Edgar Rice Burroughs series order

A number of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series intersect with one another, as well as with a few other books; so how do you know what order to read them in? Here’s a guide to the intersecting series, along with links to those books that are online (which is most of them, thanks to Australia’s more liberal copyright laws). Order between series doesn’t matter until you get to the crossover novels (the ones whose plots all connect in some way with Tarzan at the Earth’s Core); and after the crossover novels the series go their separate ways again:

Tarzan series (and related)
Mars series
Pellucidar series
Venus series
T1a. Tarzan of the Apes, chapters 1-11
T6. Jungle Tales of Tarzan
T1b. Tarzan of the Apes, chapters 12-28
T2. The Return of Tarzan

The Mad King, Part I (a.k.a. The Mad King of Lutha)
The Eternal Lover (a.k.a. The Eternal Savage)
The Mad King, Part II (a.k.a. Barney Custer of Beatrice)

T3. The Beasts of Tarzan
T4. The Son of Tarzan
T5. Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar

T7. Tarzan the Untamed
T8. Tarzan the Terrible
T9. Tarzan and the Golden Lion
T10. Tarzan and the Ant-Men
T11. Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle

The Tarzan Twins
Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins with Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion

T12. Tarzan and the Lost Empire
M1. A Princess of Mars
M2. The Gods of Mars
M3. Warlord of Mars
M4. Thuvia, Maid of Mars
M5. The Chessmen of Mars
M6. The Master Mind of Mars
P1. At the Earth’s Core
P2. Pellucidar
Tarzan/Mars/Pellucidar/Venus crossover novels
P3. Tanar of Pellucidar [crossover #1]
M7. A Fighting Man of Mars [crossover #2]
T13/P4. Tarzan at the Earth’s Core [crossover #3]P4/T13. Tarzan at the Earth’s Core [crossover #3]
P5. Back to the Stone Age [crossover #4]
V1. Pirates of Venus [crossover #5]
Tarzan series (continued)
Mars series (and related – continued)
Pellucidar series (continued)
Venus series (continued)
T14. Tarzan the Invincible
T15. Tarzan Triumphant
T16. Tarzan and the City of Gold
T17. Tarzan and the Lion-Man
T18. Tarzan and the Leopard Men
T19. Tarzan’s Quest
T20. Tarzan the Magnificent
T21. Tarzan and the Forbidden City
T23. Tarzan and the Madman
T24. Tarzan and the Castaways
T22. Tarzan and the Foreign Legion [despite the numbering, this is the right order]
T25. Tarzan: The Lost Adventure [fragment by ERB, completed by Joe Lansdale]
M8. Swords of Mars
M9. Synthetic Men of Mars
M10. Llana of Gathol
M11a. John Carter and the Giant of Mars [by John Burroughs, ERB’s son; not canonical]
M11b. Skeleton Men of Jupiter

Beyond the Farthest Star

Moon series (takes place in the future of the Mars series):
L1. The Moon Maid
L2. The Moon Men
L3. The Red Hawk
P6. Land of Terror
P7. Savage Pellucidar
V2. Lost on Venus
V3. Carson of Venus
V4. Escape on Venus
V5. The Wizard of Venus

Burroughs also wrote three other series that don’t intersect (either with the series above or with one another), as well as many standalone novels. So here’s a quick guide to those:

Caspak series
Mucker/Bridge series
Shoz-dijiji series
Standalone books (no series)
C1. The Land That Time Forgot
C2. The People That Time Forgot
C3. Out of Time’s Abyss
MB1. The Mucker
MB2. The Return of the Mucker
MB3. The Oakdale Affair
S1. The War Chief
S2. Apache Devil
The Bandit of Hell’s Bend
The Cave Girl
The Dancing Girl of the Leper King a.k.a. Land of Hidden Men a.k.a. Jungle Girl
The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County
The Efficiency Expert
Forgotten Tales of Love and Murder
The Girl from Farris’s
The Girl from Hollywood
I Am a Barbarian
The Lad and the Lion
The Lost Continent a.k.a. Beyond Thirty
Marcia of the Doorstep
The Man-Eater a.k.a. Ben, King of Beasts
Minidoka: 937th Earl of One Mile Series M
The Monster Men a.k.a. Number Thirteen a.k.a. A Man Without a Soul
The Outlaw of Torn
Pirate Blood
The Resurrection of Jimber-Jaw
The Rider
You Lucky Girl!

Some readers think that the Caspak novels must be part of the Tarzan/Pellucidar universe because they feature dinosaurs surviving in the present day. Others think The Outlaw of Torn must be part of the Tarzan universe because there’s someone named Greystoke in it. These arguments seem less than decisive to me, especially the Greystoke one (it is a real name, after all; and at the time that ERB chose the name “Greystoke” for Tarzan, he may well have forgotten that he’d already used it for a minor character in Outlaw); but your haadage may vary.

On the other hand, some would regard Beyond the Farthest Star as a standalone novel, and perhaps they are right; but as the means of interplanetary travel is the same as in the Mars novels, and the means of interplanetary communication is almost the same as in the Venus novels, and as these are more distinctive features than merely having dinosaurs survive (which had already been done by Verne and Conan Doyle) or having the same name show up, I’m inclined to treat Beyond the Farthest Star as belonging to ERB’s Mars/Venus universe.

The sadly unfinished Skeleton Men of Jupiter and the non-ERB (and inaccurate, and dreadful) John Carter and the Giant of Mars are usually published together as John Carter of Mars (and attributed as a whole to ERB).

Despite having “Tarzan” in their titles and leading into the events of Tarzan and the Lost Empire, the two Tarzan Twins books (sometimes published together as Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins) are not traditionally considered part of the Tarzan sequence and so are left out of the standard numbering, probably because they were intended for a juvenile audience.

It’s not immediately obvious to a newcomer that The Mad King is related to the Tarzan sequence, but The Eternal Lover (likewise never included as a Tarzan book, despite filling in a crucial chapter in Tarzan’s biography) will make the connection clear.

It’s worth noting that once Tarzan gets back from the Earth’s core, his series starts to go downhill; ERB was clearly getting sick of writing about his most popular character, and inspiration was flagging.