The Mad King

The Mad King is a Ruritanian romance by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, originally published in two parts as "The Mad King" and "Barney Custer of Beatrice" in All-Story Weekly, in 1914 and 1915, respectively.[1] These were combined for the book edition, first published in hardcover by A. C. McClurg in 1926.[1]

The Mad King
The Mad King
Dust jacket from the first edition of The Mad King
AuthorEdgar Rice Burroughs
CountryUnited States
GenreRuritanian romance
PublisherA.C. McClurg
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages296 (hardback edition)
Preceded byThe Eternal Lover 

Plot summary

Set in the fictional European kingdom of Lutha, the protagonist is a young American named Barney Custer, of Beatrice, Nebraska, who is the son of an American farmer and a runaway Luthan princess, Victoria Rubinroth. Unaware of his royal blood, much less that he is a dead ringer for his relative Leopold, the current king of Lutha, Barney visits Lutha on the eve of the First World War to see for himself his mother's native land. As he arrives in Lutha, King Leopold has just escaped from his ten years' imprisonment at the hands of his scheming uncle, Prince Peter of Blentz. Much to his own and everyone else's confusion, Barney is naturally mistaken for the king, leading to numerous complications.

Barney meets and falls in love with Princess Emma Von Der Tann, Leopold's promised bride and then becomes intimately involved in Luthan affairs, working to help the king and ultimately allowing himself to be proclaimed as king while impersonating Leopold to prevent Prince Peter from seizing the throne. He finally succeeds in foiling Peter's plans to become king himself by rescuing and fighting for the real king. Unfortunately, after his coronation, King Leopold discovers the shared love between Barney and Princess Emma, and Barney is forced to leave Lutha, mimicking the flight of his father years earlier, though his father left with a princess—Barney has only a soldier. Thus ends part one.

In the second part of the novel, the European skies are darkening as World War I has begun. In Lutha, King Leopold has proven himself to be a bad ruler and has not yet persuaded Princess Emma to marry him. In Nebraska, Barney's soldier friend leaves the farm to return to Lutha. Barney himself is attacked by one of Prince Peter's henchmen and he decides to return to Lutha as well. After an adventurous trip across war-torn Europe, which includes being mistaken for a spy by the Austrians and barely escaping a firing squad, Barney finally reaches Lutha, where he once again is forced to impersonate the king in order to save Lutha from the advancing Austrians. He makes a diplomatic alliance with Serbia, and defeats the Austrians in person, thereby saving Lutha. The real king Leopold, who has been his antagonist throughout the second part of the novel, is mistaken for Barney and killed by one of Prince Peter's henchmen. Barney then consents to remain as king of Lutha, married at last to Princess Emma.

All story weekly 19140321
The Mad King was serialized in All-Story Weekly in 1914.

Historical background

Unlike Hope's Ruritanian novels, The Mad King is set in a real world situation. Lutha's location is easy to find, as Burroughs describes it as being between Austria and Serbia. Lutha's circumstances mirror those of many Balkan nations forced to choose sides in the opening phase of the First World War. Burroughs also clearly chooses sides in the conflict, portraying Austria (and by extension her German allies) as the bad guys. Serbia is represented as being a good power.

At the time of writing and publication in 1914-15, developments in the actual war—where Serbia seemed able to hold its own in the fighting with the Austrians—made the book's ending plausible. This was, however, decisively changed by the entry of Bulgaria into the war; Serbia was completely overrun, devastated, and occupied until the end of the war. If Lutha were real, it would probably have shared Serbia's fate. If liberated from Austrian occupation in 1918, Lutha might have struggled to preserve independence and avoid incorporation in the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Had Lutha remained independent, having an American citizen on its throne might have come under close international scrutiny in the Versailles Conference.


