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Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan Hardcover – September 18, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Not only is it wildly entertaining and more swoon-worthy and tastefully erotic than Fifty Shades of Grey or any of its knock-offs, but also, Jane has heart and soul. If you are looking for a stellar historical romance and adventure story, Jane should definitely sit on your bookshelf. It has charming and fascinating characters and sociopath villains who scare the living daylights out of you. Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan has positively reinvented the beloved couple for the modern age.” ―The Huffington Post

Jane is a triumph! A triumph of imagination, adventure, and character. Here we have the true ‘missing link' that we've always wanted--Jane's side of the story.” ―Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I

“Finally an honest portrayal of the only woman of whom I have been really, really jealous. What a wonderful idea to write this book. Now I am jealous all over again!” ―Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace

“With riveting action and suspense, earthy humor, a piquant look at the debate over evolution, and the love between heroic, resourceful, and tender Tarzan and smart, strong, and passionate Jane, this is lush and satisfying entertainment.” ―Booklist, starred review

“Excitement, danger, labyrinths, pyramids, treasure, and volcanoes abound, as Jane and Tarzan learn to trust and love each other.” ―Library Journal

“Jane Goodall and Isak Dinesen would be right at home with Miss Jane Porter. A respectful, exciting and disarming update of one of the last century's most oft-told tales.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Authentic and compelling, Jane was a book I couldn't put down. Robin Maxwell's talented storytelling ability brought these fabulous characters to life for me. Don't miss this unique and thoroughly enjoyable book!” ―Brenda Novak, New York Times bestselling author of In Close

“My Dad, John Coleman Burroughs, and my Grandad, Edgar Rice Burroughs, would often discuss Tarzan's relation to Jane. `Now there is an idea for a good book....one that really brings Jane into focus,' Grandad would say. Robin Maxwell's book does this brilliantly. Not only do Tarzan and Jane transform into a living, breathing couple who bring the Tarzan saga to new life, but the thrills and adventure leap off the page in the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs himself.” ―John R. Burroughs, Grandson of Edgar Rice Burroughs

About the Author

ROBIN MAXWELL is the national bestselling author of eight historical fiction novels featuring powerful women, including Signora da Vinci and the award-winning Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn, now in its twenty-fourth printing. She lives in the high desert of California with her husband, yogi Max Thomas.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765333589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765333582
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FredTownWard VINE VOICE on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I honestly expected to love this book. I had read and loved ERB's Tarzan books, I had read and loved most of the pastiches, and the premise sounded absolutely brilliant: Tarzan's story from Jane's point of view. The cover illustration was magnificent! How could it possibly fail to be great? But as I read my way through it, my discomfort grew until it transformed itself into horror. Robin Maxwell hadn't gotten a few things wrong.

She'd gotten EVERYTHING wrong.

Let's start with the frame story, a perfectly acceptable storytelling device, often used by ERB himself, in order to increase the sense of realism. But it places limitations the author needs to be aware of. In this case as other reviewers have noted, the idea that a woman would confess a story containing intimate sexual details about herself to a male total stranger would be hard to believe in 2012. In 1912 the idea is laughable.

Second, while it was an intriguing idea to have Jane tell her story to ERB himself, why was it necessary to portray ERB as so utterly seduced by her beauty, to the point that he is making disparaging comparisons between Jane and his own real life wife, the mother of his children? Why did we have to know she was the sort of woman he frequently fantasized about but heretofore believed existed only in his imagination? Why did he have to be portrayed as inviting her back to an apartment that his wife and children are conveniently absent from? As behaving like the world's clumsiest philanderer? I assume it was intended to be funny, but it just made me uncomfortable.

Third, other than as the gimmick to introduce Jane to ERB, why was Jane giving controversial presentations to skeptical audiences with most of her evidence tied behind her back?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really feel a little guilty being in the minority, especially when this book had the potential to be a perfect read. Half way through I had to read other reviews to find out where I was going wrong. Upon finishing it I had to conclude that my fault is that all of us have our own images of certain favorite characters. My Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler for example may not be your Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. I learned this some years ago when I wrote and had published a novel based on a once popular science fiction series. While the majority of readers felt I was spot on, there were a few who felt certain iconic TV characters were not as I had envisioned them. My particular character was not their vision of that person. So I must find myself like one of those few when I say this was not my Jane and not my Tarzan. I know in my heart and soul who they are and that is how they will continue to remain. I read with interest the great support the author received for her research and the support she has from the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. No less a person than the grandson of the great man himself applauds the author. Impressive and certainly to her credit.

2012 of course is the 100th anniversary celebrating Edgar Rice Burroughs having the publication of his first Mars and his first Tarzan stories. I loved the Disney version of The Princess of Mars out earlier this year and regret it did not have the theatrical success it deserved. I am a third generation Burroughs reader having been introduced to the books by parents and grandparents. This I have passed on to my children and grandchildren. I have shelves full of all of the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as books about him and his writing. I read and reread all the Tarzan books as well as many of the others.
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Format: Paperback
I recently read "Tarzan of the Apes" for the first time, having read some other Burroughs novels and thought I'd try his most famous hero. I liked the book, but thought Jane was a rather flat character, who couldn't compare to Burroughs' Martian heroine Dejah Thoris. So when I saw this book, I jumped at the chance to read Tarzan from the perspective of a fleshed-out, updated Jane. And I was sorely disappointed. The idea is still good, but not the way this book tackles the story.

There's no love story here. Granted, the one in TotA isn't a big part of the story and it doesn't have a happy ending (at least, not till the sequels), but the way this book was advertised I thought I'd be reading the epic love story of one of literature's great couples. It's only hinted at; I suppose there will be a sequel and then maybe then we'll get that part of the story. The only thing between Jane and Tarzan is raw animal lust. To be expected, I suppose, but I would have liked more development. Tarzan himself is reduced to a supporting character. Jane mostly seems to be fascinated with using him for study and escaping her confined life in England (and Burroughs' Jane is an American! I know the movies tend to portray her as English, but I was surprised Maxwell chose to change her nationality, too). I didn't buy for a moment that she wanted Tarzan for anything other than sex and access to the Mangani for study. Maxwell falls prey to "tell, don't show". Jane is constantly narrating about how different she is from other women, how modern she is, how awesome she is because she's a feminist and an atheist and independent and a university student, but the reader is never shown any actions that make Jane a likable or admirable heroine.
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