Jan to Feb 1940
ERB's working title
Tarzan and the Madman
First published
Hardcover novel
Magazine titles
First hardcover edition
ERB Inc, Jun 64
Book illustrator
Reed Crandall

Tarzan and the Madman was written before Burroughs' wartime experiences and consists of a loose collection of stale incidents and devices.  A Tarzan impersonator with memory loss is introduced, there is the familiar lost and decadent civilisation, a high priest who indulges in human sacrifice and a conflict between opposing kingdoms.  Argosy editor, A Worthington Post, returned the manuscript and complained that the story seemed to completely lack the motivation and excitement of the earlier Tarzan pieces but was more seriously concerned by Tarzan's limited role, occupying "under fifty percent of the wordage".  The previous year ERB had obtained some notoriety when a Pulitzer prize winning Saturday Evening Post writer, Alva Johnstone, chose him for a piece about "America's greatest living author".  Johnstone used three criteria in his search: the size of the writer's public; his success in establishing a character in the consciousness of the world; and the possibility of being read by posterity.  The story appeared in the 29 July 1939 issue but the publicity did not help sell Tarzan and the Madman, and it remained unpublished until 1964 when Canaveral Press published the first hardcover edition posthumously.  The first paperback printing was by Ballantine in February 1965. (Porges and Taliaferro)

The drums boomed forth the incredible message from tribe to tribe - Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, had become an enemy to all, stealing and enslaving their women... even the daughter of an English millionaire, who offered a princely reward for her recapture and Tarzan's death.  Certainly her captor told Sandra Pickerall that he was Tarzan... but he also told her he was God... Tarzan followed their trail with one thought in mind - to pursue and destroy utterly the man who had stolen his name and made it infamous in the jungle world he loved. (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
• Burne Hogarth inspired cover by Josh Kirby from the 1975 British New English Library paperback edition - personal collection
• Boris Vallejo cover from the 1982 Ballantine Books paperback edition is from my personal collection
• Reed Crandall cover from the dustjacket of the 1964 ERB Inc hardcover edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Robert Abbett cover from the 1965 Ballantine paperback edition was pilfered from an eBay auction item
• Read a summary of this novel at Tangor's Tarzan and the Madman Summarized page
• Colourful paperback covers are at Nick Knowles' Tarzan and the Madman page
• Bag yourself a copy of this novel at Amazon.com's
Tarzan and the Madman 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