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1887 - Jess

A Tale of the Transvaal

First appeared as a serialization in The Cornill Magazine, May 1886 through April 1887. This serialization has no illustrations.

McKay and Scott claim that the first edition was published in London by Smith, Elder, and Co. February 17, 1887, and that only 2,000 copies were printed. No illustrations are included in this edition either.

In New York the first authorized American edition was published in 1887 by Harper and Brothers without illustrations.

There exist scads of American pirated editions (George Munro's Library, F. F. Lovell, J. W. Lovell, George Munro's Seaside Library Pocket Edition, J. S. Ogilvie, Rand McNally).

Smith, Elder & Co. later reprinted this very popular novel in 1896, with revised text, and with 12 illustrated plates by Maurice Greiffenhagen.

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


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

First British edition

First British edition

Copy owned by HRH's niece, Nellie, daughter of HRH's sister, Ella

Copy owned by HRH's niece, Nellie, daughter of HRH's sister, Ella

Copy owned by HRH's niece, Nellie, daughter of HRH's sister, Ella

Copy gifted by HRH to his sister, Ella, now in my collection

My copy of the Smith, Elder reprint with Greiffenhagen illustrations

A pirated copy's frontispiece and title-page

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

John Murray, the publisher of the first edition of HRH's MOON OF ISRAEL, also published JESS (circa 1918) and the John Murray first edition of MOON OF ISRAEL has an ad for JESS.

I have never seen a copy of JESS published by John Murray with 12 Maurice Greiffenhagen illustrations

Murray hardback reprint with original DJ

Murray paperback reprint

Murray hardcover reprint with original DJ

Murray hardcover reprint with original DJ

Street & Smith paperback reprint

1917 film "founded" on JESS, but set in Puerto Rico and the USA instead of South Africa