The Eternal Lover—a collection of two novellas written in 1914/1915 and first published together in 1925[2]—has as its protagonist Barney's sister Victoria Custer. These stories take place between Barney's two Luthan adventures, when he and his sister are the guests of Tarzan on the latter's African estate. When cave man Nu is released from suspended animation, Victoria discovers that she is the reincarnation of his great love Nat-ul. The story covers her adventures with Nu.


The copyright for this story has expired in the United States and, thus, now resides in the public domain there. The text is available via Project Gutenberg.


  1. ^ a b, The Mad King
  2. ^, The Eternal Lover

External links

Blood of My Blood

"Blood of My Blood" is the sixth episode of the sixth season of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 56th overall. The episode was written by Bryan Cogman, and directed by Jack Bender.

Bran Stark and Meera Reed are rescued from the White Walkers by Benjen Stark. Samwell Tarly returns to his family's home in Horn Hill, accompanied by Gilly and little Sam; Jaime Lannister attempts to rescue the Queen, Margaery Tyrell; Arya Stark defies the Faceless Men; and Daenerys Targaryen rides on Drogon and emboldens her newly acquired khalasar.

"Blood of My Blood" was positively received by critics who praised the return of several notable characters, including Benjen Stark, Walder Frey and Edmure Tully. Further praise was given to other plot points, such as Samwell's return to Horn Hill, and Arya's decision to return to being a Stark rather than a disciple of the Many-Faced God. The episode title is a reference to a famous Dothraki saying used between a Khal and his bloodriders. Filming of Bran's visions was put together precisely and also very carefully chosen. In the United States, the episode achieved a viewership of 6.71 million in its initial broadcast.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth is a fictional character in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. She is introduced in the second novel in the series, A Clash of Kings, a prominent point of view character in the fourth novel, A Feast for Crows, and a main character in the television adaptation, Game of Thrones.

In the television series, Brienne is portrayed by English actress Gwendoline Christie and is introduced in Season 2. After appearing as a recurring cast member for two seasons, Christie was promoted to the main cast from Season four onwards. For her performance in the Season 3, she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television and for two Screen Actors Guild Awards, alongside the rest of the cast, for the third and fourth seasons.

Burgundian (party)

The Burgundian party was a political allegiance against France that formed during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War. The term "Burgundians" refers to the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, that formed after the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Their opposition to the Armagnac party, the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, led to a civil war.

Charles VI

Charles VI may refer to:

Charles VI of France (1368–1422), "the Well-Beloved" and "The Mad King"

Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1685–1740), and VI of Naples

Infante Carlos, Count of Montemolin (1818–1861), pretender to the throne of Spain, styled "Charles VI" by Carlists

Charles VI, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1834–1921)

Charles VI (opera), an 1843 opera by Fromental Halévy

Conan (Dark Horse Comics)

Conan, the sword-and-sorcery character created by Robert E. Howard, is the protagonist of seven major comic series published by Dark Horse Comics. The first series, titled simply Conan, ran for 50 issues from 2004 to 2008; the second, titled Conan the Cimmerian, began publication in 2008 and lasted 25 issues until 2010; the third series, titled Conan: Road of Kings, started publishing in December 2010 and ended in January 2012 after 12 issues; a fourth series, titled Conan the Barbarian, continuing from Road of Kings, lasted 25 issues from February 2012 to March 2014; a fifth series, titled Conan the Avenger, started publishing in April 2014 and ended in April 2016 after 25 issues; a sixth and final series, titled Conan the Slayer lasted 12 issues from July 2016 to August 2017. Another series, titled King Conan, which takes place during Conan's time as king, ran in parallel and launched in February 2011, concluding in 2016 with 24 issues. Dark Horse also published half a dozen one-shots and almost a dozen mini-series.

Dark Horse has also published collections of the original Marvel Comics Conan the Barbarian, The Savage Sword of Conan [the Barbarian] and King Conan series in graphic novel format.

