Edgar Rice Burroughs Wrestles With Time


R.E. Prindle

When The Student Is Ready The Teacher Will Appear

    There are two major themes in Burroughs that present significant difficulties.  One is his preoccupation with slavery.  Slavery pervades the corpus.  I haven’t begun to guess at Burroughs notions on slavery.  The second theme is the wrestle Burroughs has with the concept of Time.  Time is a major preoccupation of scientific thinkers.

My ideas on Burroughs’ ideas on Time were jelled by the following quote from Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan that I came across while rereading the book recently:

“As a piece of technology, the clock is a machine that produces uniform seconds, minutes and hours, on an assembly-line pattern.  Processed in this uniform way, time is separated from the rhythms of human

Marshall McLuhan

experience.  The mechanical clock, in short, helps to create the image of a numerically quantified and mechanical universe.  It was in the world of the medieval monasteries, with their need for a rule and for synchronized order to guide communal life, that the clock started on its modern developments.  Time measured not by the uniqueness of private experience, but by abstract uniform units gradually pervading all sense of life, much as does the technology of writing and printing.  Not only work, but also eating and sleeping, came to accommodate themselves to the clock rather than to organic needs.  As the pattern of arbitrary and uniform measurement of time extended itself across society, even clothing began to undergo annual alteration in a way convenient for industry.  At that point, of course, mechanical measurement of time as a principle of applied knowledge joined forces with printing and assembly line as means of uniform fragmentation of processes.”

While Burroughs never states his position as succinctly, McLuhan might have abstracted the above quote from Burroughs’ novels.

The Pellucidar series is centered on the problem of Time while Burroughs persistently dwells on the problem throughout the corpus.  Mars, or Barsoom, itself is a contrast between the orbits of Earth and Mars with their two different durations of time, the year of Mars being nearly double that of Earth.  The lost cities of Africa are a contrast of time periods as they all exist within the present while products of a distant past, most notably the lost city of Opar that dates back to Atlantis nearly unchanged.

Tied to the concept of Time are Burroughs’ notions on evolution.  The most notable novel in that line being The Land That Time Forgot.  Time forgot!  Time didn’t so much forget as encapsulate a series of time periods that exist side by side.

Usually Burroughs’ ruminations are thoroughly disguised as ‘entertainment.’  If you are merely entertaining yourself by reading Burroughs you probably won’t consciously recognize the underlying examinations but you probably will be affected subconsciously.  A hypnotic suggestion so to speak.  After all, the stories themselves are fairly slight and yet the attention of readers from teenagers to college professors over a century now are riveted by the author.

Man At Work

I don’t intend to be exhaustive in this essay but I would like to concentrate on two novelistic examinations by Burroughs.  The largest examination and most obvious is that of Tarzan At The Earth’s Core and its successor Tarzan The Invincible.    The other more hidden example is Bridge And The Oskaloosa Kid also known by its published title:  The Oakdale Affair.  I will begin with the latter.

I’ve written on Bridge And The Kid a couple of times, one major essay being on the ezine ERBzine, Only The Strong Survive.  There is a great deal going on in this wonderful story that isn’t so obvious.  I didn’t have that good a handle on the story although Lord know I tried.

I was mystified by the course taken by Bridge, the Kid, the Bear, the Gypsy Girl and Hetty Penning from the Squibb Farm to the destination warehouse.  There is probably a great deal of symbolism I’m still not getting but as it appears to me now that Burroughs is contrasting more than two different kinds of time.

For instance, the journey between the two points takes a day and a night to complete by which I do not mean to say merely twenty-four hours of mechanical time but an experiential day and night.  In other words, according to McLuhan, Time measured by the uniqueness  of personal experience in contrast to time measured by abstract uniform units.

Both the origin of the journey and its end are based on experiential time where the sun, not the clock, governs actions.  As darkness falls the journey is bisected by the passage through the town.  Here experiential time is contrasted by mechanical time.  That mechanical time is precisely measured according to the precepts of the efficiency expert Frederick Taylor.  Indeed, within a year or so Burroughs would pen a book on the same theme entitled The Efficiency Expert.

In this book, Willie Case, a little farm boy who Gail Prim posing as a hobo had bummed from, came to town.  The story involves several criminal acts and a major detective so Willie, an amateur detective,  is hot to solve the crimes.  Willie comes to town which is run by the clock.  Willie has a dollar to spend.  ERB accounts for each and every penny as it is spent.  In a very humorous scene Willie goes into a restaurant at dinner time by the clock.  In a Frederick Taylor and Henry Ford efficient assembly line manner Willie arranges his dinner plates so that he makes the minimum number of moves in a most timely manner, shoveling the food into his mouth in minimum time.  Very efficient if ridiculous dining.

He then goes to the movies.  Movies are run on a strict time schedule by the clock, so various aspects of rigid mechanical time have been represented.  As Willie leaves the theatre he spots the hobo troupe weaving through town on experiential time.  No straight lines.  Here the two modes of time intersect.  Very cleverly done on ERB’s part.  The troupe then weave on to their destination while Willie makes a bee line to a phone booth to call the cops.

While one is not conscious of the two modes of time that ERB represents yet subconsciously a deepened interest is added to the story.  While mystified by the action I would never have guessed the significance of the Time comparisons if I hadn’t read the McLuhan passage that put things into perspective.

About this time ERB wrote two other investigations of Time:  The Efficiency Expert and The Land That Time Forgot.

I think his two most explicit investigations were Tarzan At The Earth’s Core and its successor Tarzan The Invincible.

Burroughs through Tarzan seems to reject Civilization carefully noting what Freud would call its Discontents.  He seems to prefer experiential time to mechanical time.  In Invincible he says:

Time is the essence of many things to civilized man.  He fumes and frets, and reduces his mental and physical efficiency if he is not accomplishing something concrete during the passage of every minute of that medium which seems to him like a flowing river, the waters of which are utterly wasted if they are not utilized as they pass by.

Here Burroughs correctly identifies Time as a medium rather than a Fourth Dimension.  In other words mechanical time is a social construct of man for his convenience but has no independent existence.

His Pellucidar series creates a model to investigate the nature of Time.  Pellucidar is a model of a reversed Time and Space system.  The earth is essentially turned outside in replicating the exterior in a closed rather than open universe.  He posits a sun suspended in the interior that is perpetually shining.  While the outer Earth rotates on its axis only half the surface is in light facing the sun, while the other half is in darkness facing away.  Thus the appearance of change which is time is obvious.  In Pellucidar as the Earth turns no portion of the inner world is in darkness, although the perpetual shadow from the interior moon must have described a circular path.

