William Heinemann British first edition
The William Heinemann first British edition was published in 1964, very likely after the first American edition, which was published February 14, 1964.
It was "reprinted before publication," and also reprinted numerous times, in 1966, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1987, and 1988 for a Uniform Edition.
A bookshop displaying copies of WHEN THE LION FEEDS for sale
I own an exceedingly rare Uncorrected Proof Copy, which Wilbur signed for me.
My copies of WHEN THE LION FEEDS
The photos below depict the signatures that are within my copies of WHEN THE LION FEEDS.
The copy of WHEN THE LION FEEDS below is NOT reprinted before publication, and is the one that Wilbur gave to his original agent, Ursula Winant. Here is an excerpt from Wilbur's website:
I sent the book off to my agent in London, Ursula Winant. Afterwards I heard that she phoned the Managing Director of the eminent publishing house, William Heinemann. His name was Charles Pick. She told him:
“Charles, I have a book which I will only let you read on three conditions. Firstly, you will give the writer an advance of a thousand pounds.” At the time this was an unheard-of sum for a first novel.
“Secondly, you will run a first printing of four thousand copies.” This was a respectable number for an established author.
“Thirdly, you will give him a 7.5 % royalty on future sales.”
Charles replied, “Send me the book, and we can talk about it later.”
He read the book over the next weekend and phoned my agent at her home on Sunday evening. He told her:
“Ursula, I cannot agree to a single one of your three conditions. Firstly, I am going to make the advance two thousand rather than one. Secondly I am going to order a first printing of ten thousand copies. Lastly I am going to pay him royalties of 10%.”
The copy below is NOT reprinted before publication, and is dated, and I have never seen an earlier date in an inscription within any Heinemann copy of WHEN THE LION FEEDS. This copy is dated February 21, 1964.
(Wilbur gave an American first edition to his sister, Adrienne, and dated it February 3, 1964).
The copy below is NOT reprinted before publication, and is the copy that Wilbur gifted to Tony Osborne, who was the operating manager for Kingstons-Rhodesia, a large book distributor back before Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.
The copy below is NOT reprinted before publication, and is signed "Wilbur A. Smith." Only a small number of copies were signed with Wilbur's middle initial included (A. is for Addison). Wilbur's explanation of why he ceased including the "A":
"I thought it [the inclusion of the A in his signature] looked pretentious and it certainly took up much time when I was signing."