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Volume 3908
.
A READERS' COMPANION TO THE BARSOOMIAN MYTHOS
The Seventeenth Runner-Up in the Seven Wonders of Barsoom
THE EPIPHANIES OF JOHN CARTER AND
THE FAKE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF ERB
Edgar Rice Burroughs by Al Williamson and Reed Crandall ~ Courtesy Richard Lupoff
Part One
by
Woodrow Edgar Nichols, Jr.

epiphany: 2. a revelatory manifestation of a divine being.
– American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3d ed.
INTRODUCTION
Is John Carter a divine being? This is a big mystery, never quite answered. It has made some science fiction historians doubt whether the Barsoomian Mythos qualifies as genuine science fiction. Add to that the other factor of ERB’s Barsoomian Mythos that drives many highstrung science fiction historians crazy, and that is the fact that John Carter is transported to Mars by means of Native American sorcery. They appear to be more comfortable categorizing the Mythos as early interplanetary sword and sorcery. They have a point. But barely.

Anyhow, there was a Native American witch in the Arizona cave that used sorcery to cause Carter to “die, ” where, in such a state, he was then transported to Mars. In fact, Carter left his real body behind on Earth and found himself on Mars in another body, totally naked, yet identical to the body that he left behind. His new Martian body, however, is not a phantom or astral body, but a body of flesh and blood, a solid, material body that can die. What a paradox!

How can this be? Hey, it’s not called sorcery for nothing [sic]. Anyone who has read Tales of Power by Carlos Castaneda knows about one form of Native American sorcery: that of the Yaqui Indian. The astute reader will note that although Castaneda receives many hours of hands-on teaching from Don Juan’s sorcerer friend, Don Genaro, the fact is that Don Genaro is never really physically present, his body only a manifestation of Don Genaro’s dream state. In The Second Ring of Power, Castaneda is confronted by a scary Yaqui witch who seeks his death, and it is this kind of witch I imagine inhabiting the cave where Carter succumbs to her vapor cauldron magic. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

In Chapter One of A Princess of Mars – first published as “Under the Moons of Mars,” by All-Story in the February - July 1912 editions – the title changed to A Princess of Mars when published by A.C. McClurg in hardcover on October 10, 1917 (ERBzine # 0421), with an added “Foreword” – the author, writing in the first person as John Carter, states:

“I am a very old man; how old I do not know. Possibly I am a hundred, possibly more; but I cannot tell because I have never aged as other men, nor do I remember any childhood. So far as I can recollect I have always been a man, a man of about thirty. I appear today as I did forty years and more ago, and yet I feel that I cannot go on living forever; that some day I shall die the real death from which there is no resurrection. I do not know why I should fear death, I who have died twice and am still alive; but yet I have the same horror of it as you who have never died, and it is because of this terror of death, I believe, that I am so convinced of my own mortality.
“And because of this conviction I have determined to write down the story of the interesting periods of my life and of my death. I cannot explain the phenomena; I can only set down here in the words of an ordinary soldier of fortune a chronicle of the strange events that befell me during the ten years that my dead body lay undiscovered in an Arizona cave. 
“I have never told this story, nor shall mortal man see this manuscript until after I have passed over for eternity. I know that the average human mind will not believe what it cannot grasp, and so I do not purpose being pilloried by the public, the pulpit, and the press, and held up as a colossal liar when I am but telling the simple truths which someday science will substantiate. Possibly the suggestions
which I gained upon Mars, and the knowledge I can set down in this chronicle, will aid in an earlier understanding of the mysteries of our sister planet; mysteries to you, but no longer mysteries to me.” (PM/1.)


That’s all the All-Story readers of 1912 had to go on. There was no “Foreword” to this story until ERB added one in 1917, when he was wrapped up in WWI propaganda after joining the Illinois Reserves as a Captain while living in Oak Park. I have no idea why ERB felt he needed to add a Foreword – other than making the book have something the pulp magazine did not, increasing its saleability among readers who had already read the pulp magazine – but in doing so, he created a fake autobiography for himself that would have made his father, the Old Major – the Civil War hero from First Bull Run to Appomattox Court House – roll over in his grave. In his fake autobiography, ERB was born in Virginia and owns several slaves. He is also twenty or so years older than his true self.