As there is no mechanical time there is no night and day, the beings of Pellucidar have no notion of the passing of mechanical time living in a perpetual NOW.  Indeed there is no passing of Time; Time as a Dimension does not exist.  Time is not necessary for existence; a person or thing is merely invested with a certain amount of energy.  When that energy is expended the person or thing ceases to exist.

Thus, for example, when one winds a top it is invested with a certain amount of energy.  At peak energy it rotates rapidly gradually slowing down into a wobble and when its energy is expended it falls over and attains perpetual rest.  No time is involved although using man made mechanical tools the duration can be measured.

Tarzan The Invincible

So, also in the universe at large.  It is quite clear that Burroughs has Einstein in mind.  In Invincible he says:

‘…but though Time and space go on forever, whether in curves or straight lines…’

One can’t mention curved space without being familiar with Einstein.  He is thus offering an alternative to Einstein’s notion of the fabric of Time and Space.  There can be no fabric of Time and Space as Time has no objective existence.  It is a construct to serve the needs of man.  The sun, for instance, came into existence with a definite amount of potential energy.  Barring accidents, that energy will be expended at a certain rate just like the top and when that energy is fully expended the sun will follow whatever course the cessation of suns follow.  There is no Time involved, hence no Time-Space conitnuum and no fabric of Time and Space.

McLuhan says essentially the same thing.

So, Tarzan At The Earth’s Core is a demonstration of the fallacy of Einstein’s notion.

Moving on to Tarzan The Invincible Burroughs then has Tarzan dealing with the notion of terrestrial time, the world turned rightside out.  As McLuhan notes, the notion of a time to eat arose with clocks;  Tarzan dispenses with the notion of a time to eat eating only when he is hungry.  There are no clocks in Tarzan’s Africa.  As Burroughs says an individual has all the time in the world:

Of all the vast resources that Nature had placed at their disposal, she had been most profligate with Time, since she had awarded to each all that he could use during his lifetime, no matter how extravagant of it he might be.  So great was the supply of it that it could not be wasted, since there is always more even up to the moment of death, after which  it ceased, with all things, to be essential to the individual.  Tantor and Tarzan were therefore wasting no time as they communed together in silent meditation.

One has all the time one needs until the day one dies then one no longer has need of time.  In other words, the organism’s energy has been expended and the husk falls to earth.

So Tarzan is active when necessary, such as hunting for food or fighting and lazes around when activity is unnecessary.  Perfectly balanced and happy according to Burroughs.  OK for the jungle, I suppose, but I’ve got things to do such as writing stuff like this, but then that is only how I dispose of the energy left in my organism during the time remaining.  With other media such as electric lights, I am not bound by the diurnal cycle being freed from that experiential limitation.  One only has to sleep when one is tired.  Time means nothing to me either.  With stores open around the clock I can even buy groceries when the mood hits me.  Other items can be purchased on the internet at any time of day.  So, technology has freed us from many of the restraints of what civilization is pleased to call time.

Thus when reading Burroughs one should always bear in mind what time means to him and how various notions of time relate to the story.  Obviously in Invincible while Tarzan is attempting to live on experiential time the Revolutionaries are living by Clock and calendar.  Thus the story is also a tale of the clock or two time systems.

I know there are reasons I like Burroughs other than interesting stories; complexities like the nature of Time are one of the extras if one can only discover and realize them.  Now,  I really have to work on the nature of slavery in the corpus.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Taking A Snapshot Of Time

Edgar Rice Burroughs


The Accreted Personality

Part VI


R.E. Prindle

Edgar Rice Burroughs

 On The Road To Success: 1911-1920

 The Porges wrote the most comprehensive biography of Ed: Edgar Rice Burroughs:  The Man Who Created Tarzan.  They were allowed to use the archives and to this date they are the only researchers who have.  Although give the freedom of the archives they were apparently denied  the freedom to write as they chose.  There were others who were selected to write the biography but as they found information that it was considered inappropriate to disclose they were dismissed.  The Porges were willing to write hagiography.

Bill And Sue On Hillman

As Ed’s work reflects his life both before and as the books were written one can compare Porges’ biography with the novels to get some idea about the banned material.  Some portions of this piece then will be guesswork from the biography and the novels.  Bill Hillman at ERBzine  has also unearthed details not in Porges on his ERBzine site.  ERBzine is one of the great internet sites not only as concerns Burroughs but as a site.  It is worthwhile to check out Bill’s  work if you’re not familiar with it.

By 1911 then Ed’s psychology, his memories that he would use in writing his novels was in place. He already had a multi-faceted personality and he would add facets to that personality.  He was quite extraordinary in being able to incorporate, seemingly, the whole of his memory banks.  The question is were his references more obvious to his readers at the time than they are today.  For instance the Dreyfus Affair in France of the 1890s gets a fairly comprehensive treatment in The Return Of Tarzan although today it would go unnoticed unless one were historically aware and then recognized what he was talking about.

The same goes with the Sky Pilot/Big Bill Haywood episode of The Oakdale Affair.  Of course Sky Pilot/ Haywood merger

Big Bill Haywood

into John the Bully.  (See my https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/pt-i-only-the-strong-survive/  ,  http://www.erbzine.com/mag14/1483a.html  )  With the proper historical background what he’s talking about becomes clear if you read between the lines.

The novels of 1912-1914 directly refer to events and reading, questions and cultural problems, surrounding his pre-1900 reading and his reading of current writers after 1900.  So far I have able to trace the contents of the novels back to that reading and those cultural questions.  Other references I have picked up from other writers but may not have read the volumes themselves.  I’m working at it.

In 1910 Ed was thirty-five years old.  He had had a life of, shall we say, limited success so that he was becoming anxious about his possibilities for the future.  As he approached the mid-life crisis that every man faces at forty the fear of failing self-realization gripped his soul.  His was now a do or die situation.  His only chance of success that he could see was to succeed as a writer and that was a million to one chance.  Ed was an inveterate gambler.

By the time Ed began to write he was dealing  with the problems of a world gone by.  Since his youth from 1875 to 1900 and young manhood of 1900-1912 worlds had slipped away beneath his feet.  There was a great difference between the world of his psychological and intellectual understanding of the world that had just passed away and the emerging world that would affect his future reputation.

Immigration had brought millions of Jews from Eastern Europe and millions of Italians from Southern Europe while the Negro revolt against Jim Crow would quickly gain momentum with the great Negro emigration North during the Great

Marcus Garvey

War the resistance to White rule was beginning organization by the Negro chief, Marcus Garvey.

