Understanding Moody's Tarzan

All it takes to grasp a moderate understanding of my Tarzan theories is to realize that my articles are pointing out alternatives to information provided by Phillip Jose Farmer in Tarzan Alive.  Phil Farmer had a super thing going with Tarzan Alive, but his"ERB based Tarzan on a true life man and this is his story," approach carried his Tarzan storyline way adrift from the original series presented storyline.  In my chronology work I am trying to do the same thing Phil Farmer done, but I am trying to stick as close to Burroughs' provided information as possible.  And I do mean as close as possible.

How did I get involved in this Tarzan chronology business anyway?  To understand that we must drift back to the nine year old boy who discovers the Tarzan comics.  Then the twelve year old boy who discovers the Tarzan paperbacks.  Then the sixteen year old fanatic who has now collected all of Burroughs' paperbacks.  Shortly afterwards we have the man who discovers the Burroughs fanzines. Along with that discovery, came the discovery that there was more to Edgar Rice Burroughs' stories than just adventure.

There are time distortions.
  • 1888  Tarzan born
  • 1906  Tarzan sees his first man  (age 18 Tarzan Of The Apes)
  • 1908  Tarzan sees his first whites  (age 20 Tarzan Of The Apes & The Return Of Tarzan)
  • 1910  Tarzan meets Countess de Coude  (age twenty-two The Return Of Tarzan)
  • late 1910 or early 1911  Tarzan and Jane marry
  • 1914  Yet in The Son Of Tarzan we discover that Korak in 1914 (should be around four if Tarzan's 1888 birth is excepted) is old enough to fight in W.W. I. 

There are down right out contradictions
  • In Tarzan Of The Apes, chapter 9, Burroughs states, "Thus, at eighteen, we find him, an English lordling, who could speak no English, and yet who could read and write his native language.  Never had he seen a human being other than himself, for the little area traversed by his tribe was watered by no great river to bring down the savage natives of the interior."  Two paragraphs later Mbonga's warriors enter
  • Yet in The Return Of Tarzan, chapter 5, when the ape man almost killed the Count de Coude Tarzan states, "Until I was fifteen I had never seen a human being.  I was twenty before I saw a white man."
There is overlapping of fiction and reality.
  • John was Edgar Rice Burroughs' favorite name.  It eventually became the name of his two greatest characters.
  • Both Burroughs and Tarzan had son's named John, but both were called Jack.
  • In Tarzan At The Earth's Core the airship 0-220 was named after Burroughs' one time phone number.
  • At the end of Tarzan And The Lion Man the jungle lord tried out for the movie role of Tarzan, but was beat out by a fellow named Cyril Wayne.  This character was named after Cyril Ralph Rothmund, Burroughs' secretary who begin in 1927.
If all these new discoveries were not mind bogging enough, then came Tarzan Alive by Phillip Jose Farmer.  The book is basically a chronology of the ape man's life based on the fact that Tarzan was born in 1888 as Tarzan Of The Apes describes.  The only problem is that Phil Farmer sticks to few other of Burroughs' recorded events.  By the time Phil Farmer is done with his Tarzan 1888 chronology it is no closer to the Tarzan series storyline than is Barton Werper's or Edward Hirschman's.

Dissatisfied with Phil Farmer's labor of love it enters my twenty-one year old mind to start my own Tarzan chronology project.  Unlike Phil Farmer, my chronology would stick as close to Burroughs provided information as humanly possible.  Off and on for over twelve years now I have hammered at the Tarzan mysteries.  I am very confident that my 1872 chronology is a more Burroughs description friendly chronology than anyone has ever presented before.

The only problem is how does one present a sixty-five thousand word manuscript to various Burroughs researchers so they can inspect the contents?  The way I decided to do it was to brake down The Tarzan Papers and present short articles in various fanzines.  When one reads my articles you must keep in mind that all are connected together much like a jigsaw puzzle.  When all articles are connected together they will present a huge clear picture, apart they will merely seem to challenge individual mysteries.  In an effort to clarify what I have said so far let's take a quick review of my provided information.


  • Tarzine #22  Inserting Jungle Tales Of Tarzan in to Tarzan Of The Apes
It does not take one long when he is reading the Tarzan series to discover that Jungle Tales Of Tarzan is out of chronological sequence from the other books.  This article directly explains the time frame entry of Jungle Tales Of Tarzan into Tarzan Of The Apes.  It also provides Tarzan's age at the time the events occurred, and how long the event itself occurs.


  • Tarzine #25 Tarzan And The Cannibal Language

This article explains why Tarzan, a linguist genius, did not learn Tibo's native speech although the two remained together for weeks.  More importantly on the chronology aspect, the adventure is shown to cover a span of one month.

  • Tarzine #28 Where did Tarzan Come From?
Although this article surfacely addresses the subject concerning the sources of Tarzan I hinted to the key of breaking the chronology mystery.  That is the fact that Burroughs often inserted his true life experiences in with his fictional yarns.  Using the Burroughs family genealogy all unprovided Tarzan dates can be provided, yet remain consistent with the author's provided information and natural habits.

  • Tarzine #31 The Apparel Of Tarzan
This project's main intent was to address the subject why Tarzan is wearing a loin cloth in Jungle Tales Of Tarzan, when he is described as not doing so during the same time period in Tarzan Of The Apes.  From a chronological point of view, the article informs that although Tarzan had experimented with clothing, he was twenty years old before the ape man first takes on a permanent form of  body cover.  Nonchalantly, I also through in a hint that ERB, the narrator, is purposely making attempts to protect the Greystoke's true identity, and one of his favorite tricks is time distortion.

