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ARCHIVE OF 34 LETTERS AND NOTES WRITTEN BY BURROUGHS TO HIS DAUGHTER JOAN BURROUGHS PIERCE, COMPRISING 13 ALsS; 19 TLsS AND 2 ANsS, COVERING A 12-YEAR PERIOD (1927-1939). Plus 16 black and white photographs (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches) of Hawaii taken by ERB, with his typewritten captions on versos.
This period covered several important personal events in ERB's life: the marriage of his daughter (pronounced "Jo-Ann") to actor James Pierce and her career as an actress (most notably as Jane in the radio version of Tarzan); the birth of their children; ERB's divorce from his first wife Emma, who had become an alcoholic, and his remarriage to the much younger, high-living Florence in 1935, causing much strife between ERB and his children. Along the way are letters and cards from ERB on his travels in Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Joan and her family lived during this period in Van Nuys, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Bel-Air, Canoga Park, Girard and Studio City, reflecting their rising and falling fortunes in show business. "Burroughs was probably the most widely-read American author of the first half of the twentieth century, and the character he created in 1912, an English nobleman turned feral, did much to establish the archetype for all the supermen and superheroes who have thronged popular culture since then. His handwriting mirrors his writing style: all forward movement with very little horizontal development. A native of Chicago -- like so many other giants of American pop culture (including, more recently, Walt Disney and Ray Kroc) -- Burroughs moved to Los Angeles when he saw that much of his work involving Tarzan (as well as his Martian, Venusian and subterranean Earth heroes) would be connected with the burgeoning film industry. He settled in the San Fernando Valley in a section later renamed Tarzana in his honor. His legacy to popular culture has been felt not only in America but around the world, and remains vital today. Despite that immense popularity, the author of these letters comes across as a very down-to-earth man, modest sometimes to the point of self-loathing. His income, though large, barely kept up with his fashionable life-style; and the failure of his two marriages further strained his finances as well as relations with his children. Almost all of the longer, handwritten letters in this group precede his 1934 divorce from his first wife, Emma. The man who nourished the wish-fulfillment fantasies of millions confesses in one letter that his 'whole life has been a bitter one, filled with shattered ideals and disillusionment.' Joan was one of three children from the marriage with Emma, and his only daughter. That she (like her brothers) remained in the same business as her father, and, in fact, helped him turn Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. into a family business, testifies to the closeness of the family, an accomplishment not all that common in families of the great and the famous." - Robert Eldridge. The correspondence is in very good to fine condition. A detailed calendar is available upon request. (#111985)
      [Bookseller: L. W. Currey, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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