This publication of "A Princess of Mars", is unique as it comes with the original illustrations and also has an active ready Table of Contents for easy and quick navigation.
It is a seminal example of the planetary romance genre, which became highly popular in the decades to follow, and also has some elements of Westerns. It is set on a dying Mars, informed by ideas popularized by astronomer Percival Lowell in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It inspired a number of well known 20th century science fiction writers, including Ray Bradbury, John Norman and Arthur C. Clarke, and was also inspirational for many scientists in the fields of space exploration and the search of extraterrestrial life, including scientist Carl Sagan, who read the novel as a child.:
The vision of Mars in the novel was loosely inspired by astronomical speculation of the time, especially that of Percival Lowell, that saw the planet as a formerly Earthlike world now becoming less hospitable to life due to its advanced age. A million years before the narrative commences, Mars was a lush world with oceans. As the oceans receded and evaporated, and the atmosphere grew thin, the planet has devolved into a landscape of partial barbarism; living on an aging planet, with dwindling resources, the inhabitants of Barsoom have become hardened and warlike, fighting one another to survive.