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Volume 0493
J. Allen St. John Dust Jacket Painting for Tarzan the Untamed
Larger Dust Jacket Image
Large Cover Art Image
Tarzan the Untamed
Art Gallery of J. Allen St. John Interiors ~ Publishing History
Summary ~ Cast ~ Chapter Titles ~ Covers ~ Paperback Gallery
ERB commenced writing this in September 1918
Working title: Tarzan and the Huns
Read the Online eText Edition Here

ERB commenced writing this in September 1918
Working title: Tarzan and the Huns
Red Book Magazine: 1919 March through August ~ Tarzan the Untamed
    Charles Livingston Bull: 25 b/w illustrations
All-Story Weekly: 1920 March 20, 27 ~ April 3, 10, 17 ~ Tarzan and the Valley of Luna
    P.J. Monahan: March 20 cover ~ no interiors
A.C. McClurg: April 30, 1920 ~ 428 pages ~ 1st. Ed. Print Run: 77,000 ~ Total: 299,500 ~ Heins word count: 110,000
    J. Allen St. John: DJ and nine interior sepia plates
A.C. McClurg: 1921
Grosset & Dunlap: 1922, 1926, 1928 ~ St. John: DJ and only four interior b/w plates
Grosset & Dunlap: 1940 ~ St. John: DJ and no interiors
Better Little Book Whitman Publishing: 1941 ~ 432 pages
    John Coleman Burroughs: cover ~ Rex Maxon: interiors adapted from the 1932-33 daily strip
Grosset & Dunlap Madison Square wartime edition: 1943 ~ 309 pages ~ St. John DJ and title decoration
Grosset & Dunlap: April 1948, 1955, 1958 ~ 309 pages
    C. Edmund Monroe: DJ ~ Rafael Palacios: Africa map on endpapers and title decoration
Ballantine paperback: July 1963 ~ 254 pages
    Richard Powers cover
Grosset & Dunlap: 1967 ~ 309 pages
    C.E. Monroe, Jr.: front cover on pictorial board adapted from earlier DJ ~ decorated title page
Ballantine paperback: October 1969 ~ 254 pages
    Robert Abbett cover
Ballantine paperback: November 1976
    Boris Vallejo cover
Del Rey-Ballantine: June 1991
    Boris Vallejo cover
Del Rey-Ballantine Double paperback with Tarzan the Terrible: March 1997 ~ 467 pages
    J. Allen St. John cover
For detailed information see: Zeuschner's ERB: The Exhaustive Scholar’s and Collector’s Descriptive Bibliography

Tarzan the Untamed
The action is set during World War I. While John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (Tarzan) is away from his plantation home in British East Africa, it is destroyed by invading German troops from Tanganyika. On his return he discovers among many burned bodies one that appears to be the corpse of his wife, Jane Porter Clayton. Another fatality is the Waziri warrior Wasimbu, left crucified by the Germans. (Wasimbu's father Muviro, first mentioned in this story, goes on to play a prominent role in later Tarzan novels.) Maddened, the ape-man seeks revenge not only on the perpetrators of the tragedy but all Germans, and sets out for the battle front of the war in east Africa. On the way he has a run-in with a lion (or Numa, as it is called by the apes among whom Tarzan was raised), which he traps in a gulch by blocking the entrance. At the front he infiltrates the German headquarters and seizes Major Schneider, the officer he believes led the raid on his estate. Returning to the gulch, he throws his captive to the lion. Tarzan goes on to help the British in the battle in various ways, including setting the lion loose in the enemy trenches, and kills von Goss, another German officer involved in the attack on the Greystoke estate.

He then becomes embroiled in the affairs of Bertha Kircher, a woman he has seen in both the German and British camps, and believes to be a German spy, particularly after he learns she possesses his mother's locket, which he had given as a gift to Jane. His efforts to retrieve it lead him to a rendezvous between Kircher and Captain Fritz Schneider, brother of the major Tarzan threw to the lion previously, and the actual commander of the force that burned the estate. Killing Schneider, Tarzan believes his vengeance complete. Abandoning his vendetta against the Germans he departs for the jungle, swearing off all company with mankind.