The publishing rights for Conan the Barbarian returned to Marvel Comics in 2018.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs (September 1, 1875 – March 19, 1950) was an American fiction writer best known for his celebrated and prolific output in the adventure and science-fiction genres. Among the most notable of his creations are the jungle hero Tarzan, the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter and the fictional landmass within Earth known as Pellucidar. Burroughs' California ranch is now the center of the Tarzana neighborhood in Los Angeles.

King of Bavaria

King of Bavaria was a title held by the hereditary Wittelsbach rulers of Bavaria in the state known as the Kingdom of Bavaria from 1805 until 1918, when the kingdom was abolished. It was the second kingdom, almost a thousand years after the short-lived Carolingian kingdom of Bavaria.

Laurent de Premierfait

Laurent de Premierfait (c. 1370 – 1418) was a Latin poet, a humanist and in the first rank of French language translators of the fifteenth century, during the time of the mad king Charles VI of France. To judge from the uses made of Du cas des nobles hommes et femmes in England, and the sheer number of surviving manuscripts of it (sixty-five in a 1955 count), it was extremely popular in Western Europe throughout the fifteenth century. Laurent made two translations of the Boccaccio work, the second considerably more free. A large percentage of surviving manuscripts are carefully written and illuminated with illustrations.

Nebuchadnezzar (Blake)

Nebuchadnezzar is a colour monotype print with additions in ink and watercolour portraying the Old Testament Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II by the English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake. Taken from the Book of Daniel, the legend of Nebuchadnezzar tells of a ruler who through hubris lost his mind and was reduced to animalistic madness and eating "grass as oxen".According to the biographer Alexander Gilchrist (1828–1861), in Blake's print the viewer is faced with the "mad king crawling like a hunted beast into a den among the rocks; his tangled golden beard sweeping the ground, his nails like vultures' talons, and his wild eyes full of sullen terror. The powerful frame is losing semblance of humanity, and is bestial in its rough growth of hair, reptile in the toad-like markings and spottings of the skin, which takes on unnatural hues of green, blue, and russet."Nebuchadnezzar was part of the so-called Large Colour Prints; a series begun in 1795 of twelve 43 cm × 53 cm colour monotype prints, of most of which three copies were made. These were painted on millboard, after which the board was put through Blake's printing-press with a sheet of dampened paper to make the prints. After they were printed, Blake and his wife Catherine added ink and watercolour to the impressions. It existed in four impressions (copies), now in: Tate Britain in London, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and a fourth which has been missing since 1887. Blake believed that Nebuchadnezzar was connected to the Christian apocalypse and to his personal view on the stages of human development.

Otto of Bavaria

Otto (German: Otto Wilhelm Luitpold Adalbert Waldemar; 27 April 1848 – 11 October 1916) was King of Bavaria from 1886 to 1913. However, he never actively ruled because of alleged severe mental illness. His uncle, Luitpold, and his cousin, Ludwig, served as regents.

Ludwig deposed him in 1913, a day after the legislature passed a law allowing him to do so, and became king in his own right.

Otto was the son of Maximilian II and his wife, Marie of Prussia, and the younger brother of Ludwig II.

Prince Max Emanuel of Thurn and Taxis (b. 1935)

