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(This is the fictional character. For the author, see Edgar Rice Burroughs.)

Edgar Rice Burroughs (or E.R. Burroughs) is the young paternal nephew of John Carter back on his homeworld of Earth. Burroughs inherited the wealth and estate of John Carter after he seemingly died, but what Burroughs didn't know was that John Carter's consciousness had returned to Mars. After learning of his uncle's adventures on the red planet, he becomes his uncle's biographer and chronicler of adventures that happened on Barsoom.



The Gods of Mars[]

Burroughs made sure his uncle's last will to be buried in a mausoleum of his own design was carried out. Afterwards he learned about his uncle's true fate as John Carter visited him a few times and told him about his adventures, which Edgar began publishing in the form of books. He also acquired more knowledge through information transmitted to Earth via the Gridley wave.

Besides the tales of his uncle, Burroughs also recorded and published tales from many other adventurers like David Innes and Tarzan. He also wrote other stories he learned about strange and fantastical worlds such as Pellucidar and Amtor.


Pirates of Venus[]

Napier speaks to Burroughs at the beginning of the novel.

John Carter[]

In John Carter (2012), Burroughs is portrayed by Daryl Sabara. He is the principal character featured in the movie's frame story.

In the film, Burroughs is portrayed as a bright-eyed and somewhat-naïve young man, looking for his true calling in life. Summoned to the estate of his late "Uncle Jack" to execute his will, he reads through the journal kept by Carter for the past ten years, revealing the adventure he had upon Barsoom and all his attempts to return. In the end, he correctly deduces that Carter is not dead and runs to his mausoleum to see, not knowing he is being trailed by a Thern. Edgar follows Carter's instructions, attempting to use his name to open the strange, mechanical lock, only then realizing that his uncle always referred to him as "Ned". Opening the door, the disguised Thern sneaking up behind him, both men see that Carter's mausoleum is empty. A shot rings out, and the Thern drops dead, revealing Carter standing behind him with a smoking pistol. Carter reveals that he used Ned as bait, hoping to lure out one of the Therns to relieve him of his transmission device. With this, he proceeds to lock himself into the mausoleum to keep his body safe while he returns to Mars, sharing a parting word with his nephew, telling him to do something he feels is worthwhile.



  • Longevity: In the foreword of A Princess of Mars Burroughs mentions that he was 5 years old when John Carter left to serve in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, which would place his date of birth somewhere between 1855 and 1860. This makes the fictional Burroughs at least 15 to 20 years older than his real life counterpart, who was born in 1875. The fictional Burroughs is also still alive in 1967. He seemed to have inherited his longevity from his uncle John.
  • Wordsmith: Edgar is a talented writer, compiling the stories told to him by "Uncle Jack" and others of their fantastical adventures in strange lands and on different worlds.


  • Chess Playing: At the beginning of The Chessmen of Mars, Edgar admits that he usually loses games of chess. From this, he has developed a theory that asserts "phenomenal chess players are always found to be from the ranks of children under twelve, adults over seventy-two, or the mentally defective", a theory that he just as quickly ignores on the rare occasion that he wins.