Nothing else he wrote during this period – which appears to consist of hardly anything but ERB’s “Embryonic Journey,” aka, the Caspak trilogy, and propaganda pamphlets – indicates any motive for ERB to write a fake autobiography, other than for the sheer pleasure of mischief. 

I am sure there were many fans of ERB who till their dying days believed that ERB was a southern gentleman from Virginia, rather than a pureblood Yankee born in Chicago. Perhaps he believed that giving the story the personal touch of his own involvement in the history would take away from its strange subject matter.

When I was a boy growing up in the Fifties, only a small percentage of Americans were willing to admit in a belief in the possibility of life on other planets. Usually such views were dismissed as an unhealthy belief in little green men. No one wanted to be stigmatized by such beliefs. There was almost as much paranoia about belief in aliens as in the communist menace. I once was rebuked by another boy’s mother for talking about communists in her home. She warned me that my name could end up on the FBI’s suspect list if I didn’t watch what I said. Of course, this came from a woman who had covered all her living room furniture in white plastic sheets so that her kids couldn’t ruin it, making her house look like it wasn’t even lived in. Strange days.

Oh well, perhaps it is up to the shrinks of the future to figure out why ERB told lies about his history to his readers. But one thing that the fake autobiography does do is add another level of depth to the Barsoomian Mythos.

Anyway, back to the cave. After the war Captain Carter and his friend, Captain James K. Powell of Richmond, while prospecting in Arizona, come across a gold mine worth millions in the winter of 1865. They work it for a few months, and on March 3, 1866, they decide that Powell will go back to civilization and buy equipment to properly mine their find. Carter remains behind to insure no one will jump their claim. Carter watches his friend until he is out of sight, but he sees other figures in the distance that disturb his mind.

Unable to shake off the feeling of dread, he later takes off on his horse to discover if anything has gone wrong. Of course it has. He finds his friend strung up in an Apache village, pin-cushioned with arrows. He trots in, scoops up the body, and gallops off for a hill. The Indians pursue him. He finds a trail that deadends in a large cave.