Ed’s activities in those matters were rooted in a pre-1900 milieu.  While he himself was no bigot in any way, the mere accurate reporting of existing attitudes would be interpreted after 1950 as endorsement of them.  Thus in merely participating in the attitude of his day Ed has been interpreted as a bigot by the various members of the Liberal Coalition.   They have caused his books to be excised of any term or passage they deem offensive to their sensibilities.   In doing so, of course, they have destroyed any evidence while there is nothing today in his published book that could offend the most Liberal.  Hence, it never happened and  Liberals can’t prove it did.

In addition as an avowed anti-Communist his successors have to fight the obliteration of his reputation from that quarter.  The main threat is the TV and movie reformulation of Tarzan and John Carter into a Communist mold.

While Ed’s problems with accusations of anti-Semitism wouldn’t surface until 1919 after the success of the Bolshevik Revolution, the groundwork was being laid as the second decade opened.  But a survey of that situation can wait to Book II and the years from 1920 to his death.

It may be sufficient for the present to note that the texts have been bowlderized to meet the prejudices of the current age.  Thus any references that Jews and Negroes might find ‘offensive’ have been excised  from the texts with the full compliance of ERB, Inc. since the sixties.

In the year or so before the acceptance of the Princess Of Mars Ed appears to have accepted the inevitable taking a job with Systems Magazine where he dispensed advice to readers on how to be a successful businessman.  Interesting occupation for a guy who failed at selling pencil sharpeners.

During this period Ed pleads extreme poverty even to the extent of pawning Emma’s jewelry.  I think the claim can be significantly discounted.  As Ed had thrown over a promising career at Sears then such poverty if it existed was self chosen.  In the second, his income at Systems, which seems to have been a profitable firm, must have been somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 a year, well above the destitution level.  And then he had no sooner sold Tarzan Of The Apes to Munsey’s than he quit Systems to assume a fulltime career as a writer.

One admires his boldness but one is appalled at the huge risk he took.  As Emma, his friends and relations were shocked at the leap of faith Ed must have been thought of as foolish.  Now, not only did he quit his day job but he immediately made plans to take a nine month long vacation to San Diego.  This is without any money in the bank and no source of income other than the hope that whatever he wrote would sell.  His only source of income being from the relatively low paying pulps as compared to the slicks such as the Saturday Evening Post.

I doubt that there was anyone who didn’t think he was out of his mind.  If I’d been there I would have had to agree.  The act was at the very least premature.  Ed didn’t do anything on the cheap so he bought first class rail tickets including the freight for his second hand car and, I repeat, this is with only current cash in hand.  Any expenses in San Diego would have to be met by receipts from the sale of his stories.  This blows my mind whenever I think about it.

As it turned out he got along by the skin of his teeth leaving San Diego with about as much pocket money as he had when he arrived nine months earlier.  Now, this goes further: his income for 1913 was ten thousand dollars- a handsome income for the time- which he blew as fast as it came in.  One can only imagine the strain this placed on his marriage.  While Ed Undoubtedly thought the money would come rolling in forever, in which as it turned out he wasn’t wrong, Emma must have been distracted to the point of her endurance.

Why would Ed do this?  He obviously had a compelling psychological need:  His desire to reclaim the lost kingdom of his youth, the repressed life since then, found release in the merest glimmer of success.  He expressed his self-realization in the most extreme acts of the nouveau riche.

Once back in Chicago in the Spring of 1914 with the first efflorescence  of repressed self-expression over Ed now had to settle down into continued production.

A Writer’s Life

He still had no other outlet for his stories than Munsey’s and other pulp magazines.  While Tarzan had had a blockbuster effect within the small and despised universe of pulp readers, that smash was a mere ripple in the rest of the literary world.  Besides in realistic terms Ed’s stories were obviously derivative as well as preposterous.

As he himself later acknowledged his career was really jump started when the New York Evening World began the serialization of Tarzan Of The Apes in newspapers.  From the World the story was picked up by several other newspapers so that he earned another thousand dollars from that source while having the fame of the Tarzan story broadcast to a much larger audience than the pulps.

However, it was essential that Ed find a book publisher.  His writing was so outre that there was no publisher that would touch him regardless of the obvious popularity of  Tarzan.  He was turned down by all the major houses.  Ed was a literary pioneer.  To be a success in the pulps at that time was not a respectable achievement.  It would take another ten to fifteen years for publishers to recognize the market and that only after the phenomenal success of Bernarr Macfadden’s True Romance pulps that began after the War.   Ed had the proverbial million dollar idea with no way to get it to realization.

Ed was forced to attempt to get local publisher McClurg’s to publish his wildly successful novel in pulps and newspapers.  McClurg’s who after all had published Zane Grey’s The Short Stop who now in 1914 after The Riders Of The Purple Sage was wildly successful, would soon go on to publish some astoundingly stupid titles, stoutly rejected Tarzan Of The Apes.

It was only when Ed was making arrangements with a Cincinnati publisher that McClurg’s had a sudden change of mind.  Thus a very small press run was published in 1914.

This is where the elation of success ended and the drudgery of management began.  I haven’t seen the contract but I’m sure it’s interesting.  Apparently Ed gave the publishing rights to McClurg’s for everything for fifteen years.  Now, the prevailing opinion  was that Ed was writing indescribable trash that for some miraculous reason sold.  Even then Tarzan Of The Apes was received by the reprint house, A.L. Burt, with some trepidation.  They required McClurg’s to guarantee the run by agreeing to buy all unsold copies.  McClurg’s must have forced the book on them.

Contrary to reports of millions of copies having been sold when AL Burt turned the volume over to Grosset and Dunlap they reported somewhat less than seven hundred thousand copies sold.  Of course Burt may have fudged selling perhaps twice as many but reporting the lesser figure but we can’t know.

As the Burt figures covered the first rush and G&D discontinued publication of Tarzan Of The Apes within a few years it is perhaps doubtful that the first of the series even sold a million copies.  McClurg’s themselves contracted to print only 15,000 copies of the first edition of which there is doubt that they printed even that many copies.

So, by 1915 Ed had a pretty good backlog of titles available for publication of which McClurg’s published only one Tarzan title a year although later that decade they began to release the Mars books.

During all the decade Ed was hot in the pulp market.  His work was eagerly received by the pulp readership.  At the same time it wasn’t unusual for the popular writers at this time to issue two, three or even four books a year.  Why then as there was a proven market for Burroughs’ name McClurg’s policy was not to market a hot author aggressively requires some explanation.  Unfortunately that isn’t likely to be forthcoming.  All the principals are dead while the successor company to McClurg’s advised me that all those files were lost while seeming reluctant to even discuss the issue.

