The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Volume 0774
A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources

Started writing on April 6, 1927 as a stage vehicle for daughter Joan ~ Not performed until April 1997


Never published in pulp format
Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc.: 1999 ~ Deluxe Edition of 750 copies ~ Slipcase and Illustrated Dust Jacket
    Signed by Danton Burroughs, H.H. Heins & Ned Dameron ~ ERB signature stamp
    Discovery of YOU LUCKY GIRL! by Dr. Henry Hardy Heins, 1962
    YOU LUCKY GIRL! Ed, Joan, and the Play: An Introduction by Danton Burroughs
    Ned Dameron: Dust Jacket front and back colour illustrations ~ 10 b/w interiors

Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc.: 1999 ~ Trade Edition ~ Illustrated Dust Jacket with no slipcase

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.
Signatures by Danton Burroughs, H.H. Heins and Ned Dameron ~ ERB signature stamp
"Discovery of YOU LUCKY GIRL!" by Dr. Henry Hardy Heins, October 1998
"YOU LUCKY GIRL! Ed, Joan, and the Play: An Introduction" by Danton Burroughs
Ned Dameron: Dust Jacket front and back colour illustrations ~ 10 b/w interiors
Characters ~ 15
Act One ~ 17
Act Two ~ 60
Act Three ~ 115
Alternate Ending

William Mason: A man of fifty; cashier Millidge Merchants Bank.
Bill Mason: In his late twenties; garage owner; son of Wm. Mason.
Anne Mason: A girl of twenty; daughter of Wm. Mason.
Corrie West: A girl of eighteen; Anne's chum.
Clyde C. Barton: A man of forty; theatrical producer.
Frank West: In his twenties; brother of Corrie; teller in bank.
Jud Perkins: A policeman.
Hazel Jones: Age indeterminate; a divorcee.
Tracy Lord: In his late twenties; movie exhibitor; engaged to Anne.
Phil Mattis: In his late twenties; son of banker; engaged to Corrie.
Katie: A maid.

Ed, Joan, and the Play: An Introduction
Danton Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs, my grandfather, was not new to the play or script format. From the time he first began writing he was intrigued by film and wrote several treatments for the silent screen. But it wasn't until after his daughter and my aunt, Joan, was born that he began to look on the play format with a more personal eye.

Joan was born on January 12, 1908. By the time she reached high school age she was determined to make a career as a stage actress. In 1923, at the age of fifteen, she was enrolled in the Cumnock School of Expression in 1926 at the age of eighteen. She played the lead in her graduating play, "Enter Madame."

In 1927 Joan joined a stock company at the Weber Little Theatre in Ogden, Utah where she played a part in "The Whole Town's Talking." Things didn't work out and before the year was out she returned to California, where she joined the Menard Players of Glendale. During her stage career she played various roles in dramatic stock, road shows, and light opera including "The First Year", "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", "The Patsy", "Buddies", "Seventh Heaven", Laugh That Off", and "The Student Prince."

Ed began to write his first play on April 6, 1927, the year after Joan graduated from the Marta Oatman School. First titled "Mary Who?", Ed retitled it twice while writing it, "Why Razz the Kids" and "Holy Bonds of Wedlock."

It is unsure if he was writing it for Joan, since no notes or correspondence exist to corroborate such speculation; although that must surely have been his reason for writing it. At twenty-nine pages, Ed left it unfinished, possibly because Joan had left to act in Utah. His short synopsis reads: "Youth has a right to question the moral mandates of its parents, when by the pandering to the follies of the age, weak parents lay themselves open to question." An opinion that would seem to be valid in any age. 

There is no doubt that his next play "You Lucky Girl!", written in 1927, was written expressly for Joan as an aid to her theatrical career. Ed gave Joan a copy on which he had written a short note: "This is the first copy of the longhand ms. It has not been corrected or revised and is rather rough. Please explain this to Mr. Gould when you hand it to him." Dr. Gould was probably the director of the theatrical company which Joan belonged to at the time. Although Ed would correct and revise the play, it was never performed by Joan or anyone else at the time, probably due to the fact that Joan would soon become engaged to James Pierce and married in 1928. Four years later Joan and her husband would portray Tarzan and Jane on the radio. 

It is interesting to note that "You Lucky Girl!", in theme and subject, was years before its time and must surely reveal that Ed had a most modern attitude towards women. In the play he ridicules the accepted part of women in the marriage bond: subservience to her husband, belonging at home, a bearer of children as her major role, an extension of her husband, but remaining in the background. The idea of a woman's independence and individuality are portrayed through the conflicts endured by the female leads and how they resolve their relationships with the men in their lives. The play is surprisingly modern considering the time that it was written. It should also give further argument against oft prevailing attitude that Ed's heroines merely exist to be rescued by his heroes.