Seeking a band of Mangani, the apes among whom he had been raised, Tarzan crosses a desert, undergoing great privations. Indeed, the desert is almost his undoing. He only survives by feigning death to lure a vulture (Ska in the ape language) following him into his reach; he then catches and devours the vulture, which gives him the strength to go on. The scene is a powerful one, a highlight both of the novel and of the Tarzan series as a whole.

On the other side of the desert Tarzan locates the ape band. While with them he once again encounters Bertha Kircher, who has just escaped from Sergeant Usanga, leader a troop of native deserters from the German army, by whom she had been taken captive. Despite his suspicion of Bertha, Tarzan's natural chivalry leads him to grant her shelter and protection among the apes. Later he himself falls captive to the tribe of cannibals the deserters have sheltered among, along with Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick, a British aviator who has been forced down in the jungle. Learning of Tarzan's plight, Bertha heroically leads the apes against the natives and frees them both.

Smith-Oldwick becomes infatuated with Bertha, and they search for his downed plane. They find it, but are captured again by Usanga, who attempts to fly off in it with Bertha. Tarzan arrives in time to board the plane as it takes off and throw Usanga from the plane. Smith-Oldwick and Bertha Kircher then try to pilot it back across the desert to civilization, but fail to make it. Seeing the plane go down, Tarzan once more sets out to rescue them. On the way he encounters another Numa, this one an unusual black lion caught in a pit trap, and frees it. He, the two lovers and the lion are soon reunited, but attacked by warriors from the lost city of Xuja, hidden in a secret desert valley. Tarzan is left for dead and Bertha and Smith-Oldwick taken prisoner. The Xujans are masters of the local lions and worshippers of parrots and monkeys. They are also completely insane as a consequence of long inbreeding. Recovering, Tarzan once more comes to the rescue of his companions, aided by the lion he had saved earlier. But the Xujans pursue them and they turn at bay to make one last stand. The day is saved by a search party from Smith-Oldwick's unit, who turn the tide. Afterward, Tarzan and Smith-Oldwick find out that Bertha is a double agent who has actually been working for the British. Tarzan also learns from the diary of the deceased Fritz Schneider that Jane might still be alive.

For Nkima's Art Analysis and even larger images of this St. John art
- part of our Tarzan the Terrible Compendium series -
please see ERBzine 0124 and ERBzine 0125

J. Allen St. John Dust Jacket Painting for Tarzan the Untamed
Tarzan the Untamed 
from Ballantine Books

With the speed of the great apes, Tarzan rushed through the jungle toward his home and family. But he was already too late. The marauders had been there before him. His farm was in shambles and no one was left alive. Of his beloved wife there was only a charred, blackened corpse, still wearing the rings he had given her. Silently, he buried the body and swore his terrible vengeance against those who had done this terrible deed. Then he set out grimly to track them --through warring armies -- across a vast desert that no man had ever crossed -- and to a strange valley where only madmen lived. 

Chapter Titles 
(See ERBzine 0066 for a 
complete list of all ERB chapter names)

I. Murder and Pillage
II. The Lion's Cove
III. In the German Lines
IV. When the Lion Fed
V. The Golden Locket
VI. Vengeance and Mercy
VII. When Blood Told
VIII. Tarzan and the Great Apes
IX. Dropped from the Sky
X. In the Hands of Savages
XI. Finding the Airplane
XII. The Black Flier
XIII. Usanga's Reward
XIV. The Black Lion
XV. Mysterious Footprints
XVI. The Night Attack
XVII. The Walled City
XVIII. Among the Maniacs
XIX. The Queen's Story
XX. Came Tarzan
XXI. In the Alcove
XXII. Out of the Niche
XXIII. The Flight from Xuja
XXIV. The Tommies

Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Tarzan the Untamed 
CAST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