“The opening was about four feet in height and three to four feet wide, and at this opening the trail ended.
“It was now morning, and, with the customary lack of dawn which is a startling characteristic of Arizona, it had become daylight almost without warning.
“Dismounting, I laid Powell upon the ground, but the most painstaking examination failed to reveal the faintest spark of life. I forced water from my canteen between his dead lips, bathed his face and rubbed his hands, working over him continuously for the better part of an hour in the face of the fact that I knew him to be dead.
“I was very fond of Powell; he was thoroughly a man in every respect; a polished southern gentleman; a staunch and true friend; and it was with a feeling of the deepest grief that I finally gave up my crude endeavors at resuscitation.
“Leaving Powell’s body where it lay on the edge I crept into the cave to reconnoiter. I found a large chamber, possibly a hundred feet in diameter and thirty or forty feet in height; a smooth and well-worn floor, and many other evidences that the cave had, at some remote period, been inhabited. The back of the cave was so lost in dense shadow that I could not distinguish whether there were openings into other apartments or not.
“As I was continuing my examination I commenced to feel a pleasant drowsiness creeping over me which I attributed to the fatigue of my long and strenuous ride, and the reaction from the excitement of the fight and the pursuit. I felt comparatively safe in my present location as I knew that one man could defend the trail to the cave against an army.
“I soon became so drowsy that I could scarcely resist the strong desire to throw myself on the floor of the cave for a few moment’s rest, but I knew that this would never do, as it would mean certain death at the hands of my red friends, who might be upon me at any moment. With an effort I started toward the opening of the cave only to reel drunkenly against a side wall, and from there slip prone upon the floor.
“A sense of delicious dreaminess overcame me, my muscles relaxed, and I was on the point of giving way to my desire to sleep when the sound of approaching horses reached my ears. I attempted to spring to my feet but was horrified to discover that my muscles refused to respond to my will. I was now thoroughly awake, but as unable to move a muscle as though turned to stone. It was then, for the first time, that I noticed a slight vapor filling the cave. It was extremely tenuous and only noticeable against the opening which led to daylight. There also came to my nostrils a faintly pungent odor, and I could only assume that I had been overcome by some poisonous gas, but why I should retain my mental faculties and yet be unable to move I could not fathom.” (PM/1-2.)
Carter doesn’t know it yet, but he is in the witch’s power. He is in a living nightmare. Only able to watch the Indians approach, Carter feels doomed. A war-bonneted, painted warrior comes to the opening of the cave and peers inside.
“The fellow, instead of approaching, merely stood and stared; his eyes bulging and his jaw dropped. And then another savage face appeared, and a third and a fourth and a fifth, craning their necks over the shoulders of their fellows whom they could not pass upon the narrow ledge. Each face was the picture of awe and fear, but for what reason I did not know, nor did I learn until ten years later. That there were still other braves behind those who regarded me was apparent from the fact that the leaders passed back whispered word to those behind them.
“Suddenly a low but distinct moaning sound issued from the recesses of the cave behind me, and, as it reached the ears of the Indians, they turned and fled in terror, panic-stricken. So frantic were their efforts to escape from the unseen thing behind me that one of the braves was hurled headlong from the cliff to the rocks below. Their wild cries echoed in the canyon for a short time.
“The sound which had frightened them was not repeated, but it had been sufficient as it was to start me speculating on the possible horror which lurked in the shadows at my back. Fear is a relative term and so I can only measure my feelings at that time by what I had experienced in previous positions of danger and by those I have passed through since; but I can say without any shame that if the sensations I endured during the next few minutes were fear, then may God help the coward, for cowardice is of a surety its own punishment.
“To be held paralyzed, with ones back toward horrible and unknown danger from the very sound of which the ferocious Apache warriors turn in wild stampede, as a flock of sheep would madly flee from a pack wolves, seems to me the last word in fearsome predicaments for a man who had ever been used to fighting for his life with all the energy of a powerful physique.” (PM/2.)
Sorcery has been used on Carter to incapacitate him while keeping him consious; it has also been used, although more psychologically, on the Apache warriors to scare the hell out of them. Then, Carter hears occasional creepy sounds behind him, but the day stretches on. He watches his horse amble down the hill. It grows dark, into the midnight hour.
“From then until possibly midnight all was silence, the silence of the dead; then, suddenly, the awful moan of the morning broke upon my startled ears, and there came again from the black shadows the sound of a moving thing, and of a faint rustling as of dead leaves. The shock to my already overstrained nervous system was terrrible in the extreme, and with a superhuman effort I strove to break my awful bonds. It was an effort of the mind, of the will, of the nerves; not muscular, for I could not move even so much as my little finger, but none the less mighty for all that. And then something gave, there was a momentarily feeling of nausea, a sharp click as of the snapping of a steel wire, and I stood with my back against the wall of the cave facing my unknown foe.
“And then the moonlight flooded the cave, and there before me lay my own body as it had been lying all these hours, with the eyes staring toward the open ledge and the hands resting limply upon the ground. I looked first at my lifeless clay there upon the floor of the cave and then down at myself in utter bewilderment; for there I lay clothed, and yet here I stood but naked as at the minute of my birth.
“The transition had been so sudden and so unexpected that it left me for a moment forgetful of aught else than my strange metamorphosis. My first thought was, is this then death! Have I indeed passed over forever into that other life! But I could not well believe this, as I could feel my heart pounding against my ribs from the exertion of my efforts to release myself from the anaesthesis which had held me. My breath was coming in quick, short gasps, cold sweat stood from every pore of my body, and the ancient experiment of pinching revealed the fact that I was anything other than a wraith.” (PM/2.)
He hears the strange moaning again from the depths of the cave. Since he is naked and unarmed, he has no desire the face the menace of the unknown. He hears the rustling noise again and decides to get out while he can. He jumps outside and the crisp mountain air invigorates him; he begins to wonder if was imagining the whole thing. He stares into the vast Arizona vista:
As I stood thus meditating, I turned my gaze from the landscape to the heavens where the myriad stars formed a gorgeous and fitting canopy for the wonders of the earthly scene. My attention was quickly riveted by a large red star close to the distant horizon. As I gazed upon it I felt a spell of overpowering fascination – it was Mars, the god of war, and for me, the fighting man, it had always held the power of irresistible enchantment. As I gazed at it on that fargone night it seemed to call across the unthinkable void, to lure me to it, to draw me as the lodestone attracts a particle of iron.
“My longing was beyond the power of opposition; I closed my eyes, stretched out my arms toward the god of my vocation and felt myself drawn with the suddenness of thought through the trackless immensity of space. There was an instance of extreme cold and utter darkness.” (PM/2.)
And of course Carter wakes up naked in his advent on Mars. Space travel via Native American sorcery, a kind of solidified astral travel. You know, I easily accepted the idea that the wizards in Harry Potter could disappear and reappear at will. Thus, this concept seems perfectly feasible to me. After all, in one of the most celebrated science fiction novels of the 20th Century, Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination, the hero teaches everyone who can how to “jaunte,” where one can will oneself to be immediately somewhere else.