Even though sales were good McClurg’s refused to print much more than ten or fifteen thousand copies of new titles, turning the volumes immediately over to the reprint publisher who put a fifty cent price on the books refusing Ed’s pleas to sell them for at least a dollar.  This they steadfastly refused to do until 1948.  The appearance is that they even refused to satisfy the market finally allowing their titles to go out of print for a couple years after WWII.  When Ed published the titles under his control in 1948 at a dollar apiece G&D followed suit with theirs finally getting the price above fifty cents.   There’s a story there that needs to be investigated.

Late in second decade of the century Ed was pleading with McClurg’s to print at least forty thousand copies of the first edition which they stoutly refused to do.  This was important to Ed who received ten percent of the $1.30 retail price on the first edition and only 2 ½ cents on the reprint edition.

There was an ongoing struggle with McClurg’s for the length of the contract.  At the same time the movie industry was developing by leaps and bounds.  Merely a collection of one reelers at the beginning of the decade what were called seven and eight reel photo plays that actually told a story were being made.  Hollywood was about to become the movie making capitol of the country but there were still companies in New York and Chicago.  Ed hooked up with a Chicago company where he learned the woes of the fast and loose manner of the flickers.  Boy, you really had to read those contracts and even that didn’t help.  When I was in the record business in the seventies a major firm told me that a verbal contract was worthless and even if I had a written contract it wouldn’t be honored.  If I wanted to sue it would take me decades and big money and then I still wouldn’t win and if I did win they still wouldn’t pay.   Of course, by the seventies they had really developed their system.

Ed had an early success when The Oakdale Affair was filmed and a blockbuster when Tarzan Of The Apes was released.  Collecting your money from the producers then and now was and is no easy task.  I have other stories but this isn’t the place.  But, the movies were essentially out of Ed’s hands so they don’t particularly pertain to Ed’s writing.

However, having devoted his time more or less fully to his writing through mid-1914 Ed began to squander his attention into less productive areas than his writing.  I think this was a major mistake.

After the first gush was over in 1914 Ed had to search for his stories a little more.  Rather than blasting them out one after the other in writings of thirty to sixty days Ed settled down to two or three a year.

When Ed incorporated himself in 1923 many think this was an innovation but in fact writing factories existed that issued titles under the same name although written by various writers, hence all those series like The Motor Boys and Tom Swift.  Some writers were so prolific they wrote several stories a year using many different names.  Baum himself published under both male and female pseudonyms.

Rather than settling down and attending to his writing Ed began to try to write movie scenarios that weren’t successful thus being a total waste of time.  Perhaps antsy about getting his money Ed was a querulous presence on the movie lots making such a nuisance of himself that he was ultimately banned.

This was the beginning of a heady time for writers who could collect from several media: magazines, newspapers, books movies and even radio.  As O. Henry explained it to Ed’s editor, Bob Davis:

Under the influence O. Henry turned to philosophizing until finally his thoughts led him to the salability of the printed word.

“For example, here is a notebook,”  he said, taking the sheaf from his coat pocket.  “It contains a dozen sheets of blank, white paper.  With a lead pencil on these several sheets I write a tale three or four thousand words in length.  You buy the story and print it in one of the magazines you edit.  If it is a good story it gets into a book, or perhaps is dramatized and put on the stage.  Very well; that’s a beginning that has to do with its earning power.  I begin to get royalties on the volume, the serial rights, the drama and maybe some day a motion picture.  It goes on and on reaping profit and yet it is never anything put the figment of my imagination converted into words.  Is that clear.”

The term intellectual property began to have real cash value.  Even the writing style began to conform to a scenario format.  If one were fortunate to create a stellar character like Tarzan your fortune was made.  While Ed’s personality prevented the success he should have enjoyed others profited greatly.  With the advent of sound movies the Charlie Chan series released three and four movies a year for a decade or more.  The series made the phrase ‘Number One Son’ a household term but Ed languished at the rate of a movie every two or three years.  But, more on that later.

If ever someone’s past rose up to nip them from behind it was Ed’s.  In psychological terms Ed was severely emasculated while being hysterical in nature.  Just as memory constellates around its fixations so a type of writer constellates readers of the same type as himself.  It may not be pleasant to realize it but if you are a Burroughs reader you are hysterical and emasculated to some degree.

Thus in writing his stories Ed constellated around his fixations.  Having created his original characters, Tarzan, John Carter, and associated them with his mental fixations Ed then ransacked the literature he had read for incident and plot lines.  This was partly done because Ed really admired the books he ‘quoted’ and wanted to write stories like them.  If one is familiar with his reading then one can easily find the framework for his novels.

After 1912 when Ed quit his job to rely on his writing for an income he was confronted by new realities and temptations.  One key reality was that he had a wife he didn’t want.  Quite possibly he had never wanted Emma as a wife merely marrying her to spite Frank Martin.  When he told this to his long time friend Bert Weston, Weston scoffed but I believe it is true.

Ed said that he walked out on Emma three times.  While those times are not glaringly obvious one may have been somewhere between 1908-10 when he is reported calling her on the phone from East Bend, Indiana and a second may have been in 1918 before leaving Chicago.  Certainly Ed’s success created great turmoil in his mind.

Having been put down most of his life while knowing he had a great talent, the realization of that talent caused a great sense of elation and self-confidence.  However, because  of his emasculation he still retained, at least for the time, a semi-dependent personality.  He was easily influenced.  Thus, after the publication of A Princess Of Mars when I believe he had the Carter Trilogy blocked out in his mind, while having formed the Tarzan conception in his head, he allowed his editor, Metcalf, to persuade him to write a medieval Men In Iron type story that was popular at the time in stories such as those of Howard Pyle.

Ed complied writing The Outlaw Of Torn that might have been well received by the readership but would also have presented Ed as a conventional writer rather continuing the sensationalist departure of Princess.  In any event Metcalf rejected the story and rather than spend god knows how long tampering with the story for Metcalf’s satisfaction Ed wisely chose to shelve it and move on to Tarzan Of The Apes confirming his innovative status.

Metcalf accepted the story while running the entire novel in one issue.  But remember you’re only talking about a potential hundred thousand readers in a despised literature.  While Ed’s success was immediate it was like summer lightening, all flash and no thunder.  Still he was a flash in the pulp sky that caught the attention of other publishers.

