“TO PEPITA DE SOUZA, WHO REALLY SHOULD BE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA”: SCARCE PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF CARSON OF VENUS, INSCRIBED PRIOR TO PUBLICATION BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
BURROUGHS, Edgar Rice. Carson of Venus. Tarzana, California: Edgar Rice Burroughs, (1939). Octavo, original blue cloth, cartographic endpapers, original dust jacket.
First edition of the third book in Burroughs’ series set on Venus, a timely satire written as news of Nazi Germany grew more alarming daily, an exceptional presentation copy warmly inscribed on the cartographic endpapers by Burroughs prior to publication, “To Pepita de Souza, who really should be governor of California, With best wishes, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzana, Feb 3, 1939,” in scarce fine original dust jacket.
In 1938, Burroughs responded to devastating news of Nazi Germany by working on Carson of Venus, his third volume in the Venus series. Burroughs sets his heroes Carson Napier and Princess Duare in the empire of Korva, which has been taken over by “a totalitarian group, described as a ‘strange cult,’ led by the sadistic Mephis” (Porges II:889). In this well-conceived satire, Mephis (i.e. Hitler) rules over mindless followers named Zanis (Nazi followers) who salute their ruler with rigid gestures and shouts of Maltu Mephis (“Heil Hitler”). The heroic Carson Napier infiltrates and spies on the Zanis in order help the Korvans regain their freedom. “First Edition” stated on copyright page; Tarzan and the Forbidden City advertisement on rear dust jacket panel. With map of Venus (Amtor) drawn by Burroughs; full-color dust jacket and spine art, black-and-white frontispiece and five full-page illustrations by Burroughs’ son John Coleman Burroughs. “As with several other Burroughs books of this period, the dust jacket appears in two states”: laminated (this copy) and unlaminated, no priority established (Zeuschner 70). Serialized in Argosy Weekly (January-February 1938). Currey, 87. Porges II:75. Clute & Nicholls, 178. See Zeuschner 69.
Interior fine, mild toning to spine, light edge-wear to extremely good book; bright fine dust jacket.