Mar to Jun 1930
ERB's working title
Tarzan and the Man Things
First published
Blue Book magazine, Oct 1930 to Apr 1931
Magazine title
Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle
First hardcover edition
ERB Inc, Nov 1931
Book illustrator
Studley Burroughs

ERB had begun entertaining the idea of publishing his own books a couple of years earlier (see Background - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle) but had delayed, possibly because of the effects of the Great Depression, which had seriously affected magazine and book sales.  The story he chose to launch his publishing venture was written sporadically between March and June 1930.  Ed's brother, Coleman, had died suddenly from a heart attack and several of his other projects had sufferred financial failure.  He was left feeling listless and distracted.  The story, which originally appeared as a seven-part serial in Blue Book magazine, is convoluted and is considered his most "dated" Tarzan story because of the heavy-handed criticism of the story's villains, Communist conspirators.  While Ed was juggling several other Tarzan projects - a daily Tarzan newspaper comic strip, a colour Sunday strip, preparations for a Tarzan radio show, and MGM's interest in producing a Tarzan "talkie" (Tarzan, the Ape Man - 1932) he released the first title bearing the ERB Inc. imprint.  The book title, Tarzan the Invincible, resurrected the discarded working title of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1928).  Ed's nephew, Studley, a struggling artist had fallen into depression following the death of his wife and infant daughter.  Ed offered him the job of providing the illustrations for the new book but Studley's alcoholism made it difficult for him to meet the tight schedules required of him. (Porges & Taliaferro)

La was in trouble.  The high priestess of the Flaming God in the ancient city of Opar - forgotten outpost of Atlantis - had been betrayed by her people and locked in the eon-haunted dungeons until Tarzan came to rescue her.  La still loved Tarzan, but Tarzan had brought her to his people, and then left her.  Now, together with a strange woman of Tarzan's kind, she lay bound in the tent of an Arab slave-trader, dreading her certain fate.  Meanwhile, Tarzan was beset by a strange band of men who invaded his land... led by a madman bent on evil subversion! (1982 Ballantine paperback)

Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Man Who Created Tarzan by Irwin Porges, 1975, Brigham Young University Press
Tarzan Forever by John Taliaferro, 1999, Simon & Schuster
• Robert Abbett cover from 1974 Ballantine paperback edition is from my personal collection
• Frank Frazetta cover from 1963 Ace paperback edition is from my personal collection
• Studley Burroughs cover from the dustjacket of the 1931 ERB Inc hardcover edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Edward Mortelmans' cover from 1961 Four Square Books paperback edition is from my personal collection
• The full text of this novel is available on-line from Project Guttenburg's Tarzan the Invincible page
• Read a summary of this novel at Tangor's Tarzan the Invincible Summarized page
• Colourful paperback covers are at Nick Knowles' Tarzan the Invincible page
• Bag yourself a copy of this novel at Amazon.com's
Tarzan the Invincible 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