EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 06/23/1944 - HFSID 254612
Sale Price $1,020.00
THE CREATOR OF TARZAN, NOW A WAR CORRESPONDENT IN HIS SIXTIES, WRITES TO HIS DAUGHTER REGARDING SOUVENIRS FOR HIS GRANDCHILDREN, THE BIRTH OF HIS FOURTH GRANDCHILD AND MEETING DIRECTOR (AND THEN COLONEL) FRANK CAPRA IN HAWAII
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. Typed Letter Signed: "Papa" in blue pencil, 1p, 8½x11. On his imprinted Tarzana, California letterhead but written from Honolulu, Hawaii, 1944 June 23.To "Joan darling", his daughter, JOAN BURROUGHS PIERCE (1908-1872), the first of Burroughs' three children with his first wife, Emma Hulbert (1876-1944), whom he married in 1900 and divorced in 1934. In full: "Am glad the package arrived, but evidently you never received (or I never wrote) the letter explaining the silly things. I could have sworn that I wrote to both you and Jane, telling where I got the souvenirs and for whom they were intended. But I can find no carbon copies of any such letters. Am I slipping! Antiquity has sneaked up on me and batted me on the bean. The Jap bill and photo were for Mike. The soldier who found them in a Jap barracks bag when we took Kwajalein gave them to me. I also explained about the cowrie shell necklace. I think that the one I sent you was given me by the soldier who made it on Kwajalein. I tried to get the silver or gold chains that the boys use in stringing these, but there were none left in Honolulu. Our servicemen had bought them all. The loose shells I got on Apamama. My none too subtle hints that I would like to hear something about you from you having met with no success, it has finally dawned on me that you consider it none of my damn business. Well, I suppose it isn't. It may interest you to know that I met Col. Frank Capra the other evening and all evening until midnight, and that I had him at lunch at the Outrigger Canoe Club yesterday. Almost from the first it was 'Frank' and 'Edgar'. I think he is a very swell person with a great sense of humor (he laughed at my sallies). He told me the first evening that he had heard a lot about Hully and his work, and of course that endeared him to me immediately. It was good news about Jane and Danton. Jane and Jack are doing more for America than they could accomplish if he were drafted. At my luncheon yesterday a French colonel (the Governor of Tahiti), an American colonel (Capra), Capt. Phil Bird, and Capt. Lawrence toasted Danton. And yesterday evening at Fort Shafter, a colonel, a lieutenant colonel, two majors, and four wahinis stood and toasted him. Do I brag about my grandchildren!I wish that I had a late picture of Mike. Joanne's is very much admired by all my friends. I also wish that I had a good portrait of you. If you will have one taken, I will pay for it. Tell Mike that the knife was given me by a 7th AAF Bomber Command Flight Surgeon on Kwajalein. Lots of love to you all!" "Mike" and "Joanne" were JOHN MICHAEL (born in 1934) and JOANNE PIERCE (born in 1929), Burroughs' first grandchildren and the children of Joan and her husband, JAMES PIERCE (1900-1983), whom she married in 1928 (after he had appeared as the first movie Tarzan in a silent film).The couple would later appear as Tarzan and Jane on a radio serial that ran for 354 episodes, beginning in 1932. At the time of this letter, the family was separated, which is likely the reason Joan did not keep her father abreast of her activities. Jim was running his aviation business in Nogales and Joan had moved back into her mother's Bel-Air mansion to care for Emma, who suffered from depression and alcoholism. Emma would die on November 5, 1944, less than five months after this letter was written. Despite Joan's refusal to accept her father's second wife, Florence Dearholt, whom Burroughs married in 1935 and divorced in 1942), whom she blamed for the breakup of his marriage to her mother, she and her father remained close, exchanging volumes of letters during the war. During their time apart, Burroughs would send numerous gifts to his grandchildren, whom he doted upon (he would move back to California after the war and spend a great deal of time with his grandchildren in his last years). In addition to Joan's children, his grandchildren included DANTON, mentioned in this letter, the second son of Burrough's third child, JOHN COLEMAN "JACK" BURROUGHS (1913-1979), who had married JANE RALSTON (1913-2002) in 1936 (the couple would divorce in 1961). Danton's birth on June 2, 1944 was the occasion for the toasts mentioned in this letter, and the couple had two other children, John, born in 1942, and Dian, who would be born in 1948. "Hully" was Burroughs' older son, HULBERT BURROUGHS, who was a year younger than Joan, had a fine singing voice, and, like his sister, often sang in public (Joan had also enjoyed an acting career on the stage and in feature films - many of her roles coming through the influence of her father). The reference to his work, however, likely referred to his writing.Both Hulbert and Jack wrote pulp stories, which were often illustrated by Jack, who was also an artist. Both sons were also amateur photographers. All of the Burroughs children would serve on the Board of Directors of ERB, Inc. EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS (1875-1950), who had moved to Hawaii in May 1940 (Joan had seen her father off at the ship) was in the islands during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and, despite his being a sexagenarian, he became a correspondent for the rest of the war, serving in the South Pacific for UPI. In 1944, Burroughs covered battles in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. In this letter, he mentions meeting COLONEL FRANK CAPRA (1897-1991), the Hollywood director, who had first been commissioned as a Major in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. During the war, Capra, who was discharged with the rank of Colonel, would be assigned to the Morale Branch of the Army and was ordered by Marshall "to make a series of documented, factual-information films - the first in our history - that will explain to our boys in the Army why we are fighting, and the principles for which we are fighting." The seven films in the Capra produced/directed "Why We Fight" series included Prelude to War, The Nazis Strike, Divide and Conquer, The Battle of Britain, The Battle of Russia, The Battle of China and War Comes to America. By 1943, the War Department had developed a program to bring movies of all kinds to the soldiers on the battlefronts, where, as General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "next to guns, what the boys need most is movies and more movies." Burroughs, who made one of his last public appearances on a movie set, 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 science fiction (his first sale was a serialized version of a Martian tale), crime novels and two Western novels. A remarkable letter with associations to both family members and Burroughs' associations during WWII. Lightly creased with folds, vertical fold at the second "a" of Papa. Light show through of stain on verso touches 4 lines of type. Overall, fine condition.
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