Max Emanuel Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (born 7 September 1935) is the heir presumptive to the nominal Fürst von Thurn und Taxis title held, according to the traditional house law of the former German princely House of Thurn and Taxis, by his nephew Albert, 12th Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Max Emanuel is a member of the former German princely House of Thurn and Taxis, whose wealth derives from founding the German postal service and brewing. These preparations were defeated however, after locals and a conservation society managed to get a local referendum held in 1997 to scrap the plans. Max Emanuel continued his plans four years later to build a hotel and golf course on the same site. People living nearby were upset that the view seen from the castle's grounds would be ruined by new construction meant for tourists; consequently the local council ruled that most of the land surrounding the castle was unusable for commercial development. Max Emanuel responded to these complaints by saying a luxury hotel would draw wealthy visitors to the village and help the local economy; restaurant, shop owners, and other members of the tourist industry tended to favor his plans, while village counselors, local farmers and others were opposed, believing that any commercial development would ruin the rural landscape and create too much noise. Those in favor of King Ludwig's legacy stated that the hotel would violate the romantic legacy the mad king left.A bureaucratic mistake during initial plans four year previously left one piece of land available for commercial development in 2001, a fact that Max Emanuel was able to take advantage of. With a seat on the council as a Christian Social Union member, he proceeded with plans for a scaled-down leisure complex of 50 rooms and a six-hole golf training course, which the Bavarian state parliament ruled to be legal. Critics complained that even these plans would impede the views of the castle, as it would be easy for further construction to continue building the site up. As a result of these new plans, efforts were quickly underway by various groups, such as the Bavarian Society for the Protection of Nature, to declare the castle and surrounding land a world heritage site.Max Emanuel and his family stated that if the plans were not approved, they would be forced to sell Schloss Bullachberg (the property in the shadow of the castle) as well as a nearby ancestral castle that required restoration; many saw this announcement as a barely concealed threat: if their plans were rejected, these properties might be sold to another developer with even more unpleasant plans for the area.Construction plans still remain in limbo today; in 2006, Porsche Automobil Holding SE acquired the property, intending to continue the project.

Prince Paul of Thurn and Taxis

Paul Maximilian Lamoral, Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Paul Maximilian Lamoral Fürst von Thurn und Taxis; 27 May 1843, Castle Donaustauf near Regensburg – 10 March 1879 Cannes, France, was the third child of Maximilian Karl, 6th Prince of Thurn and Taxis and his second wife Princess Mathilde Sophie of Oettingen-Oettingen and Oettingen-Spielberg. He was buried in Cannes, at the Cimetière du Grand Jas, Allée du Silence no. 33 under the name of Paul de Fels.

Princess Jieyou

Princess Jieyou (Chinese: 解忧公主; pinyin: Jiěyōu Gōngzhǔ; Wade–Giles: Chieh-yu Kung-chu; 121 BC – 49 BC), born Liu Jieyou (Chinese: 刘解忧), was a Chinese princess sent to marry the leader of the Wusun kingdom as part of the Western Han Chinese policy of heqin. As the granddaughter of the disgraced Prince Liu Wu (劉戊) who had taken part in the disastrous Rebellion of the Seven States, her status was low enough that she was sent to replace Princess Liu Xijun (劉細君) after her untimely death and marry the Wusun king Cunzhou (岑陬). After his death, she married his cousin and successor, Wengguimi (翁歸靡), to whom she bore five children including Yuanguimi (元貴靡).Jieyou lived among the Wusun for fifty years and did much work to foster relations between the surrounding kingdoms and the Han. She was particularly reliant upon her attendant, Feng Liao, whom she dispatched as an emissary to Wusun kingdoms and even to the Han Court. She faced opposition from pro-Xiongnu members of the Wusun royalty, particularly Wengguimi’s Xiongnu wife. When word came that the Xiongnu planned to attack Wusun, she convinced her husband to send for aid from the Han Emperor. Emperor Wu of Han sent 150,000 cavalrymen to support the Wusun forces and drive back the Xiongnu.When Wengguimi died, Jieyou married Nimi (泥靡), also known as the Mad King. While she bore him a son, Chi Mi (鴟靡), their relationship was unhappy. She soon conspired with several Han emissaries to have him assassinated, but the assassination attempt failed and Jieyou was nearly killed by his supporters in retaliation. In the end, Nimi was killed by Wengguimi’s son, Wujiutu (烏就屠) who, upon negotiating with Feng Liao, agreed to co-rule with Jieyou’s son, Yuanguimi.In 51 BCE at the age of 70, Jieyou asked to be allowed to retire and return to the Han. Emperor Xuan of Han agreed and had her escorted back to Chang'an where she was welcomed with honor. She was given a grand palace with servants usually reserved for princesses of the imperial family. In 49 BCE, Jieyou died peacefully.

