EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS - COLLECTION - HFSID 291794
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS Archive of 16 letters written by Tarzan's creator to his son Jack between 1923 and 1935, plus one letter from Burroughs to a film company. He writes in depth about family matters, but also about the filming of a Tarzan movie. The letters are signed "Papa" or "OB" (Old Burroughs). A rare insight into the private and public life of the prolific author.
Sale Price $18,700.00
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
Archive of 16 letters written by Tarzan's creator to his son Jack between 1923 and 1935, plus one letter from Burroughs to a film company. He writes in depth about family matters, but also about the filming of a Tarzan movie. The letters are signed "Papa" or "OB" (Old Burroughs). A rare insight into the private and public life of the prolific author.
Collection comprised of 1) Autograph Letter signed: "Papa", 1 page, 8½x11. North Platte, Nebraska, 1923 February 16. To "Dear Jack", in full: "We are just leaving North Platte, Nebr. The train shakes so that I cannot draw very well. I couldn't if it didn't shake at all, so what's the difference. Did I tell you that I found your valentine in my grip? The one of the lady kicking. That must be the way she feels before breakfast. I wired ahead for reservations on the Broadway Limited on the Pennsylvania RR so we will arrive in New York at 9:40 Sunday morning. It will be nice & wintry and cold out. The air feels & tastes & smells good. Love & kisses to my dear children." At the top of this letter Burroughs has drawn a four-panel cartoon featuring his sons Jack and Hulbert. To escape "Injuns", Hulbert mounts his horse, while Jack, too small to ascend in the normal way, digs a hole for his horse and prepares to climb on. Multiple mailing folds. Slightly creased. Overall. Fine condition. Accompanied by original envelope, hand addressed by Burroughs to his son Jack at Tarzana Ranch, Receda, California, postmarked Omaha, Nebraska, February 18, 1923. 2) Autograph Letter signed: "Papa", 2 pages (front and verso), 6x9½ New York, N.Y., 1923 February 19. On letterhead of the Hotel Pennsylvania to "Dear Jack", in full: "Mama & I had dinner early, as we are going to see Morton of the movies tonight. Mr. Cohn gave me tickets. Tomorrow night we are going to his home for dinner and to another show in the evening. My trial did not start today. I spent an hour this afternoon in the offices of Mr. Craft's attorneys. Mr. Craft was there too. He did not offer to kiss me. In fact he did not seem to notice that I was there although the room was no larger than Mama's dressing room. I fear that the dear fellow's eyesight is failing. I went to Bob Davis' office afterward, where my reception was far more cordial. It is not so very cold here - about 20 above zero. I should think neither Mama or I feel it much. We miss you dear children very much. It seems as though we had been gone a month. Good night, my dear boy. Kiss Joan and Hulbert for us. Lots and lots of love for you all. I hope Aunt Winnie, Charlotte and Martha are having a pleasant time. Do all you can to make their visit enjoyable. Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. 3) Autograph Letter signed: "OB" [for "Old Burroughs", his children's name for Edgar Rice Burroughs], 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x10½ Tarzana Ranch, Receda, California, 1924 September 25. On personal letterhead to "Dear Joan & Jack", in full: "I have asked [name illegible]'s daughter to lunch at the Hollywood Athletic Club Thursday at 12. She is anxious to meet you both, and as she is an artist I think Jack will like to meet her as she specializes in portraits of dogs and has never had an opportunity to do an Old English Sheep Dog. She is also going to try to bring Bob Stall along whom we have been trying to contract for the new Tarzan picture. I hope you will both come. Please let me know. Love". Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by hand-delivered envelope addressed in his hand to "Joan & Jack/courtesy Hulbert". 4) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 1 page, 5½x8½, Tarzana Ranch, Receda, California, 1932 January 25. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "I'm enclosing your new S. O. credit card; also a clipping from the Hydrographic Office that stimulates the imagination. Think of drifting about in the Pacific Ocean for twenty-three years! Oh yes, I know, what of it? Love". Normal mailing folds. Brown stains on verso at top and lower center (Heavy show through) not affecting signature. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by envelope addressed in Burroughs' hand to "Jack Burroughs/Clark Hall/Claremont/California", postmarked Tarzana, California, January 25. 5) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 1 page, 5½x8½. Personal letterhead address of Receda but postmarked Los Angeles, 1932 February 8. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "It was considerate of you to phone us yesterday and very timely. Mamma was just about to start out with a shovel to dig your frozen corpses out of the deep snow on top of some mountain. She did not know which mountain, but would probably have started with Old Baldy and worked north to Whitney. We may be over tomorrow if I can get pontoons for const. Yesterday afternoon we went to Mr. Corwin's and played bridge. I lost, as usual. Am about to start a new story if I can think of one. Love". Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by envelope addressed in Burroughs' hand to "Mr. John Coleman Burroughs Clark Hall, Claremont, California". 6) Typed Letter signed: "O.B", 1 page, 8½x11, Tarzana, California, 1932 June 22. On letterhead of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. to "Dear Jack", in full: "Thanks for your letter. The working plans sound interesting. Am sure you will get a great deal out of work there this summer. Jim swam out to the raft alone Sunday. He is working in the new Marx Brothers' picture as a foot ball player. Has a contract at a good figure this time. Cecil DeMille is much interested in him for his new picture, and another man at Lasky's wants tests of him for the lead in a jungle picture they are going to make this fall. The house at the beach progresses, though slowly. Rivierre's errors are costing us time as well as money. Nothing definite from NBC as yet, though they promised Dahlquist they would give him a definite answer today, Joe Neebe is hot after Tarzan for the Columbia network; says he has two hot clients. If Mamma and I are able to come up while you are there, we will let you know when we shall arrive and give you a chance to head us off if the date we select is not satisfactory to you. If you are near enough Arrowhead, we shall go there and you can meet us and have dinner with us and stay there while we are there, which will doubtless be some Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Mamma joins me in sending a great deal of love to you. Yours," Multiple mailing folds. Lightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by an Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. typed envelope to Mr. John Coleman Burroughs, Big Bear Lake, California, postmark illegible.7) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 1 page, 7¼x10¼, Tarzana, California, 1932 November 1. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "The aroma of your presence lingers with us. No, I don't mean what you mean. The metaphor is purely poetic. The only excitement since you were here was occasioned by a gent with heavy feet and flash light who walked down who walked down our east walk last night with a flash light. I heard him go down but thought I was dreaming. Both Mamma and I saw him come back. I thought he was the patrolman, but they told us this morning their men were all in uniform, and Mamma said this man had on white trousers. I [?[ and ran across the room as the fellow was leaving. Mysterious puzzle #5. I shall take my gun to bed with me tonight. Mamma and I saw Harold Lloyd in Movie Crazy this afternoon. It is good comedy, and Constance Cummings is cute. Having nothing to say I have said it. Love". Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by envelope addressed as before in his hand to John Coleman Burroughs in Claremont, postmarked Los Angeles, November 2, 1932. 8) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x10½, Tarzana, California, 1933 January 18. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "If I wrote to you boys as often as I think of you, you would have to expend all of your time reading my letters; so, out of consideration for you, I don't write at all. Mamma and I just came home from seeing James Cagney in Hard To Handle. It was very funny. I was reading in my mother's memoirs yesterday something I had forgotten which may account for you. Your Aunt Sadie was 'teacher of art and painting' in the Young Ladies' Seminary, Wheeling, West Virginia about 1862. The Hunters were over for dinner and contract yesterday. They are a nice young couple. Dr. and Mrs. Phillips are coming Friday, and next Tuesday we are going to the Hunters' regular sack lunches. It is raining again and quite cold and disagreeable. The last storm accompanied a number of loads. John & Mary's roof leaked, and the rain beat under my studio door and ran down into Mamma's room. Incidentally, a window in the billiard room blew open, or I left it open, and the rain pounded in all night. I told Mamma not to worry because everything would dry out nicely next summer. Hulbert said that probably neither of you would be home this week end. Shall be glad when your examinations are over - and doubtless you will too. Love". Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by original envelope addressed in his hand to the same address as above. 9) Typed Letter signed: "O.B.", 1 page, 7¼x10½, Malibu, 1933 March 7. On personal letterhead to "My dear Jack," in full: "It seems a long time since we have seen you, and I suppose it will not be until after your play is produced that you can come home. But that will not be so very long. We had a nice visit with Hulbert, but he does not seem the same as he used to be. I am worried about him. I am afraid that he is worrying too much about his physical condition. I wish that he would tell me, if anything is troubling him, for I worry more when I am in the dark than I would otherwise. We all go through stages of physical and mental debility; and while they are on everything looks dark and hopeless, but we always pull through. We have in-herited good constitutions, and Nature eventually takes care of everything if we are reasonably careful of ourselves. Mamma, Joan, Jim and I are