  • Tarzine #34 Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Narrator
This article tracks  down all the books the narrator appears in, and arranges his adventures in a chronological order.  Great stress is made in pointing out that ERB, the narrator, is not Edgar Rice Burroughs the famous Tarzan author from Chicago.  

  • Tarzine #44 Black Michael - Black Peter
This Sherlock Holmes related article's main objective is to review Dale L. Walker, John Harwood
and Phil Farmer's 1888 based theory that Black Michael of Tarzan Of The Apes and Black Peter
of The Adventure Of Black Peter could be the same man.  More importantly, the article goes on
to show that Black Michael and Black Peter could also be the same man even if the Greystoke's
1872 sailing date is excepted.


  • Tarzine #53 The John Clayton Mystery
This article points out that the fact that Tarzan's great grandfather was not a John Clayton,
although it is a family tradition for the eldest son of a John to be named so.  It also explains who
the other John Clayton is in The Hound Of The Baskervilles and Three Months In The Jungle.
This is very important information concerning the pre-Tarzan Greystoke chronology.

  • Tarzine #55 The Greystoke's Destination
This paper provides the answer to where the Greystoke's were going before becoming marooned, and where they were marooned.  More significantly, it shows that you can set back the Greystoke's sailing date to 1872 without changing Clayton's original mission.

  • ERB-APA #3 Origin Of An ERB Collector
In the comment section addressed to Mike Resnick I dropped the hint that Burroughs was an action writer by habit, and detail plays second fiddle in his stories.  It is a regular pattern of Burroughs to omit details to keep the action flowing.  Sometimes he ignores them altogether.   A great example of a few of these omitted details was given by John F. Roy in Erbania #51 in his very informative article His Father's Hunting Knife.  This is a very important point of a chronologist to remember.

  • ERB-APA #4 Origin Of A Greystoke Chronologist
This was my first public commitment to Tarzan's 1872 birth.

  • ERB-APA #5 Investigating The Greystoke Family
Again I committed myself to Tarzan's 1872 birth, plus pointed out some of his recorded kinfolk. Originally I intended for The John Clayton Mystery, eventually published in Tarzine #53, to run concurrently with this article, but due to editorship which is out of my control it did not turn out that way.


  • ERB-APA #7 The Making Of The Hell's Bend
In the comment section directed at Pat Adkins I reveal that it is my theory that The Eternal Lover follows Tarzan And The Jewels Of Opar, and not The Return Of Tarzan as most 1888 chronology researcher's theorize.  

In the comment section directed at George Jones, various formulas of testing Burroughs' printed matter as being original is discussed.  This is very important point when chronicling Tarzan And The Forbidden City.

  • ERB-APA #8 Comparing Narrator Notes
In this article I followed John F. Roy's lead that Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, the narrator, is two different people.  It is very important to know which of these two persons is providing what information.  Because of similar subject matter I originally intended for Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master Trickster to run concurrently in Tarzine.  Again due to uncontrolled editorship, my intentions did not turn out, and this yet unpublished article is still in the hands of Bill Ross.

  • ERB-APA #9 Why A Tarzan Chronology?
In the comment section directed to Alan Hanson I reveal the basics of my 1872 chronology theory.  I believe the dating system of the Tarzan series is heavily based on Burroughs' own family genealogy.

  • ERB-APA #10 How Old Is Tarzan?
This article concentrates mainly on pointing out ERB, the narrator's, deliberate time distortions and contradictions.  In the comment section addressed to John F. Roy I reveal that the Jungle Tales Of Tarzan covers a time span of approximately two years.  I also present a light chronology based on the notes from my workbook.  

Also in the comment section, but this time directed at Pat Adkins, I pointed out information which could tie the Greystoke family in with the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  If this can successfully be done we can then use Sherlock Holmes dates in the Tarzan series as a time table.

  • ERB-APA #11 How Old Is Tarzan? Part Two 
I tried to prove that there was a very realistic chance that Tarzan Of The Apes 1888 sailing date was a deliberate misconception by ERB, the narrator, to protect the Greystoke's identity.  I also pointed out the importance of the total lunar eclipse in Jungle Tales Of Tarzan in pinpointing the ape man's true birth date.  


  • ERB-APA #12 How Old Is Tarzan? Part Three
This articles main purpose was to present a logical sailing date for the Greystoke's, and a birth date for Tarzan that did not conflict with Burroughs' provided information.  Although both dates are unprovided by the author there is a lot of circumstantial evidence, when collected, narrows the mystery somewhat.  Note that both my provided dates will fit into a chronology of Burroughs provided information without any contradictions.  Few others can claim that.

  • ERB-APA #13 How Old Is Tarzan? Part Four
Since I had presented my theories on Tarzan's birth for three issues, I thought it only fair to look back through the past to see other researcher's point of view.  These are the very works I have studied and are the basics of my theories.  I studied all with an open and neutral mind.  When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, I have found that John Harwood's Burroughs Bulletin #6 theory and Pete Ogden's Erbania #27 theory come the closest to my findings.


If you examine my articles mentioned above, you will quickly note they are all linked to a Tarzan chronology in one form or another.  In fact, if you put these articles in correct sequence, they will in themselves form a Tarzan chronology.

I know that with no more information then has been given it is yet a little difficult to see my main projection, but as these smaller articles continue to point out and explain away past chronology stumbling blocks the end will continue to get clearer and clearer.

Beginning with ERB-APA #15 I will present a series of chronology articles that trace the Greystoke family from ancient to modern times.  Hopefully this diary approach will offer a much clearer view.



James Michael Moody

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