Rediscovered: 1924 Inscription from George Allan England

Kevin Cook steps in to cover the autograph action this weekend — if you’ve followed previous weekends, you know he’s been champing at that bit. I’m not sure how Autograph Hound Brian Leno is going to react to someone intruding on his turf. Maybe he’ll enjoy seeing samples from Kevin’s collection. Maybe the rivalry will hit white heat, and it’ll be mano a mano, auto a auto, for weeks to come.


For today’s Autograph Hound Saturday Kevin Cook pulls one of his inscriptions from George Allan England, famed author of the Darkness and Dawn trilogy. Take it away, Kevin:

Here’s a George Allan England inscription — that is in English. It’s an important one, as A.L. Sessions was a major pre-1920 pulp editor at Street & Smith.

Most of the information we have regarding Sessions comes from Irwin Porges’ Edgar Rice Burroughs biography, where their correspondence back and forth is reproduced. There is some thought out there that if Sessions had not accepted “The Return of Tarzan” to print in New Story Magazine and subsequently “The Outlaw of Torn” as well — the two early novels rejected by Munsey — that Burroughs might have thrown in the towel and given up his writing career as unsuccessful. Just like he did with every other previous profession he had tried.

It is doubtful that “Under the Moons of Mars” and “Tarzan of the Apes” would have had any influence on popular culture if they had just remained stories buried in the pages of old pulp magazines, if Burroughs gave up writing and stopped trying to market his new stories or get them printed in book form.

I could make a counter argument here about Munsey still wanting the John Carter sequels so that ERB would have continued writing those, but his career would certainly have gone in a different direction if Tarzan had ended after just the one book.

ERB would not have become wealthy at the start because there would have not been any Tarzan movies, of course.

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