A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs [NOOK Book]

A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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Overview

A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A PRINCESS OF MARS


by

Edgar Rice Burroughs



To My Son Jack




FOREWORD


To the Reader of this Work:

In submitting Captain Carter's strange manuscript to you in book form,
I believe that a few words relative to this remarkable personality will
be of interest.

My first recollection of Captain Carter is of the few months he spent
at my father's home in Virginia, just prior to the opening of the civil
war. I was then a child of but five years, yet I well remember the
tall, dark, smooth-faced, athletic man whom I called Uncle Jack.

He seemed always to be laughing; and he entered into the sports of the
children with the same hearty good fellowship he displayed toward those
pastimes in which the men and women of his own age indulged; or he
would sit for an hour at a time entertaining my old grandmother with
stories of his strange, wild life in all parts of the world. We all
loved him, and our slaves fairly worshipped the ground he trod.

He was a splendid specimen of manhood, standing a good two inches over
six feet, broad of shoulder and narrow of hip, with the carriage of the
trained fighting man. His features were regular and clear cut, his
hair black and closely cropped, while his eyes were of a steel gray,
reflecting a strong and loyal character, filled with fire and
initiative. His manners were perfect, and his courtliness was that of
a typical southern gentleman of the highest type.

His horsemanship, especially after hounds, was a marvel and delight
even in that country of magnificent horsemen. I have often heard my
father caution him against his wild recklessness, but he would only
laugh, and say that the tumble that killed him would be from the back
of a horse yet unfoaled.

When the war broke out he left us, nor did I see him again for some
fifteen or sixteen years. When he returned it was without warning, and
I was much surprised to note that he had not aged apparently a moment,
nor had he changed in any other outward way. He was, when others were
with him, the same genial, happy fellow we had known of old, but when
he thought himself alone I have seen him sit for hours gazing off into
space, his face set in a look of wistful longing and hopeless misery;
and at night he would sit thus looking up into the heavens, at what I
did not know until I read his manuscript years afterward.

He told us that he had been prospecting and mining in Arizona part of
the time since the war; and that he had been very successful was
evidenced by the unlimited amount of money with which he was supplied.
As to the details of his life during these years he was very reticent,
in fact he would not talk of them at all.

He remained with us for about a year and then went to New York, where
he purchased a little place on the Hudson, where I visited him once a
year on the occasions of my trips to the New York market--my father and
I owning and operating a string of general stores throughout Virginia
at that time. Captain Carter had a small but beautiful cottage,
situated on a bluff overlooking the river, and during one of my last
visits, in the winter of 1885, I observed he was much occupied in
writing, I presume now, upon this manuscript.

He told me at this time that if anything should happen to him he wished
me to take charge of his estate, and he gave me a key to a compartment
in the safe which stood in his study, telling me I would find his will
there and some personal instructions which he had me pledge myself to
carry out with absolute fidelity.

After I had retired for the night I have seen him from my window
standing in the moonlight on the brink of the bluff overlooking the
Hudson with his arms stretched out to the heavens as though in appeal.
I thought at the time that he was praying, although I never understood
that he was in the strict sense of the term a religious man.

Several months after I had returned home from my last visit, the first
of March, 1886, I think, I received a telegram from him asking me to
come to him at once. I had always been his favorite among the younger
generation of Carters and so I hastened to comply with his demand.

I arrived at the little station, about a mile from his grounds, on the
morning of March 4, 1886, and when I asked the livery man to drive me
out to Captain Carter's he replied that if I was a friend of the
Captain's he had some very bad news for me; the Captain had been found
dead shortly after daylight that very morning by the watchman attached
to an adjoining property.

For some reason this news did not surprise me, but I
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012041067
  • Publisher: public domain
  • Publication date: 12/30/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 163 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Classic for a reason

    A Princess of Mars is classic sci-fi/fantasy. As a huge Heinlein fan, I had heard of several of the characters without knowing what/where Barsoom was, who John Carter was, etc. I am extremely glad I found Barsoom and have met John Carter as well as the others. Burroughs' series may initially seem old-fashioned and just plain old, but the story is as enrapturing now as it must have been when it was published decades ago. Classics are called that for a reason. A Princess of Mars rightfully belongs in that category, but alongside other classics that you actually love to read & re-read, not the type that you may have been ordered to read in school or college and suffered and struggled through. If you enjoy Stranger in a Strange Land (as well as just about anything else by Robert Heinlein), or the Ender series by Orson Scott Card, you will love this book. I can't wait until I can read the rest of the books in the series on my Nook, especially for free :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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