Robert Baratheon

Robert Baratheon is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.

Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Robert Baratheon is the eldest son and heir of Lord Steffon Baratheon and Lady Cassana Estermont of Storm's End, the lord paramount of the Stormlands, one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and brother to Stannis and Renly. Robert fought a rebellion which was named after him to win back his betrothed, Lyanna Stark, with the aid of her brother and his close friend, Eddard Stark, and their foster guardian Jon Arryn. After crushing the Targaryen dynasty and winning the war, Robert took the Iron Throne from his distant cousin Aerys II Targaryen (who is nicknamed "The Mad King"), and established the Baratheon dynasty as its first king. However, due to Lyanna's death during the war, Robert married Tywin Lannister's daughter Cersei instead to ensure political stability.

Robert is portrayed by English actor Mark Addy in the HBO television adaptation.


Tarzan (John Clayton II, Viscount Greystoke) is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungle by the Mangani great apes; he later experiences civilization only to reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes (magazine publication 1912, book publication 1914), and subsequently in 25 sequels, several authorized books by other authors, and innumerable works in other media, both authorized and unauthorized. The film version of Tarzan as the noble savage (“Me Tarzan, You Jane”), as acted by Johnny Weissmuller, does not reflect the original character in the novels, who is gracious and highly sophisticated.

Tarzan (book series)

Tarzan is a series of twenty-four adventure novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, followed by several novels either co-written by Burroughs, or officially authorized by his estate. There are also two works written by Burroughs especially for children that are not considered part of the main series.

The series is considered a classic of literature and is the author's best-known work. Tarzan has been called one of the best-known literary characters in the world. Written by Burroughs between 1912 and 1965, Tarzan has been adapted many times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage, and cinema. (It has been adapted for the cinema more times than any book)

Even though the copyright on Tarzan of the Apes has expired in the United States, the name Tarzan is still protected as a trademark of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Also, the work remains under copyright in some other countries where copyright terms are longer.

The Eternal Lover

The Eternal Lover is a fantasy-adventure novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. The story was begun in November 1913 under the working title Nu of the Niocene. It was first run serially in two parts by All-Story Weekly. The first part, released March 7, 1914 was titled "The Eternal Lover" and the second part, released in four installments from January 23, 1915 to February 13, 1915 was titled "Sweetheart Primeval". The book version was first published by A. C. McClurg on October 3, 1925. In 1963, Ace Paperback published a version under the title The Eternal Savage. An E-Text edition has been published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. and is available online.

Tywin Lannister

Tywin Lannister is a fictional character in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by American novelist George R. R. Martin, and its television adaptation Game of Thrones.Introduced in A Game of Thrones (1996) and subsequently appeared in A Clash of Kings (1998) and A Storm of Swords (2000), Tywin Lannister is the fearsome patriarch of the House Lannister of Casterly Rock, and father to Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion Lannister. He is the Warden of the West and the lord paramount of Westerlands, the wealthiest region of the Seven Kingdoms, and was twice the Hand of the King, making him one of the most powerful political figures in Westerosi history. Tywin is a prominent antagonist to Tyrion, whom he despises since the latter's childhood for being a dwarf and causing the death of his wife Joanna during labor, and is a primary influencing factor behind Tyrion's story arc.

Tywin is portrayed by veteran English actor Charles Dance in the HBO television adaptation.

Viserys Targaryen

Viserys Targaryen is a fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, and the first season of the television adaptation Game of Thrones.

Introduced in 1996's A Game of Thrones, Viserys (along with his younger sister, Daenerys) is one of the last confirmed members of House Targaryen who, until fifteen years before the events of the first novel, ruled on the Iron Throne for nearly three hundred years.

Viserys is portrayed by Harry Lloyd in the HBO television adaptation.

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