ERB had Carter travel between the planets in this method, and before criticizing it as being unscientific, one must always remember Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law: any technology from an advanced civilization will seem like magic to the less advanced one. This is why ERB fans have every right to claim ERB as America’s first science fiction novelist, of equal importance to the early genre as the French Jules Verne or the British H.G. Wells.

We get more insight into what transpired in the Arizona cave before Carter’s advent on Mars by hindsight in the last chapter. At the end of his ten years on Mars, Carter loses consciousness while saving Barsoom by restarting the atmosphere factory in the nick of time.

And then a strange thing happens. As his Martian body “dies”, it disappears and he wakes up in his Earthly body ten Earthly years later, still in the Arizona cave. I am assuming that the ten years is measured by Earth standards. (However, for an excellent article looking at the time from both Earthly and Martian standards, let me recommend Fredrik Ekman’s “Chronology for the Princess of Mars Trilogy and the Master Mind of Mars,” ERBzine #0507).

“It was dark when I opened my eyes again. Strange, stiff garments were upon my body; garments that cracked and powdered away from me as I rose to a sitting position.
“I felt myself over from head to foot and from head to foot I was clothed, though when I fell unconscious at the little doorway I had been naked. Before me was a small patch of moonlit sky which showed through a ragged aperture.
“As my hands passed over my body they came in contact with pockets and in one of these a small parcel of matches wrapped in oiled paper. One of these matches I struck, and its dim flame lighted up what appeared to be a huge cave, toward the back of which I discovered a strange, still figure huddled over a tiny bench. As I approached it I saw that it was the dead and mummified remains of a little old woman with long, black hair, and the thing it leaned over was a small charcoal burner upon which rested a round copper vessel containing a small quantity of greenish powder.
“Behind her, depending from the roof upon rawhide thongs, and stretching entirely across the cave, was a row of human skeletons. From the thong which held them stretched another to the dead hand of the little old woman; as I touched the cord the skeletons swung to the motion with a noise as of the rustling of dry leaves.
“It was the most grotesque and horrid tableau and I hastened out into the fresh air; glad to escape from so gruesome a place.” (PM/28.)
He discovers that he has returned to Earth, having witnessed both the means the witch used on him and the tactics used to scare the Apache warriors. For some unknown reason the witch has died and has become mummified. He later finds his mine still there, untouched, makes a fortune, buys a cottage looking over the Hudson River, and waits until that time again when the god of war will allow him to transport himself to the angry red planet.
“As I sit here tonight in my little study overlooking the Hudson, just twenty years have elapsed since I first opened my eyes upon Mars.
“I can see her shining in the sky through the little window by my desk, and tonight she seems calling to me again as she has not called before since that long dead night, and I think I can see, across that awful abyss of space, a beautiful black-haired woman standing in the garden of a palace, and at her side is a little boy who puts his arms around her as she points into the sky toward the planet Earth, while at their feet is a huge and hideous creature with a heart of gold.
“I believe that they are waiting there for me, and something tells me that I shall soon know.” (PM/28.)
So, that’s all of the information the original readers of All-Story had to go on. However, with the release of the hardback, ERB’s readers were enriched with a bogus story of how ERB came into possession of Carter’s manuscript. We turn now to the newly added “Foreword” to A Princess of Mars.
DATA
ERB begins his foreword by addressing it, “To the Readers of this Work.” Remember now, there was no television or internet, or Twitter, or Facebook, no real social media to spread the word of the true history of ERB. He had only become famous a few years earlier. If you came across this book at a friend’s house with no prior knowledge of ERB, you would naturally assume that what you were reading was real, as far as the autobiographical parts.