Hauptmann Fritz Schneider: German officer
Leutnant Obegatz: German officer under Schneider 
Unterleutnant von Goss: German officer under Obegatz 
Lady Greystoke: Jane Clayton, wife of Tarzan 
Tarzan of the Apes: John Clayton, Lord Greystoke 
Wasimbu: Muviro's son, Jane's bodyguard
Muviro: chief of Tarzan's Waziri warriors 
Fräulein Bertha Kirchner: German spy - aka Patricia Canby 
General Kraut: chief of German operations in East Africa 
Colonel Capell: British commander of the 2nd Rhodesians 
Major Preswick: British officer who knew Tarzan in London 
Major Schneider: brother of Fritz Schneider 
Usanga: Sergeant over the German East African blacks 
Naratu: Usanga's woman 
Go-Lat: king of an ape tribe 
Zu-Tag: Go-Lat's young rival 
Harold Percy Smith-Oldwick: Lt. flier in the Royal Air Service
Numabo: Chief of the Wamabo 
Xanila: sixty-year-old woman, captive in Xuja 
Herog: present king to Xuja 
Metak: Prince of Xuja, son of Hergo 
Lt. Thompson: Royal Air Service flier who finds Xuja 
Otobu: Wamabo slave in Xuja who befriends Tarzan 

Cast List Ref: Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia andEd Stephan's Tarzan of the Internet

A Review Submitted by Doc Hermes
This comics cover captures the essence of 
better than most of the book covers I found.
Gold Key 163This is really two separate Tarzan novels. The first has some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' most energetic and vivid writing, as Tarzan avenges the killing of Jane and burning of his plantation by slaughtering Germans in all directions. Continuing on from there, the second half (actually much longer than half) is okay but not up to the level of the first, as the Apeman rescues a young couple from a lost city of psychotics. I thought some of the impact of the German-killing rampage was weakened by the way the book then shifts direction and keeps going into more prosaic Tarzan themes for the bulk of the book. By the time everything is wrapped up on page 254, there has been so much hectic activity and drama that the massacre back at the Greystoke estate seems almost forgotten in the past. 

TARZAN THE UNTAMED was first serialized in RED BOOK from March to August 1919, while "Tarzan and the Valley of Luna" appeared in ALL-STORY WEEKLY in March and April 1920, thereafter being combined into the seventh book of the Tarzan saga. It`s been documented in a number of sources that Burroughs originally intended for Jane to be actually and permanently bumped off in this tale, but he was persuaded to spare her (her apparent death was a cruel hoax by the Germans) and learning that she is still in fact alive leads Tarzan off in pursuit in the next book, TARZAN THE TERRIBLE (one of the best in the series). 

Most commentary on this book has centered on the first part, where Tarzan finds his estate burned to the ground, the Waziri slaughtered and a charred body he thinks is Jane`s; out for revenge, the Apeman uses a hungry lion to help kill dozens of German soldiers, but he`s not above picking them off with a rifle from concealment. Burroughs doesn`t detest just the German war machine or Army, though; he grimly condemns the entire country and everyone in it ("It was Hate - and it brought to him a measure of solace and comfort, for it was a sublime hate that ennobled him as it has ennobled countless thousands since - hatred for Germany and Germans... it included everything German, animate or inanimate.")

Throughout the story, Tarzan finds himself reluctantly rescuing and assisting a beautiful young woman he knows as Bertha Kircher. He thinks she`s a German spy and deserves to be killed, but his innate chivalry keeps troubling him until he goes back and gets her out of danger. As it turns out, she`s not what she seems and his mixed feelings about her are vindicated. If Burroughs had been a bit more enlightened, he might have shown Tarzan gradually warming up to Bertha despite her Germanity (err, her Germanness?) and slowly concluding that there could be good people in any culture. No such luck. Actually, Burroughs always seemed to despise the human race in general, and a few sympathetic American or English characters are all he could muster up. If it wasn`t for his formula requiring a young couple falling in love in each book, we wouldn`t have even that many likeable people in the series. 

