Burroughs

Burroughs

[bur-ohz, buhr-]
Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 1875-1950, American novelist, creator of the character Tarzan. He is the author of Tarzan of the Apes (1914) and numerous other jungle and science fiction thrillers.

See biography by J. Taliaferro (1999).

Burroughs, John, 1837-1921, American naturalist and author, b. Roxbury, N.Y.; son of a farmer. He was a journalist, a treasury clerk in Washington, and a bank examiner, before settling in 1874 on a farm near Esopus, N.Y. There he studied fruit culture and literature. His first book, Walt Whitman, Poet and Person (1867), was the first to adequately recognize the genius of his poet friend. His prose made widely popular the type of nature essay written by Thoreau. His best-known books are Wake Robin (1871); Locusts and Wild Honey (1879); Fresh Fields, a travel book (1884); Signs and Seasons (1886); and a volume of poems, Bird and Bough (1906). A growing interest in philosophy and in science is evident in Time and Change (1912), The Summit of the Years (1913), The Breath of Life (1915), and Accepting the Universe (1922). "The Sage of Slabsides" became the friend of John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Edison, Ford, and other important people. He traveled to the Pacific coast, the South, the West Indies, Europe, and (with the Harriman expedition) Alaska, recording natural phenomena in simple, expressive prose.

See his autobiography, My Boyhood (1922); biographies by E. B. Kelley (1959) and P. G. Westbrook (1974).

Burroughs, William Seward, 1914-97, American novelist, b. St. Louis, grad. Harvard, 1936. He was an elder member of the beat generation. Junkie (1953), originally published under the pseudonym William Lee, and Queer (written 1953, pub. 1985) are autobiographical accounts of his drug addiction, homosexual experiences, and the accidental killing of his wife. His best-known novel, Naked Lunch (1959), is a surrealistic depiction of the addict's existence. Burroughs's violent and bizarre fiction contributed to the redefinition of the novel's style and permissible subject matter. Later works include Cities of the Red Night (1981), Place of the Dead Roads (1984), Interzone (1989), and the semiautobiographical My Education: A Book of Dreams (1995).

See his journals, The Retreat Diaries (1976) and the posthumously published Last Words (ed. by J. Grauerholz, 1999); biographies by T. Morgan (1988) and B. Miles (1993); studies by J. Skerl (1985) and R. Lydenberg (1987).

(born Jan. 28, 1855, Auburn, N.Y., U.S.—died Sept. 15, 1898, Citronelle, Ala.) U.S. inventor. He was self-supporting from age 15. In 1885 he constructed his first calculating machine; though it proved commercially impractical, he patented a practical model in 1892. This machine was a commercial success, but he died before he could earn much money from it. A year before his death he received the Franklin Institute's John Scott Medal. In 1905 the Burroughs Adding Machine Co. was organized as successor to the company he had started. William S. Burroughs was his grandson.

Learn more about Burroughs, William S(eward) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 3, 1837, near Roxbury, N.Y., U.S.—died March 29, 1921, en route from California to New York) U.S. essayist and naturalist. In his early years he worked as a teacher, farmer, and U.S. Treasury Department clerk. In 1873 he moved to a farm in the Hudson River valley. Traveling extensively, he hiked and camped with John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, among other friends, and accompanied an expedition to Alaska. His many books helped establish the genre of the nature essay; they include Wake-Robin (1871), Birds and Poets (1877), Locusts and Wild Honey (1879), Ways of Nature (1905), and Field and Study (1919).

Learn more about Burroughs, John with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Sept. 1, 1875, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died March 19, 1950, Encino, Calif.) U.S. novelist. Burroughs worked as an advertising copywriter before trying fiction. His jungle adventure novel Tarzan of the Apes (1914) became the first of 25 books featuring Tarzan, the son of an English nobleman abandoned in Africa and raised by apes. He wrote 43 other novels.

Learn more about Burroughs, Edgar Rice with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 28, 1855, Auburn, N.Y., U.S.—died Sept. 15, 1898, Citronelle, Ala.) U.S. inventor. He was self-supporting from age 15. In 1885 he constructed his first calculating machine; though it proved commercially impractical, he patented a practical model in 1892. This machine was a commercial success, but he died before he could earn much money from it. A year before his death he received the Franklin Institute's John Scott Medal. In 1905 the Burroughs Adding Machine Co. was organized as successor to the company he had started. William S. Burroughs was his grandson.

Learn more about Burroughs, William S(eward) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 3, 1837, near Roxbury, N.Y., U.S.—died March 29, 1921, en route from California to New York) U.S. essayist and naturalist. In his early years he worked as a teacher, farmer, and U.S. Treasury Department clerk. In 1873 he moved to a farm in the Hudson River valley. Traveling extensively, he hiked and camped with John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, among other friends, and accompanied an expedition to Alaska. His many books helped establish the genre of the nature essay; they include Wake-Robin (1871), Birds and Poets (1877), Locusts and Wild Honey (1879), Ways of Nature (1905), and Field and Study (1919).

Learn more about Burroughs, John with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Sept. 1, 1875, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died March 19, 1950, Encino, Calif.) U.S. novelist. Burroughs worked as an advertising copywriter before trying fiction. His jungle adventure novel Tarzan of the Apes (1914) became the first of 25 books featuring Tarzan, the son of an English nobleman abandoned in Africa and raised by apes. He wrote 43 other novels.

Learn more about Burroughs, Edgar Rice with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Margaret Taylor-Burroughs is a prominent African-American artist and writer born on November 1, 1917 in Saint Rose, Louisiana, United States. By the time she was a teenager, the family had moved to Chicago, where Margaret attended high school. She graduated at Chicago Teachers College and then earned her Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago. Taylor-Burroughs married Bernard Goss in 1939. They later divorced. She married Charles Gordon Burroughs in 1949.

Taylor-Burroughs taught at DuSable High School for 23 years. From 1969 to 1979, she taught humanities at Kennedy-King College, a community college in Chicago. She and her husband co-founded what is now called the DuSable Museum of African-American Art in Chicago in 1961. For the first ten years of its existence, the museum operated out of the Burroughs' home and Taylor-Burroughs served as executive director. In 1989 Taylor-Burroughs won the Paul Robeson Award.

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