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Volume 0764
A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
John Coleman Burroughs debut: Oakdale Affair and The Rider - wrap-around DJ -  2 b/w interiors
Large Image of Cover Art
Large Image of Cover Art 2
Large DJ Image
(usually combined with The Oakdale Affair)
ERB started H.R.H. The Rider in October 1915

Read the e-Text Edition


"H.R.H. the Rider": All-Story Weekly: December 14, 21, 28, 1918 ~ Pulp version contains chapter titles
    George Brehm cover art on the first installment
FIRST EDITION (combined with the unrelated The Oakdale Affair)
ERB, Inc.: February 15, 1937 ~ 172 and 144 pages ~ Word count estimate: 38,000
    John Coleman Burroughs (his first) dust jacket and two interiors
(Jim Pierce, Jane Ralston Burroughs and Hulbert Burroughs) posed for the painting
REPRINT EDITIONS (combined with The Oakdale Affair in hardcover reprints)
Grosset & Dunlap: 1937 (mixed edition) and 1938 ~ 172 and 144 pages
    John Coleman Burroughs dust jacket and two interiors
Ace paperback: October 1974 ~ 154 pages
    Frank Frazetta cover painting
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 Rider
Karlova and Margoth had been enemies for centuries-and now they were about to join in peaceful alliance through the marriage of Princess Mary and Prince Boris. But the Rider, the most successful highwayman ever to plague the two countries, secretly became part of the royal wedding plans. From then on, nothing went according to schedule. Who was this mysterious brigand? What could he gain by sabotaging the two nations' only chance for peace? Where a dirt road leaves the old Roman road just within the foothills, the Crown Prince Boris of Karlova entered the gloomy precincts of the wood. He rode slowly, as a walk was the only gait possible along the black and winding path. He had covered perhaps half the distance between the Roman road and Peter's inn when a figure loomed suddenly ahead of him -- a tall man, the upper half of his face hidden beneath a black mask, upon a large horseblocking the way. "Who the devil are you?" he grinned as he pointed the barrel of his villainous revolver straight at the Prince's breast....


The illustrations for the hardcover release were by
John Coleman Burroughs
The first illustrations he had done for his father's books.
The models posing for this wrap-around dust jacket were
 Jim Pierce, JCB's wife Jane Ralston Burroughs and his brother Hully.
The cover and the two interior illustrations were a success and he matured rapidly as an artist.
He went on to illustrate all future ERB books published during the author's lifetime -
a total of over 125 illustrations.
Click for larger images


Remembering my Dad: 
John Coleman Burroughs

I was fortunate enough to be born into a family which consisted of a world-famous author and an equally talented artist. Growing up surrounded by the many books and pieces of artwork that my grandfather and father created, I did not realize until later just how special this family was. My grandfather, of course, was Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan novels, and his son (my father) was John Coleman Burroughs, who ably provided the illustrations for many of my grandfather's books.  John Coleman Burroughs -- or "Jack" as he was fondly called by the family -- was born in Chicago on February 28, 1913, the youngest of three children. 

From an early age, my father showed signs of becoming an exceptional artist, and my grandfather -- an excellent cartoonist in his own right -- nurtured that talent. He went on to illustrate all his father's novels from 1937 on. He also illustrated the John Carter Sunday newspaper strip, a David Innes of Pellucidar comic book feature and numerous Big Little Book covers. He wrote a string of short stories with my uncle Hulbert and with my mother Jane Ralston, who also his assisted him in the artwork, lettering and served as model for the heroines he drew. Dad's solo novel, Treasure of the Black Falcon was published in 1967 by Ballantine Books. Sadly, his creative powers were sapped by Parkinson's Disease in his final years.

Danton Burroughs.....
Tarzana, California.

Read the Interview with artist
John Coleman Burroughs



Ace paperback edition: Frank Frazetta cover artThe Rider
Frazetta cover painting (click)

Burroughs Bulletin: New Series #22 :: April 1995
Features the following page of information about
H. R. H. The Rider
From Editor George T. McWhorter

Click for full page

The kingdoms of Margoth and Karlova, age-old rivals, negotiate a marriage alliance between royal heirs Princess Mary of Margoth and Crown Prince Boris of Karlova. Each resists the idea of wedding a hereditary enemy. Meanwhile, in America, lovers Gwendolyn Bass and Hemmington Main find their matrimonial hopes thwarted by Gwendolyn's mother, who dreams of her daughter marrying into European nobility. Mrs. Bass takes Gwendolyn to Europe with this project in mind. Her husband, the wealthy Abner Bass, who does not share her lofty ambitions, encourages Hemmington to follow.

