Jun to Sep 1944
ERB's working title
Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion"
First published
Hardcover novel
Magazine titles
First hardcover edition
ERB Inc, Aug 47
Book illustrator
John Coleman Burroughs

ERB's tour of the south Pacific as a war correspondent in 1942 and 1943 (see my Terror What? page) inspired him to use the jungles of south east Asia as a fresh new setting for his next ape-man story.  Ed had forgotten the lesson he learned with Tarzan the Untamed (1919) and again used Tarzan to attack America's enemy with patriotic zeal, describing the Japanese as "vermin" who communicated by "monkey jabber".  Ever the perfectionist, Ed devoted a lot of time to researching the flora and fauna of the Japanese-held Sumatran jungles, and was particularly intrigued by the loud cries of the siamang, the Sumatran gibbon.  He also took note that one of the wild tribes, the Battas, were cannibals.  The Foreign Legion of the title were a motley crew of Americans, British, Dutch and Indonesians - nothing to do with the French Foreign Legion.  The book also explains Tarzan's youthfulness, when we learn that he was the beneficiary of the eternal youth pills passed around at the end of Tarzan's Quest (1935).  This story, like Tarzan and the Castaways, which was written several years earlier, never appeared in a pulp magazine because Ed was unable to sell them.  It became the last Tarzan novel published during his life and appeared in a hardcover novel published by ERB Inc in 1947.  Illustrations were by John Coleman Borroughs. (Porges & Taliaferro)

When the American bomber crashed in the jungle of enemy-held Sumatra, the survivors faced the perils of a completely unknown world... and the RAF colonel who had flown with them as observer seemed to compound their danger by going mad - striping to a loincloth and throwing away his weapons except for his knife.  But for Colonel John Clayton, Lord Greystoke, the hazards of wild beasts and a remorseless enemy ware a familiar and joyously accepted challenge - a chance to return to his true identity of Tarzan of the Apes.  Gathering a motley crew of allies of many nations, Tarzan worked a terrible vengeance on the occupying Japanese, led an epic trek to the coast - to a final ocean rendezvous with enemies human and inhuman. (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
• Boris Vallejo cover from the 1981 Ballantine Books paperback edition is from my personal collection
• Edward Mortelmans cover from the 1964 Four Square Books paperback edition is from my personal collection
• John Coleman Burroughs cover from the dustjacket of the 1947 ERB Inc hardcover edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• E E McConnell cover from the 1958 British Pinnacle paperback edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• The full text of this novel is available on-line from Project Guttenburg's Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion" page
• Read a summary of this novel at Tangor's Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion" Summarized page
• Colourful paperback covers are at Nick Knowles' Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion" page
• Bag yourself a copy of this novel at Amazon.com's
Tarzan and The Foreign Legion 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