This week in Free Reading I would like to introduce you to one of my Bronze Age favorites: "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Many of you may remember a Disney film a few years back titled "John Carter of Mars".  That film was based on this book.  While the films were a terrible disappointment, this should not discourage you from reading the book.  I first discovered these books as an adolescent, and was enamored with the quaint thesis that there were indeed Martians and they did live on Mars.  The early and mid twentieth century was rife with such notions which in modern times only adds to the charm.  The book is about former Virginia Calvary Officer John Carter being transported to Barsoom, what we humans know as Mars.  He arrives in the midst of a major upheaval and plays an important role in the outcome.  During his life, Burroughs wrote some 80 novels, not the least of which is "A Princess of Mars", the inaugural title of the series.  At the bargain public domain price of free, you can't go wrong.  Reading this books if you are at all familiar with his work will reignite the childhood giddiness as you read or re-read them.  Perhaps it may even inspire you to curl up with your Kindle on a rainy afternoon and binge read.  This is also a great adventure written in the early 20th century that is totally appropriate for children in terms of language and themes.  It is a wonderful book to give to children to inspire a desire to read more.

Most of Burrough's life was fairly unremarkable.  After a brief sting in the military, from which he was discharged for health reasons, he took a series of menial and mid level jobs in order to pay the bills.  It wasn't until he was nearly forty that he took up writing after reading adventure stories in trash pulp magazines.  It was then he became convinced he could do better.  Though this novel was the first it was actually a collection of serials from magazines originally entitled "Under the Moons of Mars".  Once it was consolidated the name was changed to what we know it as today.  Burroughs spent the next 30 years producing more than 80 novels and an untold number of short stories. 

The book is available for free for download on Amazon here.  We sincerely hope you enjoy it and would love to hear about any recommendations you have for free books!

Warning:  As with Lovecraft and Howard, Burroughs was known to have some views that would be considered unpopular today.  I make no judgements about whether or not his views were common in his day, or whether or not this makes him a bad person or writer.  Specifically the themes that are touched upon in his Tarzan series hold some strong colonialist themese and Burroughs himself was said to be excessively proud of his "pure anglo heritage".  People should make up their own minds about what they read based upon themes, content or message. 

Please direct your questions and comments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..