Knowing that John Carter is a fictional hero would naturally cause an intelligent reader to separate the real from the false at this stage, but everyone else is going to be fooled. Who knows, this foreword is set up in such a way that a fairly ignorant reader may suppose the whole account to be true – while Mars was still largely unknown – thus becoming a devout believer in the Mythos, a goal one wonders if ERB was tempted to promulgate. As we shall see, this fake biography helped ERB reinforce John Carter, “JC,” as a divine being, manifesting himself at key times in the life of ERB.

It is my opinion that ERB only wrote John Carter stories when he was happy and turned on by life, not because, like Tarzan, he had to in order to keep the money rolling in. Thus, key insights into the personality of the author can be gleaned by a careful examination of the Barsoomian texts. But enough! Let us get to the First Epiphany of John Carter:

“In submitting Captain Carter’s strange manuscript to you in book form, I believe 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.” (PM/Foreword.)
This is where we start. The first thing that stands out is, of course, ERB’s horrid Yankee mistake of calling the War Between the States, “the civil war,’ which is a Yankee term. (Being from California, I’m neither Yankee nor Southerner, though my Southern friends still call me a Yankee.) The Civil War officially started on April 12, 1861, with the shelling of Fort Sumter. This gives us a working date.

ERB allegedly is five years old at this time, putting his birth at either 1855 or 1856, somewhere in Virginia. The real ERB was born on September 1, 1875, in Chicago, Illinois, making him approximately 20 years younger than the fake ERB. When the fake ERB first met John Carter, Carter had not yet been to Mars. We also learn – to be filled in later – ERB is somehow related to John Carter by blood: he calls him Uncle Jack, a name close to ERB’s heart. In fact, he dedicates A Princess of Mars to his son, Jack (John Coleman Burroughs).

Depending on how you define the word “few,” you can guess the month and year ERB first remembered John Carter: “a few months before the opening of the civil war.” A good guess would be either December 1860 or January 1861; in my opinion, likely December 1860 because of the Christmas holidays.

We are not sure whether ERB’s fake father owned a slave plantation. After the war he is said to have owned a string of general stores in Virginia, but from his activities with John Carter before the war, it is a distinct possibility that he originally owned a slave plantation. Perhaps because slavery was an acceptable part of Barsoomian life, ERB wanted to be compatible with his hero’s mores. Read the text carefully and decide for yourself:

