June 2014 | Nate Pedersen

Tarzan of the Apes Dust Jacket

One hundred years ago this month A. C. McClurg and Co published the first book edition of "Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan first appeared in the pulp magazines two years previously, but the book edition became an enormous success, launching Burroughs' career into the mainstream and spawning twenty-four sequels. 

For Burroughs collectors today, tracking down a first edition of "Tarzan of the Apes" - with the original dust jacket - is no easy feat.  Indeed, it is an accomplishment that becomes a centerpiece of a Burroughs collection, ranking just a bit below the virtually impossible to find original dust jacket for "The Return of Tarzan."

As a result of the scarcity of original dust jackets - particularly those in good condition - some collectors have turned to facsimile reproductions to round out their collections. That's where Phil Normand of Recoverings.com steps in. Since 1999, Normand has been making high-quality facsimile copies of the Burroughs dust jackets.

Ten years ago Normand took on the special challenge of re-creating the dust jacket for "Tarzan of the Apes." He writes, "I created a replica dust jacket for that sought-after edition, accurately tracing every shape of the three-color art and contracting with The Pressworks here in Denver to have it produced on a V50 Miehle Verticle rotary cylinder press using magnesium, wood-mounted plates. The run was printed on 80# Rolland Motif Warm Green which matches the weight and color of the original stock."

Normand's edition of the facsimile dust jacket was issued in three variations: a regular edition of 300, a special "Signature Edition" stamped on the front flap with ERB's personal signature stamp at the offices of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. in Tarzana, California; and an untrimmed fine art print.  

For the month of June, in celebration of the book's centenary, Normand is offering the regular edition of the "Tarzan of the Apes" dust jacket for its original pre-publication price of $50.00. Interested readers can find out more here.