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'I needed the money'

6 September 2021

‘I have often been asked how I came to write. The best answer is that I needed the money. When I started I was 35 and had failed in every enterprise I had ever attempted. . . I had gone thoroughly through some of the all-fiction magazines and I made up my mind that if people were paid for writing such rot as I read I could write stories just as rotten. Although I had never written a story, I knew absolutely that I could write stories just as entertaining and probably a lot more so than any I chanced to read in those magazines.'

Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of 91 novels, which have sold hundreds of millions of copies, who is best known for Tarzan of the Apes, the first of 26 Tarzan books which were translated into more than 56 languages and were also popular in comic-strip, motion-picture, television, and radio versions. He once said 'I write to escape ... to escape poverty'.