Aug to Dec 1920
ERB's working title
Tarzan the Terrible
First published
Argosy All-Story Weekly magazine, Feb to Mar 1921
Magazine title
Tarzan the Terrible
First hardcover edition
A C McClurg & Co, Jun 1921
Book illustrator
J Allen St John

In an autobiographical piece that he wrote in 1922 Ed revealed that an English fan named Walter Winans had mailed him some newspaper clippings about purported sightings of some huge creatures in the swamps of central Africa.  These accounts became ERB's inspiration for the creation of the prehistoric gryf of his next story, which acts as a seamless sequel to Tarzan the Untamed, complete with more strong anti-German sentiments.  The vilest of the Germans who had burnt the Greystoke estate, Erich Obergatz, is referred to as a "pig-headed Hun" and his behaviour suggests that no German should be trusted.  "What are promises? They are made to be broken - we taught the world that at Liége and Louvain..." he asserts.  In this work Ed also created one of his most fascinating lost worlds, Pal-Ul-don.  The inhabitants are pithecanthropi, who walk erect like men but have long sinuous tails.  Argosy All-Story Weekly purchased it for $3,000 and published it as a seven-part serial from 12 February to 27 March 1921.  In 1921 McClurg, as usual, published the hardcover novel. (Porges)

Lieutenant Obergatz had fled in terror from the seeking vengeance of Tarzan of the Apes.  And with him, by force, he had taken Tarzan's beloved mate, Jane.  Now the ape-man was following the faint spoor of their flight, into a region no man had ever penetrated.  The trail led across seemingly impassable marshes into Pal-Ul-don - a savage land where primitive Waz-don and Ho-don fought fiercely, wielding knives with their long, prehensile tails - and where mighty triceratops still survived from the dim dawn of time...  And far behind, relentlessly pursuing, came Korak the Killer. (1976 Ballantine paperback)

Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges, 1975, Brigham Young University Press
• Edward Mortelmans' cover from 1960 Four Square Books edition is from my personal collection
• J Allen St John cover from the dustjacket of the 1921 A C McClurg hardcover edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Marcel Laverdet cover from 1994 French Bibliothéque Verte edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Burne Hogarth cover from 1970 French Edition Spéciale paperback edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• The full text of this novel is available on-line from The Literature Network Tarzan the Terrible page
• Read a summary of this novel at Tangor's Tarzan the Terrible Summarized page
• Colourful paperback covers are at Nick Knowles' Tarzan the Terrible page
• Bag yourself a copy of this novel at Amazon.com's Tarzan the Untamed page or try eBay

Tarzan© is the property of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Tarzana CA.
This independent, non-profit, fan-based analysis of the Tarzan material is copyright © 2002-2007 Paul
This page updated July 2006