Monday, March 2, 1970

Author - Burroughs, Edgar Rice

Birth: September 1, 1875.

Death: March 19, 1950.

Comments: Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American science fiction and fantasy author who worked in what is now called the "Pulp Era". His most famous literary creations are the jungle dwelling Tarzan and the Martian conquering John Carter, but Burroughs wrote books featuring dozens of protagonists in a myriad of settings, although they are all heroic in more or less similar pulpy action hero ways.

Burroughs was born in Chicago and educated at a collection of private and military schools. He was not able to attend West Point, and ended up serving as an enlisted soldier with the U.S. Cavalry for a few years before he was discharged for medical reasons. After drifting from job to job for a few years, Burroughs wound up working as a wholesaler of pencil sharpeners. It was during this period of his life that he noticed that many of the books he read were really awful and decided that he could write at least as well as the published authors of his day. In short order Burroughs profession changed from "pencil sharpener wholesaler" to "author" and a career that produced more than seventy novels was under way.

Burroughs' cultural influence cannot be overstated. In addition to creating one of the most enduring characters of written and filmed fiction, Burroughs style of fiction has influenced almost every genre writer who came after him. He clearly influenced writers such as Robert A. Heinlein, Robert E. Howard, and Otis Adelbert Kline, and through them influenced succeeding generations of writers. Dozens of movies have been made imitating the format Burroughs laid out in his Tarzan novels. He is responsible for the name of Tarzana, California, and Tarzan, Texas. And so on.

Even near the end of his life, Burroughs was still pushing out novels, only taking a break to serve as one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. Army during World War II. Burroughs has a website dedicated to him, named Edgar Rice Burroughs.


My reviews of Edgar Rice Burroughs' books:
I Am a Barbarian
The Beasts of Tarzan
The Mad King
The Moon Men
The Return of Tarzan
Tarzan of the Apes

Other books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that I have read but not reviewed:
The Chessmen of Mars
A Fighting Man of Mars
The Gods of Mars
John Carter of Mars
Llana of Gathol
The Mastermind of Mars
A Princess of Mars
Swords of Mars
Synthetic Men of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Warlord of Mars

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