Tarzan of the Apes
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1914.
Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1914. First edition. A bright, Nearly Fine copy of this classic work, introducing the world to one of its great heros. First issue binding without the acorn stamped on the spine and with the correct W.F. Hall imprint on the copyright page. Gilt on the covers only very slightly dulled, with a contemporary gift inscription on the first blank and that owner's name stamped a few times in the preliminaries. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell case with leather spine label.
"Set during the height of British imperialism and during the escalation of the United States' own empire-building" Tarzan of the Apes offers a fantasy that seeks to "re-establish the authority of imperial power" (Berglund). Set in colonial Africa, the novel "tells of an infant -- the son of an aristocratic English couple -- abandoned when his parents die in the jungle. Rescued and reared by apes, he learns to speak their language and imitate their ability to travel through the treetops" (Dover). Respected by all for his physical beauty, his prowess, and an air of innate superiority, Tarzan's return to human society is initiated by loss of and vengeance for his ape mother and cemented when he falls in love with Jane Porter. Yet Tarzan notably does not return to his fatherland of England. "Rather than sailing to England to reclaim his estates from his own usurping cousin, Tarzan follows Jane to Baltimore and Wisconsin in the hopes of marriage. With that union and the turning-away from England, the imperial project represented by Tarzan's parents is figuratively transferred to the United States" (Gavaler). A major pop culture figure, in part due to the films that follow this book and Burroughs' sequels, Tarzan maintains cultural relevance. Near Fine (Item #4733)