The second part usually gets glossed over, as the Apeman tracks Bertha and a young English pilot (inevitably, they will tumble for each other and become engaged before THE END) to an unknown civilization deep in the wilderness. There is a classic scene where Tarzan, near death and lying weakly in the desert, has a vulture land on him; he quickly bites the vile bird to death and eats it. That`s a tough hero! Compared to Opar or the city of talking gorillas or the city of crusaders, Xuja isn`t an impressive creation. Its origin is never revealed or even hinted at, and the fact none of the protagonists get to learn the language limits any discussion with the inhabitants, keeping them undeveloped. The Xujans worship parrots and have domesticated lions, which they use as guard dogs. Lions are also their diet, the only food they like. Colorfully enough. the men and women of Xuja are literally a race of insane people. Their erratic behavior and mood swings keep Tarzan and his companions on their toes, and certainly make it easy to move the story along; the Xujans can be placid or homicidal or amorous as the plotting requires. 

There are so many doubtful aspects of Xuja that you have to crank your suspension of disbelief up as far it will go and even that may not work. They eat lion meat every day, which means they have to maintain a huge number of herd animals to feed the lions ("boar, deer and antelope") which also means they have to cultivate vast areas (in this valley in the desert) to support those herds. Is this practical? The Xujans don`t keep a minimum number of lions around for dinner, either; the darn big cats are all over the place. Raising crops to feed the herds to feed the lions to feed the Xujans... don`t count on any free time if you live there. 

The universal insanity of the Xuja population is given away by the fact that they look like lunatics. Burroughs has always mentioned that a well-shaped head (whatever he means by that) reveals a person`s intelligence and moral character, and here he reveals the opposite. ("They have all the earmarks [of madmen]. Whites of the eyes showing all around the irises, hair growing stiffly erect from the scalp and low down upon the forehead... even their mannerisms and their carriage are those of maniacs.") I never realized so sharply how long ago it was that Burroughs wrote. He mentions theories and fads that have been discredited for so many decades that I have never heard of them, like this idea that insanity shows in the way your eyes are proportioned. (I also remember his unsettling proposal that, if you just execute the families of criminals, crime would entirely disappear for good. Glad he never ran for office.) 

 Burroughs still reminds us that, no matter what you may see on the Discovery Channel or National Geographic, lions, rhinos and elephants live in dense forests and make their ways along trails (fairly large ones, I would imagine). Also, a World War I bi-plane, with a wooden propeller and flimsy canvas wings, is perfectly capable of plowing through fifty grown men, cutting them to scattered streamers, and then taking off again without any need for repairs. My car should be so sturdy. 

Tarzan himself is presented here as the complicated union of opposites he is. This is where we see most clearly how the Apeman is a unique creature, part of two worlds but not completely belonging to either. Enraged by the massacre of his wife and retainers, he vows to never again have anything to do with people after he kills all the Germans he can find; but, almost immediately, the Apeman starts offering his help to the English forces in the area and he adopts the young man and woman who would die in the jungle without his help. Despite his sermons about how civilization produces only evil, in fact it is that side of his heritage that makes him heroic ("Tarzan`s conscience was troubling him, which accounted for the fact he compared himself to a weak, old woman, for the ape-man, reared in savagery and inured to hardships and cruelty, disliked to admit any of the gentler traitws that in reality were his birthright.") 

 As much as he rants about the evils of civilization, our hero soon is planning how to lead a tribe of apes to build storehouses for putting food away for hard times. ("He would try to teach them some of the better things that he had learned from man...") And although he intrudes on a Dum-Dum dance and tackles the leader of a tribe of Mangani to be accepted as one of the boys, err apes, he is not too proud to use "a jujutsu hold that Tarzan had learned among civilized men" to get an advantage on the big guy. Although he claims to have only grudgingly learned a little bit of civilized ways to please Jane, you notice he speaks fluent German and has read classics in the original Latin on his own. Our boy likes to think of himself as pure Tarmangani, not a cursed human, but he doesn`t fool himself for long. Tarzan is complex, conflicted, yin and yang in one person, more than a little mixed-up. It`s what makes him such a fascinating creation. 