“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.” (PM/Foreword.)
It is the part about the horses and the hounds and the fact that ERB’s father rode with John Carter on these hunts, that make me suspect he was a plantation owner. That and the fact that ERB’s slaves fairly worshipped the ground John Carter trod. After the war many slave plantation owners went out of business, no longer able to afford the wages of the now freed workers. Some went into other businesses, and such a model would certainly fit ERB’s father’s situation with this set of facts.
“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 this manuscript years afterwards.” (PM/Foreword.)
Before the narrative continues, it is best to remind the reader that when ERB sees Carter after the war, Carter has already “died” twice: once in an Arizona cave on Earth, and once at the little doorway to the Atmosphere Factory on Mars. In other words, this is John Carter’s First Epiphany to ERB.
“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 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 had understood that he was in the strict sense of the term a religious man.” (PM/Foreword.)
Since ERB gives us a concrete date, the winter of 1885, we don’t have to worry about extrapolating the fifteen or sixteen years it took for ERB to see John Carter after the war broke out. Now, it will become important to keep track of the dates in order to satisfy ourselves that ERB carried out Carter’s instructions with absolute fidelity.
“Several months after I had returned home from my last visit, the first of March, 1866, 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 Carter’s 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 hurried out to his place as quickly as possible, so that I could take charge of the body and of his affairs.
“I found the watchman who had discovered him, together with the local police chief and several townspeople, assembled in his little study. The watchman related the few details connected with the finding of the body, which he said had been still warm when he came upon it. It lay, he said, stretched full length in the snow with the arms outstretched above the head toward the edge of the bluff, and when he showed me the spot it flashed upon me that it was the identical one where I had seen him on those other nights, with his arms raised in supplication to the skies.
“There were no marks of violence on the body, and with the aid of a local physician the coroner’s jury quickly reached a decision of death from heart failure. Left alone in the study, I opened the safe and withdrew the contents of the drawer in which he had told me I would find my instructions. They were in part peculiar indeed, but I have followed them to each last detail as faithfully as I was able.
“He directed that I remove his body to Virginia without embalming, and that he be laid in an open coffin within a tomb which he had previously had had constructed and which, as I later learned, was well ventilated. The instructions impressed upon me that I must personally see that this was carried out just as he directed, even in secrecy if necessary.
“His property was left in such a way that I was to receive the entire income for twenty-five years, when the principal was to become mine. His further instructions related to this manuscript which I was to retain sealed and unread, just as I found it, for eleven years; nor was I to divulge its contents until twenty-one years after his death.
“A strange feature about this tomb, where his body still lies, is that the massive door is equipped with a single, huge gold-plated spring lock which can be opened only from the inside.
“Yours very sincerely,
“EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS.”
(PM/Forword.)
This became a favorite opening technique of H.P. Lovecraft’s: linking the reception of a mysterious manuscript to the author’s own life. And to the astute, there is an element of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Premature Burial” in this scenario. But first, let’s put those dates in the instructions to good use. The beginning date is the date of John Carter’s alleged death, to wit, March 4, 1866.

The principal of Carter’s estate becomes ERB’s twenty-five years after Carter’s death. March 4, 1886 plus 25 years, equals March 4, 1911. And wouldn’t you know it, that is around the very date ERB began writing “Under the Moons of Mars.”

Anyway, the other dates don’t add up like they should. For example, the manuscript was to be left sealed and unread, just as ERB found it, for eleven years after Carter’s death. March 4, 1886 plus 11 years, equals March 4, 1897. This raises the question: left unread by who?

Moreover, ERB was not to divulge the contents to anyone for 21 years after Carter’s death. March 4, 1886 plus 21 years, equals March 4, 1907. Check the math, I can make mistakes. 

As we shall see in Part Two, these dates don’t jive with the information ERB gives us in his next “Foreword.” to the hardback edition of The Gods of Mars in 1919.

. . . Continued in Part Two . . .
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF BARSOOM SERIES
7 WONDERS: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII

RUNNERS UP: I.a | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII.2.2b.3a.3b | IX | X.2.3.4
|.XI.2.3.4.5.6.7 |.XII.2.| XIII.|.XIV.|.XV.2.3.4.5.6.7.| XVI.2.3.4.5.| XVII.



 
WEB REFS
Timeline Bios of "the Other" Burroughs
www.johncarterofmars.ca
www.cartermovie.com
A Princess of Mars
Gods of Mars
Warlord of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Chessmen of Mars
Mastermind of Mars
A Fighting Man of Mars
Swords of Mars
Synthetic Men of Mars
Llana of Gathol
Skeleton Men of Jupiter
John Carter and the Giant of Mars



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