Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) with Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller
Publication of Tarzan of the Apes (1912)
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
“I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are mine. We live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter. When you see this you will know that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you.”
~ Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, 1912
Or to sum it up: "Me Tarzan. You Jane."
Blame it on Jane
Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes (published in the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine, in 1912) and subsequently in twenty-five sequels, several authorized books by other authors, and innumerable works in other media.
Tarzan's story starts with his birth as John Clayton, Vicount Greystoke, the son of a British lord and lady who are marooned on the Atlantic coast of Africa by mutineers. While only an infant, his mother dies, and his father is killed by Kerchak, leader of the ape tribe by whom the baby is later adopted. From then onwards, Tarzan becomes a feral child and son to Kala, his ape mother, who gives him his ape name. Later referred to as the Earl of Greystoke in later, by less canonical sources, notably the 1984 movie Greystoke, Tarzan travels to his ancestral seat in Scotland.
As a young adult, Tarzan meets a young American woman, Jane Porter. She, her father, and others of their party are marooned on exactly the same coastal jungle area where Tarzan's biological parents were twenty years earlier. When Jane returns to the United States, Tarzan leaves the jungle in search of her, his one true love.
And perhaps as a surprise to movie fans who have only witnessed the "Tarzan, Jane, Jane, Tarzan" sequence, the book version of Tarzan is a polyglot, and can learn a new language in days, ultimately speaking many languages, including that of the great apes, French, Finnish, English, Dutch, German, Swahili, many Bantu dialects, Arabic, ancient Greek, ancient Latin, Mayan, the languages of the Ant Men and of Pellucidar, a fictional Hollow Earth!
Even so, he may have been a bit tongue-tied when first meeting Jane. Blame it on Jane.
For more about Edgar Rice Burroughs, the author, who died in 1950 and is buried in Tarzana, California, click the original publication cover. Note: Tarzana, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, is on the site of a former ranch owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is named after his jungle hero.