The Controversy Surrounding ERB's Tarzan the Untamed
Feature 1: ERBzine 3294
Edgar Rice Burroughs: The War Years
Presents A 6-Part Series
ERB 'Make War' on Kaiser the 'World Devourer'

Feature 2: ERBzine 3295
The Story Behind Wendy Wahrman-Ackerman's 
1970 translation of the 1925 German article:
Tarzan, the German-Eater

Feature 3: ERBzine 3296
Tarzan the German-Devourer
(Tarzan der Deutschenfresser) (Part 1) by Stefan Sorel
A study about the incitement leading to national hatred
Translated by Wendy Wahrman

Feature 4: ERBzine 3297
Tarzan the German-Devourer
(Tarzan der Deutschenfresser) (Part 2) by Stefan Sorel
A study about the incitement leading to national hatred
Translated by Wendy Wahrman

Feature 5: ERBzine 3298
Resulting from the Controversial ERB Novel:
Tarzan the Untamed

Feature 6: ERBzine 3299
Leiningen Versus the Ants by "Stefan Sorel"
Part I: The Short Story
Part II: The Radio Script
Part III: The Radio Show

Feature 7: ERBzine 2563
Script by Gaylord DuBois ~ art by Russ Manning

Frontispiece: Kings of the JungleThe limb bent beneath the weight of the twoThe lion stood stradling Tarzan with his pawsThe fight with SkaHe screamed forth his challengeHe seemed to be trying to explain something to herThe ape-man swung pendulum-like in spaceA fierce cut drove through the fellow's collar boneBeside Herog XVI was seated a huge lionessThe fight with Ska (colour)

Place your mouse pointer on each illustration above to see the respective caption displayed
Plate 1:  Frontispiece: Kings of the Jungle
Plate 2: The limb bent beneath the weight of the two [Page 18]
Plate 3: The lion stood straddling Tarzan with his paws [Page 102]
Plate 4: The fight with Ska [Page 126]
Plate 5: He screamed forth his challenge [Page 152]
Plate 6: He seemed to be trying to explain something to her [Page 188]
Plate 7: The ape-man swung pendulum-like in space [Page 234]
Plate 8: A fierce cut drove through the fellows’ collar bone [Page 348]
Plate 9: Beside Herog XVI was seated a huge lioness [Page 376]
John Clayton, Lord Greystoke
All-Story Weekly: 1920 March 20, 27 ~ April 3, 10, 17 ~ Tarzan and the Valley of LunaJohn Coleman Burroughs art: Big Little Book
Richard Powers art Ballantine 1963Robert Abbett art: Ballantine 1972Boris Vallejo art: Ballantine 1980Boris Vallejo art: Del Rey 1993
Edward Mortelmans: Four Square 1959Edward Mortelmans: Four Square 1964

Tarzan the Untamed: Nightmare from Above
Art by Enric Torres-Prat

Web Refs
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Illustrated Bibliography
Hillman ERB Cosmos
Patrick Ewing's First Edition Determinors
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute
ERBList Summary Project by ERB Fans
J. Allen St. John Bio, Gallery & Links
Edgar Rice Burroughs: LifeLine Biography
Bob Zeuschner's ERB Bibliography
J.G. Huckenpohler's ERB Checklist
Burroughs Bibliophiles Bulletin
G. T. McWhorter's Burroughs Bulletin Index
Illustrated Bibliography of ERB Pulp Magazines
Phil Normand's Recoverings
ERBzine Weekly Online Fanzine
ERB Emporium: Collectibles ~ Comics ~ BLBs ~ Pulps ~ Cards
ERBVILLE: ERB Public Domain Stories in PDF
Clark A. Brady's Burroughs Cyclopedia
Heins' Golden Anniversary Bibliography of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Bradford M. Day's Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Bibliography
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