After serving a short time in the Seventh U.S. Cavalry, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was a shopkeeper, gold miner, cowboy, and policeman before becoming a full-time writer. Tarzan of the Apes (1914) and its twenty-two sequels have sold more than twenty-five million copies in fifty-eight languages. Author of numerous other jungle and science fiction novels and novellas, including The Land That Time Forgot, Burroughs had a writing career that spanned almost thirty years, with his last novel, The Land of Terror, being published in 1941. He died in Tarzana, California, the town named for his legendary hero. Gore Vidal was the author of numerous novels--the first, Williwaw, written when he was twenty-one--as well as scripts for film, television, and the stage, including the extremely successful The Best Man and Visit to Small Planet. He is perhaps best known for his historical novels, including Burr (1973), 1876 (1976), and Lincoln (1984). He won the National Book Award in 1993 for his book of essays United States (1952-1992). Michael Meyer, Ph.D., is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut. Among his books, Several More Lives to Live: Thoreau's Political Reputation in America was awarded the Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize by the American Studies Association. In addition to The Bedford Introduction to Literature, his edited volumes include Frederick Douglass: The Narrative and Selected Writings.