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1884 - Dawn



HRH's first novel

According to McKay and Scott, it was first published in London by Hurst and Blackett in 3 volumes on February 21, 1884.

Only 500 sets were printed.

Whatmore claims the date of first publication was April 10, 1884.

According to ForumAuctions.co.uk in September 2018: We know of only three copies at auction in the last 40 years including the copy Haggard inscribed to his wife (Christie's, 28th November, 1990, lot 102, £7,500).

John and Robert Maxwell published a 1-volume edition, supposedly February 1887. It has a black and white frontispiece.

Harpers published a 1-volume edition in New York in 1887 with a black and white frontispiece.

Spencer Blackett published a 1-volume edition, supposedly in 1888, and I have seen copies with the black and white frontispiece found in the Maxwell 1887 edition, but also copies with a color frontispiece by E. Hume.

Later, perhaps in 1890, Spencer Blackett published a new edition with 16 illustrations by Laslett J. Pott.

In 1894 Longmans, Green, and Company published an edition that includes 16 illustrations by D. Murray Smith.

Circa 1906 George Newnes published in London an edition with 8 illustrations by Cyrus Cuneo.


I do not own any of the books pictured below, unless noted.

Hurst and Blackett first edition in 3 volumes

As per ForumAuctions.co.uk: Signed presentation inscription from [HRH] to his sister Ella Green to front free endpaper... An excellent association copy of Haggard's rare first novel. Ella was the oldest of Haggard's siblings, and clearly took the role of elder sister seriously, caring for and advising her younger brother during his childhood.

The 3 volumes are shown below in numerous photos under different lighting

First 1-volume edition, purportedly published February 1887; frontispiece by Henry French, and title-page

First American edition with Henry French frontispiece, my copy

Second 1-volume edition, purportedly published in 1888, with a new color frontispiece by E. Hume.

Second 1-volume edition, purportedly published in 1888, with the frontispiece by Henry French instead of E. Hume's color illustration.

My rebound 1905 SIGNED copy that HRH gifted to John Hays Hammond, part of a set of 23 volumes

One of D. Murray Smith's excellent illustrations for DAWN

See the VisualHaggard.org page dedicated to the illustrations found in various editions of DAWN

Below is an excerpt from HRH's autobiography concerning his first novel, DAWN.

HRHonDAWN