Boris's father King Constans has him confined to his quarters for his rebellious attitude, but the prince escapes, planning to rendezvous with friends at Peter's Inn, a disreputable establishment he often visits incognito. On the way he is waylaid by the Rider, a notorious highwayman. Boris turns the tables and captures the brigand, whom he takes on to the inn to impress his friends. The Rider, whose cronies also habituate the inn, is agreeable to this, hoping to revenge himself on his captor.

At the inn, Boris meets his friends, officers of the Karlovian army's crack Black Guard. The Rider, seeing his own confederates there, calls on them to free him, but they are overcome by the guardsmen. The barmaid Bakla, hearing the prince's true name mentioned, prevents one of the customers from shooting him. Boris magnanimously invites his late foes to supper. On hearing the Rider's tales of adventure, he envies the brigand's life; the Rider, for his part, envies the prince's. Impulsively, Boris suggests they exchange identities for a week. The Rider can travel in his stead to Margoth in his place to woo his unwanted intended while he himself lives the romantic life of the highwayman. The guardsmen object, fearing his joke will lead to war, but Boris, though personally inclined to peace, is willing to risk it to avoid wedding Princess Mary.

Boris's friends accompany the disguised Rider to the Margothian capital of Demia, where Princess Mary, in cahoots with her nurse Carlotta, is herself plotting to get out of the proposed marriage. The unmannerly Rider commits a social faux pas in the town which alienates the populace. Hemmington Main, drinking in a hotel with a chance acquaintance, witnesses the disturbance. He and his drinking partner, who calls himself Kargovitch, become friendly. Main learns that while he is in Margoth to seek his love, the other has come to avoid one. Kargovitch suggests they help each other further their goals. Gwendolyn and her mother enter the hotel, and Main remarks that if he can only separate the two, he can wed Gwendolyn immediately. Kargovitch comes up with a plan to make it happen.

In the palace, the phony prince disgraces himself by his boorishness, but gets through the all-important meeting with King Alexis. His encounter with Mary, who has made herself up to appear old and ugly to repel her suitor, goes less well. Unfortunately, her subterfuge kindles her father's wrath against her, making him all the more determined on the marriage. The rebellious Mary seizes the first opportunity to slip from the palace.

Learning that Gwendolyn, with whom she went to school, is in Margoth, Mary meets her incognito at the Royal Hotel. Outside, a stranger approaches her car and asks the chauffeur if it is that of the Bass family. To keep the princess's cover from being blown the driver pretends it is. Later Prince Boris, in his new role as the Rider, stops the car. Sending the chauffeur back to Demia on his own horse, he drives off with Mary and Carlotta. Mary, finding she has been mistaken for Gwendolyn, does not enlighten her captor. She marvels at the highwayman's surprising good manners. Later the car is abandoned, and the three continue to the Rider's hideout on foot.

Meanwhile, the true Rider, disenchanted with his royal masquerade, pleads food poisoning as an excuse to go back to Karlova. One of his minders manages to insult King Alexis by implying that the prince's distaste for Mary is the true reason for his early departure, whereupon the king finally reveals his own negative opinion of the prince. When Mary's escape is uncovered Alexis is initially unconcerned, as he no longer favors the marriage. But when the princess's chauffeur returns with the news she has been kidnapped by the Rider, he quickly orders a large party of the Guard out in pursuit.

Meanwhile, the true car of the Bass family has broken down on the highway, where it is encountered by the phony Prince Boris, who is bound for the true prince's hunting lodge to re-exchange identities with the latter. Recognizing the party and knowing of the Bass fortune, the Rider offers them a lift to Sovgrad in Karlova. His minders concur to maintain the pretense he is the prince. Revealing to the Basses his distaste for Princess Mary, the "prince" intimates he might look more favorably on Gwendolyn as a bride. Gwendolyn is not happy, but her mother is ecstatic, and readily agrees to an immediate ceremony at the hunting lodge. Stopping briefly at Peter's Inn, the Rider tells Peter, the proprietor, to send a priest on to the lodge. But no sooner has the innkeeper sent for the priest than an unknown foreigner (Hemmington Main) shows up with one already in tow. He shows Peter a note from the Rider commanding him to take them to the lodge, no questions asked. Peter thinks it odd for the priest to appear so soon, but complies. At the lodge Main encounters the Basses and the phony prince. He is surprised to see the latter, having expected to meet his friend Kargovitch. Main and the "prince" discover they both share the goal of marrying Gwendolyn, whereupon the "prince" draws a gun on Main. Main does the same; they fire, and the "prince" falls. Mrs. Bass cries out that he has killed the crown prince of Karlova.

