Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Pellucidar Series
At the Earth’s Core • Pellucidar • Tanar of Pellucidar • Tarzan at the Earth’s Core • Back to the Stone Age • Land of Terror • Savage Pellucidar
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The seven volumes of the Pellucidar saga are not Edgar Rice Burroughs’s most popular works, but, while defying all logic, they offer a breathtaking and highly enjoyable nonstop deathly-peril-last-minute-escape-only-to-fall-into-the-next-deathly-trap roller coaster ride, full of noble and ignoble stone age savages, brave and opinionated beautiful stone age girls, hungry cannibals, man-eating prehistoric beasts, keen explorers, valiant heroes, and utterly improbable coincidences. Fasten your seat belts!
About the Author
Edgar Rice Burroughs was born 1875 in Chicago as the youngest of four brothers. His father was a civil war veteran and a renown and successful businessman, his mother (who later wrote an autibiography, Memoirs of a War Bride) a school teacher. Both on his father’s and his mother’s side, the family proudly traced their ancestry back to English Puritan settlers who moved to Massachusetts in the early 17th century.
As a biography published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. puts it, “from the day he was born, in Chicago, on September 1, 1875, until he submitted one-half a novel to All-Story Magazine in 1911, Edgar Rice Burroughs failed in nearly every enterprise he tried.” In 1897 he had to give up his intended military career after he was diagnosed with a heart condition. In 1900 he married his childhood sweetheart, Emma Hulbert, but otherwise things remained disappointing, and by 1911 the financial situation of the family — two children, the third on its way — had become so dire that, after one more business (selling pencil sharpeners) had failed, he considered suicide. Instead, he tried one more thing — writing fiction. He had been reading pulp magazines, and, as he later said, “if people were paid for writing rot such as I read in some of those magazines, that I could write stories just as rotten. As a matter of fact, although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a whole lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.” And indeed he could. Success came quickly. Tarzan of the Apes, his third story, published 1912, laid the foundation of his fame, and by the end of 1916, five years after he had taken up writing, twenty-seven of his novels had been published.
His private life was not without setbacks — in 1934 he and his wife divorced, and his second marriage again ended in divorce in 1942 — but as a writer of fantasy, science fiction, Westerns and historical romances and, from 1923 on, owner of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., he became one of the most successful authors of the first half of the 20th century, and Tarzan may be the best known character that modern fantasy fiction has created. Edgar Rice Burroughs died from a heart attack in 1950.