Purple Rose

Purple Rose Publishing is an imprint of English Rose Publishing, specialising in unique science fiction, fantasy, American, foreign and adult titles. We have now published three titles: two John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and a third about the story of the 47 Ronin which was made into a film released in December 2013.

47 Ronin47 Ronin: “A story of honor and bloody revenge.”

The legend of the 47 ronin is one of the most popular and best known stories about the samurai in Japan. It is often referred to as the country’s “national legend” and is the most revered example of the samurai code of honor, bushido, put to the ultimate test.

The story tells of a group of samurai who, in 1701, were left leaderless (becoming ronin) after their daimyo (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka. The ronin, led by Asano’s chief councilor, Oishi Yoshio, avenged their master’s honor by killing Kira, after waiting and planning for almost two years. In turn, the ronin were themselves forced to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder.

With much embellishment, this true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that people should preserve in their daily lives. The popularity of the almost mythical tale was enhanced by rapid modernization following the fall of the shogun during the Meiji era of Japanese history. Many versions of the events appeared and the story of the 47 ronin continues to be popular in Japan to this day.

This book traces the history of the story through various retellings. It includes the first English version to appear in print, from Isaac Titsingh’s Illustrations of Japan, published in 1822, plus the second from The Capital of the Tycoon by Rutherford Alcock. It also includes in full The Forty-Seven Ronins from Tales of Old Japan by A. B. Mitford (plus his account of seppuku/hara-kiri), The Loyal Ronins by Shunsui Tamenaga, translated by Shiuichiro Saito and Edward Greey and The Forty-Seven Ronin by James Murdoch from A History of Japan. This is a comprehensive collection which brings together some of the best known versions of the story and serves as a perfect introduction to the legendary tale of the 47 ronin.

John Carter of MarsJohn Carter of Mars

John Carter is the hero of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series. He first appeared in Under the Moons of Mars, the story which catapaulted Burroughs into the limelight. First serialized in 1912 its popularity launched Burroughs writing career. In 1917 it was retitled A Princess of Mars and was published as a novel, becoming the first title in Burroughs’ 11-volume Barsoom series. It was the first of many novels and the sequels which followed over the next three decades further extended Burroughs’ vision of Barsoom.

The world of Barsoom is a romantic vision of a dying Mars. Formerly an Earth-like world, it has become barely hospitable. As the oceans evaporated, and the atmosphere thinned, the planet devolved into partial barbarism. It is a savage, ‘frontier’ world, of honour, noble sacrifice and constant struggle, where martial prowess is paramount, and where many races fight over dwindling resources. It is filled with lost cities, heroic adventures and undiscovered ancient secrets.

The series has inspired a number of well-known science fiction writers, and has informed and been adapted by many writers, in novels, short stories, television programs and films.

John Carter of Mars: The Collection

This Purple Rose book is a collection of the first five stories in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series: A Princess of Mars (1917), The Gods of Mars (1918), The Warlord of Mars (1919), Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1920) and The Chessmen of Mars (1922). It contains all of the original frontispieces by Frank E. Schoonover and J. Allen St. John, enhanced and enlarged and is a high quality book with clear formatting, detailed contents and a useful glossary.

John Carter of Mars: The Book of the Film

John Carter (2012) is a science-fiction fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by Andrew Stanton. It stars Taylor Kitsch in the title role, alongside Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, James Purefoy, Samantha Morton, Ciarán Hinds and a host of other well-known actors. It is Stanton’s first foray into live-action after working on animated films for Pixar. The film is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel A Princess of Mars. It is said that the film John Carter will be the first of a trilogy, the second and third being based on the next stories in the series: The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars.

This Purple Rose book contains all of the original illustrations by Frank E. Schoonover and contains a useful glossary of the names and terms used in the series.

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