Meanwhile, the real Prince Boris, as the Rider, finally gets Princess Mary and Carlotta, whom he still thinks are Gendolyn and her mother, to the bandit's camp. The prince and princess both feel attracted to each other, but conceal it. Asked how much he expects for their ransom, Boris tells them his price is that "Miss Bass" marry Hemmington Maine. To his surprise, she does not appear pleased at the prospect. Larger concerns soon loom, however. One of the true Rider's men present in the camp, having overheard the conversation, slips out to inform his fellow bandits. Loath to lose a potentially lucrative ransom, they revolt against their ostensible leader, besieging him and the Basses in the hut. Mary is mystified why the "Rider" would protect the women against his own men, but helps him hold off the bandits. Finally, when the defenders face defeat, Boris confesses his love for her. At this point the Margothian Guard appear and defeat the bandits. Boris now discovers for the first time that his captive is Princess Mary, but he continues to conceal his own identity, and is arrested as the Rider. Mary attempts to protect him as he had protected her, but to little avail. The three are returned to the capital, and where Boris is cast into prison.

On witnessing the apparent death of "Prince Boris," the priest who came with Hemmington Main flees to take the news to Karlova. In his wake, innkeeper Peter's henchman and the priest he was sent for arrive. Aware of the false prince's true identity, and realizing he is only wounded, not dead, they spirit him off, to the confusion of those remaining. Mrs. Bass, still believing her ambition has led to tragedy, reconciles herself to Main and his suit, and suggests they escape to Margoth. But Margoth proves no refuge: there the supposed assassination of Prince Boris of Karlova and its possible connection to the abortive abduction of Princess Mary of Margoth by the Rider are all over the newspapers, and Main and the Basses are arrested and separated.

Main finds himself in the same cell as his erstwhile friend Kargovitch (actually Prince Boris). Comparing notes on their adventures, they are at a loss on how they managed to confuse the parties of the Basses and Princess Mary, though the rest seems plain enough: Main will die for assassinating "Prince Boris" and Kargovitch for kidnapping the princess. Kargovitch is torn; if he reveals his secret, he might secure their freedom, but probably at the cost of war between Karlova and Margoth—and his own humiliation as perpetrator of a cruel joke against the princess he rejected—with whom he is now in love!

Meanwhile, the Rider, nursed by Bakla at Peter's Inn, also receives the news. While sorry for his impersonator's predicament, he understandably feels unable to do anything about it. Bakla, however, is of another mind, and leaves at once for the Karlovan capital.

In Margoth Princess Mary secures the release of Mrs. Bass and Gwendolyn. Main initially remains incarcerated as the reputed assassin of the prince of Karlova, but then King Alexis mysteriously decides to free him as well. Main pleads for Kargovitch's life with the princess; she, moved as well by her own feelings for him, does the same with her father. But King Alexis is adamant, stating he has already shown the Rider clemency by commuting his hanging sentence to death by firing squad. Later Mary visits Kargovitch in his cell, and they confess their love for each other. She begs him to save his life by revealing his secret, whatever it may be—she has learned of its existence from Main. He tells her he cannot, and she leaves in despair.

The next morning Kargovitch is removed from his cell to be shot, but before the execution can take place it is stopped, and he is whisked to the palace. There he is astonished to find his father, King Constans of Karlova, awaiting him. Having been told everything about the double imposture and the ensuing misadventures by Bakla, Constans had come to Margoth and intervened with Alexis. The charade of the execution had been allowed to proceed almost to the end in order to teach Boris a lesson. After a general reconciliation, Prince Boris meets Princess Mary and they pledge their love anew, and the hoped-for peace between their countries is cemented. Hemmington Main and Gwendolyn Bass marry. And the Rider? The author rhetorically asks his readers if they would like him to say the highwayman reformed and wed Bakla, teasingly says he will say so, and then blandly states that it is not the truth.

Click for full-size promo splash bars

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Illustrated ERB Bibliography
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
Summary by Okapi & Friends from Japan
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
ERB Life and Legacy Daily Events in ERBzine
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
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
Irwin Porges: The Man Who Created Tarzan

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