Haggard, H. Rider.
8vo, 3 volumes, first edition, one of 500 copies, 4pp. unnumbered advertisements and 16pp. numbered advertisements at the end of volume 3, original smooth pale-apple-green green cloth, upper covers and spines decorated in green and red, spines lettered in gilt, hinges fragile or starting, some staining or spotting to text, bookplates removed, covers heavily soiled, corners bumped
The rare first edition in cloth of the author's first book. Only two copies have been sold at auction in the last 35 years, both in 1990: the Sadleir-Martin copy, and the copy he inscribed to his wife.
"Haggard actually stumbled upon fiction as a means of expressing himself. While he and his wife were in church one Sunday morning, they noticed sitting near them a 'singularly beautiful and pure-faced young lady' (Days of my Life, 1.209) who, they decided, deserved to be the heroine of a novel. Husband and wife each began to write a story about her. Although Mrs Haggard soon gave up, Rider wrote on and completed his first three-decker, Dawn. Finding a publisher was not easy, but Hurst and Blackett finally brought it out in 1884...(Morton N. Cohen, Oxford DNB)
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