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The Legend of Tarzan: American Gift to the World

An Air Warrior and devotee of Lord Krishna has published over 120 short stories and 15 books on fiction and 4 on military history.


Creation of Tarzan of the Apes

Tarzan is a fictional character created by a writer with an unlikely name; Edgar Rice Burroughs. To him must go the credit for creating a legend that has entertained young and old for over a hundred years. Tarzan was created in 1912. He was part of a story in what at that time was known as pulp fiction. These were magazines printed on poor quality paper with garish illustrations that told a story. The first story to appear was Tarzan of the Apes and people were impressed. Subsequently, more stories of Tarzan appeared. What was the name of that first story? It was Tarzan of the Apes- a romance of the Jungle. It was an exotic tale and the legend of Tarzan began to build up.

It's interesting to note that the creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in 1875 and right up to the time when he created Tarzan in 1912, he had failed in every enterprise until he hit on the idea of Tarzan. He created a folk hero known around the world. He passed away in 1950.

The pulp magazines popularized Tarzan. Burroughs also created a romantic angle of a white girl conveniently shipwrecked on the west coast of Africa, a girl from Baltimore named Jane, and love between the two blossomed and more important Jane taught him to speak English and etiquette as she got to love his animal friends. There were many of them. There was Tantor the elephant, Numa the lion and there was another lion Jad Bal Ja. They listened to Tarzan and when he called the animals of the jungle responded.

Tarzan can be considered the first superhero but he never had any superpowers and was more human than any of the others who appeared on the scene later.


Publishing Tarzan

It was inevitable that his book would be published and it happened in 1914 when AC McClure & Co a small but significant publisher brought out the book. It was the first one titled, Tarzan of the Apes. That time the book was priced at $2 a copy. But let me tell you in case you can get hold of that original edition you can make a cool $ 60,000. That's what Tarzan means in America.

Tarzan of the Apes sold many copies and also won good reviews from the critics. But the people clamored for more Tarzan and Edgar Rice built up the legend further. He made him a scion of a long-lost Baron in England and Tarzan goes back to England to claim his heritage. But he comes back and once again the animals that are pining for him are delighted and so is Tarzan. Burroughs wrote 22 books and each of them tickled the palate of the readers who wanted more. Burroughs published The Return of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Ant Men, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, and a host of books that are all available on the net.


Last word

Tarzan Now

Now when we are in the 21st century, it's good to know that all the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novels are available in current editions and are selling in great numbers. All the books are easily available on Amazon also and one can walk into any bookstore and get hold of a Tarzan book.em>

Dark Horse Comics

Comics the staple fare of Americans. Dark Horse comics have brought out Tarzan's tales by the dozen. It is the third-largest comics publisher in the United States. It started publishing stories about Tarzan from 1996 till the present time. Dark Horse and DC published two crossover titles teaming Tarzan with Batman and Superman.

A writer named Del Rey has published a new book on Tarzan. An anthology of four titles ~ 848 pages, contains a pulp version of Son of Tarzan, Tarzan at the Earth's Core, and Tarzan Triumphant.

Burroughs's legendary character is not ready to die away and in 2021, its popularity is the same as in 1912. What a century!


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Hollywood also took two Tarzan in a big way and Tarzan also appeared on the stage. A tremendous show of Tarzan appeared on Broadway. This was the stage adaptation of Tarzan and it was staged in 1918. in a stage presentation in 1918. It is interesting to know that the producers of this play brought on the stage four lions and a number of apes. It must've been a thrilling show. More on Hollywood and Tarzan in a later article.


MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 12, 2021:

Devika, thank you for commenting.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 12, 2021:

Misbah, nice that you commented. Yes, Tarzan is a universal favorite.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 12, 2021:

emge Thank you for this hub. Your information is of great interest about Tarzan. I watched when I was a kid, and of the recent movies as well.

Misbah Sheikh from "a Serene Land" (This Existence Is an Illusion) on March 12, 2021:

This is an Excellent share. Mg Singh, I never know so many details about Tarzan, although it was one of my very favorite when I was a kid

Thanks for sharing


MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Thanks, Ravi

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on March 11, 2021:

Very interesting article on Tarzan and the origins. It is said that Edgar Burroughs took inspiration from Rudyard Kipling who reported having seen 'wolf children( children reared by wolves) during his travels in India. Many of Tarzan's stories seem to echo KIpling's travels.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Thank you, Chitra for reading and commenting.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 11, 2021:

Excellent and interesting article about the legend of Tarzan. I have seen the movies and read the stories. Didn't know so many details about how it was created.

Thank you for sharing this informative article.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Pamela, thanks for commenting

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Thank you, Peggy, it's a welcome comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 11, 2021:

This is a very informative article, MG. I didn't know anything about the writer of Tarzan, and many of the facts that you covered. Thanks for this information.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 11, 2021:

It is nice to know that Edgar Rice Burroughs was rewarded financially for his creation of Tarzan. It and the many stories following the original one were a hit. I watched many of them.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Dear Manatita, so nice of you to spare time and comment.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on March 11, 2021:

Tom, Thanks for commenting. Tarzan is my favorite.

tom on March 11, 2021:

edgar rice burrows wrote it,comic strip,1917 first tarzan movie title role elmo lincoln

manatita44 from london on March 11, 2021:

Charming! I saw a lot of Tarzan in my childhood.

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