have names like Xerstle and Gemnon). It's never explained. Tarzan never troubles to ask, "Say, what are you boys doing out here, anyway?" Possibly Burroughs intended to explore the backstory in a planned sequel called TARZAN AND THE CITY OF IVORY but although our Apeman does return to the area in the second part of TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT, we still don't learn the history of this bunch.

Our hero finds himself a prisoner in the warlike Cathne, where the people worship lions, use lions for hunt and for war, and in general suffer from leomania. They also use gold for just about everything, which may be impressive but (considering how soft and easily worn away it is), might not be practical. The Cathneans are caught up in the usual unending series of raids and sorties which these lost empires are prone to; their rival city Athne uses elephants the way the Cathneans prefer lions.

(An all-out battle between armies of lions and elephants sounds pretty colorful but again apparently Burroughs was saving it.)

The City of Gold is ruled by an absolute tyrant Queen Nemone, who is absolutely gorgeous and who either suffers from manic depression or has just been ruined by the way she was brought up. Cruel, vindictive, imperious, demanding absolute obedience, she's like Madonna with a pet lion. And because Tarzan isn't intimidated she naturally tumbles for him hard. He never mentions Jane (neither does the narrative, although La of Opar is mentioned), and while he finds her fascinating and even tragically appealing, her sick personality keeps him from quite falling in love with her. Nemone has a strong sexual charge that just about crackles off the page, though. The tug of war between Nemone and Tarzan is really what this book is all about.

By this time, I expected to find mean-spirited sermons by Burroughs on how abominable human beings are and how saintly wild animals are by contrast. But the rhetoric seems more harsh than usual, and Tarzan seems unpleasantly smug as he keeps rubbing it in (there's a huge vanity there, too, because he himself is morally superior to all other humans in his own eyes). But toward the end of the story, almost against his will, Tarzan starts caring about the friends he starts to make; he risks his life to rescue helpless sacrifices to the sacred lions; and he starts to seem genuinely heroic and noble for the first time. 

The uneasy relationship between Tarzan and Nemone makes up most of the book. Although unhappy, it does have a certain resonance of a doomed romance in the making. After about the halfway point of the series, the Apeman apparently abandoned his wife, his son and daughter-in-law, even his grandchild, not to mention the Waziri. It seems to happened at about the same time Edgar Rice Burroughs' own marriage started to turn sour.

Now this is just an obvious interpretation, but Burroughs' increasing sullenness and loss of good-natured humour in his writing, as well as the way Tarzan runs away from his obligations like a deadbeat jungle lord, kind of suggests that the aurthor was acting out his own inner struggles on the page. It's almost inevitable with writers. Two years after he wrote this agonized book, Burroughs seperated from his wife of thirty years and applied for divorce. It wasn't until after he re-married his new love that Jane returned to the printed page. So reading TARZAN AND THE CITY OF GOLD as a sort of playing out of the author's conficts gives the book some depth the text itself doesn't provide.

Aside from the psychodrama underlining the story, there's not much in this book that we didn't find better done in early entries in the series. I will say this for Jad-Bal-Ja, though... that cat knows how to make an entrance! (Think about the symbolism of that final scene, too, as Nemone sends her soul-mate lion Belthar to chase and devour Tarzan; that lends itself to several bad puns.) 

The Tarzan Novels Of Edgar Rice Burroughs #16
Essays  I and II by R.E. Prindle
With References to and Illustrations from
The ERBzine C.H.A.S.E.R. Entry

John Clayton, Lord Greystoke

Argosy Pulp Magazine Cover
From ERB Illustrated Pulp Bibliography
Argosy Magazine: 1932 March 12 : Paul Stahr cover art .Argosy title graphic by Samuel Cahan
Argosy Magazine: 1932 March 12 : Paul Stahr cover art ~ Argosy title graphic by Samuel Cahan

St. John art adapted for a pulp mag ad and cover of a Tarzan Radio Show promo booklet


"Belthar is dead!" she screamed

Tarzan lifted him high above his head and hurled him into the face of Numa.Amid shrieks and howls the crowd hurled the unhappy Phoebeg back into the arena.
A low groan sounded from the direction of the window.She stood there, bent and horrible, tapping the stone floor with her staff.

Tarzan and the City of Gold
Daily Strips: Art by Rex Maxon ~ Continuity by R.W. Palmer / Don Garden
N1-N120 (26 Mar. 1934-11 Aug. 1934)  (13 Aug. 1934-15 Sept. 1934) 150 Strips
CONTENTS: ERBzine 3750
Volume 8 Number 10  Week ending 7th June 1958
This and 4 other covers of the UK Tarzan Adventures
compilations of the Nick Cardy strip adaptation
Whitman Edition
Whitman Edition

Gold Key Comic 187
US Paperback Cover Gallery
Frank Frazetta Ace CoverRichard Powers Ballantine coverRobert Abbett Ballantine coverNeal Adams Ballantine cover

Cover Art by Peter Peebles
Del Rey Doubles Series

Collation of Burne Hogarth Sunday Pages
Titan Books ~ 2014

UK and Foreign Paperback Cover Gallery


Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square UK edition 1961
Edward Mortelmans 
4 Square UK edition 1961

Art: John Lane ~ The Bodley Head
London 1936. First British edition.

UK Nel Edition

UK 4 Square Edition

Goulden 1950 UK editionEdward Mortelmans art: Four Square UK edition 1961Edward Mortelmans art: Four Square 1964 UK editionUK 1967 editionTarzan and the City of Gold: Japanese edition

Japan Edition

Tarzan and the City of Gold Art

Neal Adams art for Ballantine Paperback
Joe Jusko: Sentinel
Joe Jusko: Sentinel
Joe Jusko City of Gold Art
Joe Jusko: "Bakthar Does Not Like You"
Tarzan and the City of Gold
Frank Frazetta 
ACE cover painting (click)

Art by Paul Privitera (click)
ERBzine 3932

Click for higher res image
Tarzan and the City of Gold
By Studley Oldham Burroughs

Click for full collages

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
ERBList Summary Project by Duane Adams
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
Tarzan and the City of Gold review by RE Prindle
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
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