Tarzan and the Golden Lion

Tarzan and the Golden Lion is an adventure novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the ninth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. It was first published as a seven part serial in Argosy All-Story Weekly beginning in December 1922; and then as a complete novel by A.C. McClurg & Co. on March 24, 1923.

Tarzan and the Golden Lion
Dust-jacket illustration of Tarzan and the Golden Lion
AuthorEdgar Rice Burroughs
IllustratorJ. Allen St. John
CountryUnited States
SeriesTarzan series
PublisherA. C. McClurg
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Preceded byTarzan the Terrible 
Followed byTarzan and the Ant Men 

Plot summary

The story picks up with the Clayton family, Tarzan, Jane Porter and their son Korak, returning from their adventures in the previous novel (#8). Along the way they find an orphaned lion cub, which Tarzan takes home and trains.

Flora Hawkes, a previous housemaid of the Clayton's had overheard of Tarzan's discovery of the treasure chamber in the lost city of Opar (from The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar) and had managed to copy his map to it. She concocted a plan to lead an expedition to collect the gold. As a contingency to discourage any local denizens from questioning them, she sought out and found a Tarzan look-alike named Esteban Miranda to accompany them.

Two years passed since the Clayton family picked up their lion cub, making the year around 1935 and Tarzan would have been about 47 years old. His Greystoke estate had become financially depleted due his support of the Allies war efforts and he concluded it was time to return to Opar for another withdrawal.

Tarzan encountered Hawkes' party, where he was drugged and ended up in the hands of the Oparians. Queen La, who had come into disfavor with the high priest, felt she had nothing to lose by escaping with Tarzan through the only unguarded route—a path to the legendary valley of diamonds, from which no one had ever returned. There, Tarzan found a race of humans who were little better than animals in intelligence, being enslaved by a race of intelligent gorillas. With the help of his golden lion Jad-bal-ja, Tarzan used the natives to restore La to power. Before leaving he accepted a bag of diamonds for a reward.

Meanwhile, Esteban Miranda convinced Tarzan's Waziri party to take the gold from Hawkes' party while most of them were out hunting. He then buried the gold so he could retain it later. The real Tarzan eventually confronted the imposter, who managed to pilfer Tarzan's bag of diamonds. Esteban Miranda was then chased by Jad-balja, but escaped into a river. Esteban Miranda was later captured and permanently imprisoned by a local tribe. Tarzan lost the diamonds, but was able to attain the gold and return with it.

Film adaptations

The novel was made into a motion picture in 1927.

Comic adaptations

The book has been adapted into comic form by Gold Key Comics in Tarzan nos. 172-173, dated April–May 1969, with a script by Gaylord DuBois and art by Russ Manning.

"Tarzan and the Golden Lion" was the basis for an episode of Filmation's animated Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle series. Here, the intelligent gorillas were depicted as a race of gorilla men called the Bolmangani where they fought with Tarzan when they were imprisoning a race of monkey people and some animals.


  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. p. 67.
Preceded by
Tarzan the Terrible
Tarzan series
Tarzan and the Golden Lion
Succeeded by
Tarzan and the Ant Men
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