Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Jane:The Woman Who Loved Tarzan by Robin Maxwell

Jane: The Woman Who Loved TarzanJane. Finished 9-11-12, rating 3.75/5, fiction, 320 pages, pub.2012

Cambridge, England: 1905. Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time. The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat, dissecting corpses, than she is in a corset and gown, sipping afternoon tea. A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of travelling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.

When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father on an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck. Rising to the challenge, Jane finds an Africa that is every bit exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined. But she quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets—and so is Ral Conrath. When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man: Tarzan of the Apes.

Jane is the first version of the Tarzan story written by a woman and authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Its 2012 publication will mark the centennial of the publication of the original Tarzan of the Apes.  (from Goodreads)

I know next to nothing about the Tarzan story.  I vaguely remember seeing him fly vine by vine through the jungle in black in white as a kid flipping through channels.  And that’s it.  So, when I was offered a chance to learn his story from a viewpoint that interested me, I was excited.  I was pleasantly surprised at this telling of Jane’s story.

Jane is highly educated, opinionated and more progressive than her peers.  More interested in bones than marriage, she is the first woman to attend Cambridge Medical School and eager to join her father on one of his expeditions, much to her mother’s horror.  Father and daughter depart for the African jungle hoping to find the missing Darwin gene and instead find treachery, death, lies and separation.  When Jane is rescued by Tarzan she moves beyond the typical heroine and becomes a woman and scientist discovering passion for the first time.

I thoroughly enjoyed Jane’s adventures and Tarzan’s primal heroism and know that this is the closest I’ll ever get to an expedition such as this one.  With that said, adventure stories aren’t really my thing so there were small chunks of jungle time that I found myself skimming, but this is not a judgement on the storytelling, only on my reading habits.

This book was authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate and is timed to celebrate the first publication of Tarzan 100 years ago.  Burroughs even makes an appearance at the beginning and end of the book.

As a newbie to Tarzan and Jane, I was totally captivated by their world and plan to check out more of Robin Maxwell’s novels about historical women.

Thanks to PR by the Book for getting this book in my hands.  Isn’t the cover cool?

September 12, 2012 - Posted by | 4 Star Books |


  1. I didn’t love Tarzan as a kid so I didn’t think this book sounded good. You’ve made me rethink that.

    Comment by bermudaonion(Kathy) | September 12, 2012 | Reply

  2. As a kid, I read every single Tarzan book. The fact that this book is authorized by the ERB estate makes it tempting, but this may be a case where “You can never go home again.”

    Comment by snoozing on the sofa | September 13, 2012 | Reply

  3. You read the most interesting books! I had no idea this one was out there, and it sounds fun!

    Comment by rhapsodyinbooks | September 13, 2012 | Reply

  4. I know as much about Tarzan as you did when you picked up this book, so I’m glad to see you enjoyed it. I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

    Comment by Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) | September 13, 2012 | Reply

  5. I can’t wait to try this book! It’s made me want to go back and read the originals as I’ve only ever seen the films. For some reason I thought this was Maxwell’s debut novel but now I’m going to look up her other works as well. Great review!

    Comment by Book Nympho | September 13, 2012 | Reply

  6. I’m with you … I know next to nothing about Jane or Tarzan!

    Comment by Jenners | September 14, 2012 | Reply

  7. Quite an adventure for an educated woman to live in the jungle with Tarzan. Great escapist literature.

    Comment by harvee | September 14, 2012 | Reply

  8. I read it 🙂

    Comment by Teena in Toronto | September 15, 2012 | Reply

  9. I love Disney’s animated version!! 😀 Sounds like a fun read!

    Comment by Staci@LifeintheThumb | September 15, 2012 | Reply

  10. I have never read Tarzan either the closest I got to the Tarzan story was the Disney cartoon movie. But I love the sound of this book. Will check it out for sure.

    Comment by caspette | September 18, 2012 | Reply

  11. This sounds really interesting and something I would love. I would probably love ‘chunks of jungle time’ that you skimmed haha. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Comment by VioletCrush | November 25, 2013 | Reply

  12. […] night.  I should point out that the only knowledge about the original Tarzan cam from the book Jane that I read several years ago and really […]

    Pingback by July Movie Watch – The Legend of Tarzan « Stacy's Books | July 11, 2016 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: