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    Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Warlord of Mars. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1919. First edition of the third book of the Mars series, first printing, with the imprint of "W. F. Hall, Printing Company, Chicago" on the copyright page, and "A. C. / McCLURG / & CO." set in three lines at the foot of the spine. Published September 27, 1919. Signed presentation copy, inscribed by the author in black ink on the front free endpaper to his son Hulbert: "Dear Hulbert / It is, of course, a / compliment that you / have had two previously / autographed sets of / my books stolen. / However, I hope the / fiend in human form / who swipes this one / swallows a fish bone / sideways / Lovingly / Papa / Edgar Rice Burroughs / Los Angeles April 23 1925." Octavo (7.3125 x 4.65 inches; 185 x 124 mm.). [2, blank], [2, half-title (verso blank), [2, title (copyright notice on verso)], [2, contents (verso blank)], 296, [7, publisher's advertisements], [1, blank] pages. Sepia frontispiece by J. Allen St. John (1872-1957). Printer's imprint on verso of title-page: "W. F. Hall Printing Company, Chicago." With advertisements for "The 'Tarzan' Books by Edgar Rice Burroughs" on pages [297-300]; and "The 'Martian' Books by Edgar Rice Burroughs" on pages [301-303]. Original red glazed buckram ruled and lettered in gilt on front cover and spine. Just slightly skewed; gilt uneven in a few letters and in the rules; spine faded slightly, with gilt a little dulled at foot of spine; spine extremities and corners lightly rubbed, with cloth beginning to fray; a bit of biopredation to the surface of the cloth; top edge dust-soiled; a few faint scuff marks and scratches to the edges, causing a few leaves to have tiny nicks or edge dings. Over-opened between preliminary blank leaf and half-title, with half-inch split at lower gutter; between the final two leaves of ads; and between pages 152 and 153 and pages 200 and 201. The center two leaves of several gatherings with a slight diagonal crease in the upper margin, sometimes entering the text and affecting a letter or two (no loss); sewing holes enlarged in a few places; a few faint marginal stains or smudges; tiny red mark at lower edge of a few leaves. A very good copy, with the text generally very clean. In the original first printing color pictorial dust jacket with artwork by J. Allen St. John on the front panel (repeated as sepia frontispiece), and with the $1.40 price in the center of the spine. Dust jacket restored, repairing edge wear, areas of loss at top and bottom of spine and top and bottom of folds, splits at folds, and tear across spine; some neat recoloring to front panel along edges and folds; and with rules supplied in manuscript at top and bottom of spine. There is still some darkening along edges and folds, but the still jacket presents well.

    Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years, 306; Bleiler, The Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), p. 36. Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s, 129; Heins WM-1 ("John Carter's determined pursual to rescue Dejah Thoris also brings him the accolade of Warlord"); Reginald 02342; Zeuschner (1996) 829; Zeuschner (2016), pp. 514-515, no. 3.


    More Information:

    The Warlord of Mars was first published as a four-part serial in The All-Story, December 1913-March 1914. "The ending of the second Mars tale (The Gods of Mars) had left princess Dejah Thoris in a very serious predicament, and it was time to extricate her. The original title which ERB had used was 'Yellow Men of Barsoom' and then 'The Fighting Prince of Mars.' Then he toyed with 'Across Savage Mars.' The title he used when he sent it in to The All-Story editor was 'The Prince of Helium' although he also suggested 'The War Lord of Mars'...The three novels, A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and this, The Warlord of Mars, may be the first science fiction/fantasy trilogy, although it is doubtful that Burroughs planned it that way. This classic trilogy was profoundly important in shaping the history of science fiction. A month after completing this, ERB began to write a serious novel inspired by the criminal element in his home town, Chicago, which became the hardcover entitled The Mucker (Zeuschner (2016), page 514). A total of 20,000 copies of the first and one subsequent reissue were printed.

    The third of Burroughs's ten Mars books, and the end of the original John Carter trilogy, comprised of A Princess of Mars (1917), The Gods of Mars (1918), and The Warlord of Mars (1919), "which, [Burroughs] purported, was all he intended to write about Mars" (John Taliaferro, Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Creator of Tarzan (1999), page 103).

    "A continuation of the wonderful adventures of John Carter of Virginia on the mysterious red planet. The story is full of thrilling situations and the reader is taken breathlessly from one exciting adventure to another. There are desperate encounters with ferocious banths and other horrible creatures. Old acquaintances reappear, Tars Tarka, Tatdos Mors and others of the Jeddaks and we meet again the faithful Woola, ever ready in defense of John Carter. There is a happy ending to the story in the union of the Warlord, the title conferred upon John Carter because of his desperate valor, with Dejah Thoris" (rear panel of jacket).

    "By the end of the novel John Carter has bested most of the known city-states and kingdoms of Mars so that he is given the title Jeddak of Jeddaks, Warlord of Mars. This is the last of the original trilogy. Hereafter John Carter and Dejah Thoris will remain in the background, while other protagonists rescue the women they love" (Clareson, Science Fiction in America, 1870s-1930s).

    Apparently both Joan and Hulbert had books by their father stolen. A copy of A Princess of Mars currently available on the Internet is inscribed by Burroughs to his daughter Joan: "I think a good book plate for you would carry the notice Stolen From Joan Burroughs Pierce. Love. Papa."



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