It was the Tarzan books that really made the writer’s name, but A Princess of Mars was ERB’s first published story, written in 1911 and serialised in the following year as ‘Under the Moons of Mars’ in the monthly magazine, All Story. It was there published under the pseudonym Norman Bean, though the writer had actually wanted Normal Bean!
A copy of the first bookform edition of 1917 sold for $7000 (£5760) in a Heritage (25% buyer’s premium) sale of March 8.
Sold at $6000 (£5350) was a presentation first of the third title in his Martian or ‘Barsoom’ series featuring John Carter, The Warlord of Mars of 1919.
It was a copy given six years later to his son, Hulbert, and on the front free endpaper bears the following note: “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…”