Ed followed Tarzan Of The Apes with  The Return Of Tarzan that Metcalf also rejected.  Enraged Ed shopped the story around to other pulps where it was accepted.   In the pulp world Ed was already a commodity so Metcalf, who let the story and possibly the author, get away was axed as Ed’s editor and replaced by the irascible Bob Davis who remained his editor until 1920 when Davis departed for what he hoped were greener pastures.

Thus as 1914 closed Ed had a guaranteed income from Munsey’s , a more or less guaranteed income from book publishing and a soon to be realized erratic but potentially long term movie income.  As the decade closed he earned peak income of a hundred thousand dollars, equivalent to several million today while with the addition of post-war global royalties life for that brief moment might have been viewed with quiet satisfaction.  He had seemingly regained his princely status as prognosticated by his three favorite books.  In addition John Carter was Warlord Of Mars and Tarzan was King of the Jungle.  One big thorn on the rose bush appeared in far off Russia where the communistic Bolshevik Revolution had succeeded.  But, that’s for later.

Back in 1912 when Ed’s old problems disappeared new ones arose to replace them.  Ever since 1899 Ed had had problems with those excruciating headaches which still plagued him.  Back in 1893 at the Columbian Expo Ed had seen the proto-body builder, The Great Sandow.   Sandow was a legend in his own time and for some thereafter, at least into my childhood.  Even today the top prize in body building is called the Sandow.

If Tarzan had a beginning the seed was surely planted in Ed’s mind by Sandow.  Ed was awed by Sandow but objected to the bunchy muscles preferring those, as he put it, that flowed like molten metal beneath the skin.  Ed mentions one of Sandow’s feats in Tarzan Of The Apes and  in Tarzan And The City Of Gold a few years after Sandow’s death models a character on him. (see my review https://idynamo.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/a-review-tarzan-and-the-city-of-gold-pt-1/ .  In that story Tarzan defeats the Sandow clone thereby settling the issue of which muscles were best.

Also a nonentity in the Exposition audience was Bernie McFadden.  Bernie was not long to remain a non-entity.  He was soon to become the Father of American Body Building under the name of Bernarr Macfadden.  Within six years he had founded Physical Culture magazine and become active in the American pursuit of the perfect food of the gods.

He originally set up in the center of the health food fadists, Battle Creek, Michigan, home of that perfect food Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.  Along about 1908 Bernarr recognized the limited commercial possibilities of Battle Creek, removing to Chicago.  Here he began a highly successful chain of health food restaurants while developing his concept of the Juice Bar.  You cold go in and get a nice big glass of carrot juice for instance.  The discovery of vitamins in the 1920s was a ways in the future so while Bernarr didn’t know he was providing essential vitamins such as A and C he knew the juice did something for you.  Of course he was thought of as nut cake and was lucky to escape the asylum,

It hadn’t been too many years earlier that that fate had overtaken the discoverer of antisepsis Ignaz Semelweiss.  That poor guy after discovering that a simple washing of the hands could save the lives of several thousands of  women lost in childbirth, and demonstrated it, was rejected by the medical community who refused to believe the facts before their eyes.  Poor old Ignaz campaigned so violently for those lives that he was thrown in the loony bin where he died.   When Lister discovered germs giving the doctors a handle for belief Ignaz was of course exonerated but…dead.

A lot of water goes under the bridge in a few decades so that what would get you killed in ancient Athens, committed in nineteenth century Germany was dismissed as mere eccentricity in 1900 as Bernarr went on to a fortune.  That’s what’s called social progress.

So Bernie, pardon me, Bernarr like or not was a benefactor of the people.  If you followed his program of exercises and diet he would make you big and tough.  What he did for Charles Atlas he could do for you and me.  If we had the determination.  I never did.

Bernarr Macfadden

Now, Ed had been everywhere trying to find a cure for those headaches.  There are indications that he found his way to Bernarr’s door.  Whether or not Bernarr’s remedies were helpful by the mid-teens Ed’s headaches lessened or disappeared over the decade while if this picture isn’t a body building pose I don’t know what it.

Macfadden didn’t limit his activities to physical culture; he was a real game changer.  From Physical Culture Magazine he moved into pulps creating the Romance genre.  Among his many pulps were True Detective, True Story, True Romances, and moving into the paranormal, Dream World and Ghost Stories.  Dealing with the more mundane he founded the great movie magazine, Photo Play, that had a very long run.

Bernarr entered the newspaper field with the sensationalist New York Graphic.  It featured the despised journalistic innovation, the Composograph, in which actors enacted crime scenes and whatever.  Macfadden was a sensation for over thirty years.  Of course like Dr. Semmelweiss, his innovations far exceeded the imaginations of his peers and while escaping the gallows or the asylum his competitors  worked very hard to destroy his success in which they ultimately succeeded.  Fabulous story though.

Thus while probably not having the influence on the creation of Tarzan that the Great Sandow had, I’m sure that Physical Culture Magazine and the Juice Bars figured in there somewhere.  That magic food has yet to be discovered though.  Henry Ford thought maybe soybeans…

Along with his improving health in the decade Ed’s financial status, of course, bloomed like the fabled Century plant, it only blooms once in a hundred years but with spectacular result.  Unfortunately as Bob Dylan, who should know, says:  There’s no success like failure and failure is no success at all.  Everyone wants success but success is frequently the greatest challenge of all.

After imagining himself a slighted genius for thirty-five years Ed had his wildest fantasies realized in his fabulous year of 1913.  He had pulled the Big Carrot up by the root.  One imagines he was delirious with the sense of achievement and power.

If anything he would have been able to show his father that he was a good man, that he had amounted to something.  Unfortunately for his ego his father died in March of 1913 before he had plucked the big fruit from the tree.  He had sold Princess and Tarzan but an unforgiving father might easily have considered those flukes while being dismayed that Ed would give up his day job in the wild hope of continued literary success.

Ed himself had no misgivings.  Having pawned Emma’s jewelry a couple years earlier to buy coal he was in a position to turn those chunks of coal into diamonds as big as the Ritz.  He believed he had money to do all those things he’d always wanted to do and he went out and did them even before he had the check in the bank.  God almighty, he even bought himself a set of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall Of The Roman Empire and read it as one of his first acts.  How long had he been yearning for that wonderful history, I wonder.

Naturally an auto was top priority.  Ed was in such a rush for that that he bought a used car, a Vellie, possibly from the proceeds of Tarzan.  After he sold that car in 1913 in San Diego he bought a new car every year of the  decade.   Despising the poor man’s wheels, the Ford, he bought more expensive marques until he ended up with the royal Packard from the twenties till his death.

Ed just bought and bought and bought.  Old memories rose up and bit him.