going to Agua Caliente on the 24th. On the 25th Joan, Jim and I are to app-ear at Marston's in San Diego between 12 and 2 to auto-graph books. If your play is on on the evening of the 25th, we will come to Claremont for dinner and see the show in the evening. If I am right about the date of the show, the 25th, please get us four good seats; and if you and Hulbert can take dinner with us at the Inn at Claremont, we would like that. We shall also be glad if you care to bring a couple of good-looking girls. If there is a better place to eat than the Inn, either in Claremont or Pomona, we will meet you there if you will tell me where it is. I think so often of the wonderful grades you made. I am afraid, because we joke so much, that you have not realized how proud I am. You boys are doing the things and being the sort of men that I should like to be if I could live my life over again. Maybe I'll have some sense in another incarnation, but I am af-raid the genes are against me. Let me know about the play night, and don't forget the tickets. Love" With a pencil note at the bottom left saying "Me too Darling". Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by an envelope addressed to Mr John Colman Burroughs, Claremont, California and postmarked March 9 1933, Los Angeles, California. 10) Typed Letter signed: "O.B.", 1 page, 8½x11, Tarzana, California, 1934 January 22. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "Your mother clipped the enclosed [newspaper clipping included] from the Sunday papers, as she thought you might be interested. There is really no news except that somebody spilled the beans to your mother Saturday and let my pet secret out of the bag; and inasmuch as the rest of the family know about it now I can tell you. I kept it a secret because I didn't want anyone to worry until I had my pilot's license. In other words, I am taking flying lessons and have been for about a month. Am getting along very nicely and take a ship up, fly it around and land it without breaking my neck. Mama and Hulbert came out to watch me take a lesson yesterday, but before I did so they went up in a Stinson cabin job. It was mamma's first flight and she enjoyed it thoroughly, not being at all afraid. The natural consequence of my flying is that Hulbert is going to start taking lessons; and I presume that when you are through college, you will follow suit. With lots of love and best wishes, I am, Yours". Normal mailing folds. Lightly toned. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by original typed envelope, addressed to Mr. John S. Burroughs, Claremont, California, postmarked January 22, 1934. 11) Typed Letter signed: "OB", 1 page (front and verso), 7¼x10½, Tarzana, California, 1934 May 27. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "It has been ages since I saw you, and I certainly miss you. Tried to get you one day this week, but they couldn't locate you. They never did complete the call. Flew to Pomona, and thought you might be able to run over to the airport for a minute or even have lunch with me. Took Jim along with me this time. It is much farther than I thought. The Doo-dad only cruises at about eighty. Yesterday I flew alone to Alhambra where I opened a book department in a market! Did it for Tom Scully who sells these people Carnation products for a chain of some forty stores in Southern California. Tom put on a good show. I was met at the airport by a delegation of high school student, the mayor of Al-hambra, the commissioner of public works, some other big shot official, the editor of the paper, executives of the Fitzsimmons Company who run the market. We were escorted through town in a fleet of new Airflow Chryslers, and two motor cycle officers led the parade. After being photographed fore and aft with all the aforementioned celebrities, I autographed books for an hour and was then escorted back to the airport. You will be proud to know that I made a perfect landing - proud and surprised, as was I. The air was terribly rough. While I was circling the airport before land-ing I was being blown about most horrifyingly. Once the ship dropped straight from under me, and I felt it hanging from my safety belt. It was a mighty rough trip both coming and going. Low clouds came racing toward me on the way back to Clover Field - like wild white horses, shaking their manes. They really looked appalling. One of them hit me right on the nose and then engulfed me. I kept my eyes glued to the turn and bank indicator recalling stories I had heard and expecting momentarily to find myself upside down. I can find Pomona now, and hope to drop in on you again some day soon. It is certainly a rough field and not much of it. It nearly ran out on me the day I landed there. I am still backing people into corners and telling them that my son is Phil Bet - I never was so proud of anything in my life. Hulbert is doing fine in his job. I only hope he likes it. Everyone likes him, and he can be very successful if he will only learn to evaluate himself properly and not underestimate his ability. The majority of mentalities and personalities are mediocre, and a man doesn't have to have a great deal to be superior to most of the people he will meet in life. Both of you boys have qualities that will put you wherever you wish to go when you finally come to realize their possession. Hope to see you soon. Lots of love." Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by an envelope to John Coleman Burroughs, Claremont, California, postmarked May 27, 1934, Los Angeles, California. 12) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 4 pages, 8¼x11, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1934 October 21. On letterhead of the Apache Hotel to "Dear Jack", in full: "Was terribly sorry not to have seen you Saturday morning; but something tells me that you probably wouldn't have been up in time to make the grade even if I had not been held up by two important business engagements a typical hotel (?). The trip here was very easy. Made it in 5 hours 37 minutes running time. Made one 25 minute stop en route, at Barstow for gas and lunch; so leaving L.A. at 9:10 am, I arrived here at 3:10 pm. The car functioned beautifully, no sign of overheating, plenty of power and speed. I only let it out to 83 for a moment, but I averaged 53 m. p. h. for the trip. My best average was 61½ mph between Barstow and Las Vegas. With my usual good luck and in line with my seeking crowds, I ran into a Shriners' convention here. I think there are five thousand of them, six thousand of whom are hilariously soused, from the amount of noise on the streets. I have been walking the main street and loafing in the lobby of the hotel for four hours, occasionally sauntering into bars and gambling joints of which there are nothing else but. If I had wanted a drink, which I did, I couldn't have gotten near enough a bar to have gotten one - they were all jammed full of Shriners and their ladies. I also feel in need of food, but I can't get near a table. Only the fact that some guy from Hollywood recognized me and told the hotel clerk that I was a big shot from Hollywood got me a room at all. Our good friend, Mr. Russell, who owns this joint, was out getting pie-eyed with the Shriners, so I had no friend in town except this man from Hollywood whom I do not remember ever having seen or heard of. He said he was a publicity man, and he was about to have a rendezvous with the newspaper men in some saloon. He asked me to come along, but I proferred my regrets. I am down here gathering material for a new movie, and shall probably write an article on Hoover Dam; which would probably not interest the newspaper men. I wish you would talk with Ralph about the diorama window display. I shall now make one more attempt to get a rare steak and French friend potatoes before I am too weak to hoist a fork. Lots of love my dear boy. [signature] Address me General Delivery until I send you a permanent address." Multiple mailing folds. Edges lightly worn. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by envelope from the Apache hotel, addressed in his hand to Jack in Pacific Palisades, California, postmark illegible. 13) Autograph Letter signed: "OB", 2 pages (front and verso), 8½x11, Tarzana, California, 1935 February 28. On personal letterhead to "Dear Jack", in full: "It doesn't seem 'possible' that it has been twenty-two years since I saw Dr. Earle pick you up by your hind leg and slap Hell out of you. You have made the most of the intervening years, and you may well be proud. I certainly am proud of you. Wish I might see some of your work. Have hoped to get in to the studio, but have really been very busy, what with working on a story and actively interesting myself in the Burroughs Tarzan Enterprises. I even work nearly every Saturday afternoon and all day Sundays. I think we are going to have a good picture from what I have seen of the rushes and what little has been assembled and cut. The financing has been Hell though. No one wished to finance a picture being made in Guatemala. We finally got part of the money from the Citizen's National Bank and part from advances by distributors The latter demonstrated two things - the confidence the distributors have in our organization and the universal demand for Tarzan pictures. Ashton has done a grand job so far, and now that he has taken over the direction it is even better. He has made a new Tarzan of Brix. It is too bad he did not direct from the first. Horace Greeley wrote me this ...... ; so you and Hulbert must be very brainy. My beautiful farming land indicates an I Q of about -3 by comparison. Lots of love, my dear boy, Always". Multiple mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by original mailing envelope addressed in his hand to John Coleman Burroughs, Bel Air, California. 14) Typed Letter signed: "O.B", 1 page, 8½x11, Tarzana, California, 1935 June 3. On letterhead of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. to "Dear Jack", in full: "I was glad to have your letter of May 29 and to know that you liked the robe. I think it would be very interesting to go to Mexico City. I am hoping to be able to go down myself some time during the bull fighting season. As for going to Summer School, I wonder if it would not be well for you to take a vacation for a few weeks this Summer and get a good rest, which I think you will find will bring you back to your work with renewed interest and vigor. No, I have not been flying much lately. Have you? The picture has not been released as yet, but I think it will be released in some districts this month. But even so, any time you are around a pier it might not be amiss to look for my hat. I am looking forward to seeing you again in the near future. Yours," He handwrites a note at the bottom margin, in full: "6/4 - your letter of the 3rd came today. Thanks a lot, I like to hear from you. Something tells me that I have probably experienced the full realization of camp life for the last time; but, being simple minded, there is no telling what I may do" Multiple mailing folds. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by an Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. envelope addressed to Mr. John Coleman Burroughs, Los Angeles, California, postmarked June 4, 1935. 15) Typed Letter signed: "OB", 1 page, 8½x11, Palm Springs, California, 1936 January 15. On blank stationary to "Dear Hulbert & Jack", in full: "I'm fine; how are you? Herewith your checks. You are now in my employ, and b'God and b'Jesus! See that you get to work on time. I was so sorry not to have seen you while I was up, but I tried to make the trip in one day so that I would not have to go to a hotel. Had work at the office, and saw both doctors. They say I'm fine (see above). Crispin told me that they were both terribly worried about the operation. My chances were about 50/50. Gibbs told me it was the most difficult operation he ever performed. My rapid recuperation has astonished them. After the operation Gibbs told me it would be a matter of six months before I could exercise much. Yesterday he told me I could start in playing tennis. I am very much encouraged. I think I shall come up next Tuesday again and back the same day. I have to go to Gibbs once a week for a while. I'll reach the office about 9:00. It may interest you to know that I have opened up Mecca avenue through the ranch. It has been done rather sketchily, but gives ingress without taking prospects by Smoke's stock-yards, which have killed several deals for us. Lots of love to you both Always," Four filing holes at center left edge. Normal mailing folds. Otherwise, fine condition. Accompanied by an Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. envelope addressed to Hulbert & John C. Burroughs, Los Angeles, California, postmarked January 15, 1936. 16) Typed Letter signed: "Edgar Rice Burroughs", 1 page, 8½x11, Tarzana, California, 1936 June 19. On personal letterhead to Mr. Bryant, Technicolor Motion Picture Corp., Hollywood, California. In full: "Please be advised that I wish to have photographed for test purposes only sixty feet of film. Yours very truly". Includes autograph notes initialed: "ERB": "at my risk" and "or more if necessary". Accompanied by typed envelope addressed to Bryant. The archive also includes an assortment of twelve letters written to or from members of the Burroughs family. Including five Autograph Letters signed "Momma" the family name for Burroughs' wife Emma Hulbert and an Autograph Letter signed on personal letterhead written by Joan Burroughs Pierce, Jack's older sister. Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) is best known as the creator of "Tarzan of the Apes", whom he introduced to readers in his 1914 novel of the same name. Over the years, his "Ape Man" appeared in 20 novels (printed in 50 languages with sales of 20 million copies) and was featured in motion pictures, radio serials, television shows and a comic strip. Burroughs also wrote crime and science fiction stories. (Science fiction fans probably know him best for the Barsoom or John Carter of Mars series of novels. Burroughs and his wife, the former Emma Hulbert, had three children: daughter Joan (b. 1908), son Hulbert (b. 1909) and John Coleman Burroughs, called Jack, to whom all but one of these letters were written. Edgar and Emma were divorced in 1934, and he remarried the following year -adopting the two children of his new wife (Florence Gilbert Dearholt) - but this breach does not seem to have harmed Burroughs' relationship with son Jack, nor does he express any ill feelings toward Emma here. Jack Burroughs (1913-1979) whose artistic talent is frequently mentioned by his father, drew newspaper comics before going to work for his father's company ERB, Inc. in 1934, illustrating its publications. This remarkable collection of letters to Jack shows many sides of Edgar Rice Burroughs: his abiding affection for his children; his many enthusiasms; and his wry sense of humor. (Letter #12 above, from a not yet very cosmopolitan Las Vegas, is especially amusing.) Most are written from Burrough's estate, Tarzana, in the town of Receda, California, which soon renamed itself Tarzana. (Burroughs' was eventually obliged to sell Tarzana; his letter from Las Vegas advises Jack to mail him "General Delivery" until he has a new address.) Although many of the letters are purely personal, Burrough's public life is also revealed. His trip to New York in 1923, obviously involving contentious litigation with a Mr. Craft, invites more research. Especially interesting is letter #16, a revealing discussion of the filming of The New Adventures of Tarzan, with its new star Herman Brix and the contribution of friend Ashton [Dearholt}, whose ex-wife Burroughs married that same year. Burroughs' comments on film personalities, including Harold Lloyd, Constance Cummings and James Cagney, are also of interest. A fine collection, of obvious interest to any biographer or just a big fan of Burroughs, a formative influence on the later super heroes of American films and literature. Sixteen Items.
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