I’ve been coming across quite a few references to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ book “A Princess of Mars” over the past couple of months, from being the story behind Disney’s upcoming film “John Carter of Mars”, to being a classic science fiction text that has inspired many creators.

So when it appeared again, as I was looking at buying Peter Cline’s book “Ex-Heroes” and reading the authors “ranty blog” that became enough repetition for me to bite. And as I was already buying one book on Amazon, I took a look at what dead tree versions were available for “A Princess of Mars”.

A few, it turns out. There’s a Disney Books edition with all the nice typesetting, a Simon and Schuster published collection which makes very clear that it’s not endorsed by the Edgar Rice Burrows estate, an edition with a Frank Frazzetta cover and more.

And then I realised that the book was written long enough ago that is fallen into the public domain. And that I already had an ebook version from the Gutenberg Project that I hadn’t read. This means I didn’t even have to wait for delivery, as I already had paper, ink and a printer sitting right next to my desk…

So after converting from ePuB to HTMLZ with Calibre and running the resulting index.html file through pandoc; I ended up with a remarkably clean \(\rm\LaTeX\) file ready for formatting.

Even better, by the power of public domain and a competition based market place, I can offer the resulting, print ready, pdf for you to download and print off at home in a variety of page formats, free of charge.

Or just buy a pre-printed copy from a bookstore.

Or get a copy of the free ebook.

For single sided printing on A4 or letter paper:

A Princess of Mars (A4 Single Sided)

A Princess of Mars (letter, single sided)

Or double sided if you have a fancier printer:

A Princess of Mars (A4 Double Sided)

A Princess of Mars (letter, double sided)

It’s a big print, ≈165 pages (85 sheets double sided) so I’ve bound my copy with binder clips with the levers removed to make a book-like document.


I’ve left the Gutenberg Project Licence text attached. I could remove it, but it seems a little churlish — after all they did all the hard work, I just formatted it. One of their licence requirements is to give a link to a plain text copy for any compiled formats, so here is the download link for the single (\LaTeX) file and cover image.


It might be worth reiterating that the copyright on “A Princess of Mars” has now expired, and the work is in the public domain. This means you, I, and Disney can copy, transform and combine to our heart’s content.