The memory of the trip to NYC in Frank Martin’s private railroad car left the old indelible impression on him quite apart from Toronto.  It was the only way to travel, he said.  Thus at the first glimmer of future, not present, earnings Ed packed up wife and kids, dog and used Vellie and left for California a couple months after his father died.  They traveled first class, that is, Pullman.  It would have been possible to book a whole car for himself.  It would be interesting to know if he did which then would have been a simulation of a private car thus rectifying that memory.  As the private car was related to Emma the question would be was Ed showing Emma he could do anything that Martin could do?  The trip would also probably refer back to the guilt fixation Ed incurred when he gambled away their last forty dollars in Idaho.  While the couple was essentially traveling on empty pockets yet a substantial sum would be spent thus correcting the forty dollars while rather than taking Emma to the wilderness, to which she must have objected, he showed her the luxury of San Diego.

In his mind this probably wiped the slate clean making up to Emma his previous feelings.  The psychodynamic didn’t work quite that way.  One can only guess the humiliation and fear Emma felt when Ed announced he’d lost their stake.  Emma had put a lot of faith in Ed when she married him electing him over a suitable rich man.  To then learn the man she married was an irresponsible fool may have embittered her a great deal.

Now when she could hope for security here Ed is out spending extravagant sums before he earned them.  One can only guess at her mental state but I’m sure Ed’s success, that might very well be fleeting, alone could not restore her confidence without some demonstration of stability and responsibility from Ed.  Forget that; Ed would never live with both feet on the ground.

Thus Ed wrote his two pleas in the two stories of The Mad King.   Barney and the Mad King are twins just as Tarzan and Esteban Miranda will be twins in Ant Men.  Barney is the new competent breadwinner Ed while the Mad King is the old ‘inefficient’ Ed.  In this story the new Ed switches places with the old Ed with the Princess Emma as the prize.  But Emma was still too hurt by the past to forgive and forget.  It would take more wooing, more abasement but here Ed through in the sponge.

One can only guess at her mental state in San Diego but I’m sure Ed’s success, not yet confirmed, which might very well be fleeting, alone could not restore her confidence without some stability and responsibility from Ed.  Forget that.  Ed would live with both feet on the ground.

Thus Ed wrote his pleas to Emma in the two stories of The Mad King.  The implication there is that the two lookalike men, Barney and the King were both Ed in the guise of The Prince And The Pauper.  Ed felt restored to his lost kingdom but as this would have been while they were living hand to mouth in San Diego, albeit luxuriously, Emma was belieing and rejecting Ed’s fantasy.

Thus in the succeeding The Eternal Lover, Emma the faithless is replaced by Barney’s sister, Victoria.  The memory fixation remained unexorcised leaving Ed now greatly embittered as in his eyes he had done his part and made himself a man.  Soon as the Happy Hobo of the Return Of The Mucker he would be on the road looking for the perfect lover by the sea.  The seeds of divorce had been sown.  The path would now lead to Florence.

Back in Chicago in the Spring of ‘14 Ed had to deal with some problems.  He still had to find a book publisher.  When a Cincinatti publisher showed interest McClurg’s suddenly buckled and signed Ed to their disastrous contract.

Ed had every reason to expect the books to be a best seller.  By 1914 Tarzan was close to a household word, virtually the wonder of the age.  I have no doubt Ed built castles in air, yachts on the sea,  based on his expectations.  These were cruelly dashed when McClurg’s  failed to promote the book leaving him with virtual peanuts.

Ed was still at a different transitional point that even if he had realized it he was too inexperienced to take the appropriate actions.  One soon reaches a point having achieved success in which one finds oneself the key point in a broader enterprise.  As the artist one should concentrate on one’s art and begin to organize a corporate entity to handle the more mundane details.

One needs agents and managers.  It is necessary to entrust your earnings to these people to a very large extent.  History has shown that with rare exceptions these agents are dishonest men or women who fleece their clients.

H.G. Wells solved this problem by entrusting these details to his wife, Jane.  She was both competent and honest serving Wells’ interests ably.  Emma might certainly have been able to perform these functions for Ed if she had been willing and he had been so minded.  Ed however considered himself or wanted to be a businessman.  Repeated failures didn’t convince him he should remain an artist.

The artist and the businessman are two different roles.  Mark Twain to his chagrin learned that he should have stuck to his pen and let businessmen run businesses when he managed to bankrupt himself.  Ed very nearly bankrupted himself when he tried to run Tarzana as a business.  You may be sure Emma would never have done that although she might not have been able to maximize the finances, at least they wouldn’t have been broke.

Thus, Ed dissipated his talent in unfruitful endeavors.  His McClurg’s contract was a done deal however his movie contracts absorbed a great deal of his time and attention that might better have been handled by professionals.  It can be said for Ed that the relationship between authors and studios was a new phenomenon.  It was not clear to him that movies and novels were two different things with different requirements.  The complexities possible in a novel have to be simplified into a few scenes in movies.

Against Ed it may be said that while he hadn’t figured it out other authors had.  They were more successful in exploiting the movies.

The coming of the Great War disrupted the world and the country.  Ed’s European royalties were non-existent until the post war realities set in.  This included the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the rise of the Jews as a semi-autonomous power in the US in conflict with the mores of the Aryans while they were in control of the movies as a culture forming medium.  They could determine what would be filmed and how.

The worlds that Ed had known before 1919 then just slipped away and were seen no more.  Just as 1900 had been a transition into a new world of a larger scale so was 1919.  The scale of operations increased enormously.  But, that’s for the next installment.

Ed had barely settled down on return from the 1913-14 California adventure when he determined on another in 1916.  This began as a trip to New England possibly to show his success to the Phillips Academy from which he had been ejected but having gotten as far of Emma’s mother’s  summer home in Coldwater, Michigan the cavalcade turned around heading West for Los Angeles, California.

By this time Ed had achieved a certain level of prosperity so that his road show included his car and a Republic truck, a drive and a couple tons of possessions and a large blue striped tent.  While these expeditions shine in one’s imagination before leaving the reality is often too tedious to be endured.  This was one of the latter for Ed and Emma.   See my essay http://www.erbzine.com/mag23/2316.html  After a good start on pavement the trip turned into a nightmare on the dirt and mud roads.  The marriage did survive the trip though; the kids had a great time.