I was extremely pleased when Hugh Munro Neely approached me with the idea of The Palmdale Playhouse, of the Antelope Valley Community Arts Center, Palmdale, California producing the play. I enthusiastically gave my permission and on April 25th through May 4th, 1997 "You Lucky Girl!" was performed on stage for the first time; and to appreciative audiences.

Ed wrote two more plays that, although complete, were never performed: "TARZAN & JANE: a jungleogue", sixteen pages based on the scenes from "Tarzan of the Apes" and written in 1933; and "Tarzan's Good Deed Today", a three-page play for children, written in the 1940s. Both are humorous.

I feel that "You Lucky Girl!" is an important addition to the published works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and I hope everyone who purchases this book will find pleasure in reading his only serious, complete play.

Danton Burroughs
August 1999

World Premiere Cast

Featured in 
ERBzine 0084


A Review 
Robert B. Zeuschner 
This review first appeared in the 
Burroughs Bulletin #31 
Summer, 1997

The Setting in Three Acts
(From the Zeuschner Review in ERBzine 0084)
Act I
Scene 1:
Location: Home of William Mason, in the small town of Millidge, a town in the American Midwest.
Time: 6 o’clock on a summer evening, 1927.
The characters are all introduced and the family situation and tensions are all elucidated. The act opens with young Bill Mason (about 21 years old) on stage, followed by his father, William Mason. His daughter, Anne Mason, arrives late because she has been rehearsing a stage play. Corrie West appears, and it is obvious that Bill Mason cares for her, but is not financially successful enough in his auto business to tell her how he feels. Meanwhile, Corrie has become engaged to the son of the town’s bank president.

Scene 2
Location: Same.
Time: Midnight, same summer evening, 1927.
The bank has been robbed and we know that the wrong man was arrested. The house is dark. A strange figure enters and puts something on the couch. A minute later Bill Mason arrives. Then Jud Perkins, the town constable, arrives and arrests Bill for bank robbery.

Act II
Location: Same.
Time: Around 1 am, one hour later, summer evening, 1927.
The heroine declares her love for the thief, and he rejects her. Anne Mason’s fiancé forbids her to go on stage, and Anne agrees. Corrie West’s fiancé forbids Corrie, and Corrie breaks the engagement. Corrie finds out that Bill was arrested for bank robbery, and says to Bill that she would stick by the man she loved even if he was guilty. Bill rejects her outpouring of affection, wounding Corrie deeply.

Location: Home of Mr. and Mrs. Tracy Lord
Time: Three years later, 1930
The hero is threatened with prison. We discover that Bill Mason was not prosecuted for robbery, but the charge still hangs over his head. He is threatened with black mail, but refuses to give in. The marriage of Tracy and Anne is facing serious problems, but at the end of the act, Bill winds up with the girl he loves, financial success, and the two lucky girls have their careers on the stage after all.

Awards Banquet Part III ~ Saturday, June 12
You Lucky Girl!
A special encore performanace by The Palmdale City Players
who present excerpts from Act II of the Three Act Play by Edgar Rice Burroughs
featured in ERBzine 0189

Palmdale City Players in Performance in Tarzana


Dust jacket backSlipcaseSpineFront Cover

William MasonAnne MasonCorrie WestBill Mason

The spell of her voiceFrank WestPhil Mattis

I don't believe it!Here comes that Carson woman

You Lucky Girl!Deluxe Edition Autographs


The Discovery of YOU LUCKY GIRL!
and the evolution of Don Grant's First Burroughs Book
Dr. Henry Hardy Heins
As much as any contributing factor, what convinced me that I might do a creditable job in assembling a new Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliography, back in 1962, was my proximity in the city of Albany, N.Y. to a treasure-trove of data on the publishing of his stories. 

I learned somehow that at the New York State Library, only a mile or two downtown from my home, there was a federally subsidized depository of all the Library of Congress catalogue cards that had ever been printed. More to the point, along with them was a complete set of annual volumes entitled the Catalogue of Copyright Entries, which included all the years that Burroughs was writing and having his works published. Anything and everything that he or his publishers sent to Washington with a copyright application was included by title and exact date in these volumes.

They were not for circulation, being in that class of vital reference materials for which there was minimal demand, and the State Library kept them in an ill-lighted and very remote area of its subterranean stacks, with no table space, about seven levels down in an ancient elevator. I had stack privileges, though, as a clergyman / scholar, and when I found out about these books I spent a great deal of time down there with notebook and pencil, at least once a week for several months. 

With the detailed information this Library of Congress Catalogue supplied, I had the basis for my Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs -- the actual publication date (month, day and year) for every new first edition.

