This site is games | books | films

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Reddit
Tumblr
StumbleUpon

John Carter

John Carter
Cover of A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, published by McClurg.

John Carter is a fictional character, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who appears in the Martian series of novels. Though actually a Virginian from Earth and a visitor to Mars, he is often referred to as “John Carter of Mars” in reference to the general setting in which his deeds are recorded, in the time-honored tradition of other heroes.

Carter stands 6’2 tall and has close-cropped black hair and steel-gray eyes. Burroughs portrays him as an immortal being. Carter can remember no childhood, having always been a man of about thirty years old. Many generations of families referred to him as “Uncle Jack,” but he always lived to see all the members of the families grow old and die, while he remained young.

His character and courtesy exemplify the ideals of the antebellum South. A Virginian who served as a captain in the American Civil War, he strikes it rich by finding gold in Arizona after the end of hostilities. While hiding from Apaches in a cave, he seemingly dies, and leaving his inanimate body behind is mysteriously transported by a form of astral projection to the planet Mars, where he finds himself re-embodied in a form identical to his earthly one. Used to the greater gravity of Earth, he is much stronger than the natives.

On Mars, which its natives call Barsoom, Carter encounters both formidable alien creatures resembling the beasts of ancient myth and various humanoids and finds his true calling in life as a warrior-savior of the planet’s inhabitants. He wins the hand of Martian princess Dejah Thoris of Helium, but ultimately sacrifices himself to save Barsoom. Awakening again after this second death he finds he has been miraculously transported back to Earth, and his original body. Carter then earns great wealth as a result of a find of a rich vein of gold ore. Unable to return to Mars, he spends his last years in a small cottage on the Hudson River in New York, where he once more dies.

Again, Carter’s apparent demise is not a true death; rather, he is restored to Barsoom, where after more adventures he rises to the position of Warlord of Mars. He afterwards returns to Earth on a number of occasions to relate his adventures to his nephew, revealing that he has mastered the process of astral travel between the two worlds. During his adventures on Mars his earthly body reposes in a special tomb that can only be opened from the inside.

John Carter and Dejah Thoris become the parents of a son, Carthoris, and daughter, Tara.

Scroll to Top