Chicago, A.C. McClurg & Co., 1914.
8vo [186 x 125 mm] of (2) bl.ll., (4) ll. including the half-title and the illustrated title, 400 pp., (2), (3) bl.ll. Preserved in the editor’s red cloth binding with the title stamped in gilt letters on the upper cover and at the top of the spine. With the facsimile of the very rare illustrated dust cover. Case.
First edition and first issue of the adventures of Tarzan, mythical fictional character of the 20th century.
This copy belongs to the first issue of the text, with the mention “W.F. Hall Printing Company, Chicago” printed in gothic letters on 2 lines on the verso of the title leaf, and it also possesses the binding in first issue, without the acorn design that will appear at the bottom of the spine on the second issue.
Tarzan is a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1914 in the novel Tarzan of the Apes, which will be published for the first time in France by Fayard in 1926 under the title Tarzan chez les singes. This first volume will be followed by 25 others. Tarzan is the son of English aristocrats who have been landed in the African jungle after a mutiny. When his parents die, Tarzan is taken in by a tribe of big monkeys, the orangs, a race unknown to science, but who shares common characteristics with gorillas, chimpanzees and the first Hominid, in particular a primitive form of language. In orang, Tarzan means “white skin”, but his real name is John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke. Having had to survive in the jungle from a very tender age, Tarzan shows physical abilities superior to those of the athletes of the civilized world. He also has a better intellect and he learns English by himself using the picture books his parents had brought. Tarzan meets humans for the first time when he is an adult. These are Black natives thanks to whom he becomes more human. After he meets Jane Porter, who becomes his partner, he goes for a while in America (Baltimore), and then settle in England. Tarzan lord Greystoke and Jane, now husband and wife, have a son named Jack, who, fascinated by his father’s past, runs away and reaches the African jungle. To find him back, Tarzan will have to reject the “civilized” world and, with Jane, will go back to the “wild” life. He finds his son many years later, this latter, now an adult has, like him before, grown up in the jungle…
Edgar Rice Burroughs has immersed himself in the evolutionist theories and in an entire literature around the savage child raised by monkeys to create his character. He especially got inspiration from the Romulus and Remus legend in the Roman mythology as well as The Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling. The character quickly knew an immeasurable keen interest with the readers as it was Burroughs’ first book to be published in series. Since the publication of the first volume of Tarzan’s adventures, the readers have asked for a sequel and have particularly grown fond of Tarzan and Jane’s characters to know their adventures. The first silent film was released in 1919 and the cinema has taken over the myth to popularize it more. Likewise, the first comic books were published in 1929, shortly before the publication of Tarzan’s stories, which were continued until Edgar Rice Burroughs’ death in 1950.
A very fresh copy of this mythical book, exceptionally preserved, whose editor’s red cloth binding is as new.