Upon the return from California within a very short time the US was embroiled in the world war.  This too took up Ed’s time as he tried to get a job as a war correspondent.  Failing that he secured an appointment as a Major in the Illinois National Guard.  He engaged in some embarrassing street antics that I am sure did his reputation no good.  By January of 1919 when he fled Chicago for LA I am sure that he was considered a bit more than eccentric.  Whether other scandals were concealed I can only speculate.  As that involves Ed’s sexual attitudes it is necessary to return to 1912.

An Author Searching For Love

     While Ed’s writing is highly autobiographical, still it was necessary for him to keep his eye on the tastes of his pulp readership.  As Woodrow Nichols, writing in the ERBzine, has emphasized, that audience appreciated titillating soft porn or at least a significant part of them did.  There is also a line where a certain type of reader’s tastes are emphasized by an author so that he expands that audience, creating it so to speak.  Nevertheless Ed’s writing is highly sexually charged although in a repressed way.  As a young boy reading Ed any sexual innuendo passed over my head although in a vaguely comprehending way it may have struck a response in my subconscious.  Nichols’ mother, however, got it and forbade Tarzan to him.  Still, Ed rather embarrassingly confessed that he was a ‘dirty’ writer.

At the same time his opinions were of the sexually tolerant sort.  He didn’t feel the need of marriage for sex; that was a minority opinion at that time.  He adopted a more libertine life style as time went on while after his divorce he seems to have adopted a more carefree sexual attitude.  The little book he did for the flapper Colleen Moore was quite a production of coy pornography.

I think it’s fair then to try to understand his sexual life in the times before he really began to spread his wings.

Now, Ed was sexually repressed.  That repression began on the street corner on the way to Brown School.    When John shamed  Ed he emasculated him to a high degree, while actually destroying Ed’s Anima.  Ed’s Anima became male in female clothing.  It apparently took him several years to assimilate the psychic changes.  When he had assumed his new personality at ages 12-14 he immediately began proposing to Emma who symbolically was the clothing John assumed.  Thus Emma was essential for Ed’s mental balance.

From that time forward Emma saved herself for Ed not even forsaking him when he had disappeared to Arizona without notice.  Indeed, she sent him a forget me not letter in September of ‘96.  So Ed needed her but didn’t necessarily want to marry her or anyone.  As he was knowledgeable in all the philosophical arguments of his day he probably always tended to the free love, free spirit side.

He was forced to change sides in 1900 in order to prevent Martin from possibly taking Emma.  He then destroyed Emma’s confidence  in him in 1904 when he gambled away their last forty dollars.  The marriage road was rocky from that point on especially given Ed’s employment record.

The key question is what happened to Frank Martin after Ed’s marriage?

I don’t know about your hometown but in my hometown and, indeed, any town I’ve ever lived in if you have competition for a woman that competition doesn’t go away just because you married the woman.  We know that Martin watched the couple closely because when they divorced Patchin showed up to question Ed for the details while on Ed’s death he sent a condolence letter to son John Coleman Burroughs reminding him of the Toronto bashing.  If it is to be believed John Coleman said he and his father had been talking about it just before Ed died.  If so, it was still green in Ed’s mind.

It seems probable then that Martin would have been interfering in the marriage to the best of his abilities.  Ed’s near pathological fixation on cars very likely was the result of not being able to compete with the millionaire Martin who probably tried to impress Emma with his own.  Parking out by the curb, whatever.  This does show up in Tarzan Of The Apes, the very first of the Tarzan novels begun in 1911 where Robert Canler/Martin, a competitor for Jane/Emma, using his money as a tool, has a large automobile.  Significantly Jane rejects Canler.  For whatever reason McClurg’s/G&D suppressed the novel after 1920 when it was never printed again until the revival in the sixties.

Lacking further evidence of Martin’s interference I, myself, accept that the man was unrelenting.

That very real external threat was added to Ed’s internal memory conflicts that he was desperate to resolve.  Like many another author he attempted to write them out.

The early struggle between he and Emma was worked out in the early burst of stories and completed in the Mucker Trilogy with its supplement of Marcia Of The Doorstep.

Ed intended Billy Byrne, the Mucker, to be a continuing series like Tarzan but centered around the ‘three musketeers’ Bridge, Byrne and Burke but his memories arose to abort that plan.

Byrne was intended as another Tarzan figure that represented the more uncouth, low brow aspect of Ed’s personality.  While he had no aspirations to be high brow yet he wished to become more sophisticated.  Thus, his alter ego Byrne begins as a hoodlum boxer from the amazing slum of Maxwell Street.

Implicated in a murder Byrne has to get out of town.  In a rather amazing series of adventures beginning with his shanghai in San Francisco he ended up on a Pacific Island with a crew of murderers and ‘Lady’ Barbara, reminiscent of Stevenson’s Treasure Island of Long John Silver and the Wooded Island with the Japanese Pavilion of the Chicago Exposition.

The relationship between the low brow Byrne and the high brow Barbara seems to reflect that of Ed and Emma.  In the first novel of the trilogy Byrne and Barbara part as Byrne realizes the cultural gap between them is something he can’t surmount.  By the way, notice all those Bs.  Bridge, Byrne, Burke, Barbara.    What does that mean?

Between the 1913 novel and its 1915 sequel, The Return Of The Mucker, Ed seems to have acquired some polish.  He no longer thinks of himself as Byrne thus splitting off the character of The Happy Hobo, Bridge as his new alter ego.  So by 1915 he is multiplying his personalities at a pretty good rate as he seeks to realize his own ultimate vision of himself.  Thus the name Bridge symbolically represents the transition from Byrne to a return to his original identity as the child Prince.

At story’s end Ed surrenders Barbara/Emma to Byrne while going in search of his ideal woman.  At that point then Ed rejected Emma seeking solace in other quarters.  Of course he does have three children so it is not as easy as walking away although he did say that he had walked out on Emma three times.  The first time was circa 1908 and the next might have been 1918 when he began Tarzan the Untamed followed by Tarzan The Terrible and Tarzan And The Golden Lion with Tarzan And The Ant Men for a quartet.

The first novel tells of the separation, the second the effort to reconcile, and the reconciliation while the fourth, the ultimate rejection.

The third novel of The Mucker Trilogy, The Oakdale Affair has Bridge on the road where he hooks up with the boy/girl Gail Prim.  That story may signify an actual extra-marital romance that in turn led to the 1916 trip to California and something similar to the exit from Chicago in 1919.

The question here then, is did Ed have an affair or more between 1913 and 1919?  Ed did have libertine tendencies.  He and Emma appear to have been living a sort of Bohemian existence in the first decade of the century.  Ed stated he didn’t feel marriage necessary for sexual relations while when he created his subdivision of Tarzan in the twenties he advertised that he wanted to appeal to Bohemian tastes.  Somewhat of a social scandal actually.

