Tarzan of the Apes is the story of a man who is raised in the African jungle by a tribe of apes. The man's parents, John and Alice Clayton—also known by their noble titles, Lord and Lady Greystoke—sail to Africa in 1888 as part of John's official duties with the British Colonial Office. Tarzan grows up with the apes, fully aware that he is different from his ape family but unaware of his human heritage. He eventually discovers the shelter that his biological parents built, as well as a few of their possessions. He uses their books to teach himself how to read and write English.