Sep 1935 to Mar 1937
ERB's working title
(1) Tarzan the Magnificent &
(2) Tarzan and the Elephant Men
First published
(1) Argosy magazine, Sep to Oct 1936
(2) Blue Book magazine, Nov 1937 to Jan 1938
Magazine titles
(1) Tarzan and the Magic Men &
(2) Tarzan and the Elephant Men
First hardcover edition
ERB Inc, Sep 1939
Book illustrator
John Coleman Burroughs
No, 1960 film of the same title has no resemblance, but Amazons
appear in: 1. Tarzan and the Amazons (1946); 2. the Tarzan and the Amazon Princess episode of Tarzan Lord of the Jungle (1976) and 3. the Tarzan and the Amazon Women episode of Wolf Larson's Tarzan (1991)

Ed's next project was a short (42,000 words) Tarzan story eventually named Tarzan and the Magic Men.  The story was rejected by both Liberty and Blue Book, who described it as "not up to the quality we had learned to expect".  It eventually sold to Argosy for $1,500.  The briefness of the story made it unsuitable for book publication and ERB devised a sequel, Tarzan and the Elephant Men.  When Ed submitted the story to the new Argosy editor, Jack Byrne, in March 1937, Byre responded with some very perceptive criticisms about Ed's recent work generally.  "Tarzan needs to have some really personal interest to motivate him" he advised.  Ed's refusal to read modern fiction, his habit of ignoring trends and changing tastes, and the fact that he worked in isolation and didn't exchange ideas with other authors had led to his stagnation.  Tarzan now had to compete with a growing roster of pulp heroes - the Shadow, the Phantom, Doc Savage - and there was a growing sense amongst the new breed of editors that Tarzan was faded goods.  Elephant Men was published by Blue Book, who paid $1,500, and the two stories were released together in a hardcover novel by ERB Inc in September 1939, with illustrations again provided by John Coleman Burroughs. (Porges & Taliaferro)

The half-dead American raved of an unknown city... of women warriors ruled by a malignant wizard... of a great diamond, the Gonfal, with strange hypnotic powers... of a long-lost English nobleman... of the savage queen who had betrayed her duty and helped him to escape.  Tarzan put little faith in Stanley Wood's story - until he saw the power of the Gonfal draw the American in spite of himself back into the clutches of the Amazons of Kaji.  Then it was that the ape-man became once more the implacable hunter - for, though he cared nothing for diamonds or lost civilizations, no one might be allowed to harm a man the Lord of the Jungle had taken under his protection. (1981 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
• Edward Mortelmans inspired cover from the 1961 Australian Horwitz paperback edition is from my personal collection
• Hubert Rogers cover from the 19 September 1936 issue of Argosy Weekly magazine was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Unidentifed Dutch edition with image of Gordon Scott was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• John Coleman Burroughs cover from the dustjacket of the 1939 ERB Inc hardcover edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• The full text of this novel is available on-line from Project Guttenburg's Tarzan the Magnificent page
• Read a summary of this novel at Tangor's Tarzan the Magnificent Summarized page
• Colourful paperback covers are at Nick Knowles' Tarzan the Magnificent page
• Bag yourself a copy of this novel at Amazon.com's
Tarzan the Magnificent 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