As a down and outer before the teens Ed may have had difficulties in attracting women but certainly by 1915 his reputation would have attracted literary groupies and the woman looking for the main chance.  The groupie is usually associated with rock and roll but there are sports groupies, literary groupies, and woman attracted to men of any well paying profession.  So one has to assume that sexual conquests  were easier for Ed as his reputation grew.  Any woman reading the Tarzan books would have had to have seen the sexual longing evident on nearly every page and realized the possibilities.

Let us assume then that long before Florence turned up Ed was searching, a la Bridge, for the woman who wasn’t Emma.

ERBzine contributor Woodrow Nichols who is very sensitive to the sexual implications of the novels, probably because his mother denied them to him because of their sexual implications, has extrapolated advanced conclusions from the stories and Ed’s biography.  While I’m not sure Ed, Florence and Ashton Dearholt where as sexually abandoned as Woodrow represents, I’m positive Ed would have like to have been.

Woodrow posits some possibilities that Ed knew Florence long before their putative first meeting in 1927.  I can find no clear evidence that this is so yet I can’t dismiss the possibility out of hand without further research.

Woodrow thinks it possible that Ed knew Florence as early as 1918 in Chicago.  Florence was a Chicago native born in 1904, who would have been fourteen in 1918.  At first glance one dismisses the possibility out of hand.  It seems incredible, yet….  Ed makes three references in the Tarzan series to fourteen year girls while the last experience in 1930’s Tarzan the Invincible can be directly associated with Florence.  I have always found the references to fourteen year olds puzzling dismissing them as appeals to the prurient interests of his readership.  But if one relates the incidents to one another they tell a story.

If Ed fixated on Emma at fourteen then he was likely open to a relationship with a fourteen year old girl.  Just as Emma stopped his sexual development at fourteen in reaction to John the Bully, a relationship with a fourteen year old girl would free him from the past and allow him to go forward as though beginning a new life.

The problem is how would Ed meet a fourteen year old Florence in Chicago.  Probably a lot of possible ways but Woodrow feels that The Girl From Hollywood holds the key.  I consider Woodrow an acute analyst so I seldom wish to contradict him outright, in that novel Shannon Burke and her mother move in up the road from Rancho Ganado.  Her mother dies shortly thereafter.  In this scenario the mother is the key.  She was a stage mother eager to get her daughter in the movies.  A great many of these early movie heroines began careers at the putative age of sixteen or possibly younger.  It will be remembered that Ed became associated with the movies in 1917 or ‘18 while being the author of a household word.  Tarzan was a rage before the first movie was released and a phenomenon after.  Who better to choose to get her daughter into the movies?

To cite an example:  The mother of Natalie Wood also wished to get her daughter in the movies.  She thought Frank Sinatra could be of assistance.  The mother then gave the sixteen year old Natalie to Frank as a sex toy.  Frank and Natalie then had a sexual relationship that was broken up because it would have been so dangerous for his career if discovered.

Now, Shannon’s mother in Girl From Hollywood is treated very tenderly by Ed in the story as if he had something to be grateful for.  This is fairly obvious.

I don’t say it is so but it is possible that Florence’s mother offered Ed Florence in the same manner.  If so this would have been sometime in 1918 when Ed was particularly vulnerable.  Florence and her mother left Chicago for Hollywood late in 1918 followed by Ed at the beginning of 1919.  It is possible that his departure was necessitated while somewhere in this period Ed and Emma were separated requiring three novels to reconcile them.  Also the trip to Opar in Tarzan and the Golden Lion was the longest of the oeuvre while Tarzan and La leave Opar together to spend some time in one of the beehive houses in the Valley of Diamonds.  Diamonds being a sex symbol for Ed also associated with Balza/Florence in Tarzan And The Lion Man as Ed and Emma divorced.

In Tarzan And The Ant Men Esteban Miranda takes up with a fourteen year old Negro girl with whom he sleeps but like Tarzan and La in Jewels of Opar no sex is involved.  In this case Miranda is the weak pre-success Ed while the ‘real’ Tarzan is post-success Ed.

And then in 1930’s Tarzan The Invincible Wayne Colt, the pre-success Burroughs is imprisoned in Opar from which the fourteen year old Oah releases him.  Burroughs, the author, casts her to her fate with the Oparians without a backward look.  This reinforces the transition from 14 year old Emma to 14 year Florence with whom he had reconnected in 1927.  The connection would have been reestablished now that she was twenty-six and the fourteen year old would no longer be needed.  Bear in mind this is speculation but Ed lived vicariously through Tarzan as The-Man-Who-Would-Be-Tarzan melding his own activities into his Tarzan surrogate.

Florence left Chicago in 1918 at fourteen which means that in 1920 she was sixteen and eighteen in 1922 when she was in a Western film with Ashton Dearholt.  She and he married four years later in 1926.  Thus, also immediately after bearing her own little Eddie she insinuated herself into Joan Burroughs’ good graces bringing about her supposed first introduction to Ed when he ‘fell in love at first sight.’

After Tarzan The Magnificent both La and Opar disappear from the oeuvre while a few years hence La/Florence and Ed would be married.  Opar and La  first appeared in 1913’s Return Of Tarzan when Ed was feeling rejected and ended in 1930 when Ed effectively rejected Emma.  So in 1913 he must have created his dream girl in La thinking he had found her in 1918 while not realizing his desires until 1927-34.

In the interim Florence at sixteen in 1920 would still have been too young for Ed to have exchanged Emma for her.  At eighteen in 1922 Florence met Ashton Dearholt marrying him in 1926 while somewhen between 1920 and 1926 marrying and divorcing this fellow named Smith of whom apparently nothing is known.

Ed then would have referred to Florence as being in the arms of Esteban Miranda in 1923’s Tarzan And The Ant Men and possibly he also referred to her in 1922’s The Girl From Hollywood.

I’ve always had difficulty understanding why a young mother would have set her sights on a sixty year old author to the extent that she insinuated herself into daughter Joan’s company in order to meet and seduce this perfect stranger.

While there is no definite proof that Ed knew Florence before 1927 the literary evidence and the improbability of Florence hoping to catch Ed through Joan lends credibility to the possibility.

Certainly the dismissed biographers before Porges agreed to censor his findings must have come up with something that was thought better to conceal.

Well, no matter, I do think Woodrow Nichols is on to something although he has his own analysis.

With nineteen-nineteen Ed’s life as well as the course of world civilization takes a turn.  Book II, Part VII then will commence The New Era, as it was known.