Nothing was out of the ordinary for the first 13 years of E.R.B.'s output, 1914 through 1926. When I opened the Catalogue for 1927, however, a title jumped out at me that I had never heard of:

You Lucky Girl! A love story in 3 acts. Copyright November 3, 1927 under number D81617 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Reseda, Calif.
He had written a play? I included this surprising information in the 1962 edition of my Bibliography (which I published myself), thus breaking the news to fandom -- and, as it happened, to the Burroughs family themselves.

It impelled Hulbert Burroughs to dig through the fabled safe in Tarzana, and sure enough, there it was, in a small binder of 78 pages. He was kind enough to loan me the manuscript to read, though he could not explain the omission of any mention of it from his father's working notebook. He added:

"I did, however, learn that it was apparently written at a time when my sister, Joan, was actively engaged as an actress in small legitimate playhouses. My assumption s that he probably wrote this play hoping that it might be produced by the stock company Joan was then working for. Joan, however, has no recollection of the play, and there is no indication that anything further ever happened with it. It was probably copyrighted because ERB thought the above producer might possibly use it."
It remained for Hugh Munro Neely of the Palmdale Playhouse in California to finally mount YOU LUCKY GIRL! for its long-delayed world premiere there 70 years later in April 1997. Unfortunately, Joan Burroughs Pierce did not live to see it.

Doubtless the most significant result of my Bibliography's initial publication in 1962, and my sending complimentary copies individually to Hulbert, Joan and John Coleman Burroughs, was the forced retirement of Cyril Ralph Rothmund as general manager of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and the taking over of day-to-day operations of the Tarzana office by the Burroughs family themselves, particularly Hulbert.

He told me that they had no idea Rothmund was neglecting responding to letters, allowing copyrights to expire, etc. They were profuse in their thanks for the Bibliography, an d invited me out for several days' visit in the summer of 1963. This was after Hulbert had visited our home in Albany earlier that year, and I had given him the grand tour of the stacks and the copyright records at the State Library. He wryly commented, "We've just paid our law firm a thousand-dollar fee for this same information you've gathered here for free."

A year or two later, Hully invited me to come to California and undertake the writing of his father's biography. Unhappily, it would have meant leaving my church and moving my family out there for an indefinite period, and an even more indefinite future beyond that, and after much consideration I had to decline. Then Irwin Porges came along, and he did a much better and more exhaustive job than I could ever have dreamed of.

Meanwhile, Don Grant of Rhode Island had approached me with an offer I could not refuse. He would publish an expanded, hardcover edition of the Bibliography, with all the extra material I couldn't put in the 1962 original, and would share the 1,000-copy printing with me on a 500-500 basis, with no cash outlay on my part. I agree, and the work began.

The "complete edition, revised" came out in September 1964, and it was the first book that Don published under his own name, so confident was he of its appeal and ultimate success. He personally typed every page of the masters, while I was continually bedeviling him with updates requiring repeated retyping. That was the time, remember, of the great Burroughs revival among the paperback publishers, with new editions coming out every month and begging for inclusion.

My original title was kept unchanged. 1962 had been the golden anniversary of the first Burroughs story in magazine form in 1912 and 1964 was the golden anniversary of his first book -- McClurg's publication of TARZAN OF THE APES in 1914.

True to our fondest hopes, the Bibliography did prove a success. Many Burroughs fans and many libraries ordered it. I remember mailing copies to the British Museum and even to the Lenin State Library in Moscow! Orders poured in so fast to both Don and myself that the entire edition went out of print within five months. Despite much demand, though, I could not face the thought of doing it all over again, and an updated edition has never seen the light of day.

~Henry H. Heins, L.H.D.
October 1998
Heins Tribute in ERBzine

Edgar Rice Burroughs Actress Daughter
See the Joan Burroughs Pierce Bio Tribute Series starting at:
ERBzine 1102
These photo strips exclusive to ERBzine were
rescued from a dangerous combustible nitrate film
and had been kept for years in freezer storage.

Click for full-size promo splash bars


Click for full-size posters


Deluxe ISBN 1-880418-43-6 $60.00
Trade ISBN 1-880418-44-4 $30.00
Written three years later, You Lucky Girl!, a romantic comedy play, continues in the same vein.
It is speculated that  The play was written as an acting vehicle for Burroughs' daughter, but it's first performance was in California in 1997.
Much shorter in length than Marcia of the Doorstep, You Lucky Girl! will be of interest to true Burroughs fans.
The edition size of both Deluxe Editions is 750 copies each, and both books have been released at the same time.
d o n a l d  m . g r a n t, p u b l i s h er, i n c.
b o x 1 8 7,
1 9 s u r r e y  l a n e
h a m p t o n  f a l l s, nh  0 3 8 4 4

Web Refs
Bill Hillman's Illustrated ERB Bibliography
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Online Encyclopedia
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
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
Bob Zeuschner Review of You Lucky Girl!
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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