Master of Adventure: The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

By Richard A. Lupoff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
The Surprise in the Safe

In the years following Edgar Rice Burroughs' death, it was generally believed that there were no unpublished manuscripts in existence. As late as 1962 Heins stated unequivocally in the first edition of his bibliography that Burroughs had “left no backlog of completed manuscripts to be published posthumously.”

The discovery of further manuscripts took place in 1963, when Hulbert Burroughs, John Coleman Burroughs, and Joan Burroughs Pierce assumed active direction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., upon the retirement of Burroughs' longtime general manager, Cyril Ralph Rothmund. Taking inventory of the contents of the office safe, believed to contain only those manuscripts returned by publishers after they had been typeset, the three surviving members of the family were astonished to find, mixed in with these, a large number of unfamiliar manuscripts.

These manuscripts, representing over 500,000 words in unpublished Burroughs material, had lain forgotten for thirteen years since their author's death. Anumber of them have since been published. These are the novelette Savage Pellucidar (the final portion of the novel bearing the same name), Tangor Returns (the second half of Beyond the Farthest Star in Tales of Three Planets), The Wizard of Venus (also in Tales of Three Planets), and Tarzan and the Madman. Also, the original manuscript version of Skeleton Men of Jupiter, containing a foreword omitted from the Amazing Stories version, was used in the book edition, John Carter of Mars, and the radically different manuscript version of Tarzan and the Castaways appears in the book of that title, in lieu of the Argosy magazine version published as The Quest of Tarzan.

As editor for Canaveral Press during the years when its Burroughs first editions appeared, it was my privilege to examine these manuscripts prior to their publication, and to assemble the two collections of Burroughs' shorter

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