In May of 1888 a young English lord and his wife leave on a diplomatic trip to Africa for the Colonial office. Unfortunately for them they chose a ship destined to never reach its intended destination. The brutality of the captain drives the crew to mutiny that results in the captain and his officers being killed. Luckily the young lord Greystoke had saved the live of the leader of the mutiny in a previous incident. Greystoke and his wife are spared and instead put ashore on the coast of Africa with supplies and their personal effects.
The young couple built a small cabin and wait for rescue. The young lady Greystoke dies in childbirth and the father is killed by a tribe of great apes passing by. The young infant is saved by a young female ape that recently lost its baby. Kala adopts the orphaned infant and Tarzan meaning white skin in the ape language enters the tribe of Kerchak.
Tarzan grows up to manhood learning how the survive the jungle. His human curiosity drives him to leave in search of his own kind. He discovers his parents cabin and teaches himself how to read and write from the child primer books. Eventually a ship comes to his lonely stretch of beach. Another group of people are marooned by a mutiny. A young beautiful woman is with the group. Tarzan rescues her from a rogue ape and they fall in love.
Through a string of adventures the two are separated and Tarzan must eventually find his way to civilization. He learns the ways of civilized man and discovers that he is the true heir to the Greystoke estate. He eventually finds his love Jane in America but she is already engaged to be married to his cousin.
So thus a legend is born. Tarzan is probably the most recognizable figure in fiction. It was definitely what made Mr. Burroughs famous. Many don’t know that Tarzan is not the mono syllable dullard that was portrayed in early movies. He is a very intelligent man teaching himself to read and write. The first language he learned to speak was French. The first of many languages.
This was a solid start to the series. The story is fast paced and full of adventure and romance. Obviously the ending was a disappointment but that’s why a sequel was written which will be discussed in a future post.